HomeNewsArticle Display

AMC Museum: It all started with one wrecked airplane

The C-47A Skytrain, the “Turf and Sport Special,” prominently sits on display Nov. 15, 2014, inside the Air Mobility Command Museum on Dover Air Force Base, Del. On D-Day, during the invasion of Normandy, this aircraft dropped paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division into St. Mere-Eglise, France. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Zachary Cacicia)

The C-47A Skytrain, the “Turf and Sport Special,” prominently sits on display Nov. 15, 2014, inside the Air Mobility Command Museum on Dover Air Force Base, Del. On D-Day, during the invasion of Normandy, this aircraft dropped paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division into St. Mere-Eglise, France. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Zachary Cacicia)

The cockpit of the C-47A Skytrain, the “Turf and Sport Special,” sits on display Nov. 15, 2014, inside the Air Mobility Command Museum on Dover Air Force Base, Del. This type of aircraft carried personnel and cargo, and in a combat role, towed troop-carrying gliders and dropped paratroopers into enemy territory. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Zachary Cacicia)

The cockpit of the C-47A Skytrain, the “Turf and Sport Special,” sits on display Nov. 15, 2014, inside the Air Mobility Command Museum on Dover Air Force Base, Del. This type of aircraft carried personnel and cargo, and in a combat role, towed troop-carrying gliders and dropped paratroopers into enemy territory. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Zachary Cacicia)

Bill Maroon gives a guided tour to a group of Boy Scouts Nov. 15, 2014, at the AMC Museum on Dover Air Force Base, Del. Maroon is one of 170 volunteers who work at the museum. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Zachary Cacicia)

Bill Maroon gives a guided tour to a group of Boy Scouts Nov. 15, 2014, at the AMC Museum on Dover Air Force Base, Del. Maroon is one of 170 volunteers who work at the museum. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Zachary Cacicia)

A Soviet-era Antonov AN-2 cargo aircraft sits on display Nov. 15, 2014, at the Air Mobility Command Museum on Dover Air Force Base, Del. This is the only non-American aircraft currently on display at the museum. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Zachary Cacicia)

A Soviet-era Antonov AN-2 cargo aircraft sits on display Nov. 15, 2014, at the Air Mobility Command Museum on Dover Air Force Base, Del. This is the only non-American aircraft currently on display at the museum. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Zachary Cacicia)

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (AFNS) -- The ever-growing Air Mobility Command Museum boasts a collection of 33 aircraft, a staff of more than 170 volunteers and a visitor experience that rivals the most notable museums in the country -- but it all started with one wrecked airplane in 1986.

"We started with 20 feet of space in one of the maintenance hangers with an airplane that nobody else wanted," said Mike Leister, the AMC Museum director.

The airplane Leister is referring to is the C-47A Skytrain, nicknamed the "Turf and Sport Special," that was considered beyond salvageable by other museums. Found in a dump near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the aircraft, which had been used for target practice, was airlifted by a Pennsylvania National Guard helicopter to Dover Air Force Base. It was the first aircraft restored for the newly conceptualized museum that would form here.

Leister has been with the museum since its conception as the Dover AFB Historical Center on Oct. 13, 1986. It originally occupied three hangers within the main area of the base, and was officially recognized with museum status in 1995 and moved to its current location in 1996. On Feb. 5, 1997, AMC officially named the Dover AFB Museum as the AMC Museum.

The AMC Museum is the only museum in the U.S. dedicated to military airlift and air refueling.

"We have 33 airplanes right now," Leister said. "Twelve of them are either the first, the last, or the only one of their kind left in the world."

This includes the only surviving C-54 "M" Skymaster, the only surviving C-124A Globemaster II and the only surviving F-106 Delta Dart that was actually stationed at Dover AFB. In addition, the museum boasts the only C-5A Galaxy on display anywhere in the world.

When it comes to these aircraft, the museum's restoration crew is renowned as one of the best, doing what they can to conserve, preserve and restore the aircraft in their care. But there are certain jobs that require help from the base.

"The base aircraft maintenance shops help us with our aircraft," Leister said. "There are some jobs we can't do in-house. The aircraft maintenance shops are allowed, by regulation, to assist us, and they go out of their way to really help us out."

Base leadership said it is an honor to assist the museum's mission.

"Team Dover is proud to partner with the Air Mobility Command Museum to preserve the legacy of Air Force global reach," said Col. Michael Grismer, the 436th AW commander. "I applaud the museum staff and their dedicated volunteers who have done amazing work preserving the history of airlift and air refueling."

In addition to the numerous aircraft, the museum houses functioning flight simulators, tens of thousands of artifacts and a multitude of exhibits that display AMC's, Dover AFB's and the Air Force's history.

"Our museum is one of the best," said Dr. Andrew Wackerfuss, the 436th Airlift Wing historian. "Bias aside, it is rare to have a museum as well-developed as this one is, and particularly, to have one whose collection is so focused on the mission of the base."

According to Leister, the museum will continue to grow and add aircraft to its collection. This includes tentative plans for a KB-50 Aerial Tanker, a World War II-era C-46 Commando and a Junkers Ju-52, a World War II-era German airlifter. The growth will not end here, either, with plans to add a C-17 Globemaster III to the inventory.

"Building this from one wrecked airplane that a few people came to see from time to time, to the biggest tourist attraction in central Delaware and being considered the benchmark for field museums in the Air Force has been, personally, very fulfilling," Leister said. "There are individual accomplishments that I'm proud of, but it's the overall accomplishment of the museum that I'm proudest of."

Today, the primary mission of the AMC Museum is to collect, preserve and exhibit the artifacts and human stories significant to the development and employment of military airlift and refueling in the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army Air Forces. The second closely aligned mission is portraying the rich history of Dover AFB and its predecessor, the Dover Army Airfield. The museum makes this history available and attractive to both civilian and military personnel, so that in an increasingly complex society, the role of total force, veterans, operations and equipment is understood and appreciated for their value to the nation.

For more information or to plan a visit to the AMC Museum, visit their website at http://amcmuseum.org/

Engage

Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: .@cmsaf_official has the passion, the skills, and the strength of character we need to lead us…to face head-on the demand…
Twitter
Lt Gen David Allvin nominated to become Air Force Vice Chief of Staff https://t.co/JST6kf0H4g
Twitter
RT @AFGlobalStrike: The #Strikers of @AFGlobalStrike congratulation CMSgt Kaleth O. Wright on his retirement, and welcome @cmsaf_official C…
Twitter
RT @SpaceForceCSO: Congrats to CMSgt Joanne Bass, @usairforce CMSAF #19! Mollie & I are looking forward to working with you & Rahn in suppo…
Twitter
Join us for the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force transition ceremony LIVE from @Andrews_JBA at 9:30AM EDT.… https://t.co/uUYv7TgMeb
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: #Airmen load up a C-130J Super Hercules before heading to #Bulgaria for Thracian Fall 2020. The @usairforce trains with B…
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Airmen and Soldiers from the @CTNationalGuard delivered 21,000 cases of water from @fema to towns throughout the state in…
Twitter
RT @usairforce: “I’m a dental tech who became Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force...be dreamers – dream big.” - @CSMAF_Official #ReadyAF
Twitter
Join us for the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force transition ceremony LIVE from @Andrews_JBA TOMORROW at 9:30AM ED… https://t.co/ok6km7nFoS
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Teammates, Let me start with 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒌 𝒚𝒐𝒖. https://t.co/xU6U3QuZV7
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Engaging through listening sessions, senior leaders are hearing directly from #Airmen and #SpaceProfessionals on diversi…
Twitter
RT @PACAF: JUST IN: Three #B2 Spirits from @Whiteman_AFB deployed to Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia in support of #BTF missions. @IND
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The #Airmen at @Creech_AFB make a global impact 24/7. The RPAs they operate provide vital intelligence and strike capabi…
Twitter
"I'm confident that our Air Force can continue to be the most dominant and respected Air Force in the world." -… https://t.co/PZQzLUGBxz
Twitter
Tactical Air Control Party Airmen assigned to @INGuardsman participate in close air support training. TACPs provide… https://t.co/BcyiAmfFmV
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: The @140Wg became the first ANG unit to successfully execute an agile combat employment exercise while at @Buckley_AFB. T…
Twitter
“I’m a dental tech who became Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force...be dreamers – dream big.” - @CSMAF_Officialhttps://t.co/AKSjyQNq4s
Twitter
A C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the 317th Airlift Wing flies during a Joint Forcible Entry exercise at Dyess… https://t.co/t3VXu0ZYWj
Twitter
Pentagon staff applaud @cmsaf_official as he exits the Pentagon for the last time as Chief Master Sgt. of the Air… https://t.co/c9RXsc3lAO
Twitter
Join us for the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force transition ceremony LIVE from @Andrews_JBA on Aug 14 at 9:30AM E… https://t.co/GfPIHkx0zn
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,267,139
Follow Us