Destination Hangar 25 in Big Springs, TX - A Harvest Host Location
Michelle Fontaine: We are always on the hunt for interesting places to dry camp, and we discovered the Hangar 25 Air Museum in Big Springs, Texas. Let’s check out this educational Harvest Host location.
Martha Vierra: So our museum is housed in a World War II airplane hangar that was built during the Army Air Corps Bombardier School days here in Big Spring. And so after the start of World War II, Army Air Corps started all these special training schools, and we had bombardiers.
When you watch an old World War II movie and you see the airmen in an airplane looking through the scope, dropping a bomb, this is the instrument that he was looking through. To keep the integrity of the bomb site we had a building here which served as a vault, had armed guards stationed outside. And each day they would bring the bomb sites out. They were escorted to the aircraft by guards. The guards stood on standby while the instrument was on the airplane. It had a white sheet that covered it. And it was not removed until the airplane was actually up in flight.
This is Colonel Spannaus. He was the last wing commander at our airbase. When they were going to close the airbase, they decided to have a closing ceremony. So he put a flight suit on, he climbed into the very last 38 that was here, and he zoomed off into the blue sky. And that was the official closing of the airbase.
Michelle: Harvest host, how long have you been a Harvest Host host? Martha: I’ve been here 5 years. So they were with Harvest Host at that time. So I don’t know how many years back. I would say the last 2 years has really, really–our numbers have gone up with our Harvest Host visitors to the point where we’re getting at least two a day seven days a week. It’s not–you know, it’s very rare that we don’t have someone coming in. Just having RVs parked in our parking lot draws other people in ’cause they want to know, “Why are they here? What brought these RVers to Big Springs?” We’re a very small museum. So we don’t have a big budget for publicity. So Harvest Host has really, really come through for us in that aspect because we’re getting people from everywhere.
And this is our briefing room. This is where our board of directors meets. Each month we would honor a different veteran. We’ve had veterans from World War II all the way up to current. Of course, we now have a collection of year books. And so this book is from our World War II Bombardier School days. And look at that. Janet Blair. Michelle: Oh my, ‘the girl of the men of 4311’.
Martha: The women that were here were the nurses, the clerical staff, but just the men were the bombardiers and the pilots here, and the instructors. We would love to have folks come out and visit and share, and we love to share our history.
Michelle: Coming to see the museum, there’s no charge. You do accept donations. And you have a really fun gift shop out there. All proceeds benefit the museum.
Michelle: This has been so educational. Thank you.