Midland is home to a vast amount of attractions worth noting. The Midland Army Air Field Museum is one of those attractions. It began as Sloan Field which was a privately owned flying school and landing field in 1927. In 1939, it was sold to the city of Midland and promoted as a military training base by a local businessman. After beginning construction in July of 1941, the very first cadets ready for training arrived in February of 1942. It was designated as the Midland Army Air Field on September 26, 1942.
The Midland Army Air Field Museum states on their website the primary mission of the museum is to “reconnect the Permian Basin and its visitors to the societal and economic impact of Midland Army Air Field and the sacrifices made by West Texans in that history.” In order to facilitate moments of reflection and commemoration among multiple generations of citizens in West Texas, the museum houses educational exhibits and historical aircrafts for all to see.
The Midland Army Air Field Museum features a large open exhibition hall that features a hangar with panels of educational content that tells the story and narrative of World War II. This museum showcases a plethora of military and aviation artifacts as well as a fleet of aircrafts used during World War II. These include the Beech C-45, Fairchild PT-19, L-17 Ryan Navion, T-28 Trojan, and a replica of Japanese aircraft from the movie “Tora, Tora, Tora.”
The museum provides guests with the full experience through the use of flight simulators, a training room, war on the homefront, missions in the Pacific carried out by George H. W. Bush, journalist Harvey Heard’s collection of photographs, as well as other lively exhibits that provide interactive experiences. It also gives guests the opportunity to books flights on several different aircrafts housed at the facility. There is not a consistent schedule, however, due to maintenance the planes must undergo and availability of pilots.
Volunteers from the High Sky Wing of the Commemorative Air Force are responsible for maintaining the Midland Army Air Field Museum. In an effort to preserve history, the Commemorative Air Force devised a mission to collect and maintain as many warbird aircrafts that operated during World War II. In 1961 on September 6, the Commemorative Air Force was officially chartered as a nonprofit organization that was meant to restore and preserve combat aircrafts used in World War II. At the end of that year, the Commemorative Air Force had nine of these aircrafts in their possession.
The Midland Army Air Field Museum hosts many events throughout the year. Going on eight years, the museum has put on Christmas Lights Night Flights. This event gives patrons the opportunity to see Christmas lights in the surrounding area from above during a plane ride. The museum also has put on “Hops & Props,” an annual beer tasting festival, for 14 years now. An Aviation Fun Day was also hosted by the museum that allowed free admission to all who wished to join.
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Map from Midland Army Airfield Museum to NetOps:
Map from Midland Army Airfield Museum to Fiddlesticks Farms: