Barnie B. McEntire rose to lieutenant colonel in the Army Air Corps during World War II and was exactly the type of man Lieutenant General James C. Dozier was looking for when he dreamed of starting the South Carolina Air National Guard.
On May 25, 1961, General McEntire and Colonel Morrell flew to a conference in Pennsylvania to demand that the Air Force do something about the frequent engine problems experienced by the F-104 Starfighter. But on the return trip, with tragic irony, the unthinkable happened.
A few months after McEntire's death, the governor of Pennsylvania posthumously awarded him a certificate of valor for sacrificing his life to make sure that no civilians on the ground were killed or injured. In November of that year, South Carolina Governor Ernest F. Hollings renamed the base McEntire
Air National Guard Base.