A dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony, including a salute to the military, will be held on July 4 at 6:30 p.m. for the new Flying Legends Wing at the Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot.
The new 22,500-square-foot hangar is home to the planes of the Texas Flying Legends Museum when those planes are at the Minot air museum for three months of the year.
Major funding for the approximately $1.3 million project was provided by the Texas Flying Legends Museum based at Ellington Field in Houston, a City of Minot Community Development Grant and donations from longtime supporters of the museum.
There will be flybys by the warbirds between 4 and 6 p.m.
After the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony, Music Doing Good, a Texas-based nonprofit organization, will present its Voices of Freedom concert, followed by a hangar dance with Soulshine, a Minot band.
The museum will be open on July 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with various events planned during the day. A list of the events can be viewed at the museum’s website at www.dakotaterritoryairmuseum.com under its Calendar link or at the VisitMinot website visitminot.org under its Events link.
Currently, the Texas Flying Legends collection has 11 World War II planes. All of the planes are in Minot now and can be seen at the air museum. The warbirds include the following:
– B-25 Mitchell bomber “Betty’s Dream.”
– P-51 Mustang “Dakota Kid II.”
– P-40 Warhawk “Aleutian Tiger.”
– FG-1D Corsair “Whistling Death.”
– A6M2 Model 21 Zero, a Japanese fighter plane and only Model 21 flying in the world.
– OY-1/(L-5) Sentinel.
– Grumman FM-2 Wild Cat.
– Douglas C-53/C-47 Sky Trooper.
– P-51 Mustang “Little Horse.”
– Grumman TBM Avenger.
The 260-foot by 300-foot concrete ramp for the hangar has not been poured yet because of the continuous rainy weather this spring and summer.
Museum officials said the primary goals of the air museum are aviation history and education, and the new hangar will expand the museum’s display of historical and vintage aircraft. The air museum also will be able to accommodate more community events.
“The Dakota Territory is honored to share in the Texas Flying Legends’ mission to inspire the younger generations of the virtue, strength, pride and valor of our armed forces and to honor our country’s veterans,” Don Larson, air museum board president, said in a news release. “Minot is very fortunate to have a fleet of World War II warbirds of this caliber on display in our community. These diverse military aircraft remind us of the sacrifice that has come before us and that freedom truly isn’t free.”
Warren Pietsch, Minot pilot, is the vice president of operations and chief pilot for the Texas Flying Legends Museum.
All events at the air museum on July 4 are free to the public.