Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New Nozzle Display

The museum has just completed a display highlighting one of our most treasured artifacts, Space Shuttle Main Engine Nozzle Unit # 2029. During the operational period of NASA’s STS program between 1981 and 2011, every Space Shuttle was equipped with three RS-25 main rocket engines; each engine had an individual exhaust nozzle. A veteran of five space flights, nozzle #2029 flew on three Endeavor and two Atlantis missions from 1994 through 1996 before being retired to the metallurgy lab where NASA conducted tests on the impact of the burning propellant on the nozzles components.

At sixty-four square feet and over nine feet in height, the newly constructed bright orange display structure securely elevates nozzle #2029 to permit museum patrons an unobstructed view of the complex structure of this engineering masterpiece.  

- MFAM Curator

 During construction

Finished Display

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Curator Notes

Welcome to the March Field Air Museum, with over 70 aircraft and more than 30,000 individual artifacts our museum strives to promote an understanding of humanity’s reach for the skies and of March Field’s pivotal role in the development of flight. For nearly 100 years March Field has been home to aviation pioneers, some famous and some anonymous they have left a treasure trove of precious artifacts from aircraft to flight gear, from simulators to uniforms, from photos to personal letters.

I encourage you to come walk in the footsteps of heroes, step through a World War 1 trench line under the shadow of the world’s fastest manned aircraft the SR-71 Blackbird. Walk through a Vietnam era Fire Base surrounded by a brace of helicopters. Stand beneath the wings of a massive B-52 Stratofortress or the museum’s World War 2 combat veterans B-29A “Three Feathers” and B-17G “Starduster.”

Whatever your age or background, the sleek fighters, bombers and cargo aircraft of the MFAM have something to fascinate everyone. With such a rich variety of artifacts, the museum’s exhibits are constantly evolving to bring you new experiences however many times you visit. Enjoy your visit.

J. Houlihan 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Hidden Treasures

Our museum is kicking off a "Find Our Hidden Treasures "campaign for the month of July. This concerted effort of the Curatorial and Collections Management departments at the museum is a result of increased "finds" brought to the museum in the last few months. The museum is trying to create awareness of what treasures might be hidden in storage areas and attics of in our neighborhoods.  With aging veterans, their families might not be aware that their personal records, scrapbooks and letters may have priceless value to museums.

Most recently Pete Brabant, a Riverside resident, brought in a tattered scrapbook that his neighbor rescued from the top of a trash bin. It contained the GI's original WWII photos taken on Okinawa, the Phillipines, and Formosa, an original Goldfish Club membership card, and 1944 issues of Inside Japan.

Thomas Barnidge, a Moreno Valley resident brought in his father's original 1947 "Permission to Marry" documents that were necessary when his Air Force dad wanted to marry a Chinese citizen. It shows a world very different from today.

An original telegram was recently donated by Mike Avooski of Moreno Valley. It was his brother’s way of telling the family he was on his way home. "Please wire seventy-five dollars. Discharge Wednesday. Fishing Thursday. Broke Now. Letter Follows."

Two years ago a box of letters was dropped off at our admission desk.  The cardboard box contained ninety personal letters written during WWII. The museum was unable to locate any surviving family members. For the museum's curator, Jeff Houlihan, this was a tremendous "find'.  "The letters cover SSgt Rogers experiences as a young airman in the Second World War. Intimate and uncensored, the letters give a candid view of army life, training, flying and the gradually increasing awareness of the terrors of war. By preventing the letters from destruction the museum has been afforded an opportunity to preserve the legacy of the common Army Air Force service members of World War 2, all through the first person voice of SSgt Rogers," says Houlihan. Interns from Cal State San Bernardino have assisted the museum in creating an exhibit that will open fall of 2013.

"Many people have items that they do not know what to do with them or how to properly take care of them. They are stored away in closets, attics, boxes, trunks or other places collecting dust and developing irreversible damage.  It is our job to preserve such items for future generations' education and enjoyment" says the museum's Collections Manager Michelle Sifuentes.  The museum is encouraging everyone to be on the lookout for some of these "hidden treasures" and save them from destruction.  Anyone with items may contact,, or call Patricia at 951.902.5599.

Friday, March 8, 2013

March at March Field

March is a busy month for us here at the March Field Air Museum. After months of hard work by the curatorial staff we are finally able to open our new exhibit: Mission Control. Mission Control is a permanent exhibit room dedicated to telling the story of man’s quest to explore space. On display are artifacts from NASA, the Neil Glick Soviet Space collection and from the Apollo Moon flights which were donated by the family of the late Congressman Jerry L. Pettis. Also on display is a High Altitude Flight Suite worn by CIA U-2 pilot Al Rand.

In conjunction with the opening of Mission Control the museum has an Inflatable Planetarium Dome on loan from NASA here for the entire month. Guests have the opportunity to view “We Choose Space,” a program developed by the Houston Museum of Natural Science. The program discusses the history of the moon landings, provides a tour of the International Space Station and helps the viewer to think about the future of space travel. Cost of the show is $3 in addition to admission and is free for museum members.

On March 23rd the Museum will have its 3rd Annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Ceremony. Museum admission is free Vietnam Veterans and their immediate family. Ceremony starts at 11am with Major Jack Van-Zwaluwenburg as keynote speaker. A free lunch for all Vietnam Veterans will be held after the ceremony. 

Come out and visit us this month. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Year End Message from Our Director

Another year is drawing to a close. This has been an incredible year for our museum and we have you to thank for all your support by participating in our numerous events, by volunteering your time and making in-kind and cash donations. I would like to share with you some of the beautiful memories that were created at the museum this holiday season in these photographs. Best wishes to you and your families in this special time of togetherness and hope
March Field Air Museum Staff

Air Force Holiday Band 

MFAM Holiday Party

 Santa needing to use the SR-71 this year

 LIUNA 777 Holiday Party

 LIUNA 777 Holiday Party

 LIUNA 777 Holiday Party

Executive Director

Friday, October 5, 2012

An Intern's Experience

Putting away artifacts and uniforms, organizing the office, and preparing and setting up for exhibits are only a small portion of the work as an intern at the museum. Currently a senior at California State University of San Bernardino, I didn't know what was in store for me when I decided to do my internship here at March Field Air Museum.
                Being my first internship, it truly has been an experience at the museum. I started working in the Collections and Curatorial Department in mid-July and there was no going back. I have done quite a few things as I said before. Organizing the collection, processing new items (i.e. lots of paperwork), working in the archives, scanning photos, and even cleaning up after floods is a lot of what I do. The most memorable experience has been the development of the museum’s soon-to-be newest exhibit, a collection of letters written by a 21 year-old soldier corresponding with his parents during his training in the middle of World War II. Vincent J. Rogers Jr. or as we lovingly call him “our boy Vince”, was a front gunner on a B-24. The letters progress from his first enlisting, going through radio school, then to aerial gunnery school, and lastly to his being stationed at Tarawa where he was killed in action when his plane could not reach altitude and crashed into a lagoon.
The progression of the exhibit has been an eye opening experience. With Vince’s letters, I've learned that the soldiers of the past, and even present and future, still have to live life. Even though they’re in the military, they still have families and friends at home who they love and miss. They still have to do they’re best, and fight for their country, even if it costs their lives. Here at March, I've learned to appreciate our military history and hope we do our best to preserve it. Not to mention that we also have lots of cool airplanes around.  Being here has given me experience for the future, and a knowledge and family that I hope to never forget.

~ Erin Bryan

Friday, August 31, 2012

Thunderstorm Hits Museum

Yesterday the museum experienced a freak thunderstorm which damaged 15 aircraft and flooded some of the interior of the museum. Museum staff and volunteers implemented an Emergency Plan that was developed as part of our Accreditation application. This, and the hands on effort of everyone that was here averted what could have been a major disaster.  Nothing in our Collections was damaged and all the aircraft is reparable. Thanks team! Hope we don’t ever face this again…but we will be ready. 
Patricia Korzec  
Executive Director

C-141 now faces East after being turned 90 degrees

Curatorial/Collections Dept office flooded

Main Hangar flooded

F-105B tail dropped