Street Address
1911 Apron Drive
Big Spring, TX 79720
Mailing Address
1911 Apron Drive
Big Spring, TX 79720
phone: 915-264-2362
fax: 915-264-2367
e-mail: hangar25@crcom.net
web: www.hangar25airmuseum.com
Hours
Tuesday - Friday8 AM - 4 PM
Saturday9 AM - 3 PM
Staff
Meghan F. Bias, Museum Administrator
phone: 432-264-1999
Vicki Nutter, Museum Assistant

Description

Hangar 25 Air Museum is a restored WWII airplane hangar that sits on its original site. The restoration project began in 1995 and was finished in 1999. Hangar 25 Air Museum opened its doors for the first time on May 11, 1999. It has been the goal of the staff and board of directors to preserve and promote Hangar 25 and the history that it holds. The exhibit area is filled with artifacts and aircrafts that tell the story of the building. We have many visitors who have very special ties to the Big Spring Army Air Force Bombardier School and Webb AFB and these are the air bases that Hangar 25 represents. The story of Hangar 25 is significant on a national level as well as within our local community. Many pilots trained at Webb AFB and the Bombardier School, some went on to become very significant figures in our country's history. Hangar 25 is also very diligent in honoring all of our country's veterans, both past and present. There is a bond between all veterans which enables us to bridge the past to the present, it helps bring relevance to our collections for this generation and generations to come.

Mission

The mission of Hangar 25 Air Museum is to promote education through the collection, preservation and exhibition of the history of Big Spring Army Air Force Bombardier School and Webb Air Force Base while honoring all Veterans past and present.

History

One of the Bombardier School's most impressive training tools was the Norden Bomb Sight. This sight was far more superior to any previously developed instruments for computing a bomb trajectory. It was so highly classified that it was stored in a heavily guarded vault, kind of like one you would find in a bank. Students needed clearance before they could take it out on practice runs and were escorted by armed security. It was so important and secret that the bombardiers were required to take an oath to defend the sight's secrets to the death.

The bombardier school closed in 1945 at the end of WWII. The field training planes had flown approximately 400,000 hours and more then 60 million miles. The school trained American, French, and Brazilian Air Force cadets and had over 1,200,000 practice bombs.

In 1951 the base was reactivated during the Korean conflict. It was re-named Webb Air Force Base after Big Spring resident 1st Lt. James L. Webb, Jr. a WWII veteran. He was killed after WWII when his P-51 Mustang crashed on a mission near Japan. From 1951 to 1977 more then 10,000 Air Force and hundreds of foreign pilots earned their wings here. Webb trained pilots that contributed to our country during the Korean conflict and Vietnam. Governor Rick Perry trained at Webb Air Force Base; he trained on the T-38 "Talon" which we have one of on exhibit.

Cadets also trained on the T-37 "Tweety Bird" from 1961-1977. Webb wasn't only home to the men and women serving in the US Air Force it was also home to their families and many civil service workers. Webb closed its doors in 1977.

Hangar 25 was built in 1942 and was used to store planes for the Big Spring Army Air Force Bombardier School that existed from 1942-1945.

The Bombardier School trained aviation cadets in high altitude precision bombing. Their training consisted of ground school courses and practice missions over a target area larger then some of America's smaller states. The bombardiers trained in planes like the AT-11 that we have on exhibit here.

Artifacts Collections

Uniforms/Clothing; Airplanes; Rescue Trainers WWII Display case; Bomb Collection; Photographs & Scrapbooks; Training Manuals & Base Newspapers.

Research Collections

All material , Big Spring Bombardier Base Yearbooks, Webb Air Force Base Yearbooks; 20+ Books on Air Craft Maintenance; Prairie Pilot Magazines & Newspapers; and History of Webb Air Force Base are available for research on premisis only.

Educational Programs

Lectures - by Appointment, Bocent program in development; Tours -- By appointment with School groups and on demand by touring public.

    Publications

    Newsletter ; Annual report to members of the museum & Chamber of Commerce