ExhibitsWelcome to the Gallery's exhibit listing. Choose a category by
clicking a link below.
Aircraft & Airships | Gen. Mitchell Field |
General Thomas A. Benes
As a young boy, visits to General
Mitchell Field by Tom Benes sparked his interest in aviation, which led to a
career as a combat fighter pilot and Marine Corps leader.
A graduate of Milwaukee Custer High School and UW-Madison, Tom Benes was
commissioned in the U. S. Marine Corps through the Platoon Leaders Class
program in May, 1974 and was awarded his Naval Aviator wings in March, 1976.
He further sharpened his flying skills as a graduate of the U. S. Navy
Fighter Weapons School, TOPGUN, and later as a weapons and tactics
instructor. He maintained his ties to Wisconsin while flying the F-4 Phantom
II jet fighter, and later the F/A-18 Hornet Strike Fighter, accumulating 250
carrier arrested landings and commanding various fighter squadrons and a
Marine air group.
Colonel Benes piloted his final F/A-18 flight in May, 2000. He had been
selected for brigadier general and was subsequently promoted to major
general in 2006. His assignments as a general officer included:
- Chief of Staff – Naval Strike Forces Southern Europe
- Commander – Fleet Marine Forces Europe
- President of the Marine Corps University
- Chief of Staff, Combined Force Land Component, Iraq and
- Director of Strategy and Plans for the U. S. Marine Corps
- Director of Expeditionary Warfare for the Chief of Naval
Major General Tom Benes retired from the U. S. Marine Corps in 2009,
after 35 years of honorable service. Tom Benes passed away September 30,
|Major Dick Bong
A native of Poplar Wisconsin, and America's leading fighter ace, Dick Bong is
colorfully represented in the Gallery. Photos, actual newspapers and a Lockheed
P-38 scale model are displayed. Also included is a 1945 photo of Major Bong's
wife, Marge, and replicas of the medals Bong was awarded.
Charles A. Lindbergh
Lindbergh visited the Milwaukee airport in August 1927, the same year of his
historic non-stop flight across the Atlantic. The display accompanies a Spirit
of St. Louis model, hanging just outside the entrance to the Gallery. This
exhibit includes a woven Lindbergh tapestry, photos and information on
Lindbergh's 1927 visit to Milwaukee.
||Captain James A. Lovell
Lovell grew up in Milwaukee and went on to become an Astronaut in the Gemini and
Apollo programs. The Gallery exhibits its Lovell artifacts in the adjacent
Lovell Conference Room and in a public display case. Within the conference room
is an acrylic portrait presented to Lovell by the City of Milwaukee on "Jim
Lovell Day," February 23, 1966. Also displayed outside the conference room are a
Wisconsin state flag carried around the moon on Apollo 8, a crew flashlight used
on Apollo 8, a flight checklist from Apollo 13, and Gemini and Apollo spacecraft
Brigadier General Lester Maitland
Maitland, a famous Army endurance flier, race pilot and World War II air
commander, was born in Milwaukee. The Gallery displays are included in the
Lester Maitland Conference Room as well as in a public display. Artifacts
include items from Maitland's career as commander of the 386th Bomb Group, model
of his World War II B-26 Marauder, Fokker Tri Motor, Curtis R-6 racer and
||General William "Billy" Mitchell
Mitchell grew up in Milwaukee and went on to become an prominent airpower
advocate and pioneer. On display are medals representing the various awards he
received. Also on display is a portrait of Mitchell that was once displayed in
the original Mitchell Airport terminal. Also exhibited are his ceremonial sword,
model of his DH-4 "Osprey" aircraft, and various photos about his career.
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||Captain Lance P. Sijan
In 1976 Captain Sijan, a Milwaukee native, was posthumously awarded the Medal of
Honor for heroism in Vietnam. Several items are on display, including an Air
Force Medal of Honor and a scale model of the F-4C Phantom II in which Captain
Sijan flew his last mission.
||Astronautics Corporation of America
Headquartered in Milwaukee, Astronautics is a manufacturer of equipment,
electronics and systems for air, space, land, and sea applications.
This exact 1:5 scale model of a Caravelle SUD SE-210 is a must see. Caravelles
were used by United Airlines from 1961-1970 for flights between Newark,
Cleveland and Milwaukee.
Hamilton Metalplane Display
Displayed is a sample of the pierced steel planking (also known as the Marston
Mat) which was used during World War II to establish useable surfaces for
airfields. It was manufactured by the Milcor Steel Co. of Milwaukee.
Displayed on the north wall are several antique propellers, with the largest and
oldest dating back to World War I. This propeller was manufactured by the
Matthews Brothers Woodworking Co. in Milwaukee, under the direction of Thomas
Hamilton. Two wooden and one metal Hamilton propeller are also displayed. This
exhibit also includes a Maynard-di Cesare propeller, manufactured by the Maynard
Steel Co. in the 1930s.
World War II Model Aircraft
Originally prepared to commemorate the end of World War II, this exhibit
displays numerous 1/72nd scale models of aircraft from most countries
participating in the war.
Numerous 1/72nd scale airliner models spanning the 1940's, 50's, 60's and 70's
Graf Zeppelin II Model and The First Airliners Display
This 22 foot, 1/36th scale model suspended from the Gallery ceiling is one of a
kind. Sister to the Hindenberg, the Graf Zeppelin II was one of the first
airliners. Below the Zeppelin is a display of various Hindenberg and airship
Northwest Airlines 757 Scale Model
Suspended next to the Graf Zeppelin, this 1/36th scale model represents the
progress in commercial aviation since the airship era.
440th Airlift Wing
A look at the history of this unit from WWII through its final days in
Created in partnership with Midwest Airlines, it's a look at Milwaukee's
Wisconsin Air National Guard 50th Anniversary
The Bong Chapter of the IPMS built various scale plastic aircraft models of
representative aircraft flown by Milwaukee's 128th Air Refueling Wing. This
exhibit includes a KC-135R, F-51D, T-6G, F-89C, F-89D, TB-25K, O-47, F-5G, F-80
and KC-97L. Also included are various historical photos of the aircraft and
memorabilia such as unit patches and medals.
Lawson Airliner Model and Display
This display commemorates the pioneer effort to establish a national airline
system, which took place in Milwaukee between 1919-1921. Displayed are photos
and a scale model of the Lawson C-2 airliner, built in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee Aviation Paintings
Located on the east wall, this series of paintings shows the history of the
types of commercial aircraft that have flown into Milwaukee. Included are the
Hamilton Metalplane, Stinson SB-1, Loening Amphibian, Ford Trimotor, Boeing 247,
Lockheed 10, Douglas DC-3, and the Lockheed 049 Constellation.
Airport Landing Register
This large book was used to record all aircraft operations at the airport during
World War II. Documentation includes aircraft types, dates of movements and
||Layton Avenue Air Terminal
This scale model shows the Milwaukee terminal as it appeared in 1941. Located on
the ramp in front of the terminal are two scale DC-3's in the markings of
Northwest Airlines and Pennsylvania Central Airlines.
The beacon atop the entry to the Gallery is believed by the Federal Aviation
Administration to be that which first operated at Mitchell Field on November 1,
1926. It was used to guide airmail flights between Chicago and the Twin Cities.
1911 Curtis Pusher
This flyable aircraft was placed on display in 1988 and is suspended from the
Airport's ceiling near the Gallery entrance. It represents one of the first
aircraft flown in the state of Wisconsin
||Ozark DC-3 Model
Hanging within the Gallery, this large wooden model has been restored in the
markings of Ozark Airlines DC-3 N130D.
||Milwaukee In Space
This exhibit tells the story behind a laser light experiment sponsored by
Milwaukee's St. Mary's Hospital and launched aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia,
January 12, 1986.