millville EXECUTIVE airport history

"A Legendary Past"
The Millville Army Air Field (MAAF) was dedicated by the U.S. War Department as “America’s First Defense Airport” on August 2, 1941.  It served as a gunnery school for fighter pilots, with training first conducted in the Curtiss P-40F Warhawk, then for most of the war, in the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.  It was the Thunderbolt with which the MAAF ultimately came to be identified.  It dominated the skies over the region and captured the imagination of all who lived and served here as a symbol of pride and victory.  On the airfield alone, over 10,000 men and women served, with about 1,500 pilots receiving advanced training in the Thunderbolt.
In honor of those men and women, and the role of the airfield in our nation’s history, the name “Thunderbolt” still resonates today and can be found in the names of businesses, athletic teams and public buildings and gathering spaces.  “Thunderbolt” is also the name of one of the main road courses at New Jersey Motorsports Park, the world-class motorsports complex located immediately adjacent to the airport.
"Today, past and present thrive side by side, creating a truly dynamic and vibrant Millville Executive Airport complex."
Following the war, the airport was consigned to civilian use and re-named Millville Municipal Airport.  Most of the airport buildings were converted to apartments for war veterans.  The last of the apartments vanished in the early 1970s, as the airport transitioned to a center of business aviation and industry for Southern New Jersey.  In October of 2009, the important WW II structures remaining on the airport were designated as an historic district and named to the New Jersey Historic Register.
Today, past and present thrive side by side, creating a truly dynamic and vibrant Millville Executive Airport complex.  New facilities and revitalized runways and taxiways serve business aircraft, aviation firms and defense contractors; while the Millville Army Air Field Museum preserves the airport’s WW II legacy and welcomes visitors from around the world to its exhibits, library, historic buildings, static displays and air shows.