Florence Air & Missile Museum
|Florence Air & Missile Museum|
|Location||Florence, South Carolina, United States|
|Director||T.C. "Tommy" Griffin|
The Florence Air & Missile Museum was an aviation museum located at the entrance to the Florence Regional Airport, in Florence, South Carolina. This airport was original known as Florence Field, a World War II U.S. Army Air Corps training field for A-26 Invader attack aircraft. Because of its former military connection, and available runways, the military was able to fly in aircraft and leave them at the Museum as they were retired from service.
The museum was founded by "T.C." Tommy Griffin, a navigator with Doolittle Raider's flying The Whirling Dervish. After Tokyo Raid, served as navigator in North Africa until shot down and captured by the Germans on July 3, 1943 and remained a POW until release in April, 1945. Decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters and the Chinese Army, Navy, Air Corps Medal, Class A, 1st Grade. and former executive director of the Florence Airport. The museum built up a collection of World War II and Cold War era U.S.military aircraft and early space hardware. The museum was located along a route once frequented by travels between Florence and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Once Interstate 95 was built, attendance declined. The museum closed in December 1997 and much of the collection transferred to the newly established Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (September 2010)|
- Boeing NTB-47B-20-BW Stratojet, 50-0062 (Now on display at Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum)
- Chance Vought Regulus I (Now on display at Carolinas Aviation Museum)
- Convair YF-102A Delta Dagger, 53-01788 (Now on display at Carolinas Aviation Museum)
- Douglas BTD-1 Destroyer, BuNo 4959 (Now on display at Wings of Eagles, Elmira-Corning Regional Airport, Elmira, New York).
- Douglas MGR-1 Honest John tactical battlefield missiles (2) (Now on display at Carolinas Aviation Museum)
- Grumman C-1A Trader "COD", BuNo 136790, c/n 43 (Now displayed at Grissom AFB, Indiana.)
- Grumman F-11A Tiger, BuNo 141790, c/n 107 (Now displayed at Grissom AFB, Indiana.)
- Lockheed F-104B-5-LO Starfighter, 57-1301, c/n 283-5013, (at Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, Hutchinson, Kansas by October 2003.)
- Lockheed EC-121K Lockheed Constellation, BuNo 141292, c/n 4416 (USN - this aircraft flew the final US Military Constellation mission - Front 50' now in Charlotte, North Carolina
- Lockheed T-33A-5-LO Shooting Star, 53-6089 (Now at the Darlington, South Carolina Airport.)
- Martin RB-57A-MA Canberra, 52-1459, c/n 42, moved to National Warplane Museum, Genesco, New York. Noted Sep 2006 at Wings of Eagles Discovery Center, Elmira, New York.
- Martin TB-61C Matador (Now on display at Carolinas Aviation Museum)
- McDonnell F-101F Voodoo, 56-00243 (Now on display at Carolinas Aviation Museum)
- Republic F-84F-40-RE Thunderstreak, 52-6553, to Drister Aviation and Space Museum, Amarillo, Texas, then to English Field Air & Space Museum, Tradewind Airport, Amarillo, Texas.
- Sikorsky HO4S Chickasaw, BuNo 125506 (Now on display at Carolinas Aviation Museum)
- Sikorsky CH-34A Choctaw, 55-04496, c/n 58-509, (Now on display at Carolinas Aviation Museum)
- Waco CG-4 WWII era assault glider skeleton, (Now at Carolinas Aviation Museum)
- Boeing KC-97G Stratotanker, 52-02624, c/n 16655 (Parts were used by Don Creason to complete the KC-97 on display at the Carolinas Aviation Museum)
- Douglas A-26A Invader, 64-17671, (remanufactured from 44-35820), scrapped for parts
- Douglas WB-66D Destroyer, 53-00431 reported scrapped
- Grumman HU-16 Albatross, 51-07212
- Martin SM-72 Titan I Ballistic Missile, 61-4499
- North American F-86H-5-NH Sabre, 52-05737
- Northrop F-89J Scorpion, 53-02646
- Piasecki CH-21B Workhorse "Flying Banana", 54-04003
- Ryan AQM-91A Firebee Reconnaissance Drone
- Ryan Ryan Firebee Model G Drone
- F-101A Simulator
- T-28 Simulator
- Kaman HH-43A Huskie 58-1833 (now on display at Warner Robins AFB, GA Museum)
- Army Air Corp Fields
- Anderson, Thom. "Friends, community remember Florence businessman Griffin". Morning News.