Houston is a city committed to the history of our military with multiple sites designed to bring the best of what our nation was built on, with actual artifacts and experiences.
One of the most well-known is Ellington Field, which has a rich history in the area.
Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, which was constructed as an Army air strip in 1917, is the home base of the Texas Air National Guard 147th Reconnaissance Wing.
It is also a defense and homeland security compound operating as a joint reserve base. There are troop presences from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard. It is part of the larger city-owned Ellington Airport, which hosts both civilian and military aviation operations.
At Ellington Field, visitors will find The Lone Star Flight Museum (LSFM), home to a $38 million state-of-the-art facility and the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame. In the 130,000-square-foot facility, visitors will find the Museum’s renowned flying collection of historic aircraft, a $1 million, high-tech Aviation Learning Center, and dynamic hands-on exhibits.
Guests can also take part in experiencing these unique aircraft.
“We are very proud of the collection of historic and rare aircraft we have at the LSFM,” said Lt. Gen. (ret.) Doug Owens, president/CEO, Lone Star Flight Museum. “We are the only museum in Houston whose exhibits fly! Through our Flight Experience program and interactive exhibits, visitors are immersed in the incredible aviation history of our state and country while connecting them with the endless possibilities and future of aviation. It’s a thrill to see the faces of the young and young-at-heart light up and fill with wonder when they visit our museum. Those that ride in our B-17 or B-25 get a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Vintage historic planes are in the LSFM’s Aircraft of D-Day Operation Overlord, often referred to as D-day.
The Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, one of the mainstays of the strategic bombing campaign, hit railroad yards, smashing infrastructure Germans needed to move their troops in the weeks before D-Day. The B-17 Flying Fortress was one of the most significant and iconic aircrafts of World War II.
The North American B-25J Mitchell was in the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo and played a significant role on D-Day. B-25 Mitchells supported troops on the ground, bombing railroad marshalling yards, bridges, troop concentrations and gun emplacements.
The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, the heaviest fighter of World War II, carried tremendous loads of bombs and rockets. On D-Day, Thunderbolts were “flying artillery” knocking out guns, tanks, and troops that opposed the Allies.
Visitors also will find the Douglas DC-3 / C-47 Dakota that dropped two waves of paratroopers into the dark French countryside, and Piper L-4H Grasshopper, which was a necessary tool to keep in touch with the action.
LSFM’s Warbird Ride Program offers flight experiences in the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, North American B-25 Mitchell, North American T-6 Texan, Boeing PT-17 Stearman, Fairchild PT-19 Cornell and the Cessna T-41 Mescalero. Pricing begins at $250 per person.
For more information, visit www.lonestarflight.org.