Welcome toWurtsmith Air Museum
OUR 2021 SEASON WILL BEGIN IN ....
ATTENTION MUSEUM VISITORS
The COVID-19 virus has changed our lives and caused us to adopt a new normal.
For the 2021 season, we strive to create a safe environment and be compliant with the health mandates put in place by the State of Michigan.
To accomplish this, the Wurtsmith Air Museum is adopting a time entry system to limit the number of visitors in the museum at one time.
Click HERE for the appointment calendar to reserve your visit time.
Walk-in visitors without an appointment, will only be allowed if space is available.
MAY 15: OPENING (confirmed)
JUNE 25-27: WELCOME HOME WEEKEND & WWII ENCAMPMENT (confirmed)
JULY 17: GOLF OUTING (confirmed)
(event information will be posted)
JULY 23: GARY POWERS LECTURE EVENT (TBD shortly)
(waiting until late May to see if the current number of attendees allowed for an auditorium will be increased)
AUGUST 20-22: FLY-IN (confirmed)
(event information will be posted)
OCTOBER 17: LAST DAY OF THE 2021 SEASON (confirmed)
Based upon the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases across Michigan, some scheduled events may be canceled.
If you are traveling on US-23 north of Oscoda, be aware that US-23 is currently closed in Harrisville and will remain so well into the summer.
This project will require a detour until just prior to the Fourth of July holiday. US-23 traffic intending to travel through on their way to a different location will be required to follow a posted detour on M-72, Barlow Road and F-41 between Harrisville and the Spruce area. All work occurring after the holiday will be completed with intermittent lane and shoulder closures.
Local traffic access to residences and businesses will be maintained through the work area with one lane open in alternating directions during active work hours, and one lane open in each direction during non-working hours. The traffic lanes for local traffic will be narrower than usual and will have a temporary gravel surface
Veterans, if you are in the area on the dates below, please stop by cell #2 at the museum for a cup of joe, a doughnut and some conversation.
Starts at 9:30 am
No need to make an appointment or to register for coffee hours, just show up.
If you were stationed at Wurtsmith AFB, you will notice this
1951 preliminary master plan looks very different from what the base actually looked like.
click to enlarge
Click here to see an undated vicinity / wind analysis / airfield pavement map
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, it 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.
Our L-19 “Bird Dog” was recently moved to a heated hangar. It’s restoration will be a winter project for friends from Flight Base Operations and volunteers from Kalitta Air. We really appreciate their interest in returning this plane to it’s original appearance and flying condition. It has been a museum display “in restoration” for over 20 years. We are anxious to see what it looks like with both wings attached!
The L-19 “Bird Dog” was used as a spotter plane in Korea and Vietnam because it could be flown at a low altitude and slow speed.
Check back for photos as the restoration gets underway.
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
AN ARTIFACT FROM WURTSMITH’S COLD WAR PAST HAS RETURNED HOME