Image of the Air Force wings with the museum name underneath

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  • Forward Air Controllers and the Secret War

    In 1959, the North Vietnamese began building a secret road system through Laos and Cambodia. Named the Truong Son Road – but known to Americans as the “Ho Chi Minh Trail” – this supply line consisted of a network of roads and logistic bases concealed by the jungle.Laotian neutrality, based upon the

  • From Butterflies to Ravens

    Stringent rules of engagement over Laos necessitated the use of Forward Air Controllers (FACs) to ensure no mistakes occurred that could have resulted in the death of friendly ground forces.In 1964 a handful of US Air Force Air Commandos entered Laos to serve as FACs. As airstrikes increased, more

  • From Out of The Fire: Captain Gerald Young

    In the pre-dawn hours on November 8, 1967, two Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giants from the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron were mobilized to rescue the survivors of a US Army reconnaissance team trapped inside Laos. Two helicopters had already been shot down while trying to recover the

  • Four Sandys, Two Pedros, and a Crown

    The formation of a SAR Task Force (SARTF) became the basic rescue element for recovering downed aircrew in Southeast Asia.A standard SARTF package included four A-1 Skyraiders, two rescue helicopters, and an HC-130P Combat King.When a rescue mission occurred, four A-1 Skyraiders, using the call sign

  • Flying the President

    Providing fast, safe, and reliable air transportation for the President of the United States is an important US Air Force mission. The President’s ability to travel all over the world at short notice is critical to projecting America’s diplomatic, military, and economic power.“Perfection is Our

  • FB-111A Sit-in Cockpit

    This crew escape module successfully ejected from an FB-111A that crashed near Pease AFB, New Hampshire, following a mechanical failure in January 1981. The General Dynamics FB-111A Aardvark was a supersonic all-weather strategic nuclear bomber used by the U.S. Air Force’s Strategic Air Command. 

  • Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II

    This aircraft is no longer on public display.The A-10 was designed specifically for close air support of ground forces. It is named for the famous P-47 Thunderbolt, a fighter often used in a close air support role during World War II. The A-10 is very maneuverable at low speeds and low altitudes to

  • Fifteenth Air Force—Strategic Bombing from Italy

    In September 1943, the USAAF formed the Fifteenth Air Force, uniting its Mediterranean heavy bomber forces together at bases in southern Italy.  The USAAF could now mount major strategic raids in southern and eastern Europe, creating even more pressure on the Luftwaffe defense.  String of bombs on

  • Fighter Escort: “Little Friends”

    During the first half of the strategic bombing campaign, the USAAF lacked fighters that could escort its heavy bombers on strikes against targets in Germany.  As a result, heavy bomber crews took devastating losses that threatened the continuation of the campaign.  By early 1944, improvements to the

  • Fairchild C-82 Packet

    Note: Visitors are permitted to walk in this aircraft.Airlift experience during World War II demonstrated the need for a large-capacity cargo aircraft that could be loaded from ground level, and Fairchild designed the C-82 Packet to meet the U.S. Army Air Forces’ requirements. The prototype first