Travelers who fly out of Augusta's Bush Field and Daniel Field airports owe a debt of thanks to Manning who died in 1996. "Hamp" learned to fly in 1937. He was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force and flew 50 missions during World War II as a flight commander over Africa, Sicily and Italy. He became manager of Augusta's city airport, then Daniel Field, in 1946 at the age of 23. He soon guided the city into buying the military training facility Bush Field from the federal government and spending $350,000 to convert the field into a municipal airport. Today, the sprawling airport is worth millions with its private and public aircraft operations and has contributed greatly to Augusta's business growth. Manning was a nationally-recognized figure in the field of aviation and served as president and board chairman of the Southeastern Airport Manager's Associaton.
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