In the late 1920’s and 1930’s, a rough landing strip was made on the farm of C.C. Anderson just outside Walterboro. Starting in 1941, as part of the World War II effort,The U.S. Government acquired the site of the strip and assembled a total of 3,815 acres for the Walterboro Army Airfield.
Construction began in April 1942, and just four months later, on August 4, 1942, the base was activated. The completed installation consisted of a large airfield with extensive support facilities. Army Air Forces Fourth Service Command conducted combat air crew training. The Tuskegee Airmen were part of this effort. They were located near Tuskegee Circle, which is now the site of Walterboro High School.
Many notable objectives were completed here. Trained pilots and crews went directly to combat in many parts of the world. There was a compound for German prisoners of war. The largest camouflage school in the country was located here. Approximately 600 acres were used for bomb storage. Air combat support was provided from Walterboro for many important defense facilities and cities, such as Santee Cooper Dams, the Parris Island Marine Base, the Navy Yard, and Charleston. This was a very desirable airfield location because it had good flying weather and was beyond the range of hostile navy guns.
In 1942, Walterboro became home to the Walterboro Army Airfield, a sub-base of Columbia Army Airbase and part of the overall network of army air training facilities that sprang up across the United States during World War II.
The base was established to provide advanced air combat training to fighter and bomber groups. It also hosted the largest camouflage school in the United States, as well as a 250 person Prisoner of War Camp.
In 1944 the air field changed commands and became an advanced combat training base for individual fighters, primarily the black trainees graduating from Tuskegee Army Airfield in Tuskegee, Alabama. Over 500 of the famed Tuskegee Airmen trained at Walterboro Army Airfield between April 1944 and October 1945 including individuals training as replacement pilots for the 332nd Fighter Squadron and the entire 447th Bombardment Group.
Seven of the famous Doolittle Tokyo Raiders were trained in Walterboro.
The base closed in October 1945 and returned to its origins as a local airfield.
Lowcountry Regional Airport
537 Aviation Way
Walterboro, SC 29488
Phone: (843) 549-2549
Fax: (843) 549-1444