Museum preserves Malmstrom heritage

A KC-97G “Stratofreighter”, which flew at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., during the late 1950s to early 1960s, is one of seven aircraft on display at the Malmstrom Historic Exhibit and Air Park.  The museum contains more than 400 items on display that depict the history of Malmstrom and the Minuteman missile program.  (Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)

A KC-97G “Stratofreighter”, which flew at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., during the late 1950s to early 1960s, is one of seven aircraft on display at the Malmstrom Historic Exhibit and Air Park. The museum contains more than 400 items on display that depict the history of Malmstrom and the Minuteman missile program. (Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)

A static display of a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile along with a vintage Minuteman transporter erector truck, is one of many exhibits on display at the Malmstrom Historic and Air Park at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.  The museum  contains more than 400 items on display that depict the history of Malmstrom and the Minuteman missile program.  (Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)

A static display of a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile along with a vintage Minuteman transporter erector truck, is one of many exhibits on display at the Malmstrom Historic and Air Park at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The museum contains more than 400 items on display that depict the history of Malmstrom and the Minuteman missile program. (Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)

Rob Turnbow, the Malmstrom Historic Exhibit and Air Park curator, takes inventory of a Russian-made rocket-propelled grenade launcher Jan. 26, 2017 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.  The weapon will eventually become a display piece at the museum.  The museum contains more than 400 items on display that depicts the history of Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Minuteman program.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)

Rob Turnbow, the Malmstrom Historic Exhibit and Air Park curator, takes inventory of a Russian-made rocket-propelled grenade launcher Jan. 26, 2017 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The weapon will eventually become a display piece at the museum. The museum contains more than 400 items on display that depicts the history of Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Minuteman program. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)

Rob Turnbow, the Malmstrom Historic Exhibit and Air Park curator, takes inventory of a missileer uniform that was recently donated to the museum from a private owner Jan. 26, 2017 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.  The museum contains more than 400 items on display that depicts the history of Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Minuteman program.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)

Rob Turnbow, the Malmstrom Historic Exhibit and Air Park curator, takes inventory of a missileer uniform that was recently donated to the museum from a private owner Jan. 26, 2017 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The museum contains more than 400 items on display that depicts the history of Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Minuteman program. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)

Rob Turnbow, the Malmstrom Historic Exhibit and Air Park curator, takes inventory of a Soviet-Army issued winter hat from the Cold War Jan. 26, 2017 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.  The museum contains more than 400 items on display that depicts the history of Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Minuteman program.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)

Rob Turnbow, the Malmstrom Historic Exhibit and Air Park curator, takes inventory of a Soviet-Army issued winter hat from the Cold War Jan. 26, 2017 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The museum contains more than 400 items on display that depicts the history of Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Minuteman program. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)

Senior Airman Valverde Urrunaga, 341st Civil Engineer Squadron Water & Fuels Systems Maintenance gets a history lesson about the missileer uniforms from Rob Turnbow, the Malmstrom Historic Exhibit and Air Park curator, Jan. 26, 2017 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.  The museum contains more than 400 items on display that depicts the history of Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Minuteman program.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)

Senior Airman Valverde Urrunaga, 341st Civil Engineer Squadron Water & Fuels Systems Maintenance gets a history lesson about the missileer uniforms from Rob Turnbow, the Malmstrom Historic Exhibit and Air Park curator, Jan. 26, 2017 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The museum contains more than 400 items on display that depicts the history of Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Minuteman program. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)

A mock-up of a World War II Army barrack is one of many exhibits on display at the Malmstrom Historic Exhibit and Air Park at Malmstrom Air Froce Base, Mont.  The museum contains more than 400 items on display that depict the history of Malmstrom and the Minuteman missile program.  (Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)

A mock-up of a World War II Army barrack is one of many exhibits on display at the Malmstrom Historic Exhibit and Air Park at Malmstrom Air Froce Base, Mont. The museum contains more than 400 items on display that depict the history of Malmstrom and the Minuteman missile program. (Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)

A Minuteman III missile guidance assembly is one of many exhibits on display at the Malmstrom Exhibit and Air Park at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.  The museum contains more than 400 items on display that depict the history of Malmstrom and the Minuteman missile program.  (Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)

A Minuteman III missile guidance assembly is one of many exhibits on display at the Malmstrom Exhibit and Air Park at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The museum contains more than 400 items on display that depict the history of Malmstrom and the Minuteman missile program. (Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)

A model of a launch control center console is one of many exhibits on display at the Malmstrom Historic and Air Park at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.  The museum contains more than 400 items on display that depict the history of Malmstrom and the Minuteman missile program.  (Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)

A model of a launch control center console is one of many exhibits on display at the Malmstrom Historic and Air Park at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The museum contains more than 400 items on display that depict the history of Malmstrom and the Minuteman missile program. (Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)

Rob Turnbow, the Malmstrom Historic Exhibit and Air Park curator, maintains the lighting system in the showroom of the exhibit Jan. 25, 2017 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.  The museum contains more than 400 items on display that depicts the history of Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Minuteman program.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)
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Rob Turnbow, the Malmstrom Historic Exhibit and Air Park curator, maintains the lighting system in the showroom of the exhibit Jan. 25, 2017 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The museum contains more than 400 items on display that depicts the history of Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Minuteman program. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. --

Located at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, the Malmstrom Historic Exhibit and Air Park sits just inside the 2nd Avenue gate.

 

Also known as the Malmstrom Museum, it has exterior displays that include various aircraft from the World War II and the Vietnam era.  At the eastern edge of the air park sits a static display of a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile along with a transporter erector vehicle, a radar van and multiple vintage military vehicles.    

Inside the museum sits the largest collection of model military aircraft displays in the Northwest and a reconstruction of World War II-era barracks.  Other parts of the museum include old uniforms on display, a section of a module from an early Minuteman launch control center, a cutaway of a Minuteman silo and other static displays that preserve the history and heritage of the base. 

 

Rob Turnbow, 341st Missile Wing museum curator, director and facility manager, agrees that every object on display is vital to telling a story and preserving the legacy of the base, but hearing first-hand accounts from people who visit make the job worthwhile.

 

“It’s the interaction with the visitors that shows there’s more to this job than just maintaining and preserving the history,” said Turnbow.  “When we get veterans that come in with their own first-hand accounts and tell their stories, it makes the job more meaningful.”

 

Turnbow adds that not only veterans visit the museum.

 

“We get visitors from all over the place,” said Turnbow.  “From family members of Airmen stationed at the base, people passing through on vacation to Canadian visitors, we get them all and they enjoy what we have to offer here.”

 

It’s recommended that visitors allow themselves sufficient time and plan accordingly due to all the museum has to offer.

 

“I would allow yourself at least 30 minutes when planning a trip here at the museum,” said Turnbow.  “We have quite a bit to offer here, so if you allow yourself a little time you can walk away knowing a good bit about the origins of the base and possibly the history and heritage of your own unit, then your visit was worthwhile.”

 

The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m and closed during holidays and family days.  Call Turnbow at 731-2705 for special arrangements, group tours or questions about the museum.