Liberty Aviation Museum is a newer museum that opened in July of 2012 at the Erie-Ottawa International Airport (KPCW Carl Keller Field) in Port Clinton, Ohio. Our museum consists our B-25 Mitchell, WWII bomber “Georgie’s Gal” built in 1945, recently restored by Aero Trader out of Chino, CA. (The B-25 Mitchell is currently away from the museum until late July 2015) Ground vehicles include a 1941 Dodge ambulance, 2 Jeeps, German 37mm AA gun, German Horch Truck, German Field Kitchen, German Kubel, 3 BMW Motorcycles, Tiger Tank Replica, Hetzer Tank Replica, Panther Tank Replica (currently undergoing restoration away from the museum), & 2 WWII PT boats under current restoration (Currently not available for public viewing until new hangar expansion opens after Memorial Day. View the PT 728 Thomcat facebook page for photos of the restoration of the boat! The PT-728 will be on display in the new hangar expansion when the building opens after Memorial Day. The sister boat, the PT-724 is in storage currently and not available for viewing) The PT-728 Thomcat will be available for boat experiences after restoration is completed! Don’t forget to check out the Tin Goose Diner attached to the museum! Open year round, open 7 days a week (7am-7pm), serving breakfast, lunch and dinner! You can fly in or drive in to visit us! When flying in, please radio the FBO to verify that our ramp is open for parking. If it isn’t, you can park at the airport and we have a shuttle that will bring you to our facility next door! Ford Tri-Motor rides are available.
Don’t forget to check out the 1950s original Tin Goose Diner attached to the museum! Open year round, open 7 days a week (7am-7pm)( please visit the website or call during the fall-spring to verify hours as they change during the season), serving breakfast, lunch and dinner! You can fly in to the Erie-Ottawa International Airport or drive in to visit us in Port Clinton, Ohio at the Liberty Aviation Museum! When flying in, please radio the FBO to verify that our ramp is open for parking. If it isn’t, you can park at the airport and we have a shuttle that will bring you to our facility next door!
The 100th Bomb Group is positioned directly across from the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The restaurant features dining and celebrating in a warm setting that allows you to watch planes take off and land at CLE.Our facility also features 5 event spaces that seat between 20 – 250 guests. We specialize in corporate and association meetings and events along with weddings, baby and bridal showers, bar and bat mitzvahs, first communions, confirmation dinners, memorials and reunions. We offer a variety of catering and bar packages that make the planning process simple and straight forward.Four of our banquet rooms provide an amazing view of the arriving and departing flights from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, which makes a fantastic back drop for your meeting or special event.Whether it is a business luncheon in one of our private and distinguished meeting rooms or a Holiday event in one of our grand ballrooms, our catering team will work with you in all planning phases to ensure that your event is a success.Please let the Catering Team know if we can be of assistance with your upcoming meeting and special event needs.
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.