Lt. Col. Christofer B. Smisson
Lt. Col. Winton H. Barron

Lt. Col. Winton H.Barron (1906 - 1987)

W. H. "Bud" Barron was born in Wrightsville, Georgia. A self-taught pilot who flew for 14 years before he began logging his flight hours, he was a pioneer crop-duster during the mid 1930s. As World War II approached, Bud thought he would not get a chance to fly in the service of his country due to his age. He was wrong. On December 31, 1941, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Barron received a telegram from the Commanding Officer of the Army Air Corps Ferrying Command at Nashville, Tennessee, stating he had been recommended for the position of pilot. His military aviation career started on May 14, 1942, as a Second Lieutenant with the Fourth Ferrying Group. During his service with the United States Army Air Corps Ferrying Command, Barron was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. As an Air Corps pilot, he delivered bomber, cargo, and fighter planes to Africa, South America, the South Pacific, and Australia. After delivery of the aircraft, Barron transported occupational troops and personnel to Japan and returned wounded paws back to the United States. He was awarded the American Theater Service Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. Barron returned to Dublin, Georgia, following the war as a Lieutenant Colonel and served as Commander of the Air Force Reserve Squadron at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. He secured a lease on the Laurens County military base that had been built to serve the Naval Hospital in Dublin during the war. This was the beginning of the Georgia Aviation School, the first crop-dusting flight school in the state. Barron became the first manager during the 1950s. Having logged over 33,000 hours of flight after World War II and stating "I could never get enough flying,". Barron retired on December 31, 1977. In his honor, the Laurens County Airport was renamed the W.H. "Bud" Barron Airport on January 3, 1978. W. H. "Bud" Barron died on August 17, 1981, after contributing over 50 years to aviation.

 Lieutenant Colonel Winton Hill "Bud" Barron, Jr., a community icon, was enshrined in the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame April 29, 2000