|Minnesota Air Guard Museum|
Each year, thousands of people visit the Minnesota Air Guard Museum to view the sleek and mysterious BLACKBIRD and appreciate the unique and colorful history of Minnesota Air Guard. Vintage to near-current aircraft, artifacts, memorabilia and photographs tell the story.
In the mid-1970s, the Museum was just an exciting concept among a small groups of visionary former Minnesota Air Guardsmen. They proposed a Museum to preserve the distinguished history of the Minnesota Air National Guard, the first air militia unit in any state receive Federal recognition as a viable part of the National Guard.
Meeting in cramped quarters, this small group of men started the necessary paper work to file for incorporation. They searched through numerous files for names and most-current addresses of former Minnesota Air National Guardspersons, compiling a mailing list for membership solicitation.
The Minnesota Air National Guard Historical Foundation was incorporated in May 1980 and by mid-1982, the Museum was recognized as a Class "C" US Air Force Museum. This recognition involves no funding but does allow the Museum to access aircraft and other military artifacts through Air Force Channels. A C-47 Gooney Bird flew in Dec. 17, 1982, the first aircraft received through the Air Force Museum program. A P-51 Mustang had been privately acquired earlier from a Museum in England.
A total of 15 aircraft have now come to roost at the Museum. The other 12 are F-102, F-94, T-33, C-131, C-45, L-4, F-89, F-101, F-4C, RF-4c, BC-1A also known as the T-6 and a Pietenpol. And, a from-scratch Curtiss Oriole is under construction.
F-89s stood alert in the facility that is now the home of the Museum. All renovation work was done by volunteers plus some contracted labor paid by privately solicited funds. The Museum was officially dedicated July 22, 1984 with a ceremonial ribbon cutting and open house.
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