P-38 Lightning Home Page Donate to the P-38 Association Join the P-38 Association

Museum Upgrade!

The P-38 Museum in Riverside, CA, was created well over 20 years ago.

It was originally built from the hearts and with the generosity of dollars and labor by our original members (many of who were P‑38 pilots, crew or Lockheed designers or engineers).

But our original design and contents have been outpaced by time and technology.  So, we decided it needed a facelift.

Donate to P-38 Museum

However, we are doing much more than that. A complete remodel was called for, and we believe that once we've completed our work the Museum will be something that everyone will love, including those who remain from our original Museum creators.

We are moving everything out of the Museum (except the plane!) and repairing, and resurfacing the floor for starters.

After that we will begin building an entirely new interior to the Museum. It will have a redesigned floorplan that we know our visitors are going to love!

We are adding many monitors, new displays and will be upgrading some of our current exhibits.  It is sure to please the P‑38 fans, young and old, who visit us once the remodel is completed.

Grand Reopening

The remodel project is taking much longer than we anticipated. We'll announce here when the reopening will happen.  In the meantime, we are in urgent need of more volunteers to help with the project. If you have some time to volunteer your help, please fill out this form and we'll be in touch to coordinate a good time.

Donate to P-38 Museum

 

P-38 Museum Remodel

This will give you a pictorial idea of what's involved in this massive project.  If you'd like to see a larger photo, just click on it and then the "back" button on your browser to return here.

redPropeller

Progress report

Planning Meeting

The Move Begins

Almost There

Moving Day

A Challenge!

Final Dismantle

The Real Work Begins

Organizing

The Rebuild

Progress

Nearing the End

Volunteers

We're finished & the Museum is once again open to the public (more pictures to follow coming soon!).

Planning Meeting (July 28, 2018)

Before we even began the remodel we had a "planning meeting" BBQ to get things started on the right foot. Good food, good spirits, and good friends were an excellent way to figure out who was doing what and when.

Everything you see below was done by our P‑38 Association volunteers, with the exception of the final move, for which we hired a moving company to ensure the safety of any of the largest exhibits that we felt should be moved by pros.

The Move Begins (August 4, 2018)

In the early days of the move, we had quite a project ahead of us. The "panels" that were used to display photos, clippings, etc., were 8' tall and very unwieldy.

One of us got clobbered in the face when it fell on top of her!  Not fun. But well worthwhile any battle scars in the end.

Donate to P-38 Museum

Almost There! (August 5-10)

One of the dicey situations we ran into when moving everything into storage was trying to transport this P‑38 propeller. It was recovered from the floor of the Pacific after having been under seawater for several decades. You can image the delicate shape it is in. So, we decided to let the pros handle this move.  (It was moved and stored safely and will be returning to a place of prominence in the new design.)

P-38 Displays
These are the heavy panels
(Note the cracks in the floor!)
P-38 Prop from the Ocean
P-38 Prop recovered
from the Pacific Ocean
P-38 Displays
Volunteers begin moving
Museum contents to storage.
Back of P-38 Museum
Back of the Museum
during move out.

Moving Day! (August 11)

The professional movers arrived today to finish moving the heaviest items. As you can see, we're leaving the plane in the Museum.  Won't risk damaging it, ever!

A Challenge

We thought that the March Field diorama ( circa 1942-43) would be a bear to move since it was so large.  Turned out to be the easiest one.  The toughie was the Willsie-Andrews exhibit of their Romanian Rescue Operation.  I was much narrower and more unwieldy than we realized until we began to lift it.  But it was successfully moved to storage undamaged.

Donate to P-38 Museum

 

Willsie Andrews Romanian Rescue
Romanian Rescue Diorama
move with Jim Bridges & Kris
Blouir helping the movers.
Only Remaining Content
Everything moved
but the plane!

Final Dismantle (August 24)

Virtually everything that can be moved out of the Museum has been moved.  The final step before the real work begins is dismantling the large wall panel at the back of the hangar.

Final Steps
Art Newman removing the final parts of the Museum contents
Kris Blouir
Kris Blouir checking out the
dismantled rear wall panel.

The Real Work Begins (August 25)

Repainting the walls
The first bit of new paint goes on.

Howard Ramshorn hard at work
Howard Ramshorn beginning
to work on "Stan Jones Workshop" tribute exhibit.

Donate to P-38 Museum

This was a very busy day for us working on the remodel. (Sep 1)

Jim Bridges, Don Nichols
P-38 Association Secretary, Jim Bridges, and Docent Don Nichols painting all the trimming.
Ron & Marilyn Smith
We had a very nice surprise
when Marilyn & Ron Smith
(our recent President) stopped
by to lend their support.

Neat video, courtesy of Marilyn Smith, of the guys moving the P‑38 back farther into the hangar, so there will be more space at the front of the Museum for activies and events.   Just click on the controls in the lower, left-hand corner to begin video. You may be asked to update your video player to view it.  Just say "OK' and you should be good to go.

Art Newman trying to move the P-38
If you think moving the plane was easy, think again! Here is our President, Art Newman, trying to manage it manually!
Machine moving the P-38
We had to bring in the heavy machinery to get this job done!
Jim Bridges, Don Nichols
One young volunteer, Caleb,
gave us a helping hand with
moving the plane.
Howard Ramshorn, Lowell StacyHowie & Lowell Stacy working out the plans for Stan Jones exhibit.
Sandbags on top of P-38 Briefing RoomAdding a "sandbags" effect on top of the Ed Baquet Briefing Room.

Donate to P-38 Museum

Marston mat
These are Marston mats. They
hook together to form a landing
strip where difficult conditions
would make it unsafe to land
(such as in mud). They are also
called PSP (for pierced or perforated steel planking.)

P-38 Model
Large model cleaned
and ready to prep (10' x 3')

P-38 Ready to paint
Model masked and ready to paint.

P-38 Model
This is the model after the clean-up and painting.
We will reattach the props before putting it on display.

P-38 Model
Props on, ready for display! It is now mounted on the 474th bombed out building display.  See below
( The entire model restoration was done by Howie.)

Grinding down museum floor
Art Newman has begun the
hard work of grinding down the
floor in the Museum.
This process includes grinding down the floor to roughen it up a bit, filing the cracks and then applying the new surface. 

Then the floor needs to dry, and the exhibit construction can begin.

Opening up small cracks in floor
Art opening up the tiny cracks so they can take a filler.

Howard Ramshorn hard at work
Howie installing the panels for
the Jones exhibit.

Crack repairs done by Art.
Smoothing out began of Sepbember 22.

P-38 remodel P-38 Remodel
This is the final clean-up detail. Washing the plane and scrubbing the
hangar floor and walls. All set for the new floor surface to be poured. Thanks to Art & Ira Newman for taking on this thankless task.
 
 
Stan Jones exhibit
Stan Jones Exhibit
with lighting installed.
Floor resurface
First coat going down
P-38 Museum Floor completed
The floor of the Museum has been finished and looks absolutely beautiful.  Now, on to the organizing and design tasks!

Organizing

Once we began this remodel, we knew there would be a lot more to be done after we removed everythng from the Museum. One of those steps is organizing. On Oct 6 we began the job of cataloging every item so they could be well organized once we finished building the exhibits and began moving the memorabilia and artifacts back in.

Scott Frederick
Association VP Scott Frederick
hard at work.

Howie & Ton
Treasurer Howard Ramshorn and Docent Toni Olson taking apart one of the old display panels.

Lunch!
Some very tired volunteers taking a break for lunch!
(L-R Howard Ramshorn, Kris Blouir, Toni Olson and Scott Frederick)
P-38 Pallets
The first batch of the old display panels, cut up and ready to discard.
 

Next Phase - the Interior Rebuild


Howie
Howie putting the final coat of paint on the wall where the Pacific Ocean propeller will be displayed.
Mark Crapnell
We had a surprise visitor during our weekend work, P‑38 Association Life member, Mark Crapnell.
P-38 Allison Engine
Allison Engine cleaned up
and ready to go on display
.
P-38 Turbocharger
P-38 Turbocharger display
This will be redesigned with a new front and signage.
P-38 Theater Sign Removal
It took several attempts, and an increasing number of volunteers,
to finally remove this old
"Theater" sign. (The replacement "Briefing Room" now shows various P‑38 videos).
Success!
Not easy to do without an available scissor lift. But they got it down!

(Thanks to Art Newman, Jim
Bridges, Kris Blouir and Lowell
Stacy for getting it done!)
Replacing P-38 Exhibit
Kris Blouir (lef) and Jim Bridges returning one of the original exhibits to its rightful spot!
Replacing P-38 Exhibit
Another exhibit returned
to its spot in the P-38 Musuem.
P-38 Photos
P‑38 framed photos arranged
on the hangar floor to see how they
will look when displayed on the wall.

Progress

I have been a little behind the power curve on bringing you our progress reports. So, here you go!

P-38 Propeller from Pacific Ocean
This is the prop after it's been moved to its permanent location in the Museum (with a nice, new framework thanks to the hard-working crew at the MFAM.
Prop Recovery Detail

Prop Signage which gives the history of the discovery and recovery from beneath the Pacific Ocean

What's a blimp doing here?

Here's something you wouldn't expect to see in a P-38 Museum,
a dirigible!

This exhibit is on display next to
the "Stan Jones Workshop."
Blimps were a lifelong love of
the late Stan Jones (our former President), and he built this one from scratch.  Certainly worthy
of our recognition!

Stan Jones' Blimp Model
Evil Defeated

Getting this very large P-38 model installed above the captured flag exhibit was no easy task!

The guys had to remove the wings and the props for the move, then reattach them once the model was in place.

Like we said...not easy!

Special thanks to the team from MFAM and to Adam Lieberman (right) for their help.

 

German Exhibit  P-38 Plane

And here is the final result!
Although the American flag looks backwards, it appears the correct way when entering at the front of the P-38 Museum.

P-38 Squadron Insignias Here are a few of the squadron insignias that were  created by
the guys in each of their squadrons.  They are displayed above each
wing of our P-38.
Maryann Ramshorn & Sally Lieberman
The fun job of mounting each of these squardon insignias was done by Sally Lieberman, above with her Mom Maryann Ramshorn, and her
daughters Emma and Anna.
WASP Display at P-38 Museum This is the beginning of the WASP/WAFS display. We will also include a showcase with original artifacts from the Women Airforce Service Pilots. The Fifinella WASP logo This will also be posted in
the WASP display to explain
how Walt Disney provided
their iconic logo
.
Romanian Rescue The Romanian Rescue diorama
that we were so worried about
is now safely back in the
P-38 Museum and lit up!
P-38 Photo Recon exhibitThe beginning of the Photo Recon exhibit, with original cameras
and photos of the techies, pilots
and the photos they took.

Well, we are nearing the end. After over seven months of work, the end is in site. We are planning the grand reopening the weekend of April 13!

P-38 Museum Mural

A beautiful mural being painted by Scott Frederick's brother, David.  It depicts the view from inside the bombed out building, displayed in the captured flag exhibit.

The new barrier around the P‑38 will display a timeline of the Lightning, from Kelly Johnson's initial sketches to the (as of March, 2019) nine airworthy P‑38s that are currently active.


P-38 History Timeline
redPropeller

Volunteers

In the meantime, here are some of the very tired volunteers who made this happen: 

Left to Right: Kris Blouir, Maryann Ramshorn, Howard Ramshorn,
Art Newman and Kelly Kalcheim (behind the camera).

Other volunteers not pictured: Jim Bridges, Scott Frederick, Amanda Newman, Ira Newman, Don Nichols, Lowell Stacy, Toni Olson, Paul Jacobsmeyer and Bobby Nootbaar.

(Special thanks to the team from the March Field Air Museum, who wrangled our plane into the right spot:  (Jeff, Alex, Jordan and Caleb)

Donations Welcome

All of this, of course, is costing a pretty penny!

Since we do not receive any $$$ support from Lockheed, the USAF or the March Field Air Museum, every little bit of support from our fans will help to cover the cost of this remodel. 

Whenever you see this dollar sign throughout this section, clicking on it will take you to our Remodel Donations page.

Donate to P-38 Museum

Once there, you will be offered the option to choose among an $80 donation (see below), a $38 donation (for the P‑38, of course!) or an amount of your choosing. Just click on the button you prefer.

Every donation will help us to offset the very significant cost of this remodelling of the P‑38 Museum.

Seriously, every donation.

To celebrate the upcoming 80th Anniversary of the P‑38s first flight, anyone donating $80 will receive a free P‑38 embroidered hat!

P-38 Embroidered Hat

(And just a reminder that
we do not receive any funding from the USAF, Lockheed or the March Field Air Museum, so your help really counts with us!)  Thanks!

Donate to P-38 Museum