Moody, community honors Spence Field fallen

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Sebastianelli
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

It’s been said the skies cry when a good man dies. This quote was only fitting to open the rainy morning ceremony and historical marker dedication at Spence Field in Moultrie Georgia, September 26, 2023.


Airmen from Moody Air Force Base joined community members to unveil a memorial marker to honor the Airmen who lost their lives while training at Spence Field between 1942-1945. Although the airfield’s history had been documented, the sacrifice of 62 Army Air Force Airmen had not been officially recognized with an official marker until the unveiling event.


“On behalf of the President of the United States, the United States Air Force and a grateful nation, let this marker stand as a symbol of appreciation for your loved ones' honorable and faithful service,” said Col. Bobby Buckner, 23rd Wing Maintenance commander. “Let this air field always be remembered and protected as a symbol of sacrifice and honor and above all, let this marker be a record of what those 62 airmen embodied. True and unbridled service for their country. They are not forgotten.”


In attendance were 55 family members and descendants of the fallen Airmen who were recognized by members of the City of Moultrie, Colquitt County, and Moody Air Force Base.


The names of the Airmen were read and a flag with 48 stars was placed in recognition of each. Family members were invited to stand for reverence as their ancestor’s name was called. 


“Each of the 62 Army Air Force Airman who lost their lives did so with the intention of defending democracy, and freedom across the globe in a time of great turmoil,” Buckner said. “They understood the danger and gravity of the task they had sworn an oath to accomplish, and still chose to serve.”


The ceremony and memorial marker were organized and procured through the efforts of the John Benning Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), City of Moultrie, Colquitt County, and private donors.


“A project of this magnitude requires the support of the community and this community responded as it always does to our veterans and active-duty military,” said Nancy Coleman, regent of the John Benning DAR. This event exceeded our expectations and more importantly the expectations of the family members. We could have never held this event without the support of everyone pulling together.”


To conclude the ceremony the family members gathered at the base of the flight tower to unveil the memorial marker and place a patriotic wreath beneath it. The American Legion Tri-County Memorial Team provided a 21-gun salute and "Taps" was played. 


“Family members can take heart that during our country’s hour of need, your loved one, your family member stood-up, signed up and showed up,” said Retired Col. Paul Nagy, the vice chair of the Colquitt County Commission. “That’s why ceremonies like this are so important. They’re important to the health of our nation.”