(8-5-21) This Saturday the Van Wert County Regional Airport will hold its grand opening for the JL Rice Terminal this Saturday August 7th.

Steve Bailey, airport manager told hometownstations.com:

“We think that we are the gateway to the community, and while we have a nice airport now, it just needed updated. We’re also trying to lengthen our runway another thousand feet to get even more jets in here.”

According to a Van Wert Independent story in 2019

The terminal is named after former airport manager ( from 1954-1960 ) J.L. Rice Sr. who trained a number of local pilots until his death in an air race crash in 1960.

Rice also served as the airport mechanic, flight instructor, and charter pilot. His aviation career included being a pilot in Korea, where he was shot down while flying as a photo reconnaissance pilot, but managed to evade capture. Rice also was in the Indiana Air National Guard and built three airplanes himself.