Following signs to the Space Coast Airport, I and my husband turned down a narrow, winding road. Squinting into the bright sunlight, wide warehouses appeared in the distance, resolving into multiple aircraft dotted around the tall, silver walls. We pulled into the parking lot to discover an amazing part of history.
Nestled in eastern Florida is what is commonly known as the "space coast." Home of Space Force, launch pads and NASA, Cocoa Beach and Titusville are towns that host a wide range of launch parties, museums and space events of all kinds. Just west of Kennedy Space Center, Valiant Air Command's Warbird Museum is packed with aviation history.
Entering the museum, a wide gift shop greeted us. Fun memorabilia were available for purchase, all proceeds going to support the 501(c)3. Purchasing our tickets at the counter, we started the tour in the Memorabilia Hall. Mannequins dressed in all manner of historical uniforms marched in front of us. Special exhibits included a tribute to the Women's Air Force Service Pilots, the Flying Tigers and the Tuskegee Airmen.
Moving into the main display hanger, dozens of carefully restored aircraft sat proudly before us. Rising above all was the flagship of the museum, a 1942 C-47A that dropped paratroopers in Europe on D-Day. The aircraft sits combat ready and flight worthy today. Strolling through the hanger, the atmosphere spoke to me with hints of patriotism and the heroes that flew these planes.
Wrapping up our tour in the Vietnam Memorial hanger, I was particularly moved. My father fought in Vietnam and instilled in me the love of country, and the appreciation of those who fought and died for our freedoms. I encourage all of you to take a moment and think about how blessed we are.
For more information and to plan a trip, go to: Home | Valiant Air Command