From the time man first took flight in the early 1900s to the recent shuttle missions into space, South Central Kentucky has played a significant role in the history of aviation. One of the first pilots to fly in combat claimed ties to Bowling Green, as did a World War I flying ace, a pioneer instructor pilot, a Vietnam war hero, Commanders of the famed Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels, the Commander/Pilot of “Marine One”, the presidential helicopter unit and the Mission Commander for the space shuttle Atlantis. These aviators – and their ties to South Central Kentucky – deserve to be recognized and celebrated so that future generations might be made aware of and motivated by their extraordinary achievements. This is the mission of Aviation Heritage Park.
About Classic Fighters of America
For almost 100 years and the advent of flight, man has sought to develop an aircraft that could be both offensive and defensive, and thus allow airborne supremacy. From the early 1900’s until after World War II, these aircraft were referred to as “Pursuit” types, and shared a “P” in their designations. Examples were the P-40 Tomahawk, the P-38 Lightning and the P-51 Mustang. After that war and the formation of the U.S. Air Force as a branch separate from the U.S. Army, the designations of these types were changed to “Fighters” having an “F” prefix. Examples are the F-84 and the F-86. Classic Fighters of America focuses almost entirely on Pursuit/Fighter aircraft employed by the U.S. forces in the past.
The Planes of Fame Air Museum was founded in 1957 by Edward Maloney. It is the oldest independently operated aviation museum in the United States.
The museum collection spans the history of manned flight. We house over 150 Aircraft and displays. Many of the Aircraft are flyable, including the P-51 Mustang, F4U Corsair, P-47 Thunderbolt, P-40 Warhawk, B-25 Mitchell, P-38 Lightning, F-86 Sabre & Russian Mig 15.
Our Mission is to preserve aviation history, inspire interest in aviation, educate the public, and honor aviation pioneers and veterans.
We are a non profit 501 (c)(3) organization that has grown since 1957 through donations. We receive no monies from the government. For more info please visit: http://www.planesoffame.org
Planes of Fame Air Museum
7000 Merrill Avenue #17, Chino, CA 91710
Tel – 909-597-3722
Fax – 909-597-4755
In addition to the rare flying WWII and Korea warplanes on display at the impressive hangar of the Dixie Wing, there is a room dedicated to the display of artifacts and memorabilia of the Wars of the U.S. in the last century. On display at various points in the museum are mannequins wearing authentic uniforms of WWII. One cabinet displays WWI articles.
Several cabinets display finely crafted plastic models of Allied and Axis warplanes of the last century. This collection was crafted by the late James McConnell of Big Canoe, GA and donated to the Wing by his widow, Betty. A large collection of WWII toys is on display donated by Mr. Richard McNary. During the war, little or no metal was available for toys, so manufacturers used wood, cardboard and even plaster of paris to make these toys.
The centerpiece of the Museum is a 10 foot model of the “USS Enterprise” (CVA-6), the most decorated US warship of WWII and veteran of all but 2 major battles. It is displayed with scale models of U.S. carrier aircraft of WWII.
Various cabinets contain weapons and gear of American, British, French, Russian, German, Italian, and Japanese military services.
A large model of the “USS Missouri” battleship is displayed along with a freighter, the “Aldebarau”. Above these is a very large model of the CAF B-17 “Texas Raider”.
Aviation art by Col Mark Baldwin is displayed on the walls of the Museum along with newspapers of WWII and military insignias.
Sevearl aircraft engines are displayed including a Fairchild “Ranger”, an Allison V-12, a Rolls Royce “Merlin” V-12, a rare Guiberson diesel radial engine and the large Pratt and Whitney Double Wasp R-2800 used on the F4U Corsair fighter-bomber
The museum items supplement the stars of the Dixie Wing Hangar. These fully operational airplanes include the Douglas SBD-5 “Dauntless” divebomber, the North American P-51 D “Mustang” fighter, the Goodyear FG-1D Corsair fighter, the North American LT-6D “Mosquito” spotter attack aircraft, the Fiarchild PT-19A primary trainer, the Aeronca L-16 liason and spotter aircraft, a North American SNJ advanced trainer and two replica Japanese aircraft: the “Zero” fighter and the “Kate” torpedo bomber, these last two built for the movie “Tora, Tora, Tora!”
Museum curators are Col Mark Baldwin and Col Walt Cantrell. The Dixie Wing and the Commemorative Air Force is a 501-c3 tax exempt organization. The museum is staffed by volunteers and supported mainly by donations.
North American B-25J-25-NC, serial number 44-30733, nicknamed “Sandbar Mitchell” after it crashed on a Tanana River sandbar near Fairbanks, Alaska in June of 1969. With the help of skilled volunteers this B-25J will once again grace the skies over America in honor of the 340th Bomb Group. After spending 44 years resting on the Tanana River Sandbar, Sandbar Mitchell was recovered on July 5, 2013. She is now being restored in the Warbirds Of Glory Museum shop in Michigan.
The Southern Museum of Flight, one of the largest aviation museums in the Southeast, is dedicated to presenting civilian, military, and experimental aircraft and memorabilia from the earliest history of powered flight. The 75,000 square foot facility houses over 90 aircraft, as well as engines, models, artifacts, photographs, and paintings. In addition, the Southern Museum of Flight is home to the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame with over 65 biographical plaques presenting Alabama aviation history through collective biography.The Southern Museum of Flight has something for everyone! Adult admission is $7 and student/senior is $6. Active military & families are free. Annual museum family emberships are $45. Family memberships include reciprocal memberships with hundreds of other museums. Discounted group rates are available.
The Mississippi Wing of the Commemorative Air Force is an all volunteer organization based in Madison, MS at Bruce Campbell Field. We are a local representation of a worldwide organization known as the Commemorative Air Force.Our current project is a WWII era Stinson Model 10-A. We have recently overhauled the engine and are now in the process of completing the restoration and preparing the aircraft for its first flight. Updates can be found in our newsletter section of the site, or on our Stinson News page.The Commemorative Air Force is an all-volunteer, non-profit 501(c)3 organization incorporated under Texas laws for charitable and educational purposes.Where and When do you Meet…The Mississippi Wing of the Commemorative Air Force meets third Saturday of each month in our hangar on Bruce Campbell Field (KMBO) in Madison, MS. The CAF Mission…To preserve, in flying condition, a complete collection of combat aircraft which were flown by all military services of the United States in World War II.To provide museum buildings for permanent protection and display of these aircraft as a tribute to the thousands of men and women who built, serviced and flew them.To perpetuate in the memory and hearts of all Americans the spirit in which these great planes were flown for the defense of our nation.To establish an organization having the dedication, enthusiasm and esprit de corps necessary to operate, maintain and preserve these aircraft as symbols of our American military aviation heritage.
In the mid–1980’s a small group of Dunn citizens, led by newspaper publisher Hoover Adams, created the General William C. Lee Memorial Commission, Inc. Through the determined efforts of this group of enthusiastic community leaders, General and Mrs. Lee’s three story brownstone home was acquired to house the General William C. Lee Airborne Museum. The building was restored at a cost of over $500,000 and now serves as an appropriate memorial to General Lee’s contribution to his country. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts and memorabilia representative of airborne activity from the early days through the present. The museum has become a focal point of the Dunn community and is a popular attraction for thousands of tourists traveling Interstate 95. It provides educational tours and lectures for school youngsters from Harnett and surrounding counties, and is an accommodating meeting place for numerous organizations, including airborne groups from nearby Fort Bragg. The museum was dedicated on June 6, 1986 with an address by Secretary of the Army, John O. Marsh.
The Dyess Linear Air Park originated from the Texas Museum of Military History, which was founded in 1981. The park was officially dedicated June 12, 1991, by Lt. Gen. Robert D. Beckel, commander, 15th Air Force.There are 32 World War II, Korean Conflict, Vietnam Conflict and two aircraft from Operation Desert Storm on display outdoors. There are no indoor displays at this time.The Linear Air Park is currently closed except for guided tours. To receive a guided tour, call the Dyess Public Affairs office at 696-2863. There is no fee.These aircraft represent the Air Force’s proud and dramatic history. No price value can be placed upon these aircraft, which represent the sacrifices our military made as they fought for the love of country and freedom.Each aircraft on display is assigned a sponsor. These sponsors volunteered countless number of hours restoring and maintaining these aircraft.Color schemes and markings depict the squadron and era in which the aircraft flew. This was done in attempts to display the rich history of that particular make of aircraft, not necessarily the particular aircraft itself.The recently added memorial wall is the latest addition to the air park. It was designed to display historical and heroic actions by USAF units and personnel.
Hundreds of rare aviation items and artifacts are on display in the Spirit of Flight Hall of Honor representing the past, present and future of flight.
Our mission is to save and display aircraft and flight memorabilia to honor all veterans, and to educate the general public on the significance of aviation and aviation history.
The Yankee Air Museum was established to help preserve Southeast Michigan’s extraordinary aviation history. This history has many components – such as the 1941/1942 construction of the Willow Run Bomber Plant by the Ford Motor Company. Ford brought automotive assembly line techniques to aircraft production, building 8,685 B-24 Liberator bombers, a key part of the Allied arsenal in WWII. At its peak, the Bomber Plant employed over 42,000 people (about 40% of which were women, unprecedented for the times), producing up to one B-24 an hour.
A group of local aviation enthusiasts wanted to preserve this heritage and organized the Yankee Air Force in 1981 (the name evolved into the Yankee Air Museum in the early 1990’s.) They began planning to preserve the history of the Bomber Plant. Countless hours of work would go into this project, continuing to this day.
In late 1981, Museum personnel acquired a WWII era hangar on airport grounds; thousands of hours of work went into restoring the hangar into a useable facility. Subsequently, a series of flyable aircraft, static aircraft, and a wide range of aviation art, uniforms, instruments, and other artifacts were obtained and displayed. The Museum was formally dedicated in May, 1982.
The first flyable aircraft in the collection was a Douglas C-47 WWII era transport, obtained in 1982. Originally named Yankee Doodle Dandy, this aircraft was repainted/renamed in 2018 as Hairless Joe in a China-Burma-India WWII Theater paint scheme.
The next flyable purchased was a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress. Named the Yankee Lady, it underwent nine years of restoration, beginning in 1986, and returning to flying status in 1995.
A North American B-25D Mitchell medium bomber was then acquired in 1987. The Yankee Warrior saw combat in World War II (eight missions over Italy) and is one of only two B-25Ds still flying today.
In 2014, an additional flyable was obtained – a Waco YMF-5C, recreating the barnstorming era in aviation.
These aircraft are flown and displayed at numerous air shows, and are the pride of the Museum. Rides can be purchased on these aircraft, helping people establish a connection to previous generations of aviators.
The Museum grew through the 1980’s and 1990’s. In October 2004, a devastating setback occurred – a fire that destroyed the hangar housing the museum. Through the heroic efforts of personnel on hand, the B-17 and C-47 were towed, pushed and pulled out of the building before the fire reached them, saving the heart of the collection. The B-25 had just landed and was not in the hangar; aircraft on display outside of the hangar were not damaged. The Museum however, lost virtually all of the aircraft tooling, equipment, spare parts, office and display fixtures, and all of the artifacts.
Museum members, staff and volunteers, as well as many others in the community swung into action (donations for rebuilding were received from all over the world). A key step was purchasing in 2009 a building from the Michigan Institute of Aviation and Technology. The Museum moved into this building in October 2010 (six years to the day of the fire), which has about 28,000 square feet of display area for aircraft and artifacts, and additional space for restoration work, offices, classrooms and a retail gift store.
Other actions taken included renovating a schoolhouse built by Henry Ford in 1938 into the David and Andrea Robertson Education Center (dedicated in June 2010), which holds the Research Library. Numerous aircraft have been added to the collection – a few examples include a Douglas A-4C Skyhawk, a North American F-100 Super Sabre, a Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber (salvaged from Lake Michigan) and a Bell AH-1J helicopter. The Michigan Aerospace Foundation (doing business as the Yankee Air Museum Foundation) was established in 2001 to coordinate fundraising efforts.
While the aircraft are very impressive, much more is done to promote aviation and history. The artifacts collection has been rebuilt, thanks to the generosity of our supporters. Numerous aviation speakers have appeared, including Steve Ritchie, the only Air Force pilot ace in Vietnam, Bob Mason, author of Chickenhawk, about helicopter pilots in Vietnam, and Alexander Jefferson, a Tuskegee Airman and P-51 pilot.
The Museum is the driving force behind the Thunder Over Michigan, one of the premier air shows in the US – the US Navy Blue Angels and the US Air Force Thunderbirds have made numerous appearances over the years. Each year, a wide range of historic aircraft are flown in for display.
The Museum also focuses on youth programming – STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education is integrated into exhibits and programs to inspire young people to pursue education and career opportunities in those fields. Numerous programs are centered on Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other youth organizations.
From day one, the Museum has worked towards ”educating individuals through the history of US military aviation, technology, and home-front efforts while inspiring ….pride in our national accomplishments.” To support this goal, the remaining 144,000 square feet of the Willow Run Bomber Plant was purchased in 2014. About 30,000 square feet of the renovated plant will be used for permanent hangar space for the flyable aircraft, with an expected construction completion date of December 31, 2019. The remaining area will house the Museum’s static aircraft, exhibits, and administrative offices; timing for this phase of the renovation is fund-raising dependent. When the move-in is completed, the Yankee Air Museum will have fulfilled one of its original goals – helping preserve this piece of Southeast Michigan’s aviation history.
If you are interested in supporting the Yankee Air Museum’s work, please contact Elisa Guyton, Associate Development Director, at 734-483-4030 ext. 227 or mail a donation to Yankee Air Museum, 47884 D Street, Belleville MI, 48111.
Originally constructed as a 12,000 sq/ft hangar and 5,000 sq/ft museum display space at the Clermont County Airport, the Tri-State Warbird Museum was completed and opened to the public in 2004. Our Grand Opening First Annual Taking Flight Fundraising Gala was held in May 2005. Since that time over 1.5 Million people have toured the facility and/or seen our restored aircraft gracing the skies at airshows around the country.In 2011 through a generous donation we were able to build an additional 12,000 sq/ft hangar and storage/shop space. This was a huge plus as we now have a \”Bomber Hangar\” with space to display the aircraft and provide a wonderful educational tour.Continuing to grow, the Tri-State Warbird Museum aircraft collection now consists of nine significant WWII aircraft with additional acquisitions planned for the future. We are excited to play a significant role in the education of American history to our local young generation.
In the late 1990’s, a group of local military folks, agriculture pilots and international Warbird restorers were at the Fargo AirSho. After the show they realized there was a wealth of historic aircraft, knowledge and a passion for aviation, education and restoration. These folks included the late Gerry Beck, Robert Odegaard, Robert Miller, Darrol Schroeder, Alex Macdonald, Matt Butler, the late Warren Diederich and a few others. The founders developed the mission statement, developed a three-building long term plan and opened the museum’s first hangar in 2001. In 2008, the organization retired the debt on the first building and plans are now in play to build the next two buildings.
Errol Severe was born to fly.In 1994, God asked this former Delta Airlines pilot and military man to manifest that passion as Aviation Cadet World in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It’s a calling he takes seriously.He and his wife, Beth, have since dedicated their lives to building an experience that exemplifies the best of American flight. The nonprofit group is supported by visitors and donors like you who believe it is important to celebrate this country’s accomplishments in the air.“This will not be a dry museum; rather it will be a living experience,” said Errol. “It will be a place where everyone can come, and for a brief moment in history, become a cadet. You will even be able to fly your own simulator. In short, a place where every man, woman and child can travel back in time to the glory days of the Cadet Corps,”Aviation Cadet World is a sprawling property nestled in the Ozarks Mountains of Northwest Arkansas. In addition to numerous attractions, it boasts Silver Wings Field, a working runway for private aircrafts.Errol said one of his greatest pleasures is seeing a former airman connect with the jets and other aircraft, remembering their time in the air. He also finds it rewarding when children are inspired and made curious to learn more about flying from what they experience at Aviation Cadet World.
PAM is an all volunteer organization that has provided displays, static aircraft, education programs, air shows, group tours, and special aviation events for almost 30 years. As an aviation and space museum, we honor military and civilian aviation. While visitors are quick to notice our displays, we love to tell the stories of the men and women who have contributed to the creation, development, expansion, and promise of aviation and space exploration.We are a family friendly museum, where visitors of all ages can touch our displays and static aircraft and visit with members who flew and maintained the aircraft in the Air Park. We love to hear visitor’s stories about experiences that they and/or members of their family have had related to aviation and space.
Located at Crève Coeur Airport in St. Louis, Missouri, the museum\’s collection centers around civil aircraft built in between the two World Wars, from 1916 to 1946. Several aircraft in the collection are the only extant models of their class.The museum is open to the public regularly, with scheduled tours and rides available.
Plans were laid early that the museum would not only be a place to display famous military and vintage aircraft, but would be a place in every way dedicated to telling and showing the rich and varied story of our region\’s aviation history. In the short time since the museum\’s dedication, the members have built a solid foundation, establishing a working museum with aircraft, restoration projects and a role in the region\’s promotion of aviation activities and air shows.The Dakota Territory Air Museum has already forged a place where the aviation history of our region can be shown. As our country and imaginations probe the depths of travel into space, we realize the speed with which changes are coming in aviation. Many of us remember, so short a time ago, when flying itself pushed at the boundaries of daring. It’s a memory to be preserved.The history of these changes not only signifies the giant strides that have been so quickly made over the years, but also points out the very special opportunity we have now – the opportunity to show our children and grandchildren what it was like, and point to what was done. The Dakota Territory Air Museum is dedicated to provide that opportunity.The members of the Dakota Territory Air Museum feel that now is the time to save and remember what came before, while at the same time pointing to the skies and what is to come.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans have served this country, giving of themselves for the eminent cause we call freedom. A legacy now exists that is comprised of those brave Americans, their heroic efforts and the continuing endeavors of U.S. soldiers. For over 40 years, the Don F. Pratt Museum has performed the important and honorable tasks of preserving this legacy and commemorating the patriotic men and women who have served at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.- Established in 1956 as the Division Museum for the 101st Airborne Division- Memorialized in honor of the first Assistant Division Commander for the 101st Airborne Division, Brigadier General Don F. Pratt- Located in the center of Fort Campbell Army Installation- The modest, 14,000 square ft. museum facility was converted from a 1960\’s era classroom and theater- There are currently fewer than 100,000 visitors to the Don F. Pratt Museum per year, mostly consisting of new troops in-processing to the installation and personnel attending official functions and receptions