After 5 years of planning and 3 years of preparation, the General Carl Spaatz National U.S. Army Air Force Museum, is set to open on Saturday, October 2, with live music from the 40″s era and display of military vehicles at 10am, and a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11am.
The living museum concept includes almost 6,000 square feet of space comprising 10 exhibits, of which 6 are featured as interactive for small reserved group tours. Following the opening ceremonies, the museum will open at 1pm for self-guided tours at a special admission fee of $5.00.
Col. Keith Seiwell, USMC (Ret), the Museum’s CEO, estimates that its volunteers have put in thousands of hours getting ready for the big day. Funding for the museum has come from private donations, grants, fundraising activities and an online auction.
Carl Spaatz was born and raised in Boyertown. There is a memorial dedicated to him on Second Street in Boyertown. At one time, the Reading Regional Airport was known as Spaatz Field. General Spaatz trained most of the American pilots who fought in WWI. He pioneered air-to-air refueling and commanded the Strategic Air Forces of WWII that forever changed the way war is fought. He became the first Chief of Staff of the new US Air Force in 1947.
His commands included Commander of the Eighth Air Force, Commander of the North African Air Force, and Commander of U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe, and all American Air Forces in the Pacific after the war was won in Europe.
In addition to self-guided tours with audio descriptions, the museum also offers an enhanced, immersive experience that places a small group of visitors in the time frame of our interactive exhibits and invites the visitor to participate by living in history.
The Spaatz Museum embodies “living the mission” by guiding visitors through preparing for, flying and surviving flight and combat. Museum staff, dressed in WWII uniforms, plan to talk the talk of the wartime era, immersing museum visitors the sights and sounds of aerial warfare, including attending pre-flight briefings, donning gear and equipment, piloting a bomber and acting as waist gunners and bombardiers.
The General Carl Spaatz National USAAF Museum is located at 28 Warwick Street, Boyertown, Pennsylvania.