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Military Aviation: Museums

Instruction in Airplane Mechanics Course, Ground School Building, Foster Field, TX, October 1942
Instruction in Airplane Mechanics Course, Ground School Building, Foster Field, TX, October 1942.

Today in WW II: 26 Sep 1940 Japanese troops land at Dong Tac, south of Haiphong port in French Indo-China [now Vietnam], advance to seize the harbor, airport and other facilities.  More 
26 Sep 1941 Last remnants of Red Army troops from encircled Kiev surrender to German Wehrmacht forces.
26 Sep 1944 Operation Market Garden ends; Field Marshal Montgomery conceals the full extent of the failure until a report to Gen. Eisenhower on 8 Oct.
Visit the World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

Military Aviation Museums

Boeing B-29 Superfortress Dimensions
Boeing B-29 Superfortress Dimensions
Click image for larger version.

The general list of military museums is in the Military History section on the linked page.

Fleet Air Arm Archive (UK) lists military air museums from around the world.

Aero-Web maintains a list of Aviation Museums in the US plus can help you locate particular aircraft by type.

The US Air Force has a system of museums, some listed below. A more complete list is on this page.

For more information on specific models of WW II bomber aircraft or WW II fighters/dive bomber, see the linked sections.

Aviation Museums
The 475th Fighter Group Historical Foundation has established a permanent home for the artifacts, photographs, records and memories of the U.S. Army Air Force unit that accounted for the 562 victories, two Presidential Unit Citations, and produced 42 "Aces" in the South Pacific combat area. The unit was unique in that it was the first all Lockheed P-38 Lightning group and was formed overseas in Australia. The museum is located in Riverside CA, on the March Air Reserve Base.
Air Classics is an aviation museum located at Aurora Municipal Airport - ARR where the aircraft actually fly. You can sit in an A-7 that flew in the Gulf War and climb into the pilot's seat of a UH-1 Huey helicopter. The museum's collection includes aircraft, vehicles, uniforms and other aviation memorabilia from the 1930s to the present time.
American Airpower Museum preserves and flies a squadron of the most famous military aircraft. Located at the former home of Republic Aviation on Long Island (NY), the complex that produced over 9,000 P-47 Thunderbolts during WW II. 1230 New Highway, Farmingdale, New York, 11735.
American Airpower Heritage Museum. This museum of WW II air power is a project of the Commemorative Air Force, a group dedicated to the preservation of these historical treasures. Since a modest start in 1951, the CAF has grown to approximately 6,500 members and 84 chartered units have been established in cities across the country to help restore, preserve and fly the World War II aircraft including the only remaining B-29 heavy bomber. The Midland, Texas museum now houses the largest private collection of World War II aviation artifacts and material culture outside of the U.S. military government museum system and the collection continues to grow daily.
Major Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center honors the memory of Major Bong and all the veterans of World War II and later conflicts. Exhibits include one of the few remaining P-38 Lightning fighter planes. 305 Harbor View Parkway, Superior, WI 54880. 715-392-7151, 888-816-9944, 715-395-5526 fax. [Thanks to Howard Russell for this suggestion.]
Commemorative Air Force Museum at at Falcon Field, Mesa, Arizona, is home to the authentically restored World War II B-17 bomber, "Sentimental Journey." one of a handful of flyable B-17s left of the 12,731 B-17s built during WWII. In addition to "Sentimental Journey" the CAF Museum also maintains a B-25 Mitchell bomber, SNJ, C-45, and a Grumman Guardian.
Canadian War Plane Heritage Museum has exhibits of aircraft from WW II to the present day. "Canada's Flying Museum". Hamilton Airport, 9280 Airport Road Mount Hope, Ontario, Canada L0R 1W0. 905-679-4183, 905-679-4186 fax.
Castle Air Museum maintains and preserves 42 aircraft from World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam Conflict. PO Box 488, Atwater, CA 95301. 209-723-2178, 209-723-0323 fax.
Cavanaugh Flight Museum has more than 35 historic aircraft of WW I, WW II, Korea and Vietnam, each meticulously restored to its original flying condition. P-51 Mustang, TBM Avenger, F-104 Starfighter, Russian MiGs. Addison Airport, 4572 Claire Chenault, Addison, TX 75001. 972-380-8800, 972-248-0907 fax .
EAA Air Adventure Museum. Ninety full-size aircraft on display ranging from aviation's earliest days to today's high-tech homebuilts. The Museum also features the Eagle Hangar, dedicated to World War II aviation, historic fighter jets from the 1950-60-70-80's, and Pioneer Airport, which re-creates a grass strip airport of the 1920-30's era. Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. 920-426-4800.
Relive aviation history at the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum. The Museum houses an inventory of forty historically significant aircraft, with over two-dozen presently on static display. Located at MCAS Miramar, the Museum is open to the public, free of charge. Take I-805 to Miramar road East or I-15 to Miramar road West to MCAS Miramar North Gate. 858-577-6125.
Hill Aerospace Museum. Located in the northwest corner of Hill Air Force Base by Roy, Utah. The Hill Aerospace Museum collection currently includes a wide variety of military aircraft and missiles, assorted munitions and weapons, ground vehicles associated with aircraft/missiles, and thousands of other historical artifacts. 75th ABW/MU, 7961 Wardleigh Rd., Hill AFB, UT 84056-5842. 801-777-6868 or 801-777-6818.
Indiana Aviation Museum. Exhibits of planes including 1941 PT-17 Stearman, 1945 P-51D Mustang, 1945 F4U-5N Corsair, 1952 AT-6G Texan, 1955 T-28B Trojan, 1957 T-34B Mentor, L-2 Grasshopper, 1967 A-37A Dragonfly. All planes fly and rides can be arranged. 4601 Murvihill Rd., Valparaiso, IN 46383 (at the Porter County Airport U.S. Hwy 30 & State Rd. 49). 219-548-3123.
Kansas Aviation Museum. Many exhibits and events often in cooperation with McConnell Air Force Base and the Kansas Air National Guard. 3350 George Washington Boulevard, Wichita, Kansas 67210. 316-683-9242.
Kansas Air National Guard Combat Air Museum. One of a handful of major aviation museums in the United States located on an active air field. Visitors to this museum are regularly treated to flying activities of Air Force fighter aircraft and Army helicopter operations. With the second longest runway in the State of Kansas, large refueling tanker aircraft of the Air National Guard and army troop transports often fill the skies around the Museum. The Museum's youth classes offer students a unique opportunity to be immersed in the midst of a museum covering aviation history from the earliest days of flight to the present day. Hangars 602 and 604, "J" Street, Forbes Field, Topeka, KS. 785-862-3303, 785-862-3304 fax,
The March Field Air Museum has over 60 historic aircraft on display. Many famous record breaking planes such as the Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird" are represented as well as the strategic bombers and fighters of the Cold War Period. World War II is well represented by planes such as the B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-25 Mitchell bomber, the Douglas A/B-26 Invader, and the magnificent B-29 Superfortress. Inside the visitor will find some rare and unusual aircraft including a P-59 fighter, the first operational jet adopted by the U.S. Air Force over 50 years ago. 22550 Van Buren, Riverside, CA 92518 Call 951-697-6602.
The Glenn L. Martin Aviation Museum displays many items of local historical significance; industial models of aircraft and rockets, wind tunnel models, restored and partly restored aircraft, and many original photographs outlining the growth of the Martin Company and its people.
The Mighty Eighth Air Force Heritage Museum honors the courage, character, and patriotism embodied by the men and women of the Eighth Air Force, the greatest air armada the world had ever seen. Exhibits cover the Battle of Britian, the entire WW II air war in Europe, and post-war missions. Located in Pooler, GA just off I-95 at Exit 102 (US Hwy 80), 2 miles south of the Savannah International Airport exit and 2 miles north of the intersection of I-95 and I-16. (Thanks to Wayne Harris for this suggestion.)
Museum of Flying. Vintage aircraft and historical exhibits. Air shows and flying exhibition. At the Santa Monica Airport, 2772 Donald Douglas Loop North, Santa Monica, CA. 310-392-8822.
Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace (M.A.E). Huge museum and exhibition of aircraft and spacecraft. Near Paris, France. Boite Postale 173, 93352 Le Bourget Cedex +33 01 49 92 71 99, +33 01 49 92 70 95 fax.
The National Air and Space Museum web site of the Smithsonian Institution. Extensive web site includes lots of military history, particularly US Air Force and its predecessor US Army Air Corps.
The National Museum of World War II Aviation will feature interactive displays, exhibits and historical narratives as educational experiences that promote a deeper understanding of the historical importance of American aviation in World War II and its role in shaping the modern world. 775 Aviation Way, Colorado Springs, CO 80916.
The Olympic Flight Museum is dedicated to preserve the sights, sounds, smells and excitement of vintage aircraft. 7637A Old Hwy 99 SE, Olympia, WA 98501. 360-705-3925
Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is housed in a 42,000 square foot former seaplane hangar that survived the 7 December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Aircraft, artifacts and simulator exhibits bring you back to the time before and during WW II, through the Korean War. Hangar 37, Ford Island, 319 Lexington Boulevard, Honolulu, HI 96818. 808-441-1000, 808-441-1010 fax.
Peterson Air & Space Museum preserves and portrays the rich aviation and space history of Colorado Springs and Peterson Air Force Base. Exhibits feature the WW II Peterson Army Air Base, the Binational (United States and Canadian) North American Aerospace Defense Command, US Air Defense Command and the US Air Force Space Command. The Museum's Airpark collection includes sixteen aircraft and four missiles. 21st Space Wing/MU, 150 East Ent Avenue, Peterson Air Force Base, CO 80914-1303. Tour groups should contact the 21st Space Wing's Public Affairs Office (719-556-4696) or the Museum Curator (719-556-4915) for arrangements.
Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, AZ has over 250 aircraft occupying 80 acres of land. The entire museum property covers about 150 acres. They have an associated Titan Missile Musuem at Sahuarita, AZ, the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (390th Strategic Missile Wing). Pima Air & Space Museum is located at 6000 East Valencia Road, Tucson, AZ 85706. 520-574-0462, 520-574-9238 fax.
The Planes of Fame Air Museum was one of the first air museums in the United States. The collection is unique, spanning from the early gliders to modern jets. Many of the aircraft in the collection are capable of flying and are flown regularly. Two locations: 7000 Merrill Ave Chino, CA 91710, 909-597-3722 and HCR 34, Box B, Valle-Williams AZ 86046, 520-635-1000.
Polish Avation Museum. Formed at Czyzyny in 1964, the museum exhibits the world aviation heritage; the collection is one of the European leaders. There are more than one hundred planes, gliders, helicopters, anti-aircraft missiles as well as some two hundred aviation engines. KRAKÓW AL. JANA PAWLA II 39. +48 12 4129000, +48 12 4127855 fax.
Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum. Over 30 aircraft inside and outside the hangar museum, including a B-24 and related memorabilia collection with full information about all Bomb Groups and Air Forces which utilized the B-24 in combat operations. 31001 Magnuson Ave. Pueblo, CO 81001, 719-948-9219.
RAF Museum. The history of the Royal Air Force is presented by over 70 legendary planes (including the legendary Spitfire and Lancaster Bomber), fascinating exhibits and a world class collection of aviation art all displayed under cover on the historic site of RAF Hendon. Extensive coverage of the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. +44 (0)181 205 6867, +44 (0)181 201 3595 fax.
RAAF Museum. RAAF Base Williams, Point Cook (near Melbourne), Victoria 3027, Australia. +61-3-9256-1300, +61-3-9256-1692 fax.
The Strategic Air Command (SAC) Museum stands as a tribute to the men and women of SAC who safeguarded liberty around the globe for nearly 50 years. The story of SAC and its people is preserved for future generations within the walls of this extraordinary world-class facility. 28210 West Park Highway, Ashland, NE 68058. 800-358-5029.

National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is located at historic Wright Field, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, six miles northeast of Dayton, Ohio. This museum is the world's largest and oldest military aviation museum with galleries that present military aviation history. More than 400 aerospace vehicles -- many rare and one-of-a-kind -- are on display, along with thousands of historical items (engines, military equipment and weapons). Exhibits bring history to life and connect the Wright brothers' legacy with today's stealth and precision technology.
U.S. Army Aviation Museum, Ft. Rucker, AL. The history of Army aviation is displayed including one of the world's largest collections of helicopters.
Vintage Flying Museum, 505 NW 38th St. at Hangar 33 South, Meacham International Airport (FTW), Fort Worth, Texas. Twenty aircraft are exhibited including several which are extremely rare and historic. Additional displays include a dedicated reciprocal and jet engine room, an FAA Aviation Education Resource Center, WWII memorabilia and artifact exhibits, a unique aircraft model exhibit and gift shop.
Vintage Wings of Canada acquires, restores, maintains and flies classic aircraft significant to the early history of powered flight, civilian and military, with a particular focus is on aircraft of Canadian importance. Gatineau Airport, 1699 Rue Arthur Fecteau Street, Gatineau QC, Canada J8R 2Z9. 819-669-9603, 819-669-9608 fax.
The War Eagles Air Museum is dedicated to collecting, restoring and displaying historic aircraft of the World War II and the Korean Conflict eras. This unique Museum pays special tribute to military aviation and reminds us all of the significant role these airplanes, their pilots and support crews played in securing our freedom. To demonstrate the sights and sounds of these high-powered machines, most of this magnificent collection is maintained in flying condition. These aircraft provide public enjoyment while in actual flight. The Museum features various educational programs, exhibits and special events that help preserve our heritage and promote pride in our country. Extensive list of military aviation links. Santa Teresa Airport, 8012 Air Port Rd., Santa Teresa, NM 88008. 505-589-2000.
Walnut Ridge Army Flying School Museum preserves the history of this WW II air base. 11 Skywatch Dr., Walnut Ridge, Arkansas 72476.
Warbirds Unlimited Foundation Inc. operates a museum and conduct flights of their restored B-25 Mitchell bomber, based at Falcon Field Airport (KFFZ) in Mesa, AZ.
Western Museum of Flight is a non-profit, educational institution dedicated to preserving and displaying aircraft history and artifacts of Southern California's aviation heritage. The museum's collection includes numerous Warbirds, aircraft and target drones, piston and jet aircraft engines, aircraft components, aircraft ejection seats, World War II instruments, aircrew accessories, and an extensive model aircraft collection. 3315 Airport Drive, Red Baron #3, Torrance, CA 90505. 310-326-9544.
Wings Over The Rockies Air and Space Museum has 30 aircraft and special exhibits. Hangar Number 1, Building 401 Lowry Campus (formerly Lowry AFB) 7711 East Academy Blvd, Denver, Colorado 80220. 303-360-5360, 303-360-5328 fax.

Find More Information on the Internet

There are many fine websites that have additional information on this topic, too many to list here and too many to keep up with as they come and go. Use this Google web search form to get an up to date report of what's out there.

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