World War I Exhibit

The First World War & March Field


Presented in parallel displays, the MFAM First World War Exhibit features artifacts and educational material from the Great War and the founding of March Field. Allied, German and U.S. artifacts encased in a replicated Western Front trench introduce museum visitors to the "War to End All Wars" while adjacent artifacts, displayed in a simulated barracks, explain the founding of March Field as a response to the U.S. entry into the conflict. Overhead a replica Nieuport 11 from the famed Lafayette Escadrille banks sharply as flashes of light play over panoramic photographs of the western front and a digital documentary of the conflict appears through trench periscopes mounted on the battle scarred trench wall. 



The second installment of the museum's timeline exhibits, the 1920s display, brings the visitor into a simulated wooden hangar maintenance area to view a number a period artifacts in an interactive setting. From a period pilot's logbook, a leather flight helmet and a MORSE biplane wing under repair, to a Curtiss OXX - 6 aircraft engine the display immerses each visitor into the world of 1920's March Field.


Now open, the March Field’s Officer’s Club Exhibit features original cast bronze lighting fixtures, dress, formal and service uniforms from San Bernardino native Colonel Junius Dennison Jr. in a beautifully recreated Mission Revival style interior reminiscent of the 1940s era club.


The exhibit uses artifacts and period recruiting films to bring museum patrons back into the exclusive domain of the Commissioned Officers stationed at March during the Second World War. Here Lieutenants, Captains, Majors, Colonels and Generals were relieved of the constant responsibility of impeccable behavior in front of the enlisted troops as demanded by generations of military tradition. You too can now relax and visit a world of comfort and privilege long forgotten.  




Written between October 1942 and January 1944, Staff Sergeant Roger’s captivating letters form the basis of this engaging, entertaining and ultimately heartbreaking exhibit. From a naïve teenager to a veteran at the age of 21 the exhibit takes this young volunteer from enlistment through the challenges of radio school, air gunner training, bomber familiarization at March Field and ultimately, to combat in the Central Pacific.  Nearly lost, his letters were saved through the intercession of the March Field Air Museum staff and have been developed into a comprehensive telling of the common man’s experience of war.



Attack will be launched as follows: Bombardment, attack to be made on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor at 7:30 a.m.... Attack to be made on Clark Field, Philippines at 10:40 a.m.

            – General Billy Mitchell, Winged Defense 1925.



December 7th, 1941 at 7:55 a.m. airpower pioneer Billy Mitchell’s prediction became vivid reality as lead elements of the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Ford Island, Hawaii. In little more than 90 minutes, 2,403 Americans were dead, five battleships were destroyed, six damaged and more than 200 aircraft lost. The U.S. Pacific Fleet and its homeport at Pearl Harbor lay in smoking shambles.


March Field Air Museum’s new exhibit brings this “day that will live in infamy” to life. Artifacts, photos and the MFAM exclusive documentary “Pearl Harbor” featuring interviews with five Pearl Harbor veterans are displayed in the setting of a U.S. Navy ship’s ready room.