The Walterboro airport was opened in October 1937. In 1942 the United States Army Air Forces indicated a need for the airfield as a training airfield and control was turned over to the USAAF in February 1942. An immediate construction program began to turn the civil airport into a military airfield. Construction involved runways and airplane hangars, with three concrete runways, several taxiways and a large parking apron and a control tower. Several large hangars were also constructed. Buildings were ultimately utilitarian and quickly assembled. Most base buildings, not meant for long-term use, were constructed of temporary or semi-permanent materials. Although some hangars had steel frames and the occasional brick or tile brick building could be seen, most support buildings sat on concrete foundations but were of frame construction clad in little more than plywood and tarpaper. Walterboro Army Airfield was assigned to Third Air Force III Air Support Command, and activated on 15 August 1942. The 305th Air Base Group was the station host unit.
Initially Walterboro Army Airfield was used primarily for training of B-25 Mitchell medium bomber pilots and aircrews, acting a sub-base of Columbia Army Airfield for follow-on training prior to the units being deployed to overseas combat theaters. Units assigned to the airfield during World War II were:
* 310th Bombardment Group (Medium), 11 August-18 September 1942
* 321st Bombardment Group (Medium), September 1942-18 December 1942
* 340th Bombardment Group (Medium), 30 November 1942-30 January 1943
* 345th Bombardment Group (Medium), 6 March-16 April 1943
* 405th Fighter-Bomber Group, 14 September 1943-14 September 1944, (A-24 Dauntless A-25 Shrike)
Walterboro Army Airfield also hosted the largest camouflage school in the United States, as well as a 250 person Prisoner of War Camp. In 1944 it was reassigned to First Air Force 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.
The base closed on 31 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