Museum History: Castle Air Force Base located in Atwater, California was named in honour of Brigadier General Frederick W. Castle.More than simply lines from a movie, these words started adrenaline surging through the veins of men whose courage and skill were tested daily in the skies over the Pacific, Europe, Africa, Korea and later, Vietnam.To those who survived it, there is nothing glamorous about war. But, there is something awesome...a mystique...about the aircraft flown by the brave pilots and crews of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam Conflict.These aircraft...planes like the B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-24 Liberator, the B-29 Super Fortress, the B-26 Marauder and the B-25 Mitchell Bomber as well as the Mustang, Thunderbolt and Lightning are as much a part of America's heritage as Independence Hall, and the Battlefield at Gettysburg. In 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt announced that the U. S. would build 50,000 planes a year to help defeat the Axis powers. It was a number that, by his own admission, he had picked out of thin air. Production in 1939 was 2,195 aircraft. In the event, 300, 000 military aircraft were produced in the years 1940 through 1945, 95,272 in 1944 alone. When World War II ended, most of them were withdrawn from service and scrapped almost as rapidly as they had been built.It was to preserve for posterity the few remaining examples of these aircraft that the United States Air Force's Heritage Program was begun. Through the Heritage Program, communities and organizations are offered limited assistance in establishing air museums in which vintage military aircraft may be preserved.Accepting the challenge of restoring, maintaining and displaying World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam Era aircraft, a group of dedicated enthusiasts in the Atwater-Merced area formed the Castle Air Museum Foundation, Inc. which is now a non-profit organization. It was their dream to build on the previous ten-plus years of work under that Heritage program to have a museum in which faithfully restored historic aircraft could be exhibited for public enjoyment.Today that dream is a reality! It took hundreds of thousands of dollars in generous donations and thousands of hours of skilled volunteer effort, but today the Castle Air Museum is open and awaiting your visit.The long term plans for the museum call for the collection to grow as circumstances permit, all carefully restored and on display for your enjoyment. We would very much like to have a P-51 Mustang, P-47 Thunderbolt, P-38 Lightning as well as more recent aircraft such as the F-16, F-15, etc. So, with your generous donation and with the effort of the ever growing volunteer staff, the Castle Air Museum will continue to expand and improve its facilities and collection for present as well as future generations.Come and visit us today....the experience is breathtaking!