FOLEY – The city of Foley is seeking residents’ memories and memorabilia of World War II in order to help create a museum exhibit and other displays commemorating the era.

The National Park Service recently named Foley a World War II Heritage City. Only one community in each state or territory will receive the designation. 

The program recognizes communities that made contributions to the war effort and that continue to recognize the sacrifices made by veterans and those on the home front during World War II. The World War II Heritage Cities program recognizes the historic importance of the United States’ domestic involvement in World War II and ensures the continued preservation of a defining period in American history. 

To commemorate the designation and the contributions made to the war effort in South Baldwin County, the city is preparing an exhibit at the Foley Railroad Museum. The exhibit will highlight Barin Field, wartime events in Foley and the contributions made by residents during the conflict.

Barin Field was established by the Navy in 1942 as an auxiliary training center for the Pensacola Air Station.

The field had a major impact on Foley. The town had a population of less than 900 in the 1940 census.

In Barin Field’s first 24 months of operations, 5,795 students were entered in the field log. By 1945, 1,886 enlisted personnel and 165 officers were assigned to the field. 

Closed in 1947, the field was reactivated as a base during the Korean Conflict and remains in use as a Navy practice site.

Many Barin Field personnel remained in Foley, marrying local women and raising families.  

Residents who might have information about these periods, including those who served at Barin Field or whose family members were stationed at the site, can share those memories by contributing to the exhibit.

Anyone with memorabilia from Barin Field or other aspects of World War II can also share those with the community by contacting exhibit organizers.

Items being sought include uniforms, hats, insignia, letters, photographs, medals, souvenirs or other material that could be used in the display telling the story of Barin Field and Foley during the conflicts.

Original photographs and letters can be scanned and returned to the owners. Other items that might be used in the exhibit could be loaned to the city for the display.

Anyone wanting more information or who might wish to loan or provide material for the exhibit can contact Guy Busby, Foley marketing communications manager, at, or 251-504-3759.