Museum of Flight to Open New Vietnam War Exhibit

"Huey" helicopters on patrol during the Vietnam War. The Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington is set to open a new permanent exhibition on the Vietnam War this coming Memorial Day. (image via Museum of Flight)

SEATTLE, April 26, 2018: On May 26th, the Museum opens Vietnam Divided: War Above Southeast Asia, a permanent addition to the Museum’s glass-walled main gallery that focuses on the air war over Southeast Asia from 1955-1975. Using displays based upon the design of military airbase protective barriers, the exhibit is not meant to be a comprehensive history of the War, instead offering new perspectives to the gallery’s Vietnam War aircraft, and highlighting the tactics and technology behind their use in combat.

Personal experiences of the War are shared with filmed stories told by aircrew members from all branches of the U.S. services. The exhibit spreads in smaller ways throughout the Museum’s campus in Seattle and the Restoration Center in Everett, Wash., linking all of the aircraft types–both military and civilian–that were used in the war above Southeast Asia.

Aircraft in the Exhibit

The Vietnam air combat exhibit centers on four aircraft in the T. A. Wilson Great Gallery–a stealthy Lockheed YO-3A, a Bell UH-1 “Huey” helicopter and the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom and Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 jet fighters. Flanking them are the Vought F-8 Crusader fighter and Lockheed M/D-21 Blackbird spyplane. Also included in the exhibit are planes that can be found in other galleries–Grumman A-6 Intruder, Douglas A-4 Skyhawk and the MiG-17.

The Museum of Flight’s McDonnell F-4C Phantom II 64-0776 flew in the Vietnam War with the U.S. Air Force and is credited with shooting down three enemy MiG-21 fighters, an example of which, in Czechoslovakian Air Force colors, can be seen to its right. It is an integral part of the museum’s upcoming Vietnam War exhibition. (photo via Museum of Flight)

“There are aircraft across our campus, including the Restoration Center, with stories that align with this exhibit,” explained Museum exhibit developer Peder Nelson. “The military version of the DC-3 that’s hanging in the Great Gallery was the C-47, which was used for transport and turned into a gunship. The Super Constellation airliner was used in early warning communications at the time.”

In November, Vietnam Divided will extend to an entirely new outdoor exhibit, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park, opening west of the Museum’s spacious Aviation Pavilion. The centerpiece of the Park will be the largest plane flown in the Vietnam War, a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bomber [Ed. B-52G 59-2584, which has recently undergone a comprehensive restoration at nearby Paine Field, in Everett, WA].

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