Whether you’re an aviation enthusiast or a history buff, you can’t miss the Palm Springs Air Museum. The museum houses one of the largest collections of WWII flying aircrafts, and on average, there are 26 different ones on display—many are flown regularly in conjunction with educational programs and demonstrations.
Also on display are warplanes from the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, along with historic artifacts, displays, rare combat photography, memorabilia and video documentaries. The real asset of the museum in my opinion, is the army of aviation veteran volunteers who will take you back in history with their harrowing and captivating stories—like from Donald Sutherland, a ball turret gunner on the B-17 bomber (which was made famous by the 1990 Hollywood film “Memphis Belle.“). Mr. Sutherland told me that he would often have to stay in the excruciatingly cramped turret for 8, 10 and sometimes up to 12 hours at a time…with no break, not even to relive himself. He was so humble and told me that, “it wasn’t all that bad, no where near as awful as many others had it,” he said.
I spoke with another veteran who told me that WWII was the last real “American” war fought (meaning the entire country was involved and behind the war efforts). Most of the wars/conflicts since WWII have been part of the military industrial complex. During WWII the men went off to fight and the women went to work in the factories helping to produce supplies for the war effort. The country rationed items that were scare and needed for the soldiers in battle. Large companies of all industries retooled their factories to support the war effort—from uniforms, munitions, tanks, supply trucks, to many of the warplanes at the Palm Springs Air Museum today.
I listened to another veteran speaking to a tour group who was in Pearl Harbor during the attacks by the Japanese. These World War II Veterans are getting old and won’t be with us much longer. In order to preserve history and avoid repeating our mistakes, it’s imperative to listen, learn and document the stories from these true American heroes of yesteryear. There are few places I can think of that offers suck a comprehensive and valuable look into our past than the Palm Springs Air Museum.
With a theater showing daily WWII documentaries and a library of over 8500 volumes on American military history, you could spend the entire day at the Air Museum. In the warmer months of the year, it’s nice to know that the entire museum is in a series of air-conditioned hangers.
Click the following link to see more of my pictures of the Palm Springs Air Museum. If you’ve been to the Air Museum before, please leave a comment below and tell my readers and me what you enjoy most. If you’ve enjoyed this post and video, please click the “like” button and share with your friends and family.
Palm Springs Air Museum Information:
Hours: Open seven days a week, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Admission: Adults; $15. Seniors, Retired Military and Youth; $13. Kids 6-12 $, under 6 are free.
Address: 745 N. Gene Autry Trail
Palm Springs, CA 92262