The Columbus Lowndes County Airport will soon bear the name of a local aviation pioneer.
The airport authority board recently voted unanimously to name the terminal for Lieutenant Colonel Alva Temple.
Colonel Temple was a fighter pilot in the 99th Pursuit Squadron of the U.S. Army Air Force in World War Two – the Famed Tuskegee Airmen.
He flew 120 combat missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Temple’s 332nd Fighter Group Weapons Team also won the first “Top Gun” competition, at that time, an Air Force event, in 1949.
He retired from the Air Force in 1962 and settled down in Columbus where he owned a service station and radiator repair business.
Airport officials are planning a special dedication event in April.
“We have an opportunity to get a Tuskegee Airmen exhibit here in Columbus, and it’s very sought after, and so the fact that we actually got it the dates we need it is absolutely amazing. But what it will do, it will allow all of the children from across the county and city schools to be able to come in, sit in the moving exhibit, and also to be able to take pictures with an actual Red Tail aircraft,” said Jammie Garrett, COO of Columbus.
This year also marks the 70th Anniversary of the Columbus Lowndes County Airport.