Columbia Air Center

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Columbia Air Center
IATA: noneICAO: none
Serves Croom, Maryland
Built 1941
In use 1941-1958
Coordinates Coordinates: 38°45′22.6″N 76°42′20.5″W / 38.756278°N 76.705694°W / 38.756278; -76.705694
... etc.
closed 1958

The Columbia Air Center was an airfield in Croom, Maryland from 1941 to 1958. It was started by African American pilots who were not permitted to use other airports, but was also open to whites.[1] It had an all black staff,[2] and a number of the trainers had served in World War II as Tuskegee Airmen.

John R. Pinkett founded the airport in Croom, Maryland, in Prince George's County on leased land near the Patuxent River. It housed up to five runways, three hangars, ten planes, and an all-black chapter of the Civil Air Patrol. The airport was operated from 1941-1954 by John William Greene Jr, and also by Tuskegee Airmen, Herbert Jones Jr., who would later form International Air Association, the first African-American owned airline.[1][3][4]

In 1959, the property was purchased by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and became the first part of the Patuxent River Watershed Park.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Andy Zieminski (February 7, 2008). "County's first black-owned airport becomes training ground". Maryland Community Newspapers Online. 
  2. ^ Washington Afro-American newspaper article of August 16, 1941, as quoted in Clayton Davis. "Columbia Air Center, Croom, Maryland". Archived from the original on 2009-10-27. 
  3. ^ Courtland Milloy (23 December 1998). "One Man's Flight Plan". The Washington post. 
  4. ^ The Washington Post. 29 March 1989.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

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