F-104As_South_Carolina_ANG_early_1960s

McEntire Air National Guard Station

January 31, 1943 –

In 1960 the air installation was briefly renamed the Congaree Air National Guard Base, but on October 16, 1961, its name was changed to McEntire Air National Guard Base to honor Brigadier General Barnie B. McEntire, the South Carolina Air National Guard’s first commander, who had been killed in an air accident in May 1961.

McEntire Air National Guard Station is a 2,400-acre airbase in Richland County near Eastover. It is the home of the South Carolina Air National Guard. The airfield, originally called the Congaree Army Airport, was activated on January 31, 1943. Since World War II it has undergone numerous renovations and name changes as military aviation has evolved. In 1944 the field was transferred to the U.S. Navy and became the Marine Corps Auxiliary Air Facility. The Marines used the base as a fighter pilot training facility until November 1945. On December 9, 1946, the base became the home of the South Carolina Air National Guard and was renamed Congaree Air Base. The base was transferred to the South Carolina Air National Guard on November 8, 1955. In 1960 the air installation was briefly renamed the Congaree Air National Guard Base, but on October 16, 1961, its name was changed to McEntire Air National Guard Base to honor Brigadier General Barnie B. McEntire, the South Carolina Air National Guard’s first commander, who had been killed in an air accident in May 1961. During takeoff from Olmstead Air Force Base, the engine on his F-104 Starfighter failed. McEntire managed to guide his jet away from a heavily occupied area of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, before crashing the fighter on an island in the Susquehanna River. The base was renamed McEntire Air National Guard Station on October 1, 1995.

Allen, Carroll L., Jr. History of the South Carolina Air National Guard and McEntire Air National Guard Station. Eastover, S.C.: History Office, 169th Fighter Wing, McEntire Air National Guard Station, 1998.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Title McEntire Air National Guard Station
  • Coverage January 31, 1943 –
  • Author
  • Keywords 2,400-acre airbase in Richland County near Eastover, home of the South Carolina Air National Guard, Congaree Air Base, honor Brigadier General Barnie B. McEntire, the South Carolina Air National Guard’s first commander, who had been killed in an air accident,
  • Website Name South Carolina Encyclopedia
  • Publisher University of South Carolina, Institute for Southern Studies
  • URL
  • Access Date July 27, 2021
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 10, 2017
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