Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Ottumwa WWII era building to become flight museum

Jul. 6, 2013 - 04:27PM   |  
  • Filed Under

OTTUMWA, IOWA — A nonprofit group in Ottumwa is raising money to turn a 1942 building into a museum to remember thousands of pilots who learned how to fly at the Naval Air Station there during World War II.

The group hopes the two-story, 23,000-square-foot former the air station administration building can open as a museum in five years, the Ottumwa Courier reported. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places but needs significant repair.

Stephen Black and other board members of the Friends of Naval Air Station Ottumwa have devoted countless hours to rehabilitating the former administration building. The roof was recently re-shingled, and the next project will be to remove and rebuild the crumbling concrete steps leading to the entryway’s doors and windows, which also need to be replaced.

“And we continue to clean, which is our big project,” Black said. “It doesn’t have a lot of visibility, and isn’t going to for a while.”

The Naval Air Station operated from 1942 to 1945 north of Ottumwa on the site that is now the city airport and an industrial park.

More than 4,600 pilots completed training at the base, including Richard Nixon and Scott Carpenter, who went on to become the second U.S. astronaut to orbit the earth in 1962.

Black, who is collecting stories of those who served or worked at the Ottumwa base, recently visited the 88-year-old Carpenter in Tucson, Ariz.

“I told him that any of the guys who came through here were only students for a few months, but he … interrupted me and said that this (NAS Ottumwa) was important to him,” Black said. “His journey into space started here.”

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Navy Times

This Week's Navy Times

Top TA & GI Bill schools
Most popular colleges cater to troops by taking classes to them

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook