The history of Courtland Army Air Base-FAA Identifier 9A4
At the onset of World War II, the US military searched for appropriate locations for new flight training facilities to fulfill the ever growing need for pilots. Courtland, Alabama was chosen as a perfect location to carry out a portion of this training. The land was acquired in April 1942 and construction was rapid being completed in only eight months and activated in December 1942. Courtland Air Base was a city in itself. Included with the four 5000' runways, taxiways and tarmac, was the construction of hundreds of buildings, a maze of streets and utilities. Included were barracks, administrative buildings, maintenance shops, hangars, warehouses, hospitals, dental clinics, dining halls, and maintenance shops . In addition to that were libraries, social clubs and stores to buy everyday necessities. During World War II it was known as Courtland Army Air Field (CAAF). Courtland was the home of the Southeast Training Center of the Army Air Force Training Command. It was overseen by the 446th Army Air Force Base Unit. At first the primary aircraft used at this facility was the Vultee BT-13. However, in 1944 the training in B-24 Liberators became the role of this air base. After the training of many pilots and as the war drew to a close, Courtland was deactivated in 1945 and became the property of Alabama in 1946. Only one building that now resides at the airport in Birmingham, Alabama is still believed to exist. However, today the Courtland Air Field is the Lawrence County, Alabama "Courtland" Airport and is maintained by Lawrence County. The field is now home to TVA Center, an FBO that carries out day to day flight operations and several other roles. TVA Center provides many levels of flight training, aircraft mechanical and structural repair and maintenance, fueling for civilian and military aircraft as well as hangers and other services. The staff posesses the professionalism and knowledge of aircraft and procedures backed by the combined training of the United States Army and Air Force, thus carrying on the military air base legacy. Lockheed Martin also calls Courtland home and is situated just off one of the runways. Why this enthusiasm? This being my home airport and as an aircraft, World War II and Warbird fan it is exciting to have a piece of history this close to home. To walk around and just think back to what took place seventy years ago on that very ground and then to fly off the very runways used by World War II bombers and planes is a thrill that not many pilots get to experience. Take a trip and visit it, you'll be glad you did.
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