About Museum

AirPark at the museum

The Minnesota Air Guard Museum is operated by the Minnesota Air National Guard Historical Foundation, Inc. Our foundation is a private educational organization chartered as a non-profit organization under the statutes of the State of Minnesota. All of our programs are funded by tour and event revenue, donations, memberships, and grants. We are not affiliated with the Minnesota Air National Guard or any other public entity.

Located on the active Minnesota Air National Guard Base at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the Minnesota Air Guard Museum is an authorized USAF Air Park of the 133rd Airlift Wing.

Following approval by the 934th TAG (the base host) in 1983, work began to establish the Museum, starting in old alert hangars that once housed Northrop F-89 Scorpions. In the summer of 1984, the formal dedication was held when Eva Miller, widow of Minnesota Air Guard founder Ray S. Miller, cut the ribbon. The event was part of a base open house that drew about 30,000 visitors.

Established in 1921, Minnesota’s Air National Guard enjoys a unique place in history as the first federally recognized air guard unit in the nation. From those historic roots the unit became the 133rd Tactical Airlift Wing (Minneapolis-St. Paul) and the 148th Fighter Interceptor Wing (Duluth). Its legacy of accomplishment mirrors Minnesota’s historical leadership in civil, commercial, aero-medical and aerospace technology and innovation.

The Minnesota Air National Guard Museum is home to one of the largest displays of military aircraft in the five state area. The 21 aircraft displayed in our air park includes fighters, cargo planes, helicopters, and utility aircraft used by the US military from pre-WWII to present day. In the hangars are displays of ejections seats, flight simulators, jet and piston engines, plus weaponry from WWI to present day.  Also on display are ancillary artifacts, historical documents, photographs, manuscripts and books. There are also Doolittle and Tuskegee Airmen exhibits.

Volunteers have played a key role in aircraft restoration, tours and seminars benefiting students, citizens and organizations from the multi-state region.

Mission

The mission of the Foundation is to:

  • Preserve the heritage and traditions of the Minnesota Air National Guard;
  • Establish, maintain and operate a museum and library;
  • Promote and encourage research into the history, traditions and benefits of a strong militia program to Minnesota and the nation;
  • Take custody, restore, catalog, and validate historic objects and artifacts whether acquired by gift; purchase, or otherwise from individuals, the Minnesota National Guard and the Air National Guard or the United States Air Force;
  • Foster and promote public knowledge and interest in local military history, as part of the continuing militia history.

This mission helps to strengthen Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) and career education for students and teachers while learning about the innovation and achievements of people and companies, both yesterday and today. Through the proposed new Minnesota Air and Space Center to be built on the Fort Snelling Upper Post, the Foundation will:

  • Commemorate: Honor those who serve & build
  • Educate: Learn from the past & prepare for the future
  • Innovate: Showcase people & ideas at work

Among the members of the 109th FIS following WWII were two members, Ken Dahlberg, WWII “Triple Ace” and prominent Twin Cities businessman who founded Dahlberg Electronics, a company that supplies hearing apparatus to the hearing-impaired, and Donald “Deke” Slayton, one of the original “Mercury Seven” in the first astronaut program. And, of course, General Ray S. Miller, the “Father of the Minnesota Air National Guard”. In addition, several members of the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame are former members of the MNANG.

Board members

Chairman: Brian Wyneken
Vice Chairman: Karen Wolf
Treasurer: Tom Simonet
Secretary: Terry Morris
Executive Director of Operations: Mike Drews
Members: Jim Atwell; Anja Drescher; Ray Pittman; Rick Heinecke; Jerry Schultz; Brig. Gen. Greg A. Haase, USAF; Rick Dow; Herbert Ketcham
Wing Advisor: Col. Loren Hubert