On the National Register of Historic Places as the 63rd Army Air Forces Contract Pilot School (Primary) of Coffee County, Georgia! Originally a part of South Georgia College’s pilot training program, the 63rd Army Air Forces Contract Pilot School was established in response to the demand for pilots during World War II. Its operation was run by the Raymond-Richardson Aviation Company, a civilian company, but it was overseen by the Army Air Force. The base and cadets enrolled in the school were designated as the 63rd Army Air Forces Flying Training Detachment. From 1941-1944, somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 cadets were enrolled, each for about 9 weeks, in what is known as primary flying school as they learned to fly. Here they were taught the flying concepts and received the hands-on experience they would need for more advanced schools for flying specific aircraft.
Of the 55 civilian Primary flying training centers across the country, the base at Douglas is the most intact, with many of the buildings, the field, and hangars still pretty much as they were during the War. A highlight is the instructors’ barracks that has been converted into a museum about the men, training, and facilities. The museum houses exhibits on the 63rd’s training, aircraft, and equipment.