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The Valiant Air Command Warbird MuseumLocated just a few miles west of Kennedy Space Center, at the Space Coast Regional Airport, the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum offers a unique view of aviation history. Staffed and operated almost entirely by volunteers, the museum rivals commercial and government aviation museums.
In the late seventies, some friends (who shared a passion for aviation and its beginnings) had a vision of a permanent home for vintage warplanes and memorabilia associated with them -- uniforms, flags, pictures, medals, plaques, insignia(s), photos. commendations, ordinance -- anything to do with the growth, history and culture of aviation from WWI to now.
The museum offers a myriad of aircraft types and memorabilia -- from many sources. Aircraft such as the F-18 Hornet, F-4 Phantom, F-86 Sabre, MiG -15, B-25 Mitchell Bomber, UH-1 Huey, Grumman Wildcat and Avenger, a C-47 Skytrain and many others from WWII, the Korean Conflict, Viet Nam and the first Gulf War await aviation enthusiasts of all ages.
Visitors usually go through the Memorabilia Hall first. There they see cavalry-style uniforms action worn by America's first air aces of WWI. Actual Japanese battle flags and German aviators' medals can be seen in the neat display cases that fill the hall. The wealth of memorabilia and artifacts is a tribute to the generosity of the many friends of the Museum. Flight gear, dress uniforms and personal artifacts from flight crews of all the aerial conflicts are on display. The Museum's historians and curators work constantly to make sure the scenes exhibited are both interesting and historically correct. They are often excited to receive information and assistance from visitors who actually witnessed an aviation event, which has been recreated in the museum.
Current special exhibits include a tribute to the Women's Air Force Service Pilots, The Flying Tigers and The Tuskegee Airmen.
Moving from the Memorabilia Hall to the main display hanger one gets the feeling of moving through time. From there visitors can walk to the Vietnam display hangar and the restoration hangar.
The VAC's flagship, a 1942 C-47 that dropped paratroopers in Europe on D-Day sits combat ready and flight worthy today, so many years later. Another remarkable restoration project was a Grumman Wildcat fighter from WWII, which lost power and went into Lake Michigan in 1944. The pilot was rescued, but the aircraft remained on the bottom of the lake some 48 years, until 1994, when it was hauled out and brought to the museum for restoration. Both the pilot and Coast Guard rescuer were located and have visited the museum. Restoration was by a dedicated group known as "The Grumman Gremlins." They spent more than 30,000 manhours on this restoration.
Valiant Air Command Museum entrance. Vietnam Memorial Hangar. VAC Museum gift shop. Click on a picture for an 8 inch x 300dpi enlargement opening in a new window.
For more information:
Colonel Terry Yon, USA (Ret)
Public Relations Officer
Valiant Air Command
Come in and take a tour with one of our experienced tour guides, or walk around at your own pace and "become a part of history."