Picture of Aircraft at the Air Zoo in Michigan

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(besides aircraft and space artifacts)

We always have fun and exciting things to share with you.  Please check back often for exhibit information and openings, event details, special Air Zoo visitors, educationand  program announcements and soooo much more!

Media contact:
Nikki Statler, Director of Marketing
nstatler@airzoo.org  |  269.350.2811

Category: WWII

Go West, Mr. Parish

In the late 1940s, Air Zo co-founder Preston “Pete” Parish (1919-2020) averaged 3,000 miles a month en route from San Diego to Vancouver; Spokane to Salt Lake City; Phoenix to Los Angeles—but not by air!  Pete traveled by train, bus, and infrequently by car in a job he particularly enjoyed: Sales. Based out of Los Angeles, Pete found the work a pleasure. “I had a wonderful time,” he said in a 2001 oral history interview. Before relocating to... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Friday, Jul 30, 2021
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Asian American Aviatrix: Hazel Ying Lee

In the early 1930s, when Oregon-born Hazel Ying Lee (1912-1944) dreamed of becoming a pilot, her mother advised her, “It’s not ladylike to fly.” Hazel disagreed. To save money for flying lessons, she worked as a department store elevator operator—one of few jobs opened to Chinese women in America. The Portland Chinese Benevolent Society sponsored Hazel’s flying program and the young pilot took to the sky by age 19. A proud WASP during... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Wednesday, Apr 28, 2021
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Seeing Stars!

At the Air Zoo, we talk a lot about heavenly bodies and stars, and this story is no different—except that these stars could be found on the silver screen! Movie stars played vital roles during World War II (1939-1945), such as starring in films which gave Americans a glimpse into the war or just the opposite—took their minds off it for a little while. Some stars helped promote desired wartime behavior, such as proper safety precautions for defense plant workers. After... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Wednesday, Dec 30, 2020
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The Story of our FM-2 Wildcat

IT WAS A COLD DAY OVER LAKE MICHIGAN On December 28, 1944, it was just 15 degrees in Michigan when the FM-2 Wildcat fighter plane that currently calls the Air Zoo’s East Campus Restoration Center home crashed into the icy waters of Lake Michigan. One of the US Navy’s most successful fighters in early WWII, this particular Wildcat was being used to train pilots for aircraft carrier landing and takeoff over Lake Michigan. After completing two take offs and landings that fateful day,... Read More
Posted by Abby Sample at Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019
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