The March Field Air Museum over several years has been working on a complete re-installation of its many exhibits in order to help you, our valued guests and supporters, get the most out of a visit to the museum. We aspire for you to "Take Flight" by reading, listening, and learning as you tour the many exhibits. Explore humanity's reach for the skies, and the pivotal role of March Field in the development of flight, right here at the March Field Air Museum. Here are a few highlights of a visit to the museum today:
A "Commercial Aviation Exhibit" tracies the evolution of civil aviation, from the early Pan Am Clippers of the 1930's through the latest superliners. A 15-foot-long quarter-section of a 727 passenger jet permits visitors to sit in the aircraft’s cabin and experience the comforts of modern air travel. The ties between military and commercial aviation development are explored through the Captain Walter Fus display and the Bud Gurney “early aviator” display and interview. A World Map Floor Mural by local artist Viviana Catalan rounds out this exhibit.
Tour the March Field timeline: 1918 and the Great War; the 1920's "March Field Re-Established" featuring the simulated interior of a reconstructed 20’s era hangar and highlighting the wood propellers and structural elements of contemporary aircraft. The 1930's "March and the Great Depression" with an emphasis on March Field's role in the Civilian Conservation Corps; the buildup to World War II with “Pearl Harbor” featuring artifacts, photographs and a specially produced DVD presentation highloighting the personal stories of five local Pearl Harbor veterans. “Wartime Training at March Field” featuring the interior of the March Field Flight Operations Center in 1943 and displaying officers' uniforms and artifacts in a re-created interior of the March Field Officer’s Club with original cast bronze lighting fixtures.
The "Staff Sergeant Vincent J. Rogers Jr. Exhibit" tells an intensely personal story, illustrated with period artifacts and a restored B-24 gun turret and tracing his wartime experiences. Dedicated to preserving the legacy of common Army Air Force service members of World War II, the exhibit was developed from Roger’s original, handwritten wartime letters. Motion activated sound domes permit visitors to hear Rogers describe each step of his captivating personal journey from recruit to hardened veteran as he narrates the true cost of war.
“Women in the Aviation War Industry” features one of only 8 surviving Radioplane OQ-2A target drones and also highlights the wartime discovery--in an aviation factory in Southern California--of starlet Marilyn Monroe. Nearby, pre-GPS navigation techniques help tell the tragic story of the doomed crew of B-24 bomber “Lady be Good."
Improvements to the "Strategic Reconnaissance Exhibit" featuring the SR-71 Blackbird and associated artifacts from the world of covert intelligence continue. On display are Central Intelligence Agency U-2 pilot Al Rand’s flight suit used during the build-up to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and U-2 data link hardware and specialized aerial photography equipment.
Outside at the “Fire Base Romeo Charlie” helicopter display area, the final element of sound adds a chilling aspect to our immersive Vietnam era exhibit. The extensive outdoor aircraft collection has been rearranged and grouped mostly by type: bombers, fighters, and so forth. We hope you enjoy your visit!