George’s cousin Ernie told us about the Warhawk Air Museum in Nampa, Idaho. It’s in a big hanger at the Nampa Municipal Airport.
I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t quite like this. I knew there’d be airplanes, but there’s a lot more than that. There are planes and posters and photographs, medals and models and munitions, books and banners and bombs.
Thousands of personal collections of memorabilia as well as wartime memories have been donated to the museum. It would take weeks if you stopped to read all the displays and exhibits they have. I just wandered and when something caught my eye, I’d read a bit before I moved on to something else. There are all sorts of things that you wouldn't usually see in a museum. Sure, you'd see uniforms, but maybe not games, or personal mementos. You don't get the feeling that people just cleaned out their attics, but that this was a suitable place for their veteran's story.
I liked the practice kites. George told me they'd use them for target practice, just like they were real planes. They had period music and old Jack Benny and Bob Hope radio shows playing in the background for ambiance.
There's a basket from an observation balloon and a German Fokker DR-1 tri-plane from World War I.
There are other things besides planes and military stuff. Get two old guys together and they'll start talking old cars. The cool hood ornament was on a 1930 Packard Eight. (The car behind it is a 1927 Studebaker Coupe.) The red one is a 1941 Lincoln Zephyr V-12. George took more car pictures than I did. (Honk if you're surprised!)
They have a section with collections from the Cold War, including a Soviet MIG-21 and a MIG-17. The MIG-17 is missing it's wings from when it was shot down. Looks really weird, doesn't it?
This cute little blue thing is an instrument trainer from WWII. I think all the dials and switches are in an F-111 trainer. We've come a long way, baby!
Because they were getting ready for an airshow this weekend, they were moving some of the planes outside.
The pride of the museum (and where they got their name) are the two Curtiss P-40N Warhawks. Cool paint jobs--but I like the parrot one best.
More pictures? Here you go! Warhawk Air Museum