Murals to adorn airport building

Published 4:21 pm Friday, June 5, 2009

A small, two-dimensional fleet of classic World War II airplanes will soon be a standing feature for pilots to admire as they visit the Decatur County Industrial Airpark.

A one-story building in the airpark was recently painted to match the color of the adjacent main terminal building. The historic World War II hangar is on the other side of the main terminal.

County Administrator Tom Patton came up with the idea to have four airplanes—a P-40 “Flying Tiger,” P-38 “Lightning,” P-47 “Thunderbolt” and a P-51 “Mustang”—painted on the exterior building. That building is currently used for storage.

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“Little by little, we are trying to spruce up the airport,” said Patton. “When we get visiting pilots come through it may catch their eye and hopefully they will remember the air field and come back.”

Patton, a retired Marine Corps aviator and 30-year military pilot, said the planes he chose to be painted on the building are classic airplanes that were flown by the U.S. Army Air Corps.

The World War II hangar was built to train pilots for that war. After the war, Air Force cadets trained at the Southern Airways School until the base closed in 1961.

He said the mural and aesthetic improvements made to the park are ways to hopefully increase the number of pilots utilizing the facility, which he said offers gas prices that are some of the lowest found in the Southeast.