Historic Markers Across Georgia

Signal Corps Aviation School 1911-1913

Marker ID: GHM 121-44
Location: Sand Bar Ferry at Oak Street, Augusta, GA
County: Richmond
Coordinates: N 33° 27.821    W 081° 56.492
  33.46369    -81.94154
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM7A9A
Signal Corps Aviation School 1911-1913 Marker
Photo by Ken Moser


On the Barnes farm, south and east of this marker, one of the first military aviation training centers in the U. S. was established in 1911. After successful test flights of the second Wright airplane in 1909, the Wright brothers agreed to the establishment of an Army Aviation School at College Park, Md. The latitude of College Park being unsuitable for winter flying, the War Department chose Augusta for a winter school.

Arriving in Augusta Nov. 29, 1911, the College Park School was welcomed by Mayor Thomas Barrett, Jr. In Jan., Wilbur Wright visited the school, which returned to Md. in April, 1912.

The school was reopened at the Barnes farm Nov. 19, 1912. Due to strained relations with Mexico, all men and equipment were moved to Texas Feb. 28, 1913, to become part of the Second Division. The two days previous to departure from Augusta were spent preparing for what would have been the first military use of airplanes by the U.S. had military operations developed. This evacuation in 1913 marked the end of the Augusta school.

Among the aviators trained at this school were Col. T. D. Milling, Chief of Staff of Brig. Gen. William (Billy) Mitchell in World War I, and Gen. Henry Harley (Hap) Arnold, Commander of the U.S. Air Forces in World War II.

GHM 121-44 Georgia Historical Commission 1967

Signal Corps Aviation School 1911-1913
Photo by Ken Moser