Aviation buffs hope to start Lincoln Air Force Base museum
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Aviation buffs are trying to establish a museum that would chronicle Nebraska’s role in the history of American aviation and focus on what once was Lincoln Air Force Base.
Lincoln native Rob Branting told the Lincoln Journal Star that the group is trying to form a nonprofit that would allow pursuit of grants to fund the museum. He also said the Lincoln Airport Authority has expressed interest in leasing a former base chapel to house the artifacts.
“We still have a lot of work to do, but we’re seeing a lot of interest from the Lincoln area aviation fans,” Branting said. “Now we just have to start the process of finding donors, getting grants and putting a board together.”
The base was first known as Lincoln Army Airfield when it was built in 1942 and served as an airfield and mechanic training school during World War II. The Nebraska State Historical Society said the airfield later served as a Navy Reserve Training Station and Nebraska Air National Guard base before finally becoming the Lincoln Municipal Airport. The Air Force then turned it into Lincoln Air Force Base, hosting B-47 strategic bombers, a refueling squadron and overseeing an Atlas missile detachment. In 1963, the city of Lincoln and the Strategic Air Command agreed to share the base facilities. The Lincoln Air Force Base was permanently deactivated three years later.
The museum idea came to him he was 15 years old, Branting said, and he began collecting photos and videos.
“I’ve always been an aviation fan, and there’s just not a lot of Lincoln-centric aviation history being shown,” said Branting, who works at the Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site near Cooperstown, North Dakota.
Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com