Our Thursday tour takes us to the Pima Air and Space Museum, considered the number one attraction in Southern Arizona.
The concept for the Pima Air & Space Museum began in 1966 during the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the creation of the United States Air Force. Earlier the commanders of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center (MASDC) the forerunner to today’s Aircraft Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) recognized that the historic World War II and 1950s era aircraft stored on the base were rapidly disappearing into smelters and that the flames were consuming not just metal, but the aviation heritage of the country. On their own initiative base officials began to set aside examples of the many types of aircraft stored in MASDC’s yards. These planes were placed along the base’s fence line so that the public could see them through the fence.
In 1966, Colonel I. R. Perkin, the commander of MASDC joined with members of the Tucson chapter of the Air Force Association to found the Tucson Air Museum Foundation of Pima County who’s goal was to create a publicly accessible museum based around the aircraft already collected on the base. The Foundation received the enthusiastic backing of the Pima County Board of Supervisors and the County Department of Parks and Recreation. With the backing of the County government the search for a site for the museum soon settled on a 320-acre plot of Federal Bureau of Land Management land just south of Davis-Monthan AFB. On Sep. 11, 1968 United States Representative Morris K. Udall presented the land to Pima County. Before the aircraft set aside for the museum could be moved to the new site the area had to be prepared to meet the requirements of the United States Air Force Museum. The tour cost includes all admissions including the tram and boneyard tours. Lunch will be "On Our Own" at the "Flight Grill" located on the property. We should be back to the hotel at 3:30.
Back to 2016 Reunion Page
Updated by Terry W. McManuels