City to hold 12 open house dates for World War II barracks
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The City of Douglas will hold 12 open house dates in 2023 for the public to view renovations of Barracks #5 located at Douglas Municipal Gene Chambers Airport. The building, Barracks #5, is a part of the historic World War II Army-Air Force Flight Training Air Base and was utilized as housing for the cadets that trained at the Air Base before transferring to other bases to advance their flight training.
Open House dates for 2023 will be February 8, (9AM-1PM), February 24 (9AM-1PM), March 6 (1PM-4PM), March 29 (9AM-1PM), April 13(1PM-4PM), April 25(9AM-1PM), May 12 (9AM-1PM), May 22 (1PM-4PM), August 9 (9AM-1PM), August 24 (1PM-4PM), September 5 (9AM-1PM), and September 29 (1PM-4PM).
According to the WWII Flight Training Museum, “The Air Base was originally a part of South Georgia College’s pilot training program. The 63rd Army Air Forces Contract Pilot School was established in response to the demand for pilots during World War II. From 1941-1944, somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 aviation cadets were enrolled, each for about 9 weeks, in what is known as primary flying school as they learned to fly.” In 1944, the Air Base was decommissioned and became a civilian complex operated by the City of Douglas.
As one of the eleven original buildings, Barracks #5 remained standing through the years. In 2020, seeing the need to preserve and repurpose the building, the City of Douglas was awarded $10,000 from the Georgia Historic Preservation Division of DNR. Funds from the DNR Grant and the City of Douglas allowed a new roof to be placed on the building as well as other improvements to occur in hopes the building will be used for an aviation-type business or aviation-related purpose.
The open house is free of charge. For more information about the historic airbase or preservation efforts, call Community Development at (912) 383-0277.
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