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.
Willow Run Airport was built by the Ford Motor Company in 1941 to serve as an airfield for their B-24 Bomber Plant. This was the first aircraft manufacturing plant to use Ford\’s automotive mass production techniques, a leading technological innovation of the time. Ford Motor Company built 8,685 B-24s from 1942 until the end of World War II. At its peak, the Willow Run plant employed over 42,000 people and produced one B-24 every 59 minutes. The last bomber to roll off the assembly line was named the \”Henry Ford.\” When the war was over the airport became the hub for passenger flights and air freight in the Detroit Metropolitan area.In 1981, a group of enthusiastic people, adopting the name Yankee Air Force, shared the desire to preserve the facts and glamour of southeastern Michigan\’s aviation history. They began to lay plans to research, restore, and preserve the all but forgotten history of Willow Run Airport. Their initial goal was to aquire one of the original U.S. Army Air Forces hangars and restore it to its original condition. With the help of Wayne County, the owners of the airport, this first goal was accomplished and the Yankee Air Museum was born. The YAM now has two divisions, the Wurtsmith Division in Michigan and the Northeast Division in New Jersey.Their second goal, to obtain a B-24 built at Willow Run, has proven to be a much tougher project. Over 18.000 Liberators were built and just 11 survive today, of which only 4 were built at Willow Run. In 1987, a PB4Y-2 Privateer, the Navy\’s single-tailed version of the B-24, was donated to the Museum for static display.Since 1981 the Yankee Air Museum has acquired and returned to flying status five World War II aircraft. The first plane was acquired in 1981, a Douglas C-47 World War II transport which was built in 1945. The \”Yankee Doodle Dandy\” is the YAM\’s world class award-winning flagship. The B-17G \”Flying Fortress\” which was used in the movie \”Tora!Tora!Tora!\” was purchased in 1986. The \”Yankee Lady\” underwent extensive restoration and was returned to flying status in 1995. The B-25D \”Mitchell\”, a medium-duty bomber similar to the type used in Jimmy Doolittle\’s raid on Tokyo, was acquired in 1987. The \”Yankee Warrior\” saw combat in World War II and is one of only two B-25Ds still flying today.These aircraft are flown and displayed at numerous air shows from May through September. They are the pride of the Yankee Air Museum.On October 9, 2004, the Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run Airport suffered a terrible fire that destroyed the historic hangar housing the museum. Through the heroic efforts of a few members, the beautifully restored B-17, C-47 and B-25 aircraft were moved out of the building before the fire reached them, thus saving the heart of the collection. In addition, all the historic aircraft on display outside of the main building were untouched by the fire. The museum did, however, lose virtually all of the tooling, equipment and spare parts for all of the aircraft plus all of the office and display fixtures and equipment totaling well over $1,000,000 in replacement value. While thousands of irreplaceable artifacts, photos and books were also lost in the fire, the Volunteers at the museum are thankful that the aircraft collection remains largely intact. Only a small number of non-flyable aircraft that were in restoration inside the hanger were lost.The Yankee Air Museum members, staff and volunteers immediately began to recover and rebuild. The aircraft, which continued their flight schedules after the fire, were moved into a hangar loaned by the Wayne County Airport Authority that manages Willow Run Airport. The volunteers and staff set up an office at the Airport and continued the operation of the Museum. Their mission was to continue the great work that was begun in 1981 by a small group of visionaries who were dedicated to preserving this important piece of aviation and Southeastern Michigan history.The Michigan Aerospace Foundation (MAF) was formed as a sister organization of the Yankee Air Museum to plan and fund future expansion of the new Museum facilities. They met with architects and Willow Run Airport management just a few days after the fire and were given the go ahead to begin the planning process to lead to the construction of a new hangar and Museum.Then in 2007, the hard work, dedication, planning and fund raising for the new Yankee Air Museum began to bear fruit. A ground breaking ceremony for the new Yankee Air Museum was held in April 2007 at the Air Park. A schoolhouse that was built by Henry Ford in 1938 and used during WW2 as an officer\’s club had been donated to the Museum. Shortly after the ground breaking, it was moved to its new location on A Street on the east side of the Airport. After much work, the Yankee Air Museum David and Andrea Robertson Education Center was dedicated and opened for business in June 2010. The Education Center is used for a variety of education activities including Scouting programs and Summer Camp.In 2009, to re-establish the actual Museum that was lost in 2004, the Yankee Air Museum purchased a building from the Michigan Institute of Aviation and Technology (MIAT). The building is on D Street on the east side of the Airport and south of the Education Center. In October 2010, six years to the day of the fire, The Yankee Air Museum Collections & Exhibits Building was dedicated and opened to the public. The new facility is 47,000 sq. ft. and houses permanent and rotating aviation and historical displays, restoration projects, a retail store and a movie theatre that is available to the public. The \”Headquarters\” is also home to Yankee Air Museum staff and volunteers and has meeting rooms and banquet facilities for rent, machine shops and storage space for the Museum collection. An outside area next to the Museum is the new home of the Air Park.We are now working on raising the funds and doing the planning for a new home for our flyable aircraft. The new hangar for the B-17 \”Yankee Lady\”, B-25 \”Yankee Warrior\” and C-47 \”Yankee Doodle Dandy\” will be built at the corner of A Street and 3rd Street, adjoining both the Education Center and the new Collections & Exhibits building. A design for the hangar has been selected and we are currently in negotiation with the Airport and various local government authorities regarding site work. The goal is to break ground for the new hangar in 2013.For now, our new Museum and our Education programs are available for the public to experience and enjoy. We make our flyable aircraft available so people can re-live an important part of American and Michigan history. Our THUNDER OVER MICHIGANTM Air Show is one of the premier annual aviation events in the country. The Yankee Air Museum continues in its mission of \”Honoring aviation history and its participants through a living, flying museum.\” Come see us and join the excitement!
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.
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.
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.
In July 2007, we expanded into the North Terminal Building which is the former airline terminal. This wonderful expansion opportunity enabled us to more than double our exhibit space for aviation items and memorabilia of the 20th Century, enlarge our gift shop and library, add a multimedia theater room, and provide additional educational programs. Our hangar facility continues to be our restoration area along with hangar space for the flying aircraft. All of these areas are being paid for by non-government volunteer pledges and contributions.Tyler and East Texas have innumerable individuals who have had first-hand experience in historic aviation events during times of both peace and war. What a wonderful opportunity it is to share these individuals\’ testimonials and memorabilia with our community. An example of those East Texans who have served so ably in World War II is the late Museum member, Captain Elmer Dixson, USAF 3rd Photo Reconnaissance Squad, 20th Air Force (the official photographers of Japan during World War II) whose history is presented in a museum book entitled \”From Tyler, Texas to Tokyo\”.
The Illinois Aviation Museum at Bolingbrook is a consortium of individuals and groups dedicated to advancing aviation and engineering. Our current operation is housed in Hangar One, a 6000 square foot facility at Bolingbrook\’s Clow International Airport, provided by the Village of Bolingbrook. This renovated building is home to our aircraft displays and a number of activities and programs. In addition to our growing museum collection of restored and replica aircraft, we also maintain ongoing restoration projects for future display. Volunteers are welcome! Day-to-day operating funds and supporting services come from memberships, individual donors, local businesses, and organized fundraising events and programs.We invite all those who have an interest in aviation, education, or community service to explore what we have to offer at the Illinois Aviation Museum at Bolingbrook’s Clow International Airport. There are many opportunities to volunteer, programs to participate in, and ways to support this exciting organization!
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.
In 1986, the Adjutant General\’s Department of Texas undertook to establish a museum and archival collection to tell the story of the Texas Military Forces. The following year the United States Army\’s Center for Miitary History sanctioned the creation of a military holding and museum to be located in Austin, Texas, at Camp Mabry, headquarters of the Texas Military Forces. Under the energetic leadership of Brigadier General John C.L. Scribner, work began to collect historic vehicles, artifacts and archival material for the proposed museum.In 1990, Major General William C. Wilson designated Building 6, originaly constructed in 1918 as a mess hall, as the museum\’s new home. Led by General Scribner, a group of talented and devoted volunteers raised the funds necessary to convert Building 6 into a museum. Working almost exclusively with a modest amout of donated funds, as well as their own tools and equipment, they designed and created the museum\’s exhibits. On November 14, 1992 the Texas Military Forces Museum opened to the public for the first time.Since its inception, the museum has amassed an impressive collection of historical material and now houses more that 10,000 three-dimensional artifacts, 6,000 books, 20,000 historic photographs, maore than three dozen historical military vehicles and artillery pieces, and over 600 linear feet of archival material. New items are added to this already significant collection each week.
Founded in the 1970’s, The Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum has a continually growing collection of over 45 historic warbirds from the beginnings of aviation to the present day. The VAC is a 501(3)c educational organization dedicated to the preservation of, education about and commemoration of Warbirds from all eras and the men and women who flew, maintained and fought in them.