Croom's Historic Airport

Part of Patuxent River Park is the site of Columbia Air Center, the first Black-owned and operated airport on the eastern seaboard. John W. Greene, Jr., the second Black person in the U.S. to be licensed to fly commercial airplanes, ran it from 1941 to 1956.

The Columbia Air Center site, seen from its northern edge.

The site lies at the (eastern) end of Croom Airport Road, adjacent to the Patuxent River. It is now a large open field with no visible trace of the eight turf runways that once criss-crossed it. There is a historic marker that provides some basic information along with a runway map and photos of John Greene and the Columbia Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. Also included are images of some of Greene's licenses.