Business View Magazine | November 2020

169 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2020 COMING BACK STRONGER W atertown Regional Airport is a commercial service and general aviation airport located two miles northwest of the City of Watertown in Codington County, South Dakota. Its history goes back to the early days of flight, when Walter Cooke, a local music store owner, established the first airfield in the area in 1917. Cooke and another pilot flew exhibitions at the airfield and, according to Watertown Re local lore, night landings were accomplished by “following the lights on Kemp Avenue.” During World War II, the airfield was operated by the United States Army Air Forces as a Second Air Force cold weather bomber training base, as an auxiliary to Sioux Falls Army Air Field, and by Air Proving Ground Command. At that time, the airfield was expanded into its current layout, with two runways, in order to accommodate the B-17 Flying Fortress and the B-24 Liberator units that underwent advanced training at Watertown Army Air Field before deploying overseas for combat missions. After the war, the government released the land to the City of