From press & staff reports
The Louisville-Winston Airport Board will dedicate the new Terminal Building under construction at Louisville-Winston Airport to 1LT Web Pruitt Lee on September 27, 2014.
The Airport received additional grant funding to build the new terminal building on the property this past August. A Federal Aviation Grant along with Mississippi Department of Transportation Funds, county and city funds have allowed the airport to build the terminal building. The work to construct the terminal will be performed by Davidson Hauling & Construction out of Meridian.
Airport board officials are hoping to drive the economic development of the county by creating a thriving airport, with it having the potential to adding hangers, as well as continued growth in their fuel sales, and continued support of the agribusiness air services that is locally based.
The Airport Board also has devised its plans detailing how its business can have an economic impact for the entire county. According to the Economic Impact Analysis provided by airport officials, to measure the economic impact of the airport, one must use the employment, payroll, and output (spending) data.
The methodology of this analysis is to take the Direct Airport Impacts (sponsor operation of the airport, construction projects) and Direct Visitor Impacts, and factor those into what is called Multiplier Impacts (suppliers of materials & services to airport, air dependent business, visitor dependent business, and consumer product & service sales). This will give you the Total Economic Impact.
For the Louisville-Winston Airport in the year 2012, its Total Economic Impact was six jobs with $127,600 in payroll and $542,000 in economic activity.
The airport board, city and county are planning an open house and ribbon cutting once the terminal is completed. The board hopes to use the terminal and the open house event to recognize the 8th Air Force Pilots from World War II, as well as recognizing Lee.
Lee, a Winston County native most of his life, served with bravery and honor in WWII. Lee was born in the state of Oklahoma and moved to Mississippi when he was four years old. 16 years later he was a B-17 pilot in the 8th Air Force bombing of Nazi Germany.
After 28 missions of successful heavy bombardment over enemy-occupied Europe, Lt. Lee and his crew were hit by heavy shrapnel fire over Muenster, Germany. His new B-17 G model, named the “Badger Beauty” lost three of its four engines and six of its nine crewmembers sustained injuries. With the welcomed escort of an Air Force P51 Fighter, 1st Lt. Lee was able to fly the crippled aircraft to friendly territory in Belgium before making a forced landing.
For meritorious achievements in the air, Lt. Lee was presented the following awards: Air Medal, 1st Oak Leaf Cluster, 2nd Oak Leaf Cluster, 3rd Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Purple Heart. First Lieutenant Lee and his crew received the Presidential Citation for bravery from the War Department at the end of his enlistment.
To hear more about the progress being made at the airport, or you have any questions, you may contact the Louisville-Winston Airport at (662) 773-4652