History of
Atterbury Army Air Field
Bakalar AFB &
Columbus, IN Municipal Airport

What is now known as Columbus Municipal Airport began life in 1942 as the United States went to war. The air field had several names, but the most common during the WW II era was Atterbury Army Air Field. Following the formation of the United States Air Force in 1947, the field was renamed Atterbury Air Force Base.

In 1954, the base was renamed Bakalar Air Force Base after Hoosier born P-51 pilot Lt. John Bakalar. This name remained in effect until the Department of Defense closed the facility and turned it over to the City of Columbus in 1972. The facility was then renamed Columbus Municipal Airport.

More detailed history of Atterbury Army Air Field/Bakalar Air Force Base/Columbus Municipal Airport can be found at the following links.

 Atterbury/Bakalar Air Museum Website

BUILDING AN AIRFIELD: Atterbury Army Air Field by Lou Thole

1st Lt. John Bakalar

SHUTDOWN: Bakalar AFB closes, 434th Transfers to Grisson AFB (1970)

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