History Up Close: The USAF Museum

When I was a kid (don’t ask how long ago), our class took a class field trip to the United States Air Force Base Museum in Dayton, Ohio.  It was the height of the cold war.  The Air Base has so much rich history to explore.  It was once home to a project to study UFO’s.  Some say there is a secret hangar there still!  Now, I didn’t see any little green men, BUT I did see tons of great airplanes and rockets at the museum!


The museum is home to 360 air vehicles.  These fantastic exhibits range from early aircraft (including Dayton’s own Orville and Wilbur Wright flyers), WW1, WW2, Korean, Cold War, Space, to our most advanced fighters of today.  The museum also holds an impressive display of presidential aircraft.  My favorite exhibit is the Air Force One plane which served Kennedy (and carried his body home as well as was location of Johnson’s swearing in), Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush.  There are ten presidential planes in all here at the museum.


Going to the museum has become an annual pilgrimage for me as an adult.  I can never read enough or see enough there.  I always find something new that stirs me.  What’s even better is that it has become a favorite of my children as well.  My kids love seeing the planes and touching a part of our history.


You can find more out about the museum by visiting there website HERE.  Even if you can’t plan an in-person visit, you/your students can take a virtual tour on their website!

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