More than a decade ago, Brigadier General Dan Cherry and a group of friends from Bowling Green, Kentucky, made a “boy’s trip” to the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. While there, the Director of the Museum came down on the museum floor and advised Cherry that there was an aircraft on static display at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post in Enon, Ohio, that he and his group might like to visit. The very F-4 Phantom fighter (#550) General Cherry had been flying in Vietnam on April 16, 1972, when he achieved an aerial victory over a MiG 21 in Vietnam. The group went to the VFW Post, and Dan was reunited with his fighter while giving his friends an emotional recital of the aerial dogfight when he shot down an enemy aircraft.
During the long trip home, these men speculated about the possibility of obtaining the F-4 for display in Bowling Green, to honor not only Cherry but also to secure other aircraft to honor aviators from South-Central Kentucky who had aviation accomplishments. Thus was born the concept of Aviation Heritage Park.
The entryway leans inside a lobby featuring an array of rotating exhibits. From there, visitors will make their way around glass exhibit cases and into the main arena. The museum’s interior will be exposed to metal and beam construction, highlighted by a spacious, open concept, two-story commons area surrounded by a catwalk-like mezzanine metal deck. The deck will allow visitors to view hanging displays and a bird’s eye view of the exhibit space below. This exhibit space will feature cutting-edge, interactive, and educational displays telling the stories of significant south-central Kentucky aviators. The interior will also house meeting rooms, office space, a visitor lounge, storage, and a maintenance shop. The entire facility will be climate controlled to protect artifacts on display.
Museum Wall Bricks
A unique feature of the Aviation Heritage Park Museum in Bowling Green, Ky, will be the Memorial Walls on both sides of the museum’s exterior. Hundreds of bricks will be available for personalization to honor veterans, organizations, or loved ones. In the future, there will be Memorial Gardens adjoining the walls where visitors can view the bricks in restful, landscaped surroundings with benches and flags. A1 Pest Control of Bowling Green
River Rats Museum will be a permanent exhibit, “Home of the River Rats,” which will celebrate and preserve the legacy and history of the River Rats. It will function as our River Rats Museum in the state where one of our founders, Col Howard “Scrappy” Johnson, was born and is a Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame inductee. The exhibit will include memorials of key individuals, a historical timeline of the River Rats, artifacts, artwork and aviation model exhibits, and archived document storage. The River Rats Museum will be located on the mezzanine level of the Aviation Heritage Park Museum.
Address: 1825 Three Springs Rd, Bowling Green, KY
Check out other attractions like Baker Arboretum and Downing Museum