The Fagen Fighters WWII Museum located at the Granite Falls Municipal Airport will be opened for viewing for the first time during Saturday’s Ray Fagen Memorial Airshow before opening officially to the public Tuesday, June 19.
Altogether the museum will consist of two hangars, a WWII Quonset hut and a WWII control tower. The newest hangar and flagship of the museum is a 15,000 sq. ft. brick tornado-proof structure.
At this point, a WWII library and a variety of exhibits have yet to be completed––and even then the museum is expected to be an ongoing project. During the airshow the new hangar will appear largely empty as the warbirds that typically would be located within are likely to have been utilized in the show.
Nevertheless, there will be a few revelations, including a mural by acclaimed artist Dave Reiser depicting Utah Beach during the D-Day Allied Invasion of Normandy, France and bronze sculptures, by renowned sculptor, Fred Hoppe, Jr., that present the Army’s 4th Infantry division landing in a Higgins Boat and ready for battle, bringing the Ivy Division’s motto “Steadfast and Loyal” to life.
The pristine collection of WWII trainer and fighter aircraft restored and owned by Fagen Fighters includes two P-51 D Mustangs, a Lockheed P-38, a P-40, a BT-13, a PT-19, a PT-22, and a PT-26. In addition, fully operational authentic WWII ground vehicles will be proudly displayed among the aircraft. The very rare WACO CG-4A glider used to silently transport troops during WWII will be amongst the displays.
In time, 357th Fighter Group of the Army Air Corp’s 8th Air Force will be by the museum’s Quonset hut and control tower. Authentic artifacts will be used throughout the briefing room depicting Leiston Airfield in England as well as authentic controls in the control tower. A bronze sculpture of legendary Col. Clarence E. “Bud” Anderson, a triple ace fighter pilot will complete the scene.
Planned touch screens throughout the museum will give visitors an interactive experience. Authentic uniforms and artifacts will be displayed throughout.
The museum will be open to the public Monday through Saturday. from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.