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The Pueblo Weisbro Aircraft Museum

 

In the early 1970’s, Fred Weisbrod, then City Manager of Pueblo and an avid aircraft buff, began acquiring various aircraft and putting them on display at Pueblo Memorial Airport. I believe the first was an A-26. This and all future aircraft were stored outside, subject to the elements including pigeons. This eventually became the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum (PWAM).

In the 1980’s a group of veterans and retirees, working with the City, formed the Pueblo Historical Aircraft Society (PHAS). They were tasked with managing and maintaining the museum and the aircraft, and assisting with the acquisition of future aircraft. The City allowed them use of some of the City Shops space adjacent to the aircraft storage area.

At one point a B-29 was acquired and it was decided to obtain funding for a hangar to protect this and additional aircraft. In 2001, after much effort, a 150 X 200 foot hangar was erected and is dedicated to World War One, World War Two and the Korean conflict. One end wall of the hangar was left open so that the B-29 could be rolled into place. The frames of the structure were modified so that the wing span would clear (3” each side).

The staff of the museum (all volunteers) performed various levels of restoration to the aircraft placed inside. Further discussions led to erecting a second 150 X 200 foot hangar which opened in 2010, and is dedicated to the Vietnam era and beyond. Much restoration and painting was performed prior to move-in.

At the present time there are twenty five aircraft under cover, and thanks to donations from the public many artifacts, uniforms, and equipment from various conflicts are housed in the two hangars. The three aircraft remaining outside include a B-47 Stratojet, -C-119 Boxcar, and a P2V-5 Neptune. We are also acquiring additional military support vehicles, and have recently started an Aeronautics and Space display. It should be noted that at the start of World War ll, the Pueblo Army Air Base was formed at what is now Pueblo Memorial Airport, and was primarily a B-24 training facility along with some B-17’s and B-29’s. PWAM has been designated the National B-24 Museum. Finding an actual B-24 for our collection would be outstanding, but they are very hard to find. However, our future plans include acquiring a Variant, which is the Navy version of the B-24. We are also in line to acquire an F-16, Mig-15, Mig-17, and a complete nose section of a C-130. We are in the planning stages to acquire funds for building a Restoration Facility. The museum continues to look ahead to enhance the role of the museum in the education area, both from the history standpoint and with more hands-on experience. www.pwam.org 719.948.9219

September/October 2011 Aviators Hot Line WARBIRDS

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