For Immediate Release
Punta Gorda Army Airfield Historical Marker Dedication and Photo Exhibit Nov. 8
CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. (Nov. 3, 2017) – The Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners will dedicate a new Charlotte County Historical Marker commemorating the Punta Gorda Army Airfield and open a photo exhibit about the airfield at the Punta Gorda Airport, Nov. 8, 2017 at 10 a.m. Charlotte County Commissioner Stephen R. Deutsch, Mr. Paul Andrews of the Charlotte County Airport Authority, and Dr. Erik Carlson, associate professor of history at Florida Gulf Coast University will be the featured speakers at this event.
The Army Air Corps activated the PGAAF on Dec. 11, 1943 with a mission to train pilots for overseas duty. The first student pilots arrived in February 1944. Average class size was 30 students per squadron. This included the 490th Fighter Squadron and the 502nd Fighter-Bomber Squadron. Over 750 student pilots completed 15 weeks of training at the base. Pilots flew the Curtis P-40 Warhawk and the North American P-51 Mustang.
PGAAF contributed to the victory in World War II and was deactivated on Sept. 1, 1945, one day before the surrender of Japan. Today the Punta Gorda Airport serves our community through both private and commercial aviation.
The airport is located at 28000 Airport Road in Punta Gorda. For information on the event contact Annette Snapp at 941-629-7278 or Annette.Snapp@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.