Bernarr Ferguson

Bernarr Campbelle Ferguson, LCDR USNR (Ret), was a man responsible for furthering more careers in aviation than perhaps anyone will ever know. He was born on December 4th, 1917, in Chamblee, Georgia. As a young teenager he would work all day at an airport, carrying water for the radiators of early airplanes; after completing the latter, he would be paid with 30 minutes of flight instruction.

After getting his pilot’s license, while still a teenager, he and his brother bought a wrecked WWI Curtis Jenny, rebuilt it and continued to fly. He went to Georgia Tech, earned an aeronautical engineering degree and then became a flight instructor for Southern Airways. He joined the Navy in 1942 and, much to his chagrin, was assigned as a flight instructor throughout the war. He finished the war at Whiting Field. Following the war he owned a small airfield in Greenville, Mississippi, where he flew Stearman biplanes, crop dusting. In the 1950’s, deciding there was a better way to live, he purchased the land which now forms Ferguson Airport. It was then a sorry-looking piece of sand covered with scrub pines and could be accessed only by an often-muddy dirt road. Highway 98 wasn’t even in anyone’s dream. He steadily improved his airport and today it is one of the most popular general aviation airports in the area.