Us air force museum advice


#1

I am an AF vet and am on my way to my last solo flight. I have a number of unique items which I would like to donate to an AF museum. Any suggestions which one ? These items included the souvenir bomb made for Co. Tibbits by the First Ord.Sqdn when he flew the first A bomb mission , the 50BMG shell signed by Col.Morgan, pilot of the Memphis Melle and Ben Drew first US pilot to shoot down an ME262. Actually 2 at once. Lots of other items as well. Advice ?


#2

Why not try the main USAF museum at Wright-Patterson AFB? If they don’t want what you have, they can tell you of any base museums that might. You could also try the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.


#3

I love Wright Patterson! Besides most Museums often “loan out” items so more people get the chance to see it.


#4

I have been a technical advisor and diplomatic representative for the Smithsonian for many years. I would never donate anything ordnance related to them. I donated an ammunition display which is still up at the Air and Space Museum but that was in the old days when there were people there who actually cared about the displays. It is now mostly politics. 99% of the Smithsonian holdings are in storage.

This has happened country wide as museums became tourist story books.


#5

I may sound unreasonable, but why not to make a donation to a smaller museum? Wright-Patterson is so huge that most of the people may not notice new exhibits, there is just too much stuff there, one gets overwhelmed. A smaller museum will love and cherish such an important donation and it will be prominently displayed. For instance, MAAM at Reading, PA, the site of the biggest (and in my humble opinion, the best) WWII air and ground re-enactment event on the US Eastern coast maam.org/


#6

Actually that’s not a bad Idea!


#7

I should consider that. One problem with the small museums is that they fail. Many have come and gone usually spark plugged by a single individual. Once that fellow is gone the museum eventually fails. There are many small museums but most do not last more than one generation and then the holdings are sold off. I would actually rather have my items go to serious private collectors who actually value this stuff but again most major collections do not survive more than one generation. My family collection was a rarity in that it has survived 4 generations. If a museum had been involved it would not have lasted so long.

Heirs are iterested in MONEY in most cases.

My Uncle Raymond Crittenden had the family collection but none of his children were interested. I got most of it after money was exchanged. My immediate family no longer has an interest and I have seen no real interest in any of the extended family either.

That is usually the way small museums go as well.


#8

Back in that time period, the Army still owned the Air Force. Maybe the new Ordnance Museum which has moved to Ft. Belvoir?

Or in New Orelans, the National Museum of WW2 (formerly the D-Day Museum)?

The New England Air Museum at Hartford’s Bradley field is a long standing and successful operation.

The USAF Armament Museum at Hurlburt Field (Eglin AFB) is the specialty niche for that sort of stuff. Some of their exhibits really suck, but it would be a really good fit for historical context.


#9

Good point and some good advice. Thank you. The new Army Ordnance Museum is still a wild card. What it will actually be is to be seen in the future. The attitude of the Army to museums is not so good. I would prefer an Air Force museum.

Is there an Army Air Corps Museum ?