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Mask Policy:
In accordance with the updated guidance released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense (DoD) and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will require all visitors to wear face masks indoors effective July 30, 2021 until further notice.

Visitors ages three and up will be required to wear masks while indoors at the museum. This policy applies to all visitors, staff and volunteers regardless of vaccination status. Visitors may wear their own masks or a free paper mask will be provided. Cloth masks will also be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
Additional information available here.

Fact Sheet Search

  • Bombing Campaign Leaders

    Three iconic USAAF generals—Carl Spaatz, Ira Eaker, and James “Jimmy” Doolittle—played key roles in leading the strategic bombing campaign in Europe. Gen. Carl Spaatz decorates a wounded Eighth Air Force Airman while he recovers in a hospital in August 1944.Carl A. SpaatzAfter leading the Eighth Air Force through 1942, Carl Spaatz commanded
  • Bigger Raids, Bigger Losses and Crisis

    In the second half of 1943, the USAAF continued to build up its heavy bomber forces.  As it hit targets ever deeper in enemy territory, however, staggering losses threatened the entire concept of daylight strategic bombing.Early assumptions were wrong—unescorted heavy bombers could not protect themselves against enemy fighters alone. 
  • Bomber Crew Protection

    A 1942 study determined that relatively low velocity projectiles such as deflected flak fragments or shattered pieces of aircraft structure caused 70% of bomber crew wounds.  Body armor and helmets helped protect against this threat and saved thousands of bomber crewmen from injury or death.Col (later Maj Gen) Dr. Malcolm Grow, Eighth Air Force
  • Black Thursday: Schweinfurt, October 14, 1943

    The Eighth Air Force attack against the ball bearing factories at Schweinfurt, Germany, on October 14, 1943, became known as "Black Thursday.”  After friendly fighters turned back at the German border, the bomber formations fought a running battle alone against the Luftwaffe.  The bomber crews faced heavy flak over the target and then had to fight
  • Blind Bombing: “Mickey”

    During the frequently cloudy conditions over Europe, USAAF bombers could not bomb visually.  In these conditions, USAAF heavy bombers used a radar system called H2X and code-named “Mickey.” Mickey-equipped “pathfinder” aircraft gave formations the signal to bomb.  On B-24 pathfinders, the H2X radome replaced the ball turret.  B-17 pathfinder Mickey
  • Boeing Inertial Upper Stage Space Payload Booster

    Note: This item is currently in storage.The Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) is an unpiloted upper-stage booster rocket used from 1982-2004. After launch on an unmanned rocket or inside a space shuttle, the IUS boosted its payload into a higher orbit or sent planetary and solar probes on their way through space.Twenty-four IUS vehicles were launched.
  • Boeing X-40A

    The unmanned, unpowered Boeing X-40A was the first-phase flight test vehicle for the U.S. Air Force’s Space Maneuver Vehicle program that began in the late 1990s. The program aimed to develop small, reusable, highly maneuverable spacecraft for deploying satellites and conducting surveillance and logistics missions.This test aircraft is a 90 percent
  • Brig. Gen. James M. Stewart

    On March 22, 1941, Jimmy Stewart was drafted into the U.S. Armed Forces. He was assigned to the Army Air Corps as an enlisted man and stationed at Moffett Field, Calif. During his nine months of training at that base, he also took extension courses with the idea of obtaining a commission. He completed the courses and was awaiting the results when
  • Bell X-5

    The X-5 was the world's first high-performance airplane to vary the sweepback of its wings in flight. It investigated the characteristics of variable sweep aircraft in flight and the feasibility of producing aircraft with this feature. The X-5 was based upon the design of a Messerschmitt P. 1101 airplane discovered in Germany at the end of World
  • Beech VC-6A

    In 1966 the U.S. Air Force purchased a standard Beechcraft King Air B90 with a special VIP interior, designated as the VC-6A, to support President Lyndon B. Johnson and his family. The aircraft was faster and more agile than other light transport aircraft and featured full pressurization for comfort at high altitudes. Other special features

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