Fagen Fighters WWII Museum

This past May, I traveled back to Minnesota to attend the University of Minnesota Living Donors Reception (more on that in a future post) and to visit family.

While back in Granite Falls, Minnesota, visiting family I had the opportunity to visit the Fagan Fighters WWII Air Museum located at the Granite Falls Municpal Airport.  Containing a pristine collection of fully operational, active aircraft and vehicles from World War II, the museum is designed to let visitors have a self guided experience, allowing them to spend as much, or as little, time as they want in any particular section.

Upon entering the first hangar, one of the first vehicles you see is a 1940 GMC CCKWX-353 “Deuce and a Half” 2 1/2 ton cargo truck.  Over 560,000 of these trucks were produced just prior to and during World War II and was used primarily as a troop carrier and supply wagon.

Fagen Fighters WWII Air Museum

A 1940 General Motors CCKWX-353 "Deuce and a Half" at the Fagen Fighters WWII Museum.

A 1940 General Motors CCKWX-353 “Deuce and a Half” at the Fagen Fighters WWII Museum.

Also in the first hangar, was one of the neatest pieces of aircraft I have ever seen – the Waco CG-4A Combat Glider.  The most widely used US troop/cargo glider of World War II the CG-4A Combat Glider consisted of just over 70,000 parts and was towed by a Douglas C-47 Skytrain. With the addition of a fairly simple grapple system, an in-flight C-47 “equipped with tail hook and and rope braking drum could ‘pick up’ a CG-4A waiting on the ground.”

Aircraft and vehicles, including the Waco CG-4A Glider are on display at the Fagen Fighters WWII Museum in Granite Falls, Minnesota.

Aircraft and vehicles, including the Waco CG-4A Glider (on display on the far right) at the Fagen Fighters WWII Museum in Granite Falls, Minnesota.

The fighter planes are located in the second hangar and include a couple of  P51-D Mustangs (“Twilight Tear” and “Sweet Revenge”), a P-38 Lightning, and a P-40E Warhawk (the “Desert Shark”).

A P-40E Warhawk, the "Desert Shark", had a maximum speed of 360 mph and a range of 650 miles.

A P-40E Warhawk, the “Desert Shark”, had a maximum speed of 360 mph and a range of 650 miles.

An L-4J "Grasshopper", a 1945 Piper Aircraft

An L-4J “Grasshopper”, a 1945 Piper Aircraft

In addition to the planes on display, the walls are painted with murals depicting scenes from World War II.

A mural painted by David Reiser depicts soldiers parachuting into a field during WWII.

A mural painted by David Reiser depicts soldiers parachuting into a field during WWII.

A large bronze sculpture depicts the 4th Infantry landing at Utah Beach on D-day.  The beach has sand from the actual landing site in Normandy, France.

A bronze sculpture depicting members of the 4th Infantry storming Utah Beach on D-Day in Normandy, France

A close up of a soldier on D-Day at Utah Beach in Normandy, France.

A close up of a soldier on D-Day at Utah Beach in Normandy, France.

The Fagen Fighters WWII Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10-4 and has a suggested donation of $10 for entry.  Even if you are not a fan of World War II history, this museum is home to an amazing collection of WWII aircraft and provides a little bit of something for everyone.  I highly encourage you to stop by for a visit if you are ever in Granite Falls, Minnesota.

 

Until the next adventure…

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