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SILENT WINGS MUSEUM

Silent Wings Museum
Looking at the entrance of the Sient Wings Museum in Lubbock, Texas. Image courtesy of the KFYO radio station. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
A Look Inside the Museum
A look inside the Silent Wings Museum. In the image you can see the Waco CG-4A on display, as well as other exhibits. Image courtesy of HOK firm. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

SILENT WINGS MUSEUM. Silent Wings Museum, formerly located at Terrell Municipal Airport, is now housed at Lubbock International Airport. The museum, which commemorates World War II glider pilots and their planes, began in 1984 as a project of the Military Glider Pilots Association to inform the general public about the involvement and accomplishments of the glider pilots in the war. About 5,000 men trained as glider pilots during World War II, all volunteers. Gliders were employed in Burma, France, Holland, Germany, Italy, and the Philippines during the war. Glider pilots had a 37 percent casualty rate because the equipment was dangerous and because all combat glider missions ended behind enemy lines. The glider program continued until 1952. The most important plane in the program was the Waco CG-4A. Although 13,909 of these planes were manufactured, only three extant examples were known in 1991. One of these three is exhibited at Silent Wings Museum. The plane was reconstructed from parts found in as widely scattered places as California and Pennsylvania. The CG-4A, built of wood and fabric with a steel skeleton, carried a crew of thirteen men, a pilot, and copilot. The plane could transport such equipment pieces as a jeep, a bulldozer, or a howitzer. Other models on exhibit at Silent Wings Museum are a Lasiter-Kauffman model TG-4A, a Pratt-Reed model PR-G-1, Schweizer models TG-2A and TG-3A, and several training gliders. Ownership of the collection was transferred to the city of Lubbock in 2000 and the museum was relocated to the Lubbock Airport in 2001. The museum is housed in a building that served as the Lubbock airport terminal from 1949 to 1976. The building was renovated for conversion to a museum, which opened to the public on October 20, 2002. The museum holds nearly 10,000 artifacts and thousands of documents and photographs.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Michael Morlan, Kitty Hawk to NASA: A Guide to U.S. Air and Space Museums and Exhibits (Shawnee, Kansas: Bon à Tirer, 1991). Paula and Ron Tyler, Texas Museums: A Guidebook (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983).

Julia Cauble Smith

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Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Julia Cauble Smith, "Silent Wings Museum," accessed July 29, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/lbs07.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on May 12, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.