Field of Grass and Flowers

Columbia Air Center

16000 Croom Airport Road
Upper Marlboro , MD 20772
(301) 627-6074
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  • Details

    The first African-American owned and operated airfield in Maryland, if not the nation, was licensed in 1941. John W. Greene, Jr., a pioneer in black aviation, was instrumental in developing the airfield originally called Riverside Field. Occupied by the U.S. Navy during World War II, the airfield reopened as Columbia Air Center, offering a flying school, charter services and maintenance shop. The first African-American Civil Air Patrol Squadron in the Washington, D.C. area was formed here. The site is located within Patuxent River Park which is owned anad operated by The Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission. This site is currently used for agricultural purposes and none of the buildings or runways that once stood on the site are extant; interpretive signage tells the story of the historic airport and provides a map of the airfield when it was in use.