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Florence Air & Missile Museum facts for kids

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Florence Air & Missile Museum
Established 1963
Dissolved 1997
Location Florence, South Carolina, United States
Type Aviation museum
Founder Thomas C. Griffin

The Florence Air & Missile Museum was an aviation museum previously located at the entrance to the Florence Regional Airport, in Florence, South Carolina. The museum closed at the end of 1997.

The airport was originally known as Florence Army Airfield, or more simply as Florence Field, a World War II U.S. Army Air Corps / U.S. Army Air Forces training field for P-39 Airacobra and P-40 Warhawk pursuit aircraft and A-20 Havoc and A-26 Invader attack aircraft. Because of its former military connection and available runways, the military was able to fly in aircraft and leave them at the museum as they were retired from service.

The museum was founded by Thomas C. Griffin. After the war, he served as executive director of the Florence Airport.

During the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, the museum built up a collection of World War II and Cold War era U.S. military aircraft and early 1950s/1960s military space hardware. The museum was located along routes once frequented by travelers between the southeastern and northeastern United States and between Florence and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, but once Interstate 95 was built, attendance declined. The museum closed on 8 October 1997 and much of the collection transferred to the newly established Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Exhibits

  • Boeing NTB-47B Stratojet 50-0062
    • Now on display at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum in Pooler, Georgia
  • Chance Vought Regulus I
  • Convair YF-102A Delta Dagger 53-1788
  • Douglas BTD-1 Destroyer 04959
    • Now on display at Wings of Eagles Discovery Center at Elmira-Corning Regional Airport, Elmira, New York
  • Douglas MGR-1 Honest John
  • Douglas MGR-1 Honest John
  • Grumman C-1A Trader 136790
    • Now displayed at the Grissom Air Museum at Grissom Air Reserve Base (former Grissom AFB), Indiana
  • Grumman F-11A Tiger 141790
    • Previous gate guard aircraft at the former NAS Glynco, Georgia before transfer to Florence in 1974. Now displayed at the Grissom Air Museum at Grissom Air Reserve Base, Indiana
  • Fairchild C-119C Flying Boxcar 50-0128
  • Lockheed F-104B Starfighter 57-1301
  • Lockheed NC-121K Constellation 141292
    • This aircraft flew the final USN Constellation mission in 1982 with Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 33 (VAQ-33) from NAS Key West, Florida - Front 50' now in a private collection in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Lockheed T-33A 53-6089
  • Martin RB-57A Canberra 52-1459
    • Moved to National Warplane Museum, Genesco, New York; noted in Sep 2006 at the Wings of Eagles Discovery Center, Elmira, New York
  • Martin TB-61C Matador missile
  • McDonnell F-101F Voodoo 56-0243
  • Republic F-84F Thunderstreak 52-6553
  • Sikorsky HO4S Chickasaw 125506
  • Sikorsky CH-34A Choctaw 55-4496
  • Waco CG-4 – Skeleton
  • Boeing KC-97G Stratofreighter 52-2624
  • Douglas A-26A Invader 64-17671
    • Remanufactured from 44-35820; scrapped for parts
  • Douglas WB-66D Destroyer 53-0431
    • Scrapped
  • Grumman HU-16 Albatross 51-7212
    • Sold following museum closure. Currently owned by Margaret S. Dewitt of Corpus Christi, Texas for restoration to flyable condition with civilian registration N10625
  • Martin SM-72 Titan I Ballistic Missile 61-4499
    • Scrapped
  • North American F-86H Sabre 52-5737
    • Moved to Burlington Township Office Complex, Burlington, New Jersey
  • Northrop F-89J Scorpion 53-02646
    • Moved to Friendship Park, Smithfield, Ohio
  • Piasecki CH-21B Workhorse 54-4003
    • On display at the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center in West Chester, Pennsylvania
  • Ryan AQM-91A Firebee
  • Ryan Firebee Model G
  • F-101A Simulator
  • T-28 Simulator
  • Kaman HH-43A Huskie 58-1833
  • Boeing B-29 Superfortress "Sweet Eloise" (former "Miss Marilyn Gay") 44-70113
    • Now on display at the main gate of Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia