Florence Air & Missile Museum

The Florence Air & Missile Museum was a large aviation museum which was located at the entrance to the Florence Regional Airport (FLO), in Florence, South Carolina.

History

This airport was original known as Florence Field, [ [http://www.airforcebase.net/aaf/wwiidata.html Army Air Corp Fields] ] a WWII U.S. Army Air Corps training field for A-26 Invader attack aircraft. Because of its former military connection, and its excellent runways, the military was able to fly in aircraft and leave them at the Museum as they were retired from service. This enabled the Museum to build a very large collection. The Museum built up a large collection of WWII and Cold War era US Military aircraft and space hardware.

The Museum was located on the main road from Florence to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. As a result, the museum enjoyed a large number of visitors (up to 300,000 per year) until I-95 was built. Once the Interstate was built, the number of visitors began a steady decline. As the visitors began to decline, the appearance of the museum began to deteriorate.

Closure

In the 1996/1997 time frame the airport wanted to build a new entrance and decided to close the museum with little advance notice. The Museum was closed in December 1997.

The valuable and rare collection was quickly picked over by various museums in the United States and most of it was scattered outside the state of South Carolina. Today there is no aviation museum in South Carolina which is anywhere near the size of the Florence Museum.

Aircraft & missiles in the collection

This is only a partial listing of known museum pieces.

Aircraft transferred

*Boeing B-47B Stratojet #50-00062 (Now on display at Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum)
*Chance Vought Regulus I (Now on display at Carolinas Aviation Museum)
*Convair F102 Delta Dagger #53-01788 (Now on display at Carolinas Aviation Museum)
*Douglas BTD-1 Destroyer (Now on display at Wings of Eagles, Horseheads, New York)
*Lockheed EC-121K Lockheed Constellation (USN - this aircraft flew the final US Military Constellation mission - Front 50' now in Charlotte, North Carolina BuN 141292 c/n 4416)
*Martin TB-61C Matador (Now on display at Carolinas Aviation Museum)
*McDonnell F-101F Voodoo #56-00243 (Now on display at Carolinas Aviation Museum)
*Honest John (2) (Now on display at Carolinas Aviation Museum)
*Sikorsky HO4S Chickasaw #125506 (Now on display at Carolinas Aviation Museum)
*Sikorsky CH-34 #55-04496 (Now on display at Carolinas Aviation Museum)

Aircraft with unkown disposition

*Boeing KC-97G Stratotanker #52-02624 Ser#16655
*Douglas B-26 Invader #64-17671 reported scrapped
*Douglas BTD-1 Destroyer #04959
*Douglas WB-66D Destroyer #53-00431
*Grumman HU-16 Albatross #51-07212
*Grumman C-1A Trader "COD" #136790
*Martin B-57 Canberra #52-01459
*Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star #53-06089
*Republic F-84F Thunderstreak #52-06553
*North American F-86 Sabre #52-05737
*Northrop F-89J Scorpion #53-02646
*Lockheed F-104B Starfighter #57-01301
*Grumman F11F Tiger #141790
*Piasecki CH21B Workhorse "Flying Banana" #54-04003
*Martin SM-68 Titan Ballistic Missile #4499
*Ryan AQM-91A Firebee Reconnaissance Drone
*Ryan Ryan Firebee Model G Drone
*WACO WWII era assault glider skeleton
*F101A Simulator
*T-28 Simulator

References

ee also

*Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, South Carolina


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