Congratulations Jason Ng on the completion of your Eagle Scout project! Jason restored the aft interior of the museum's B-17G "Starduster" and it looks like the day it rolled out of the factory in 1944!
The March Field Air Museum is a nonprofit educational institution dedicated to promoting an understanding of humanity’s reach for the skies and March Field’s pivotal role in the development of flight.
March Field Air Museum, and the P-38 National Museum are adjacent to the March Air Reserve Base, Riverside, California. March Field Air Museum serves as home to over 70 historic aircraft and displays relating to the history of both Military and Civilian Aviation and March Field, now known as March Air Reserve Base. Cost: $10.00 per Adult $5.00 Ages 5-11 children under 5 enter FREE. Active Military and Active Reserve Members are free with current ID. Daily tram tours - $3.00 a person Planetarium Shows - $3.00 a person Museum Store 10am - 5pm https://twitter.com/MFAM79
Congratulations Jason Ng on the completion of your Eagle Scout project! Jason restored the aft interior of the museum's B-17G "Starduster" and it looks like the day it rolled out of the factory in 1944!
Another challenging Eagle Scout project completed here at the March Field Air Museum. Scout Kirk McMasters has finished creating a hands-on nuclear detonation exhibit allowing our visitors to "see" the effects of various size nuclear bombs on the city of their choice.
Great Job Kirk! Congratulations!
A little update for those who donated to the restoration of UH-1D serial number 66-925, especially the 187th AHC association.
Alex and his crew are making great progress! It won't be long before she is returned to her Vietnam trim and placed on display in our Vietnam Fire Base exhibit.
Another beautiful winter day at March Field Air Museum!
Our YF-14A Tomcat is done! Another great job by Alex and his Restoration gang Rudy, Les, Brian, Manny, Chuck and a beautiful picture by Scott at Aviation Shooter!
At the March Field Air Museum, "It's an airshow every day! "
A Det 1 144th F-16 roars into the Southern California winter sky.
Some great “night at the museum” shots from volunteer Sherry!
Another year has passed, and the time has come to count our blessings. Chief among them are our families, friends and of course, a community devoted to our nation and committed to preserving its legacy. We at the March Field Air Museum are especially thankful this holiday season. So many important projects have been completed and so many new friends have joined our ranks.
As the year began, we completed work on an extension to the “Innovation through Conflict” gallery. With an increase of nearly 30 percent, we were able to create exhibits varying in scope from the Second World War in the Pacific, to changing opportunities for women in aviation, and today’s conflict in Southwest Asia.
Within the main hangar, the most powerful military force in the history of humankind came back to life in an exhibit on the USAF 15th Air Force, once headquartered here at March. Through the darkest days of the Cold War, the 15th’s heavy bombers and Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles stood nuclear alert ready to unleash Armageddon should an aggressor attack our nation. Working against the clock, museum staff and volunteers rescued irreplaceable artifacts from the soon to be demolished 15th Air Force Combat Operations Center. Control consoles, armored doors and the giant Status Board once used to record DEFCONs and war readiness postures now grace the museum’s immersive exhibit dedicated to the men and women who dedicated themselves to securing our freedom.
Mid-summer saw the culmination of nearly a decade of effort to locate and recover the physical remains of Staff Sergeant Vincent J. Rogers, Jr. “Vince”, the subject of one of the museum’s most impactful exhibits, lost his life in 1944 in the vastness of the Pacific on the tiny island of Tarawa. Encouraged by the museum, and with the assistance of the museum’s research, search teams were guided to the previously unknown burial site where Vince and his comrades had lain undetected for 75 years. Finally identified and returned to the United States, SSgt Rogers was laid to rest at Riverside National Cemetery at the request of his closest surviving relative who wanted Vince to be interred next to the March Field Air Museum exhibit celebrating his life.
This years Champions of Flight “Robert J. Gilliland” award honored legendary aviator General Robert “Bob” Cardenas. Immigrant, scholar, warrior, test pilot, engineer and leader, General Cardenas actions are woven into the very texture of 20th century aviation. From his heroic last mission over Nazi Germany in a burning B-24 Liberator bomber, to his flight in the YB-49 Flying Wing and command of the USAF Special Operations Force, General Cardenas has been an inspiration for generations. We were honored to have the General accept the award.
By the years end, the museum had stepped into the birth of American military aviation with the donation of a six-foot section of original painted aircraft fabric from a SPAD VII fighter. Emblazoned with the Sioux Warrior insignia of the legendary Lafayette Escadrille/103rd Aero Squadron the fabric is the most extensive surviving example of fabric from the First World War squadron that created the archetype American fighter pilot. In coordination with the Smithsonian Institute, the museum was able to identify 11 pilots who flew the aircraft in combat over the mud-caked trenches of the Western Front.
On the flightline, our C-141B Starlifter returned to its 1980’s vintage camouflage while our YF-14A Tomcat now wears the same livery it did when it rolled off the assembly line as one of the first 12 F-14s ever constructed. Our extensive collection of MiGs have been restored as has ourT-38 Talon now wearing its original Undergraduate Pilot Training trim in honor of Major Parkell the B-52 Stratofortress pilot who, with four members of his crew, lost his life in a 1978 crash at March Field.
As late as this week, Alex and his crew successfully restored one of only twelve surviving examples of a World War 2 fully tracked M2 aircraft tug! Visitors to the museum will be able to see the tug operating alongside the 1942 Nash Staff car donated at the beginning of December.
Change is constant here at the museum as we strive to preserve the past and enrich the future. An innovative spirit and an unwavering commitment to the community were the defining attributes of the heroes who walk the pages of March Field’s history. Let us re-dedicate ourselves to their cause. We have accomplished much but we have far to go. With your help, we will ensure that legacy is passed on to future generations.
To the living we owe respect, to the dead we owe only the truth - Voltaire
Thank-you for your support,
President, Executive Board
March Field Air Museum
P.S. The successes of this year would not have been possible without your generosity. Continuing down this path requires your help. Any donation, of whatever denomination, is vital to our continued progress. Your contribution could mean the difference between success and failure.
To donate select the link below:
Well the Restoration Department has done it again! Alex, Glen and Arnie have our rare World War Two M2 Cletrac tracked Aircraft Tug up and running. Another big thanks to The Antique Gas and Steam Museum in Vista for donating the M2.
It’s an airshow every day at the March Field Air Museum ! An A-10 Thunderbolt II makes a low pass over the March runway
Some great photos of the March Field Air Museum from the talented photographer Gregg Gazaway!
Another picturesque day here at the March Field Air Museum!
March Field Air Museum is fun for all ages! Today, Charlie experienced our WW2 Jeep outside the restoration hangar.
More than 45 years separate these photos! Our restoration crew have been working very hard to make our Tomcat look just as good as it did on the deck of the USS Independence back in 1972!!
It's an airshow every day at the March Field Air Museum! An Atlas Air 747 rumbles into the sky. Great video Sherry!!
INLAND EMPIRE AVIATION ROUNDTABLE
The History of U.S. Customs Aviation
Presenter: Sherry Ziegler, US Customs & Border Protection (ret)
Date: Nov 20, 2019
Time: 7:00 PM
Ms. Ziegler, retired Director, Information Systems, for the Department of Homeland security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations Center, will speak on the history of the U.S. Customs Service Aviation Program and its role in the “War on Drugs.” from the late 60’s to 9-11.
Ms. Ziegler began her U.S. Customs Service career in 1986 as a founding member of the Air & Marine Operations Center the Department of the Treasury’s centralized Command and Control Center for general aviation narcotics interdiction operations. As a Detection Systems Specialist, she developed the operational use of complex sensor systems and databases focused on the halting the flow of illegal drugs into the United States. Quickly moving into a supervisory position, she oversaw counter-drug operations throughout the hemisphere.
After 12-years, Ms. Ziegler moved into Information Systems overseeing the maintenance and operation of the Air and Marine Operations Surveillance System and other law enforcement computer systems supporting Air and Marine Program operations for the Department of the Treasury and subsequently the Department of Homeland Security.
Ms. Ziegler has 41 years of government service with extensive time in command, control and intelligence operations with the Federal Government and the U.S. Air Force. She retired from Air Force Reserve where she served as an Intelligence Officer with the 452 AMW. Ms. Ziegler holds a Commercial-Instrument rating and held previous qualifications a sport parachutist. For the last 2 years, she has served as a volunteer with the March Field Air Museum in the Collections Department.
The Inland Empire Aviation Roundtable is sponsored by the March Field Air Museum, and is dedicated to the local aviation and aerospace community. Monthly meetings are open to the public, with subjects of interest to the air-minded public presented including aviation and aerospace history, civil and military, as well as new developments in these fields. Parking and admission are free for this event.
The March Field Air Museum is located in Riverside, California, at 22550 Van Buren Blvd. (at the intersection of Van Buren Blvd. and the 215 Freeway) adjacent to March Air Reserve Base
More Information: (951) 902-5949 or visit www.marchfield.org
A big thank you to all who have ever worn the uniform of the United States. Happy Veterans Day!!
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother;...
(Henry V, William Shakespeare )
Moving along at a rapid clip, the restoration of our F-14 Tomcat is progressing!
Corvettes West “Wheels & Wings” Car Show was a blast! Cool cars and cool warbirds made for a great Saturday.
Haidee's back at work! Come in and see as Haidee creates the French countryside as a backdrop for the museum's Nieuport fighter.
Thank you Haidee for your dedication and thank you Riverside Arts Council for providing the means to bring this beautiful mural to life.
Painting has begun on the museum's YF-14A Tomcat BUNO 157990. We can’t wait to see it finished in it's original preproduction paint scheme!!
Beautiful job! Restoration Manager Alex and volunteer Rudy stand with donor Phyllis Parkell. Phyllis generously provided a donation in memory of her late husband Major William Parkell.
Alex, Rudy and the restoration gang have worked Hard to restore the T-38 Talon to its Air Training Command glory.
The T-38 was a personal favorite of Major Parkell
March Field Air Museum announces another FAMILY DAY lecture and craft, Saturday October 26 at 10:00, 1:00 and 3:00 !
Volunteer Bob Mauger will be giving a brief talk on "AMERICA'S SECRET AIRCRAFT, UFO'S AND THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT".
The briefing will be followed by a themed craft project designed for pre-teens.
Join us Friday evening, November 22, 2019, for our elegant fundraising event, “Champions of Flight.” This, our second annual Champions of Flight, will honor Aviation Hall of Fame Member, Brig Gen Robert “Bob” Cardenas with the Bob Gilliland Award.
The Champions of Flight event and award presentation honors an individual or organization in acknowledgment of significant achievement in support of, or sustained contributions to, aviation and/or aerospace. The event will take place at the March Field Air Museum – a top-rated TripAdvisor attraction located just south of downtown Riverside and adjacent to March Air Reserve Base – where guests will be surrounded by an amazing collection of impressive aircraft and aviation artifacts. Tickets include event admission, with a no-host cocktail hour and silent auction followed by a full sit-down dinner and awards gala.
GENERAL ROBERT “BOB” CARDENAS
In a lifetime of service General Robert “Bob” Cardenas, experiences are nearly impossible to capture in a brief few pages. Any single action mentioned below would have been enough to earn immortality in the annals of aviators, that a single individual accomplished them all staggers the imagination.
General Robert “Bob” Cardenas was born in 1920 in the city of Mérida, Mexico. At the age of five, his family moved to San Diego California, there, his interest in aviation began. Becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen at the age of 16, he proved to be exceptionally gifted in math and physics. Excellent grades brought him entry into San Diego State University.
As the world slipped towards war, Cardenas volunteered for the California National Guard enlisting as a Private in 1939. By September 1940, he had become an aviation cadet, graduating in July of 41, as a newly commissioned Second Lieutenant and pilot in the United States Army Air Forces.
He spent the next two years as a flight instructor and flight test officer, including starting the first military glider school in Twenty-Nine Palms, and flight-testing invasion gliders and tow planes. During his assignment to Wright Field, Ohio, Cardenas rose quickly moving from test pilot to operations officer and finally Director of the Flight Test Unit, Experimental Engineering Laboratory.
By January of 1944, he had wrangled his way into the shooting war. After arranging to fly Glen Miller’s Air Force Band to England, he called in a friends promise to secure him a combat assignment and joined the Eighth Air Force’s, 44th Bomb Group, 506th Bombardment Squadron at Shipdham, England.
In less than a month, he had completed nineteen combat missions piloting a four-engine B-24 Liberator bomber in the fighter infested, flak-strewn skies over Nazi Germany. At the controls of “Sad Sack”, mission number twenty would reveal the depth of his courage and commitment.
Tasked with destroying an armaments factory at Friedrichshafen, Germany Cardenas and his crew held their place in the 506th Bomb Squadrons bomb run until anti-aircraft fire riddled “Sad Sack’s” right wing setting two engines on fire and blasting them out of the formation. Losing 3,000 feet in altitude Cardenas hauled the aircraft around to rejoin the attack, successfully dropping his bombs on the target. Slammed again by German shells “Sad Sack” fell out of formation with number 2 and 4 engines on fire and number 3 vibrating badly. With severe damage to the bomb bay and wings, fuel leaked from the crippled bomber as its electrical and hydraulic systems failed.
With several of the crew wounded, including Cardenas himself, Bob and his co-pilot Lieutenant Ray Lacombe were certain the aircraft could not make it home. Pointing “Sad Sack” towards neutral Switzerland, they hoped to avoid spending the remainder of the war in a German prison camp.
Reaching Lake Constance, Cardenas ordered the crew to bail out, choosing to stay at the controls until all his men had parachuted safely into Swiss territory. “Sad Sack” exploded moments after Captain Cardenas jumped. Landing on the German side of the lake, Cardenas swam across the frigid water to join his crew in Switzerland.
Interned at a camp for American officers at Adelboden, Cardenas spent the time teaching Swiss pilots to fly the American bombers interned at Dübendorf Airfield near Zurich. Six months passed before Cardenas escaped to France where he rejoined Allied Forces. Returning to England, he was sent to the United States to recover from his head injury.
During the last year of the war, Cardenas returned to his duties as a test pilot at Wright Field and Edwards Air Base. As the Chief, Bomber Operations Section, Flight Test Division he flew experimental aircraft like the P-59 Airacomet America’s first jet fighter and captured German jets including the Messerschmitt Me-262 fighter, and the Arado Ar-234 bomber. For the next four years, Cardenas flew every prototype bomber including the XB-42 Mixmaster, XB-43 and YB-49 Flying Wing.
In 1947, Cardenas was the command pilot for the B-29 Superfortress that launched Captain Chuck Yeager in the Bell X-1 on the mission that first broke the sound barrier.
By 1952, he had attended the Engineering School at the Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson and entered the University of New Mexico, where he graduated in February 1955.
The 1960s saw Cardenas blocking communist Chinas aggression in Tibet during the Indo-Chinese border War in 62 before returning to combat, this time flying the F-105 Thunderchief in Vietnam. Earning promotion to Brigadier General, he led the Air Force Special Operations Force at Eglin Air Force Base where he oversaw the replacement of aging World War Two A-26 Invader bombers with the versatile AE-1 Skyraiders. As the 60s came to a close he became the Vice Commander of the 16th Air Force in Spain, where he negotiated with Muammar al-Gaddafi’s Libyan Revolutionary Government to secure the safe withdrawal of U.S. Air Force personnel and dependents from Wheelus Air Force Base on the North African coast.
After his assignment in Spain, General Cardenas was assigned to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Belgium followed by his final duty assignment as the Chief of National Strategic Target List Division, Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff, at Offutt AFB, Nebraska.
Retiring in 1973 with 34 years of service, General Cardenas continued to dedicate himself to his state and community. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan appointed him California coordinator for Southwest Border Economic Action Group. In 1985, he was appointed to Chairman of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Advisory Group by California Governor George Deukmejian. Serving on the California Council of Criminal Justice. In 1987, Governor Deukmejian appointed General Cardenas to the California Veterans Board, where he became the Chairman. In 1993, General Cardenas resigned from the California Veterans Board to serve as the Chairman of the San Diego United Veterans Council and a Director on the Board of Veterans Memorial Center & Museum, in San Diego.
He is currently a member of the Veteran Administration's Memorials and Cemetery Committee and a trustee of the Flight Test Historical Foundation at Edwards AFB.
Immigrant, scholar, gallant warrior, aviation legend, engineer and leader, General Cardenas determination and vision have brought honor to himself, the United State Air Force and the nation he serves.
He currently lives with his wife, Gladys, and family in San Diego, California
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
Presidential Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two Oak Leaf Clusters
Spanish Grand Legion of Aeronautical Merit with Sash & Dagger
Outstanding Professional Contributions and Leadership, University of New Mexico, College of Engineering, 1993
Distinguished Alumnus, USAF Test Pilot School, Edwards Air Force Base, 1994
Inductee, International Aerospace “Walk of Honor” Monolith, Lancaster, CA 1995
San Diego Veteran of the Year, 2002
Inductee, Air Commando Hall of Fame, 2002
“Significant Sig” Hall of Fame, Sigma Chi Fraternity, 2005
Inductee, Air & Space Museum, Hall of Fame, San Diego, 2008
Air University Gathering of Eagles Honoree, Maxwell AFB, 2012
Inductee, US National Aviation Hall of Fame, 2015
“Bob Gilliland” Champions of Flight Award, 2019
22550 Van Buren Blvd
Parking is free We are located just off the I-215 freeway at the Van Buren Exit in Riverside. Our orange and white checkerboard roof is visible from the freeway as you approach. For map search programs, use the address at 22550 Van Buren, Riverside, CA, 92518
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