Alabama 4th of July

Copyright © 2000-2009, Scott D. Murdock
18 Oct 2002 - Added photos.
15 Nov 2009 - Added additional photos, upgraded existing photos.

Friday, 1 Jul 1994

Shortly after moving to the Shreveport area from San Antonio, I visited my parents in Scottsboro, Alabama, over a long weekend.

On the road at a leisurely 0715, headed east on I-20 from Haughton through Ruston, Monroe, and Vicksburg.  Near Jackson, MS, I visited Williams Airport (M16), 32-18-15, 90-24-15.  During W.W.II, this was Hinds County Airport and an auxiliary field of Jackson AAB. 

Then, also in the Jackson vicinity, I visited the former Jackson AAB, now Hawkins Field (HKS), at 32-20, 90-13-30.

Onward to Meridian, MS, and Key Field (MEI), 32-20, 88-45, still an active airport with both civilian and military use. 

Near Kewanee, I switched to US 80 and headed to Demopolis.  The former Demopolis AF Auxiliary Field, 32-28, 87-57, is still a general aviation field, Demopolis Municipal (7A2).  This was an auxiliary to Craig AFB.

Then via Hwy 43 to I-59, I headed north through Birmingham and on to Gadsden.  Gadsden Municipal Airport (GAD), 33-58-30, 86-05-20, was formerly Camp Sibert AAFld.  Also on the airport grounds is Martin Air National Guard Station, PJFS, still in active use.  From here it was a short drive through Fort Payne to Scottsboro.  Arrived at my parents' place at 1915; covered 659 miles in 12 hours.

Monday, 4 Jul 1994

My dad and I took off for a day of adventure.  From Scottsboro, highways 72 and 565 to Decatur.  Then Highway72 on to Wallace Industrial Air Park (9A4), formerly Courtland AAFld.  Located just SW of Courtland, at 34-40, 87-21, we found quite a few W.W.II vintage buildings and foundations remaining, including what was probably the old main gate.

Back on 72, west to Muscle Shoals Regional (MSL), 34-44-45, 87-37.  This was Muscle Shoals Auxiliary Field, under Courtland AAFld, during W.W.II.  Among the old buildings remaining on the airport, we were pleased to find a nice looking WPA-built hangar, circa. 1936-37.  We were told a nearby metal hangar had been moved over from Courtland AAFld. Here you can see my dad looking at the old hangar.

To Decatur to Pryor Field Regional Airport (DCU), 34-39, 86-56-30.  This was Decatur Airport during W.W.II, a contract flying school operated by Southern Airways, Inc.  Some older buildings remain, including a vintage hangar.

Back on 565 to Huntsville to Redstone Arsenal.  We glanced without stopping at the current Redstone AAF (HUA) which was listed as Huntsville Arsenal, 34-41- 86-41, in W.W.II airfield directories.

Then we made our way through Fayetteville and Lynchburg to Tullahoma.  There we found William Northern (THA), 35-23, 86-14-30.  This was William Northern Field during W.W.II (I've found one reference calling it William Northern AAB, but I believe that to be an error).  A nice old hangar and a few older buildings are still in use.

Our next attempted stop was Arnold AFB, ANZY, still an active base with airport code AYX.  Located at 35-23, 86-05, this is one of the few USAF bases where a DoD sticker alone doesn't guarantee access.  Not having any plausible reason to visit except sightseeing (the BX and gas station were closed) we were politely turned away at the gate.

Oh well, back to Scottsboro.  Dad drove his minivan for this trip, so I didn't do my usual time/mileage counts.

Tuesday, 5 Jul 1994

Out from Scottsboro at 0550, at Fort Payne I took I-59 south to Tuscaloosa.  Then Hwy 82 west toward Columbus, MS.  First stop of the day, Columbus AFB, EEPZ.   Located at 33-38, 88-26-30, this is an active training base with airport identifier CBM.

On to Starkville, and George M. Bryan Airport (STF), 33-26, 88-51.  As Starkville Municipal Airport, this had been a W.W.II auxiliary field to Columbus AAFld.

North on I-55 to Grenada, and Grenada Municipal (GNF), 33-50, 89-48.  This had been Grenada AAFld during W.W.II.

Onward to Greenwood, I visited Greenwood-Leflore Airport (GWO), 33-29-30, 90-05.   This was Greenwood AAFld during W.W.II.   A few old buildings remain on the airport.

Continuing on to Indianola, I visited the former Indianola AF Auxiliary Field.  This was once an auxiliary field to Greenville AFB, and is now Indianola Municipal Airport (IDL), 33-29, 90-40.

Then I was off to Greenville, and the large hangar at Mid Delta Regional (GLH), 33-28-30, 90-59-30, was visible from several miles away.  This was the former Greenville AFB, 1157.  Quite a few old buildings remain including W.W.II barracks, a chapel, and a hangar.

From Greenville I headed south to Monroe, then took I-20 home.  Long day -- 749 miles in 15 hours.  The outbound and return legs of this trip totaled 1,408 miles, in 27 driving hours.