Welcome toWurtsmith Air Museum
Mark your calendar now for our 2022 events
MAY 21 – OPEN ON ARMED FORCES DAY
JUNE 25 & 26 –
WELCOME HOME WEEKEND & WWII ENCAMPMENT
JULY 16 –
COPLAND MEMORIAL GOLF @ LAKEWOOD SHORES.
AUGUST 20 & 21 –
AUGUST 26, 27 & 28 –
WE WILL BE SPONSORING A MI CROSSROADS COUNCIL BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA AVIATION CAMPOREE.
Wurtsmith’s B-52 58-0217 ‘The Liberator’ LIVES!!
In early 2021, we received an email from a flight commander at Barksdale AFB, requesting information about 58-0217. This aircraft served at Wurtsmith AFB with the 524th Bombardment Squadron and was sent to the bone yard in 1991. We were able to locate photos of the aircraft and also put them in contact with Dean Vargo, the artist of the iconic nose art on many of the B-52s and KC-135s at Wurtsmith in the 1980s and 90s.
We learned from the folks at Barksdale that the cockpit section from 58-0217 was transferred there to build an egress trainer for B-52 life support training.
In early May, we received the following update from the recently transferred flight commander.
Wurtsmith Air Museum Board of Directors and Staff,
I wanted to provide an update to you and your team regarding the restoration of the livery of one of your legacy bomber aircraft:
There was one final project I wanted to accomplish before departing my assignment as Flight Commander of Aircrew Flight Equipment and SERE at the 2d Operations Support Squadron: the restoration of B-52G 58-0217, our egress trainer at Barksdale Air Force Base. In gratitude to your museum; the original artist, Dean Vargo; and two maintenance Airmen–as well as the approval from our squadron and detachment leadership–the project was a success.
Although this aircraft’s crew compartment has long since been detached from the rest of the airframe from when it flew with the 524th Bomb Squadron, it presently plays a vital role with the 2d Bomb Wing, helping facilitate the egress training of B-52 aviators in multiple operational squadrons and the B-52 Formal Training Unit.
Thousands of bomber aviators through the years have learned how to safely egress or eject from the Stratofortress in case of an emergency on the B-52. As the instructor pilot responsible for the training with and maintenance of this hallowed (and hollowed) aircraft, I wanted to see its history displayed to both the aviators and the incentive/orientation flyers who learn prior to their first flights.
This would not have been possible without your museum’s correspondence detailing the history of “The Liberator” or without the generosity of Dean Vargo, the original artist and former NCO at Wurtsmith. Thank you for your help!
It’s wonderful to know that a Wurtsmith AFB B-52, sent to the Boneyard to spend its final years sitting in the desert, is still providing a vital role, training B-52 aviators in today’s Air Force.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and volunteers at the Wurtsmith Air Museum, thank you to everyone at Barksdale AFB for their dedicated efforts to bring (a small piece of) this once great aircraft, back to life.
Thanks to all our visitors for making 2021 a great year!
PLAN YOUR VISIT
The Wurtsmith Air Museum is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, dedicated to preserving the history of Wurtsmith Air Force Base and aviation in Northeastern Michigan.
We offer visitors three hangars full of military (all branches) and aviation history, static aircraft displays, artifacts, equipment and lots of WAFB memorabilia.
The museum is handicapped accessible and tours are available
for school groups and the general public.
We are located on the former
Wurtsmith Air Force Base
4071 East Van Ettan Street
Oscoda, Michigan 48750
Adults: $ 7.00
Children (under 12): $ 3.00
Children (under 5): Free
Active Military (with ID): Free
Museum members: Free
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