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Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport celebrates 75 years

Col. C. Mike Smith, 81st Training Wing vice commander, signs a banner during the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport 75 Year Commemoration Dec. 13, in Gulfport, Mississippi. A historical marker at the entrance of the airport was unveiled by local dignitaries during the event honoring the airport’s ties to the military dating back to 1942. The U.S. Air Force Band of the West, Nightwatch, also performed during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Col. C. Mike Smith, 81st Training Wing vice commander, signs a banner during the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport 75 Year Commemoration Dec. 13, in Gulfport, Mississippi. A historical marker at the entrance of the airport was unveiled by local dignitaries during the event honoring the airport’s ties to the military dating back to 1942. The U.S. Air Force Band of the West, Nightwatch, also performed during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Thomas E. Simmons, author, speaks with Billy Hewes, Gulfport mayor, (left), retired Brig. Gen. Joe Spraggins, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources executive director, and Col. C. Mike Smith, 81st Training Wing vice commander, during the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport 75 Year Commemoration Dec. 13, in Gulfport, Mississippi. A historical marker at the entrance of the airport was unveiled by local dignitaries during the event honoring the airport’s ties to the military dating back to 1942. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Thomas E. Simmons, author, speaks with Billy Hewes, Gulfport mayor, (left), retired Brig. Gen. Joe Spraggins, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources executive director, and Col. C. Mike Smith, 81st Training Wing vice commander, during the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport 75 Year Commemoration Dec. 13, in Gulfport, Mississippi. A historical marker at the entrance of the airport was unveiled by local dignitaries during the event honoring the airport’s ties to the military dating back to 1942. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Retired Brig. Gen. Joe Spraggins, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources executive director, delivers remarks during the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport 75 Year Commemoration Dec. 13, in Gulfport, Mississippi. A historical marker at the entrance of the airport was unveiled by local dignitaries during the event honoring the airport’s ties to the military dating back to 1942. The U.S. Air Force Band of the West, Nightwatch, also performed during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Retired Brig. Gen. Joe Spraggins, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources executive director, delivers remarks during the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport 75 Year Commemoration Dec. 13, in Gulfport, Mississippi. A historical marker at the entrance of the airport was unveiled by local dignitaries during the event honoring the airport’s ties to the military dating back to 1942. The U.S. Air Force Band of the West, Nightwatch, also performed during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Local dignitaries unveil a historical marker at the entrance of the airport during the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport 75 Year Commemoration Dec. 13, in Gulfport, Mississippi. The marker was emplaced to honor the airport’s ties to the military dating back to 1942.The U.S. Air Force Band of the West, Nightwatch, also performed during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Local dignitaries unveil a historical marker at the entrance of the airport during the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport 75 Year Commemoration Dec. 13, in Gulfport, Mississippi. The marker was emplaced to honor the airport’s ties to the military dating back to 1942.The U.S. Air Force Band of the West, Nightwatch, also performed during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Local dignitaries unveil a historical marker at the entrance of the airport during the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport 75 Year Commemoration Dec. 13, in Gulfport, Mississippi. The marker was emplaced to honor the airport’s ties to the military dating back to 1942. The U.S. Air Force Band of the West, Nightwatch, also performed during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Local dignitaries unveil a historical marker at the entrance of the airport during the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport 75 Year Commemoration Dec. 13, in Gulfport, Mississippi. The marker was emplaced to honor the airport’s ties to the military dating back to 1942. The U.S. Air Force Band of the West, Nightwatch, also performed during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Col. C. Mike Smith, 81st Training Wing vice commander, signs a banner during the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport 75 Year Commemoration Dec. 13, in Gulfport, Mississippi. A historical marker at the entrance of the airport was unveiled by local dignitaries during the event honoring the airport’s ties to the military dating back to 1942. The U.S. Air Force Band of the West, Nightwatch, also performed during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)