World War II Aircraft

World War II witnessed tremendous growth in the size of American military aviation, from about 2,500 airplanes to nearly 300,000 by the war’s end. The Museum’s collection of 30 World War II-era American military aircraft ranges from propeller-driven trainers, fighters, flying boats, and bombers to the nation’s first generation of jet-powered fighters to take to the air. They represent the pilots of the Army Air Forces, Navy, and Marines, as well as the crews who flew them, the support personnel on the ground and at sea who maintained them, and the people who made these weapons of war on the home front. The legacy of their contribution to World War II and the continued enthusiasm for these aircraft still resonates with Americans today.