Falcon Field museum depicts fighter plane history

Maid In the Shade at Falcon Field.

Claudette Rodriguez/SCC

Maid In the Shade at Falcon Field.

Claudette Rodriguez, Reporter

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Tucked away at Falcon Air Field in Mesa, Ariz. the Commemorative Air Force Museum offers not only the viewing of airplanes but also lessons on historic periods of American history.

As the only combat aviation museum in the Valley, the Commemorative Air Force museum allows guest to learn about the evolution of combat aircraft from World War I to the present.  Guests can even pay to take a ride in some of the museum’s most priced airplanes, the B-25 Maid in the Shade and the B-17 Sentimental Journey, both used in WWII.

“We are a non-profit organization with 99.9 percent volunteer members who are dedicated to preserving our historic collections,” said Corey Paul the marketing and communications manager for the museum.

One of the volunteer members includes pilot Mike Pfleger, who has been flying historic airplanes for many years.

“Both of my parents were involved in World War II and those fighter planes always had a lot of interest for me and the history associated with them,” Pfleger said.

Through a guided tour with well-versed docents, guests are able to not only gain knowledge about each airplane, but also an understanding of the emotional and physical rigors pilots had to endure in order to fly these well-crafted airplanes.

“When I fly the trainer planes, I think about those who sat in that very seat before me. Maybe they went off over to Europe or the South Pacific. I’m sure a lot of the guys who sat in the very same seat I sit in, never came back,” Pfleger said.

“So I think about them and give them a silent thanks for what they did so that we could be flying today.”

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