Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum
One of Arizona’s top-rated museums, the Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum is located in Mesa, Arizona, at 2017 North Greenfield Road. The museum is home to hundreds of exhibits telling the story of military aviators. Their mission – Preserve, Educate, Remember – is on full display here.
Flying High With the Commemorative Air Force Museum
Get up close and personal with one of the vintage World War II planes housed in the museum’s hangers. If you ever wanted to experience a B-17, this is your chance. Other planes on display include a B-25 and C-47, along with bi-planes, an F4 Phantom, and plenty more.
Once you have toured the planes on the ground, take it to the next level by booking a ride in one of the restored planes. The “Sentimental Journey”, a B-17G (used as a water bomber) restored to wartime configuration, is available, and the “Secret Night Mission” on their C-47 (“Old Number 30”) is a great way to see the Christmas lights of the surrounding area.
When you’re done with the vintage planes, tour this classic Mesa air museum. View the many exhibits on aircraft and war memorabilia, including displays on WWII and Vietnam. Find out more about the Tuskegee Airmen and Women Air Service Pilots, who, despite facing severe hindrances, served our country.
The museum hosts annual events including a speaker series. At the “Annual Gathering of Legends”, you can meet distinguished veterans from WWII to present day. Their busiest seasons are fall and winter with events like “Aviation Fascination” and the “Big Band ‘40s Dance”.
Drop by their gift shop on the way out and pick up a souvenir. How about a “born to fly” or Air Force pilot flight suite onesie for your kid or grandkid? Pick up some American flag art, a T-shirt, or aviator jewelry. How about matching bomber jackets for you and your dog? If you miss the shop, you can shop online later.
This Mesa air museum is close to other activities too. Watch an Arizona Cardinals game or spring training baseball game. Hike through one of the nearby parks and preserves, try tubing down the Salt River, or wander through downtown historic Gilbert for some shopping and fine dining. Visit the popular Riparian Preserve – a great place for photographers (and non-photographers too). Hike the trails through the desert landscape and around water features, watch the abundant wildlife and birds (close to 250 species has been sighted here), and see a dinosaur dig site. There is an observatory (open to the public every Friday and Saturday evenings) too.
The Commemorative Air Force Museum’s knowledgeable docents will be more than willing to answer any questions and to share inspirational stories of veterans from over the years. The museum is open seven days a week from 10am to 4pm (closed on holidays), and entry is free to active military personnel and disabled veterans. Veteran or not, if you love planes and their history, or military history, this museum is for you.