OPEN ON SATURDAYS 10 A.M.- 3 P.M.
AND BY APPOINTMENT FOR GROUPS
Free Admission and Parking
9600 Wright Drive, Midland, TX
(Donations are welcomed)
The CAF’s High Sky Wing is proud to announce the development of the Midland Army Air Field (MAAF) Museum. We are “open for business”, but are always making adjustments to the gallery spaces within the Main Hangar at the High Sky Wing complex, to exhibit the vast collection of MAAF artifacts and preserve the history of the largest bombardier training school in the nation during World War II. Other exhibits focus on the impact of West Texans in World War II, like George H.W. Bush. Coupled with the large collection of aircraft maintained and operated on the High Sky Wing Campus, the MAAF Museum will provide visitors an opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of 1940’s West Texas via educational exhibits and aircraft rides opportunities. The High Sky Wing is excited to help reconnect our communities to the Ghosts of West Texas.
A peek at some of the museum exhibits.
The museum is excited to announce its reopening on June 6, 2020 after a prolonged closure due to the Covid-19 virus. We will resume our normal business hours from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm every Saturday. Some changes have been made during the shutdown, so come out and see what we have done. As always, parking and admission are free.
The museum will be hosting our annual Memorial Day Observance on Monday, May 27th, from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. All exhibits will be open, food vendors will be on site, cockpit tours will be conducted, and airplane rides will be available for sale.
The ceremony will begin at noon with a flag presentation by the Midland High School Air Force JROTC and a fly-over by members of the High Sky Wing. This will be followed by our guest speaker, Mr. Bill Womack, who will share his World War II experiences, including his participation in the liberation of a Nazi concentration camp.
The Museum reported excellent visitor numbers for 2017: Total attendance was 4,884 which breaks down to 407 visitors per month, a 15% increase over 2017 numbers. Our guests came from 9 countries, 36 states and 121 Texas cities. Approximately 55% of our visitors hailed from Texas.
The Museum staff and all members of the HSW should be proud of this increase. It just shows that all the hard work and customer service is paying off. While Museum donations are difficult to track, suffice it to say that our visitors have been very generous.
Lyle Thornton has been tasked with inventory control in the PX, and will begin ordering a resupply of MAAFM shirts and T-shirts very soon. In the meantime, we do have a limited number still on the shelves in varying sizes, along with some surplus AIRSHO T-shirts and hats selling for $5.00 each.
Among our goals this year:
A) Increase visitor numbers by continuing our good customer service; increase the number of school and civic group tours that we conduct. We are beginning an outreach program that we hope will result in both greater museum attendance and more off-site presentations.
B) We will also be expanding our PX, to include clearing out and remodeling the foyer storeroom to convert it to a retail environment. Steve Bolin, Finance Officer, and Michael Clinton, Executive Officer, will be working on developing a Point of Sale program to track inventory and sales.
C) Add more docents to the Museum staff. For information contact: Greg Gutting firstname.lastname@example.org or 210-326-5983 (call or text)
Docents Greg Gutting, Lyle Thornton and H.A. Tuck report that MAAFM is improving every week. Not just in exhibits, but also in the gift shop and in the numbers of people that are visiting.
Thanks to Brent and Patti Collins for continuing to update our exhibits, by adding contributions from the general public. We seem to get new ones each week.
Our fledgling gift shop has added a few items in the last month, including some airplane pins, which are well liked by the kids who visit. We are continuing our popular promotion of giving away an F-14 or Air Show book with each $10.00 donation. We are low on tee shirts right now, but have been told that more have been ordered.
Our future wish list includes enlarging the foyer area to permit a wider variety of items to be displayed and sold. Right now all monies that come in are donations, but the larger we get, the more we will need an accounting and inventory system to track sales, and collect and pay sales taxes.
We continue to provide weekday group tours: during June Cavazos Elementary in Odessa brought two groups of kids out on separate days, and SHARE, a support group for Dad’s with special needs kids, had their monthly meeting and took a tour. Additionally, several HSW members have conducted private tours for friends or family.
On June 24, July 1 & 8, we had more than 175 visitors sign our guest book. With the exception of major events like Airsho and Memorial Day, this is probably the largest three day total we have had since our opening. We attribute those numbers to good customer service and word of mouth advertising.
Visitors to the museum are greeted at the door, if at all possible, and given a brochure and a brief introduction to the museum. If a docent can’t escort them through the museum, one will catch up with them during their visit, explain some of our exhibits, and answer any questions. We like to give at least a “mini-tour” to all visitors, but sometimes, with the volume of visitors we have had, that just isn’t feasible. We could use more docents* Special thanks go out to Ralph Gillette and Randy Wilson for pitching in when we have been short of manpower.
*To volunteer, contact Greg Gutting at email@example.com or 210-326-5983 (call or text)