P-38 Museum Remodel

Museum Remodel!

The P‑38 Museum in Riverside, CA, was bullt nearly 30 years ago, directly adjacent to March Air Reserve Base (March AFB at that time).

It was originally built in a military-style Quonset Hut with donated 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.

However, we did much more than that. A complete remodel was called for, and we knew that once it was completed the Museum would be something that all of our visitors and members could be proud of!

We moved everything out of the Museum (except the plane!) and repaired, and resurfaced the floor for starters.

After that we built an entirely new interior to the Museum. It now has a completely reconfigured floorplan that makes it easy to see all of our many new exhibits, including a reproduction of a Lockheed engineer’s office, complete with drafting table.

We have added monitors throughout, new displays and have upgraded some of our current exhibits.  It is sure to please the P‑38 fans, young and old, who visit us.

Grand Reopening

Since our Museum has been closed by the unwarranted attempt by the March Field Air Museum to take over our Museum, once we have regained access to the hangar, we will be cleaning and spit-shining all of our exhibits and will be having a Grand Reopening ceremony to celebrate. We’ll announce here when the reopening will happen.

Donations Welcome

All of this, of course, cost 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 as well as the new exhibits we continue to build and add..

If you would like to chip in on those costs, you can do so here: Remodel Donations page.

Once there, you will be offered the option to choose between 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.

(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!)
Thank you!

History of the Remodel

This will give you a pictorial idea of what was involved in this massive project. When you click on the picture it will open a new window. Just click again off to the side and it will close it again. The arrows on either side will cycle you through all the pictures.

Planning Meeting

The Move Begins

Almost There

Moving Day

A Challenge!

Final Dismantle

The Real Work Begins


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.

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.)

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.

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.

The Real Work Begins | August 25

More to be posted soon…

Save the P-38

We have a page to thank our Association's financial contributors and will add your name when you make a contribution.  No donation is too small!

What would you pay for a good aviation DVD or book? If you enjoy this website, please consider a financial contribution of the same amount to help defray our increasing costs and ensure that this part of aviation history continues to be available to people all over the world.

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Lots of good stuff happening all the time!