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Fly Deep into the U.S. Aviation History in Honor of Lt. Selfridge

By Kelly Church

Located on a Harrison Township military installation, the Selfridge Military Air Museum and Air Park, founded by retired Air National Guard Colonel Robert Stone, celebrates military tradition in the State of Michigan. For more than 40 years, the museum has been giving the public a glimpse at the history of the property. The museum and airpark experience takes patrons back to the early 1900s.

One of the first things that guests see is a commemoration of some of the country's earliest examples of successful aviation and the namesake of the musem: the Army's Lt. Thomas Etholen Selfridge who died in an airplane accident. Selfridge was one of the first men to fly an aircraft and even flew with Orville Wright during a test of the Wright Military Flyer.

As they go deeper into the museum, guests follow along as aviation progressed through history. The museum addresses flight through World War I and World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War and ends with Desert Storm.

Weather permitting, according to Lieutenant Colonel Louis Nigro who is the Executive Director of the museum and airpark, guests can view multiple aircrafts and even walk inside two of them. The P-3B Orion is one of the aircrafts that guests can venture inside of. The P-3B Orion features a long accessory on the end of the plane's tail that was used from 1976 to 1993 to detect changes in the earth's magnetic field that were caused by submarines.

The C-130A Hercules is the other aircraft available to tour and was originally used as an assault transport. It is capable of takeoff on short, unpaved runways and is now used for other military and commercial purposes as well.

The museum is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization and is located on an active military base. Because of that, Nigro says security is of the top priority. To get on the grounds, guests are asked to show a government identification card, Common Access Card or Defense Biometric Identification System Card. Without any of those forms of identification, guests are required to undergo a security background check.

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About The Author

Kelly Church is a writer and avid reader with a Bachelor's of Science in Journalism...

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