The National Naval Aviation Museum chronicles the history of aviation

P-40 Tomahawk, famous in China fighting Japan and known as the Flying Tigers. Max. speed 351 mph. PHOTOS BY BILL DERBY

Located at the Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, the museum covers over 300,000 sq. feet. From early flight to space exploration the museum is a silent history of the progression of naval flight. Visitors can chronicle the history of technology in each exciting display of airplanes including many that were in combat from WW I to the modern era.

A note from the Museum Director explains, “When visiting the Museum, one can’t help but marvel at the enduring march of technology represented by the aircraft on display which exemplify elements that have made Naval Aviation such a unique element of our nation’s defense. The patches covering the bullet holes on the fuselage of an SBD-2 Dauntless dive bomber from the Battle of Midway speak to the sacrifices of those in Naval Aviation who have defended the nation in times of war.”

The Naval Air Station is also the home of the Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron which practices their flights locally a few times per week. The Museum is a ‘must see’ when in that part of Florida.

The Japanese Zero, max speed 332 mph.
A-1 Skyraider flew in Korea and Vietnam. Max. speed 343 mph.
A-7 Corsair II flew in battle over Vietnam and later in Iraq during Desert Storm. Max. speed 693 mph.
The cockpit of the A-7 Corsair shows the wear and tear of many battle missions the jet experienced.
F4U Corsair shot down 2,140 Japanese aircraft. Max. speed 446 mph. Also fought in the Korean War.
German ME 262 first flew in 1942. Max. speed 559 mph.

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