Air Mobility Command Museum

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The Air Mobility Command Museum (AMCM) is dedicated to military airlift and air refueling aircraft and the men and women who flew and maintained them. It has the largest and most complete collection of fully restored U.S. Military cargo and tanker aircraft in the Eastern United States, located about 1/2 mile south of Dover Air Force Base. The mission of the museum is to collect, preserve and exhibit the artifacts and human stories significant to the development and employment of military airlift and air refueling in the USAF and the USAAF, as well as to portray the history of Dover Air Force Base.[1]

T-33A Shooting Star displayed outside the Air Mobility Command Museum in Dover, Delaware.

Museum history[edit]

While the museum itself was not officially established until 1986, the idea for the museum developed as a result of an Air Force Reserve restoration project on the B-17G bomber "Shoo Shoo Baby" in 1978.[2] This aircraft became the first of many to be restored for eventual display at the museum, which was still in the early stages of conceptualization. Then in 1986, preparations were formally advanced for the creation of an air museum at DAFB. At the same time, the C-47A "Turf and Sport Special" also underwent restoration, having been rejected by many other museums as "beyond salvage." The then Dover AFB Museum was officially recognized by the U.S. Air Force in 1995, moved from three hangars in the main area of the base to its present location in Hangar 1301 in June 1996, and its name was changed to "Air Mobility Command Museum" in February of 1997.[1] Hangar 1301 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its significance as the site of the US Army Air Force's rocket test center, and was restored in the 1990's. The facility encloses over 20,000 square feet of aircraft display gallery plus 1,300 square feet of exhibit rooms. Additionally, an attached 6,400 square foot building houses a theater, museum store, exhibit workshop, and various offices. The surrounding 100,000 square feet of outdoor ramp space allows for a closer inspection of the remaining aircraft in the collection.[3]

Airlift history[edit]

Dover Air Force Base was originally built as a civilian airport that was modified for military use as a result of Public Law 812, which funded local governments to build airports in response to the outbreak of hostilities in Europe and Asia in 1939-40. Ten days after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the War Department employed its emergency powers to lease Dover Municipal Airfield for the entirety of World War II. The air field would serve primarily as a base for anti-submarine operations, fighter pilot training, and aerial rocket testing and development. After the war beginning in September 1946, Dover Army Airfield was placed in "inactive" status. Following the creation of the U.S. Air Force as a separate service entity, the Airfield became Dover Air Force Base on January 13, 1948. Beginning in 1952, the primary mission of DAFB focused on military airlift due to the strategic location of the base on the Eastern Seaboard, and the base was designated as a permanent U.S. Air Force installation on December 22, 1953.[2] During the Military Air Transport Service's existence from 1948 to 1965, a number of aircraft were utilized, such as the C-46, C-47, C-54, C-74 Globemaster, C-97 Stratofreighter, C-118, C-121, C-124, C-130, C-131, C-133, KC-135, and the C-141, many of which are on display at the AMCM. The Military Airlift Command was another Major Command of the United States Air Force from 1966 to 1992. During this time, the Air Force was involved in such conflicts as the Vietnam War, Cold War, Desert Shield and Desert Storm, as well as humanitarian efforts including Operation Provide Comfort and the relief of former USSR satellite nations following its dissolution. Many of the aircraft in the museum's collection are from this era. The Air Mobility Command, the current Major Command, was established June 1, 1992, and has been in existence ever since.[4] Several aircraft from this period are in the museum's collection, including the C-141, C-9, and the C-130, but operational aircraft such as the C-5M and the C-17A launching from the active side of Dover Air Force Base are visible from the museum as well.

Collections and exhibits[edit]

Aircraft collection[edit]

The Air Mobility Command Museum is home to a number of significant vintage aircraft from a variety of eras and Major Commands. Additionally, the AMC Museum houses a complete set of all significant Lockheed air lifters used by the Air Force and Army since World War II.[5]

Attack aircraft[edit]

  • A-26C "Invader" S/N: 44-35523


  • B-17G "Flying Fortress" s/n: 44-83624(actual) 2-107112 on aircraft

Cargo/Tanker aircraft[edit]

  • C-7A "Caribou" S/N: 63-09760
  • C-9A "Nightingale" S/N: 67-22584
  • C-45G "Expeditor" S/N: 51-11795
  • C-47A "Skytrain" S/N: 42-92841
  • C-54M "Skymaster" S/N: 44-9030
  • C-119G "Flying Boxcar" S/N: 10-870
  • C-121 "Super Constellation" S/N: 4557
  • C-123K "Provider" S/N: 54-0658
  • C-124A "Globemaster II" S/N: 49-0256
  • C-130E "Hercules" S/N: 69-9580
  • C-131D "Samaritan" S/N: 55-295
  • C-133B "Cargomaster" S/N: 59-536
  • C-141A "Starlifter" S/N: 61-2775
  • C-141B "Starlifter" S/N: 64-626
  • KC-97G "Stratofreighter" S/N: 53-230
  • KC-135E "Stratotanker" S/N: 57-1507
  • VC-9C S/N 73-1682


  • F-101B "Voodoo" S/N: 59-0428
  • F-106A "Delta Dart" S/N: 59-0023


  • CG-4A "Hadrian" S/N: 45-15009
  • TG-4A S/N: 42-53078



  • BT-13 "Valiant" S/N: 12-1741
  • T-33A "Shooting Star" S/N: 52-9497
  • T-41 "Mescalero" S/N: 68-7895
  • PT-17 "Kaydet" S/N: 12-1741

Utility aircraft[edit]

  • U-3 "Blue Canoe" S/N: 58-2126

"First, Last and Only" collection[edit]

The museum contains a special collection of rare and historically significant aircraft on display, each of which are the first, last, and/or only of their model.

  • The First C-141A Starlifter
    • Serial 61-2775 was the first of 284 C-141s built. This model was the first jet aircraft specifically designed to carry cargo, and this particular aircraft flew for the first time in December 17, 1963. It is the only known four-engine jet aircraft used to tow a glider, and was also used during NASA's testing of options for space shuttle launch.[6]
The first C-141A Starlifter built; on display at the AMC Museum in Dover, Delaware.
  • The First C-9A Nightingale
    • Serial 67-22584 was the first C-9 accepted for the Military Airlift Command. It also was the first American aircraft specifically designed for medical evacuation.[7]
One of the first C-9C Nightingale on display at the AMC Museum in Dover, Delaware.
  • The Last C-133B CargoMaster Built
    • Serial 59-536 was the last of 50 C-133s built in 1961, which were retired ten years later to make way for the C-5A. It is the largest turbo-prop aircraft in the United States, powered by the largest turbo-prop engines ever built: the Pratt & Whitney T34.[8]
The last of the 50 C-133s on display at the AMC Museum in Dover, Delaware.
  • The Last B-17G "Flying Fortress" to Serve as a Bomber
    • This aircraft was assigned to a testing squadron in the late 1950s and served to compare older bomber models with newer, modern ones during public "airpower" demonstrations. It is also the only surviving veteran of the 1948 Flying Bomb Project.
One of the last functional B-17s on display at the AMC Museum in Dover, Delaware.
  • The First and Last KC-135E Stratotanker
    • Serial 57-1507 was the first all-jet tanker assigned to the Air National Guard in April, 1975. While assigned to the 108th Air Refueling Wing, New Jersey ANG it flew the last operational mission for any "E" model on July 14, 2009.[citation needed]
  • The Only Surviving C-54 "M" Skymaster
    • Serial 44-9030 is the only remaining aircraft of the "M" model. It served in the Pacific during World War II and was one of 38 aircraft specifically modified to haul coal during the Berlin Airlift. After being retired in 1973, it then served as a ground trainer at the FBI training academy in the Sky Marshal program. For display, it was restored and given its original World War II markings.
  • The Only Surviving C-124A Globemaster II
  • The Only Surviving F-106 Delta Dart stationed at Dover AFB
    • Serial 59-0023 served in the 95th Fighter Interceptor Squadron which operated out of Dover AFB from 1963 to 1973. It later became a flying target drone after being retired, and is one of only six aircraft that survived the program.[9]
  • The First C-45 (Beech 18) Obtained by the Central Intelligence Agency
    • Was built in 1943 as an AT-11 Trainer, then rebuilt in 1952 as a C-45G. After being turned over to the CIA in 1958, it was used to transport agents in Southeast Asia from 1960 to 1974.

Other exhibits and attractions[edit]

The exhibit air control tower on display at the Air Mobility Command Museum in Dover, Delaware. The tower stood about 103 feet tall when in operation, but currently stands 39 feet high at the museum.

In addition to the aircraft and non-aircraft collections, the museum has a few other notable attractions. These include a flight simulator, commemoration park outside the museum building, and the retired control tower cab, which served as Dover AFB's control tower from 1956 to 2009.


  1. ^ a b Cacicia, Zachary (December 10, 2014). "AMC Museum: It all Started with One Wrecked Plane". United States Air Force. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Wiggins, Kennard R., Jr. "Dover AFB History". Delaware Military History. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Building 1301, Dover Air Force Base". National Park Service. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  4. ^ "History of the 436th Airlift Wing: The 'Eagle' Wing and Dover Air Force Base: Dover, Delaware." (pdf). Dover Air Force Base. p. 12. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Air Mobility Museum displays Lockeed C-60 Airlifter". Cape Gazette. June 12, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015. (registration required (help)). 
  6. ^ "Lockheed 141 Starlifter". The Aviation Zone. Retrieved August 15, 2015. 
  7. ^ Drummer, Janene L.; Wilcoxson, Kathryn A. (March 2001). "Chronological History of the C-9A Nightingale" (pdf). Air Mobility Command. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Douglas C-133 Cargomaster". Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  9. ^ "QF-106 Drone 'Pacer Six Program' 1990-1998". F-106 Delta Dart. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 

External links[edit]