Street Address
3200 E. 10th Street
Douglas, AZ 85607
Mailing Address
345 16th Street
Douglas, AZ 85607
phone: 520-417-7344
Hours
Monday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Friday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Saturday 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Admissions
Free
Museum Type(s)
Staff
Les Stimac, Lead Volunteer Coordinator
phone: 520-805-0753
Ginny Jordan, City of Douglas Tourism Coordinator
phone: 520-364-2478

Description

Douglas has many "firsts" in aviation history. The one that tops the list is the fact that we were the first international airport of the Americas. One could fly into Douglas and taxi into Mexico and vice-Aversa. Aviation was an important part of the evolution of Douglas and was almost lost if it were not for Richard Westbrook and his wife Irma. Richard was a 1949 Douglas High School graduate who went on to work for NASA. Richard was inducted in 1993 into the NASA Hal of fame To give you insight on his wonderful gift is to walk in and see and feel the treasures he left to the community of Douglas. Many pilots who have visited the museum have told us what a well done collection and arrangement of air history he did. We have a Trojan airplane on display as they were made in Douglas in the 1950's. Our museum has displays of American Airlines memorabilia, a wall of history of the Douglas Army Air Field with artifacts, an in-depth history of Aviation here in Douglas, history of the Mexican Revolution and aviation in Douglas, Women's Air History, and also a history of Hollywood making films using our airport.
Some firsts: Douglas had the first airplane in the state of AZ. In 1908 just a few short years after the Wright brothers made their hstorical flight, 8-9 Douglas men formed the Douglas Aeronautical Club and built a glider from mail order plans that they purchased. This glider was pulled into the air by 2 horses and they flew it behind the YMCA bulding. One year later they put a motor and propeller on it and so in 1909 they had motorized airplane of the canard-pusher design, the first airplane in AZ.
By 1913 the same airplane became famous locally as it was "{The Douglas Bomber"{. Sonora Mexico was the most inflential state in Mexico and had been taken over by the notorious Pancho Villa and his Revolutionaries. General John "{Black Jack" Pershing (the commander of US Amrmy Camp Harry Jones had recruited Charles Ford and his "Douglas Bomber" to fly over the border and drop bombs south of Agua Prieta on the railroad tracs to hinder supplies flowing into Pancho's troops. Because of the informal relationships between the USArmy and these civilian pilots and their aeroplane, most military historians refuse to acknowledge these "bombing missions" as the military aviation delivered ordinance but we locals know better and thus, we are the site of the FIRST MILITARY BOMBER missions in the US! The "{bombs were made from 5 pound ard buckets filled with dynamite, scap metal and concrete. The were built by a Douglas man named George Rodgers of the Douglas Hardware store.
The museum captures this and many more stories along with the documentation. Les Stimac, Historian.

History

The Border Air Museum was a gift to the City of Douglas by the widow of the late Richard Westbrook in 2002. Richard died before the museum was completed. Richard and Irma Westbrook establased the Border Air Museum to house his collection of air history that he had researched for a number of years. His labor of love of aviation is seen in the building he created on his own with donations from friends. The City of Douglas begin to open it up on a regular basis in 2007. The museum operates under the Douglas Visitor Center and is maned by volunteers.

Artifacts Collections

Photos, newspaper articles, original airplane photos, letter of the President of United States Rooselvelt delaring the air port "The First International Airport of the Americas, a Trojan airplane that was built in Douglas, American Airlines memrobillia, maps.

Research Collections

  • Photo's
  • Newspaper articles
  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Journals

Educational Programs

Aviation program for kids. They learn to build model airplanes Lectures to clubs, schools, and private groups on the history of aviation in the area. Private tours on request. No fees.

    Library

    Access: General Public

    Appointment required: Yes