In 1981, a group of enthusiastic people, adopting the name Yankee Air Force, shared the desire to preserve the facts and glamour of southeastern Michigan’s aviation history. They began to lay plans to research, restore, and preserve the all but forgotten history of Willow Run Airport. Their initial goal was to acquire one of the original U.S. Army Air Forces hangars and restore it to its original condition. With the help of Wayne County, the owners of the airport, this first goal was accomplished and the Yankee Air Museum was born. The YAM now has two divisions, the Wurtsmith Division in Michigan and the Northeast Division in New Jersey. Their second goal, to obtain a B-24 built at Willow Run, has proven to be a much tougher project. Over 18.000 Liberators were built and just 11 survive today, of which only 4 were built at Willow Run. In 1987, a PB4Y-2 Privateer, the Navy’s single-tailed version of the B-24, was donated to the Museum for static display. Since 1981 the Yankee Air Museum has acquired and returned to flying status five World War II aircraft. The first plane was acquired in 1981, a Douglas C-47 World War II transport which was built in 1945. The “Yankee Doodle Dandy” is the YAM’s world class award-winning flagship. The B-17G “Flying Fortress” which was used in the movie “Tora!Tora!Tora!” was purchased in 1986. The “Yankee Lady” underwent extensive restoration and was returned to flying status in 1995. The B-25D “Mitchell”, a medium-duty bomber similar to the type used in Jimmy Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo, was acquired in 1987. The “Yankee Warrior” saw combat in World War II and is one of only two B-25Ds still flying today.These aircraft are flown and displayed at numerous air shows from May through September. They are the pride of the Yankee Air Museum.
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Yankee Air Museum
- Sun: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
- Tue - Sat: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
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