WHY DO gators fly? a history of yonder field

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hawthorne school of aeronautics

In a time before the 1960's saw I-26  built,  Orangeburg was the epicenter for military flight training in the US for WWII pilots in the 1940's. Hawthorne trained 5,924 military pilots, including more than 2,000 French Air Force students. Its is estimated that during this time, there were more military pilots concentrated in Orangeburg than anywhere in the US.

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Small town, big history

One of 4 pilot training fields, Haygood Field, was adjacent to what is today Yonder Field. This photo from the 1940's shows a solo plane landing at Haygood Field.