“McKinnon worked tirelessly to secure Works Progress Administration and other federal funds. In 1933, Coffin and Jones donated a sizeable tract of land for the new airport. The major portion of the Sea Island Co. land was once part of the Retreat Plantation. Glynn County purchased adjoining tracts, fragments of the old Kelvin Grove Plantation, and other privately owned parcels for the new airport.
As land was being cleared in 1935, workers discovered evidence of a Native American settlement beneath the soil that had grown famed Sea Island cotton in the 19th century. Work was halted to allow archaeologists from the Smithsonian Institution to evaluate the site. They named it one of the most significant archaeological sites in the eastern United States. Exploration of the area was designated a WPA project, and excavation lasted from May 1936 to March 1937. The airport opened on May 28, 1938. The onset of World War II ushered in a new era for McKinnon Field. Obtained by the U.S. Navy in July 1942, the airport was renamed NAS St. Simons and housed the Navy Radar Training School for members of the Navy, Army and Marines. In 1947, the Navy returned ownership of the airport to Glynn County, along with numerous improvements to the facility. Was renamed McKinnon St. Simons Island Airport in 2003.” (https://flygcairports.com)
Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on April 26, 2014.
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