Field of Grass and Flowers

Site of Columbia Air Center

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

    In 1941, aviation history was made when the first black owned and operated airfield in the state of Maryland was licensed on the site at the end of Croom Airport Road. John W. Greene Jr., a pioneer in black aviation, was instrumental in developing the airfield in the state of Maryland which was originally called Riverside Field. It was occupied by the U.S. Navy during World War II and used for training missions. After the war, Greene reopened the airfield as Columbia Air Center. It offered a flying school, charter services, and facilities for major and minor repairs. The first black Civil Air Patrol squadron in the Washington, D.C. area, called the Columbia Squadron, was formed here. The site is located within Patuxent River Park which is owned and 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.