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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

  • Glider Pilots in Combat

    During the March 1945 airborne crossing of Germany's Rhine River, about 40 pilots from the 435th Troop Carrier Group defended a crossroad against several hundred infantrymen and two tanks in what was called "The Battle of Burp Gun Corner." Glider pilots had the reputation of being cocky and tough and weren't bashful about letting people know that
  • Glider Pilot Training

    Training time varied but consisted of daylight flying in light aircraft practicing unpowered gliding and "dead stick" landings; day and night flying in training gliders, unpowered light aircraft or sailplanes; advanced training in CG-4A combat gliders; and finally tactical training. Most graduates then were given overseas assignments with troop
  • Glider Pilots: Silent Wings

    The success of German glider-borne forces early in World War II catapulted the Air Corps into a glider program in February 1941. Glider pilots were unique in that they had no parachutes, no motors and no second chances. In December 1941, plans called for training 1,000 AAF glider pilots, but eventually about 5,500 received their wings. Most glider
  • Gliders and Paratroops

    The invasion of France on June 6, 1944, began from the air. Huge skytrains of transports and gliders carried more than 17,000 men across the English Channel between midnight and dawn. Low clouds and fog over the Cherbourg Peninsula made aerial navigation difficult, and even trained pathfinders had trouble in locating and marking the desired drop
  • Gilbert and Marshall Islands

    Seventh Air Force B-24s, refueling in the Ellice Islands, first bombed Tarawa and Nauru in the Gilberts in April 1943. In November, following preliminary aerial bombardment by B-24s and carrier-based Navy aircraft, Tarawa and Makin Islands were invaded by U.S. Army forces, respectively. AAF planes were moved into bases in the Gilberts in
  • German "Fritz X" Guided Bomb

    The "Fritz X" (or PC 1400 X) was a 3,450-pound armor-piercing bomb fitted with a radio receiver and control surfaces in the tail. It was intended for use against heavily armored ship or ground targets. When dropped from 20,000 feet, an altitude above the most effective anti-aircraft defense, it could penetrate about 28 inches of armor. Aided by
  • German BK-5 50mm Cannon

    The BK-5 was an adaptation of a tank gun and was intended primarily for use against Allied heavy bombers. Its magazine held 22 rounds, and the gun had a rate of 45 rounds per minute. BK-5 cannon were installed in some Me 410 twin-engine interceptors and experimentally in the Me 262 fighter, but the war ended before testing with the latter aircraft
  • Glider Snatch!

    If a glider landed in a combat zone undamaged, a C-47 could tow it back to base to be reused for more flights. Gliders landing in small fields where C-47s could not land had to be disassembled and hauled out, which took time and manpower. Therefore, the U.S. Army Air Forces developed a way for a C-47 to fly low across the field with a hook and
  • General Headquarters Air Force

    A milestone was reached in Air Force history in March 1935 when the War Department established the General Headquarters (GHQ) Air Force. Going far beyond the traditional role of supporting Army ground troops on the battlefield, it was to serve as a central striking force for long-range bombardment and observation to defend U.S. coastal areas and
  • Gordon Bennett Balloon Trophy

    This Gordon Bennett Balloon Trophy was awarded to the U.S. in 1928 for winning it for the third successive year when Capt. William E. Kepner and Lt. William O. Eareckson flew 460.9 miles in a free balloon from Detroit, Mich.The first Gordon Bennett Balloon Trophy Race was won in 1906 by two Americans, Lt. Frank B. Lahm and Maj. Henry B. Hersey when

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