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Minter Field Air Museum and California Pinups and Patriots

Statement of Purpose: To educate the public about Minter Army Air Field and Kern County aviation’s impact on local, regional, and global history through preservation efforts, specialty presentations, and community outreach programs.

The Museum houses artifacts and photographs of the men and women who were stationed here as well as other military eras. Artifacts include military uniforms, radio equipment, a Link Trainer, a Norden Bomb Sight; Medals and Patches, Echelons (Class Books), Snap Roll Newsletters, hundreds of photographs and documents, and beautiful aviation art.

The Museum also is working on 2 helicopters for display; A Sikorsky H-34 Choctaw flown by the South Vietnam “King Bees”, and a OH-6 LOACH, used for reconnaissance in Vietnam.

Inside the Museum is a nearly completed Link Trainer. We are also renovating an original 1945 Minter Field GMC fire truck to go along with the 2 operational jeeps: a Ford and a yellow Willys “Follow Me”, plus an original 1940s era Plymouth Staff car that was stationed at Gardner Field in Taft, CA.

The Museum features a wonderful collection of models of aircraft and military vehicles. There are several recreations of historic aircraft, ships, and even a German Railroad cannon. There are several displays of local people who made historical contributions, especially during WW I and WW II.

The Museum has a new database of over 11,500 names of cadets and staff who were at Minter Field. Many include pictures in class books. There is also a DVD library of over 900 hours of military and aviation videos, cataloged by subject and names.

Minter Field is base for many flying WWII aircraft, including Stearmans, Aeroncas, Stinsons, North American AT-6s, and a P-51 Mustang. Minter Field is the home of Reno Air Race Champions Bill “Tiger” Destefani and his P-51 “Strega”, 8 time Reno winner Eddie Van Fossen who flew the AT-6 “Miss T-N-T”, and was the home base of the late Al Goss, Reno AT-6 winner in 2004. The field is known for many restoration companies who specialize in Warbirds and Antiques.

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