World War II Flight Training Air Base

The goals of the Air Base Preservation & Development Committee are to identify, evaluate, and plan for rehabilitation, adaptive use, and restoration of the historic structures at the air base in Douglas, Georgia, Coffee County. We hope to protect the historical integrity and to increase awareness of this hidden jewel within our community. The end results will hopefully create a "village concept" that will attract visitors from across the nation to this historic landmark, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Contact a Committee Member today to make a tax deductible donation for the restoration of this historic Airbase.

Airbase Preservation Committee (PDF)


Photo of the WWIIFlightBaseLogo

DOUGLAS TO HOST WARBIRD EXPO MAY 31-JUNE 2, 2022

The Douglas Municipal Gene Chambers Airport is excited to host the Warbird Expo featuring the Commemorative Air Force (CAF).   Douglas is the last stop on the CAF’s journey along the Georgia WWII Heritage Trail.  The WWII Flight Training Museum located on the grounds of the historic Raymond-Richardson Flight Training Air Base at the Douglas Municipal Airport, is part of the Georgia WWII Heritage Trail.

The restored aircraft will be led by the B-17 Flying Fortress Texas Raiders, which is one of only three remaining that are actively flying in the U.S. today.  Accompanying the big bomber will be a SNJ/T6 Texan advanced trainer in which thousands of airmen learned to fly for combat and a twin-engine C-45 Expeditor transport in which the whole family can fly together.  All three warbirds are notable for their historic importance and level of restoration, and will offer cockpit tours and flights to the public beginning Tuesday afternoon May 31st.
 
The public is invited to enjoy on-board tours and warbird flights with the aircraft crews at Douglas Municipal – Gene Chambers Airport, 440 Elton D Brooks Blvd, Douglas, Georgia 31535.
Admission to the event is $10 per adult, $5 for children under 12, and $20 for a family of up to five and includes access to all the aircraft for cockpit tours. Warbird flights start as low as $100 for the Navy transport, and $380 on the advanced trainer. Seats on the B-17 start at $495. Ground tours will be conducted from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM on Tuesday, and from 10:00 to 4:00 on Wednesday and Thursday, excluding flying times.

An open house will be held at the Barracks #5 Building located on the grounds of the historic Raymond-Richardson Air Base.  Stop by the open house and receive more information about the 63rd Air Base Preservation and Development Committee’s efforts to restore the historic buildings and the Georgia WWII Heritage Trail.
 
Those who wish to fly can may call 855-FLY-A-B17 (1-855-359-2217) or reserve online at B17TexasRaiders.org or see more on Facebook.com/B17TexasRaiders.

Douglas Warbird Expo Flyer (PDF)

Historic Airbase

History

During World War II, an average of 200 cadets and 75 personnel remained on the air base. Joint management of the airbase continued; the Raymond-Brinkerhoff Aviation Company controlled the flying instructors and buildings, while the Army had control of the mechanics, cadets and hospital.

By 1943, The main field had grown to 3,500 feet by 3,500 feet with auxiliary fields. With 10 barracks added in 1942, additional barracks began construction in 1943. When Brinkerhoff resigned from Raymond-Brinkerhoff, the company was re-organized into the Raymond—Richardson Aviation Company. The base continued to grow to 12 buildings and one flag pole. An estimated total of 7,000 WWII cadets graduated from the 63rd Army Air Force Flight Training School. 

Many cadets went on to fly during the war, win honors, and some gave the ultimate sacrifice. In December 1944, the base was decommissioned and returned as a civilian complex to the City of Douglas. Over the years, the airbase has been used for multiple purposes from a spring baseball training site to school housing to government office space. The WWII 63rd AAF-FTD Flight Training Museum is occupied on the grounds of the Airbase and the Douglas-Coffee County Veterans Park.

WWII Flight Training Museum

Photo of GA State WWII Heritage Trail Logo
Photo of 63rd FTD StudentsDOUGLAS AIRBASE IS LISTED ON GEORGIA'S WWII HERITAGE TRAIL

Discover Georgia’s legacy of inspiring wartime stories at the sites that make up the new World War II Heritage Trail, launching on February 16, 2021. Southern states were critical to the war effort during World War II (1941-1945), and none more so than Georgia. Over 300,000 Georgians served in the military, and thousands of civilians worked in rapidly expanding defense industries.  Ten sites across the state have partnered to bring a new experience to visitors, families, and groups.

The World War II Flight Training Museum and the 63rd Preservation Society in Douglas eagerly joined in this endeavor.  Of the 55 civilian Primary flying training centers across the country during World War II, the airbase in Douglas is the most intact.  Many of the buildings, the field, and hangars are still pretty much as they were in 1941.  Thousands of cadets, flight instructors, and support staff were stationed in Douglas during the war.  It is important to tell their stories of service and sacrifice. 

WWII Heritage Trail Information Kit

Visit our website, Georgia WWII Trail


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