The Collings Foundation needs our help to gain planning permission for a new museum building they wish to construct for housing a major military vehicle collection they just acquired. What follows is their press release, but we hope it will spur some of you to assist them with their aims…. It’s vital in fact!
The Collings Foundation has submitted plans to the Stow, Massachusetts Planning Board for a proposed new museum building on the Foundation’s grounds. This museum will house the core of Jacques Littlefield’s Military Vehicle Technology Foundation collection of historic tanks, military vehicles and artifacts. There will be 83 major historical items from WWI up to the Gulf War plus many smaller pieces. Once complete, the collection will be open to the public from May 1st to October 31st during the weekends and for scheduled groups. The museum will educate visitors about world history from WWI to Iraq and honor our Veterans through the display of historical exhibits, military equipment, docent conducted tours, living history events and artifact preservation (architect rendering featured below).
On Wednesday August 6th, the Collings Foundation had the second public Planning Board meeting. Because some people commented at the public review that the Foundation’s programs and museum are not educational, the Stow Planning board is challenging our 501c3 educational non-profit status. One of the board members has expressed doubts that our museum, collection, programs and events (both locally and nationally) are educational (we are not making this up). This same board member has also proposed that the town has not properly sanctioned our Stow events.
Since 1979 the Collings Foundation has been a 501c3 educational foundation based in Stow, Massachusetts with “the charitable, scientific and educational purposes of establishing and operating a museum for the study, preservation and public exhibition of articles of cultured, scientific and historic importance and for the education of the public with respect to such articles.”
Many of you know that a large part of the Foundation’s efforts go into the annual national Wings of Freedom tour (a traveling museum) and Vietnam Memorial Flight. The Wings of Freedom tour around the country features the B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator and P-51 Mustang. This is the longest-lived and most extensive historical aircraft tour in the world. Like the Vietnam Memorial Flight, the objective is to educate people about this history through truly unforgettable living history experiences. Of course, honoring our Veterans and the sacrifices made to preserve our freedom is a core part of all of our efforts. In 2009 the Air Force Museum recognized the Collings Foundation with its highest honor in the field of aerospace education, the Hoyt Vandenberg Award. Since 1979, the Collings Foundation has organized over 3,000 events. (Photo: Medal of Honor Recipient Frank Currey in the Foundation’s M-16 half-track)
We are asking for your help. Please send an email or letter to the Collings Foundation (addressed to the Stow, MA Planning Board) expressing your support of the Collings Foundation’s goals and purposes and endorse its educational living history events, including the construction of the proposed new museum facility. Personal stories about how the Collings Foundation has affected you and / or your family particularly through an educational experience are encouraged. Letters will be forwarded to the Planning Board prior to next meeting scheduled on September 10th. In order for us to effectively summarize the letters and include them in our presentation we request they be sent to us by the first week of September.
To send an email to Hunter Chaney at the Collings Foundation:
To send written letter mail to:
PO Box 248
Stow, MA 01775
Editors Note: Please remember that the most effective letters of support must be polite first and foremost, while staying firmly in the Collings Foundation’s corner. Invective and vitriol will only hurt our common cause, rather than help it, despite how this news may make some of us feel.
To all board members ,
I would like to express my opinion concerning the Collings Foundations application to open a new museum , I have been following the foundation for many years because of what they do which is bringing the history of our countries
prior wars that saved this country from being overtaking by our enemies and keeping us free .
I go to every event within range to visit their flying museum and I see hundreds of people of all ages lining up to be able to see and touch and if fortunate enough to ride in them . As a young boy these planes flying around in the skies influenced me enough to become a professional pilot after I got out if Vietnam .
Now the Collings Foundation want to expand to military vehicles and once again I will love to be able to see this history as well . Being around this kind of history young or old will educate us on what our fathers and grandfathers had to go through to save this country and inspire young people to appreciate and maybe even pursue a career in the military service .
I vote yes for the museum and I hope you consider that in your vote .
Jim Stalker , FL
Hello James, I suggest you to follow the instructions and to send a nice letter in as indicated in the article 😉 .
Tourists from all over the world would flock to see a museum like what is being proposed me as well, I am from Australia and just like everyone else I am fascinated with old and present military equipment.
I have been an aviation admirer ever since I was a child. Later I joined the Marine Corps to be a pilot, however I ended up becoming a Crew Chief and Plane Capt on helicopters. We need to do all we can to preserve our history of aircraft. This museum sounds wonderful.
Museums such as the one proposed by the foundation fill a basic and important link to not only our historical past but an understanding of a time, a place, the events, the sacrifice of past generations and the contribution to the development of the people we have become.
This muesum must go ahead, as time goes on and our veterions past away their legacy can not and should not be diminished, by a lack of public availability
We and my grown up family visit such places to gain a insite into the activities of past generations and reflect where would we be without their contributions to huminaty
This type of collection should be supported by all Americans; and every school student within 50 miles should be taken on a field trip to see it.
This Museum really should go forward to keep it’s History Alive. And by doing so they need places to display these old planes; tanks; vehicles; & such for people like us who want to learn & see what History has brought us for todays generation. Granted I her schools are doing away w/ teaching History which makes us very so sad. It should be taught in schools; & to have museums & other facilities where we can learn from. Young & Old. This is History, not just the subject, but it’s Real .. It’s what our Men & Women have Sacrafised & to Serve Our Country for All of Us.. We have family & ancestors whom were in Military so we respect their Service yet we still have some family members in the Military field. We Need to Save History & to do so we need places to build Museums to continue to have these Awesome Tours . It shouldn’t be all about the people who don’t want this. They probably are the ones who could care less about it’s History. ok traffic could be heavy near around where they live but isn’t there traffic everywhere ? Seriously..
We Need To Save Our History ! We Need to Save Our Museums & / or make them bigger !