New Evansville museum would celebrate WWII plane - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

New Evansville museum would celebrate WWII plane

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A rendering of what the possible museum could look like. A rendering of what the possible museum could look like.

A new Evansville museum that is in the works would celebrate a World War II plane and the men and women who made it.

If it comes true, the Freedom Heritage Museum would be built in a hangar leased by Tri-State Aero near Evansville Regional Airport.

On Monday, organizers have a proposed location, artist renderings and lots of support. Later this week, they'll receive the first World War II plane donated for display.

"It was amazing once word got out, just how many people just had a real passion to try to put something like this together," says Rick Kaskel, the Vice President of the Freedom Heritage Museum. 

It was 1942, when the first P-47 Thunderbolt rolled off the lines at Republic Aviation in Evansville.

More than 70 years later, the iconic fighter plane, with it's 8 machine guns, is the focus of a new project.

"I'm amazed that we don't already have a P-47 museum. I'm just thrilled, along with all the other board members, that hopefully we can drum up enough support locally to get behind a project like this," Kaskel says.

It's planned for the south end of the Evansville Airport, in a hangar, currently leased by Tri-State Aero. It's just across the grounds from the Whirlpool building where the P-47s were built all those years ago.

"We think it would be a great way to restore an aging building. It would be a wonderful way to improve some green space. It would be a great way to educate young children," Kaskel says.

The museum would include an interactive pilot training exhibit, stories from local vets, and local World War II memorabilia.

"There are many, many people that have passion that would love to see this," Kaskel says. "Our goal of course is to take the old boat-truss hangar on the southside of the airport and turn it into a world-class museum."

There is so much more planned for the museum. Next month, two P-47's built in Evansville are scheduled to be on display during Shrinersfest on July 6.

Also, volunteers are always needed to help get this project off the ground.

For more about the museum, click here.

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