Warbirds and Airshows
By David D Jackson

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Indiana Museums - Aviation, Military, Automotive and Fire

Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum
Columbus, IN
Last Date Visited:  6-7-2014

The Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum is an excellent example of local historians getting together and creating a great museum to tell the story of the military heritage at what is now the Columbus, IN Municipal Airport.  But it takes more than dedicated historians and volunteers to build and maintain a museum of this caliber.  It takes local financial backing from the local community for a museum like this to exist. 

Originally opened in 1992 with a 5,000 square foot brand new facility, the museum during 2014 opened another 5,000 square feet of display space.  All of the addition is dedicated to displays on telling the story of what started out as Atterbury Army Air Field in 1942, and then after World War Two was renamed Bakalar Air Force Base.  The base closed in 1970 after training C-47, C-46 and glider crews during WWII and then being a C-119 reserve base during the cold war, sending C-119 gunships to Vietnam during that conflict.



I have visited the Museum several times since it has opened.  During my trip to the 2014 the airport Open House in June of 2014 gave me an opportunity to see the new addition and added displays.  The original structure is the portion with the brown trim along the roofline.


The new addition is this portion which is on the south side of the building.


I knew Madge Minton and was immediately attracted to these photos of her from WWII.


Madge in front of a C-47.


She also was able to fly and ferry P-47s.  After the war she was a regional vice-president of the P-47 Pilot's Association and was also a member of the P-51 Mustang Pilot's Association.  Madge passed away in 2004 at age 84.


The next series of photos, which are hung high on the wall in the original structure, give a visual history of the base.  This photo is looking north.




Looking west in this photo shows there was a large concentration of C-119s located at Bakalar.


There are three C-119s and a C-47 on the south ramp (left) and 21 C-119s on the west ramp by Bldg. 895.  The WWII all wooden hangar at the bottom of the south ramp still exists.


 The museum has many aircraft models hanging overhead.  The displays are first rate and the lighting in the facility is great.  This is part of the original display area.


This photo looks into the new addition.  Note the models overhead and that the displays are well spaced and not cluttered.


No doubt there will be more displays added as time progresses, as there is still empty space left in the addition.


This diorama depicts the WWII the barracks at Atterbury Air Field.


Also on display are items manufactured in Columbus for the war effort in WWII.

 
The museum has done an excellent job of restoring the nose section of a CG-4A WWII glider.




Sitting out in front of the museum is this F-4C that served with the 181st Tactical Fighter Group, Indiana Air National Guard, at Terre Haute, IN.

The Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum is a destination for anyone interested in WWII history and how this military base contributed to the winning of that war, and and then served its country afterwards until its closure. 
 

 

 


 
Home  Indiana Museums    Indiana Tanks on Outside Display   The Beginning    Revisions   First Flight of P-38F Glacier Girl  
USS Theodore Roosevelt    WWII Aircraft Manufacturing Sites    Gateguards
 2007 Airshows   2008 Airshows  22009 Airshows   2010 Airshows    2011 Airshows    2012 Airshows   2013 Airshows   2014 Airshows    2015 Airshows  2016 Airshows  
Aviation Museums of the Pacific Northwest
   Display Helicopter Locations   CAL FIRE   PV-2 Harpoon Photos     F6F Hellcat Photos
   Warbird Sightings   WWII US Air-Air Victories   Guest Photos    Indiana Warbirds   Featured Photos  Other Items   Links

Historic Sites   Historic Forts   Historic Texas Independence Sites   Pre-Historic Sites   Historic Manhattan Project Sites   GM Heritage Center


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