Hello readers! Are you interested in history, aviation, or both? If so, a visit to the March Air Force Base Museum in Riverside, California is a must! This museum is an ideal place to explore the history of aviation and the military. The museum was initially established in 1918 as the Alessandro Flying Training Field, which later became an Air Corps facility. Today, it houses an extensive collection of artifacts, exhibits, and memorabilia that tells the story of the air force, from its beginnings to the present day. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this museum an essential destination for history buffs and aviation enthusiasts alike.
The March Air Force Base Museum
The March Air Force Base Museum is a treasure trove of history, showcasing the rich legacy of the March Air Force Base. The museum provides an immersive experience, allowing visitors to explore the base’s history, examine the vast collection of aircraft and military vehicles, and participate in various events and educational programs. Here, we delve into the museum’s various aspects and what visitors can expect during their visit.
History of the Base
The March Air Force Base was established in 1917 as the Alessandro Flying Training Field. It was renamed March Field in honor of Second Lieutenant Peyton C. March Jr, who died in a plane crash while attempting a transcontinental flight. The base served as a vital training facility during World War I, and with the advent of World War II, it became a hub for aircraft and troop movement.
The base played a crucial role in the Cold War, serving as a critical launch point for strategic bombers. In the Vietnam era, it functioned as a logistics center and a training ground for C-141 aircrews. In recent years, the base has been instrumental in providing aerial support for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Today, it serves as the home of the Air Force Reserve Command’s Fourth Air Force.
Exhibits and Collections
The March Air Force Base Museum’s exhibits and collections are a testament to the rich history of the base. Visitors can explore the vast collection of aircraft, including a B-52 bomber, a B-29 Superfortress, various fighters and trainers, and many more. In addition to aircraft, the museum boasts an impressive collection of military vehicles, from jeeps to aircraft tugs.
Furthermore, visitors can examine fascinating wartime memorabilia. The museum houses a diverse collection of unifroms, weapons, and personal effects of the men and women who served on March Air Force Base through the years.
Events and Programs
The March Air Force Base Museum offers a plethora of events and programs, all focused on educating the public about the base’s rich history and the men and women who served there throughout the years. The museum hosts regular airshows, where visitors can see a variety of military aircraft fly in formation or conduct aerial acrobatics.
In addition to airshows, the museum offers guided tours, allowing visitors to explore the exhibits in-depth and providing a unique perspective on the base’s history. It also hosts lectures by military historians and veterans, where they share their first-hand experiences and provide insightful commentary on the base’s history and role in American military aviation history.
The museum’s educational programs are also geared towards visitors of all ages. Children can participate in field trips, where they can learn about various aircraft and vehicles or watch a film about the base’s history. The museum also offers STEM-focused programs for students, where they can put their science and engineering skills to the test by designing and building models of aircraft and other vehicles.
To conclude, the March Air Force Base Museum holds a vast collection of military memorabilia, offers enriching educational programs and events, and captures the essence of the March Air Force Base’s rich history in vivid detail. Visiting the museum is a must for anyone with an appreciation for military history and aviation.
Visiting the March Air Force Base Museum
The March Air Force Base Museum is a popular destination for history buffs, aviation enthusiasts, and families seeking an educational and fun outing. The museum highlights the rich history of military aviation and its role in shaping America’s defense. With a diverse collection of aircraft, exhibits, and artifacts, the museum offers a fascinating look into the past, present, and future of aviation.
Location and Hours
The museum is located on the grounds of the March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California. The address is 22550 Van Buren Blvd, Riverside, CA, 92518. It is conveniently situated just off the 215 freeway and accessible through the main gate of the base.
The museum is open to the public six days a week, from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. It is closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission to the museum is free, but all visitors must pass through a security gate and present valid identification.
Tours and Group Visits
The museum offers a variety of tour options to cater to visitors’ preferences and needs. Self-guided tours are available for those who prefer to explore the museum at their own pace. The museum also offers docent-led tours, which provide a more in-depth and personalized experience. These tours are led by knowledgeable volunteers who are passionate about aviation history and can share interesting stories and insights about the museum’s exhibits.
For larger groups, the museum offers group tours and educational programs. These tours can be customized to match the interests and needs of the group and can include interactive exhibits and activities. Virtual tours are also available for those who cannot visit the museum in person. These tours provide a unique and immersive experience in which visitors can explore the museum’s exhibits from the comfort of their homes.
Amenities and Accessibility
The March Air Force Base Museum offers a range of amenities to make visitors’ experiences comfortable and enjoyable. The on-site gift shop sells a variety of aviation-themed souvenirs, including model planes, books, and apparel. Visitors can also enjoy a picnic at the museum’s picnic area, which provides a scenic view of the airfield.
The museum is fully accessible to visitors with disabilities, with wheelchair ramps and lifts available throughout the facility. The exhibits are designed with accessibility in mind, with large print and braille signage, and audio descriptions available for certain exhibits. Additionally, the museum offers assistive listening devices to enhance the audio experience for visitors with hearing impairments.
The March Air Force Base Museum is an excellent destination for anyone interested in aviation history or looking for an educational and engaging outing. With its diverse exhibits, knowledgeable volunteers, and educational programs, it offers an experience that visitors will not soon forget.
Volunteering and Supporting the Museum
The March Air Force Base Museum is a non-profit organization that relies heavily on the support of volunteers and donors to continue its important mission of preserving the history of the U.S. Air Force. Through volunteering and supporting the museum, individuals can help preserve history and educate visitors about the sacrifices and achievements of the men and women who served in the Air Force.
The March Air Force Base Museum offers various volunteer opportunities for individuals who want to get involved and make a difference. Volunteers can work with the collections, guiding tours, and assisting with events. Working with the collections involves cleaning and maintaining the artifacts and ensuring they are properly cataloged and stored. Guiding tours allows individuals to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for the museum’s exhibits with visitors. Assisting with events includes helping with set-up, registration, and other tasks to ensure the events run smoothly.
Volunteers are a vital part of the museum and play an important role in keeping the history alive. The March Air Force Base Museum is always looking for enthusiastic and dedicated individuals who are willing to donate their time and expertise to the cause.
Donating to the Museum
The March Air Force Base Museum welcomes donations in many forms to support the museum’s mission. Monetary donations are always appreciated, as they help fund the museum’s daily operations and special events. Artifact donations are another way to support the museum, as they add to the museum’s collections and help preserve history. The museum accepts artifacts related to the history of the March Air Force Base, the Air Force, and military aviation in general.
For those who want to make a lasting impact, planned giving is another option. Planned giving involves making a charitable gift that takes effect at a future time, such as through a will or trust. This type of donation allows individuals to support the museum’s mission beyond their lifetime and make a lasting impact on the preservation of history.
All donations are tax-deductible and help the museum continue to be a valuable resource for the community and future generations.
Becoming a Member
Becoming a member of the March Air Force Base Museum is a great way to show support while also receiving exclusive benefits. Benefits of membership include discounts on merchandise and events, exclusive access to certain exhibits, and invitations to members-only events.
Membership levels vary, so individuals can choose the option that best fits their needs and budget. Memberships can be purchased online or in person at the museum’s gift shop. By becoming a member, individuals can enhance their museum experience while also supporting the museum’s mission of preserving history.
If you are unable to physically visit the March Air Force Base Museum, don’t worry! You can still explore the museum through a 360-degree virtual tour.
360-Degree Virtual Tour
The virtual tour provides an immersive experience, allowing you to “walk” through the museum and examine the exhibits at your own pace. This virtual tour is perfect for those who are unable to visit the museum or are simply interested in exploring the various exhibits from the comfort of their own homes.
The virtual tour features all the major exhibits of the museum, such as the World War II exhibit, the Strategic Air Command exhibit, and the Korean War exhibit. The interactive 360-degree view allows you to examine the aircraft, weapons, and equipment used in these conflicts up close, giving you a glimpse into the history of modern warfare.
The virtual tour is easy to access and can be found on the museum’s website. It can also be accessed on your mobile device, meaning you can explore the museum on-the-go.
Virtual Events and Programs
The museum offers a variety of virtual events, programs, and educational resources on its website. If you are interested in learning about aviation history, the Air Force, or the history of March Air Force Base, you can participate in the various online exhibits and webinars.
The museum also offers a virtual education program that provides teachers and students with educational resources and activities related to aviation history. The program includes lesson plans, activities, and virtual field trips, making it a great educational resource for teachers who are looking to supplement their curriculum.
Additionally, the museum features a virtual exhibit that showcases the “Forgotten War” in Korea. This exhibit tells the story of the Korean War and honors the sacrifices of the American and Allied forces who fought in this conflict. The exhibit includes photos, artifacts, and documents from the museum’s collection, providing an immersive experience for visitors.
Social Media and Online Presence
The March Air Force Base Museum is active on social media, providing regular updates on events, exhibits, and news related to the museum. They have profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where visitors can follow the museum and stay up-to-date with the latest news.
In addition to their social media presence, the museum also has an extensive website where visitors can learn more about the museum’s exhibits, events, and history. The website is easy to navigate and provides a wealth of information about the museum’s collections. Visitors can even purchase tickets for events and admission to the museum through the website.
In conclusion, the March Air Force Base Museum offers a variety of virtual resources that provide visitors with an immersive experience and allows them to explore the museum’s collections and exhibits from the comfort of their own home. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a student, a teacher, or simply curious about aviation history, the March Air Force Base Museum has something to offer.
The Future of the March Air Force Base Museum
The March Air Force Base Museum has been a staple in the Inland Empire for over 30 years. One of the museum’s goals is to expand and become a premier destination for history lovers. The museum’s current facilities do not provide enough space for all of the collections and history that the team wants to showcase to visitors. The museum has already constructed a new pavilion that provides outdoor exhibit space and hosting events. The 7,800-square-foot pavilion will house new and restored historical aircraft, such as the C-119 “Flying Boxcar” and the classic B-52G Stratofortress. The pavilion will also feature a walk-through exhibit experience, including a World War II nose section with an interactive flying experience.
New Exhibits and Programs
The museum is always looking to add new exhibits and programs to keep visitors engaged. One new exhibit planned is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) center. The center will be designed to educate and inspire young students to pursue STEM careers. The program will feature interactive exhibits and hands-on workshops on aerodynamics, robotics, and drone technology. Themed camps will be offered during summer break to encourage kids to stay interested in STEM subjects, even when school is out.
The museum plans to expand its World War II exhibit and showcase the contributions of the Tuskegee Airmen and the Women Air Force Service Pilots, who contributed to the war effort. The exhibit will feature oral histories, artifacts, photos, and memorabilia and will document the role these amazing pilots played in the war effort.
The museum staff understands the importance of community involvement. They plan to partner with local schools to offer workshops and programs to students. The museum will be providing teachers with historical materials and documents, which will allow them to incorporate local history into their lessons. The museum will also be collaborating with veteran organizations to honor those who have served and sacrificed. The team plans to dedicate a portion of the museum to recognize the services of veterans and will also provide discounts to military members and their families.
The museum staff is also dedicated to making the museum accessible to everyone. They will be providing free admission to educators and students, as well as offering memberships for individuals and families. The museum will also be partnering with local businesses to offer discounts to their employees, to encourage them to visit the museum.
The March Air Force Base Museum is not just about history; it is about preserving the legacy and the spirit of the people who served in the United States Air Force. The museum’s staff and volunteers are dedicated to providing visitors with a fascinating experience, as well as to educate, inspire, and honor those who have served their country. The expansion plans, new exhibits, and programs, and community involvement represent the museum’s commitment to serving the public and preserving history for the future generations.