Grissom Air Museum

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The Grissom Air Museum, near Peru, Indiana and named for astronaut Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, was founded in 1981 by seven prior service military personnel who lived in the area including John Crume, our first Chairman. The Heritage Museum Foundation (HMF) wanted to preserve aircraft that were currently located at Grissom Air Reserve Base, formerly Grissom Air Force Base. The HMF started the Grissom Air Museum in 1982 outside of what then was the main gate of Grissom Air Reserve Base.

The museum currently has 28 aircraft: 27 on display, and one awaiting its display area. It is also the home of the 319th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (1955-63), 305th Bomb Wing (1959-94), and the 434th Air Refueling Wing (1970-Present).

History[edit]

B-47B Stratojet landing

The Grissom Air Reserve Base, was the Grissom Air Force Base before it was changed from an active service facility. Prior to May 12, 1968, it was known as the Bunker Hill Air Force Base. Bunker Hill was renamed Grissom AFB in honor of Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, an Indiana native and the second American astronaut to fly in space, who perished in the Apollo 1 launch pad fire of January 27, 1967.[1] The indoor museum was completed in 1991. The original aircraft were moved from the base to a public access site in 1987. From 1995-2009, the Museum was a State Historic Site under Indiana's Department of Natural Resources. Current funding is obtained through donations, membership, gift shop sales, and admissions. The State of Indiana awarded the museum funds for capital projects which include aircraft maintenance, air park maintenance, alert tower maintenance, and a Veterans Memorial Walkway.

Displays[edit]

The museum has approximately 20 aircraft on outdoor display reflecting both the base's history and that of the USAF. The indoor museum contains a number of artifacts related to the USAF 305th Bomb Group and the WW II American Volunteer Group(Flying Tigers), and has some interesting sit-in displays, including an F-4 Phantom cockpit.[1]

Aircraft[edit]

[2]
Attack Aircraft: A-10A Thunderbolt II
Bombers: B-17G Flying Fortress, B-25J Mitchell, B-47B Stratojet, B-58A Hustler
Fighters: F-4C Phantom, F-11F Tiger, F-14B Tomcat, F-84F Thunderstreak, F-100C Super Sabre, F-101B Voodoo, F-105 Thunderchief
Refueling: KC-97L Stratofreighter, KC-135 Stratotanker
Transports: C-1 Trader, C-47 Skytrain, C-119G Flying Boxcar UH-1H Iroqouis Helicopter

Museum[edit]

Interior of a F-4 Phantom

In the museum, one can climb into the cockpit of a replica 1903 Wright Flyer, a UH-1L Huey Helicopter, and a F-4C Phantom.[2]

Tower[edit]

The entire Grissom Air Reserve base and aircraft display are visible from the top of the five-story Cold War-era Observation Tower.[3]

Events[edit]

Events on location include the Festival of Flight, car shows, Warbird Cruise-In,[4] and local aviation art contests.

References[edit]