Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum

Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum

Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum

Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum
4.5
Thursday
11:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Saturday
11:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Sunday
11:30 AM - 3:30 PM
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About
National Register of Historic Places. Mission Statement: Educating. Preserving. Honoring the Heroes BACKGROUND HISTORY: Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale (NASFL) was built on the site of Merle Fogg Field in 1942 as part of the national defense program; serving as one among 257 air stations during World War II, and as one of a few specialty schools for training on the TBM/TBF Avenger aircraft. NAS Fort Lauderdale made a big impact in the growth and economy of the South Florida region and the United States as a whole. Building # 8, The Link Trainer Building housed 6-8 Link Trainer flight simulators. It is the only remaining structure left on the naval base property—sole reminder of a naval complex of more than 200 buildings. This building is now the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum. The Museum has been instrumental in preserving the memory of Flight 19, one of the great aviation mysteries. Flight 19 flew out of NAS Fort Lauderdale on 5 December 1945, to vanish into the Bermuda Triangle. In addition, 19 year old future US President George H. W. Bush lived at this base as an Ensign, to train as a torpedo/bomber pilot. From October 1942 to October 1946 the base would train American and British pilots and thousands of aircrewmen from the U.S and other countries.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
108 reviews
Excellent
77
Very good
26
Average
3
Poor
1
Terrible
1

wireless_in_CA
United States4,562 contributions
Oct 2021 • Solo
This was a small museum at the edge of the Fort Lauderdale airport and the only building remaining from the original Naval air station.

I learned a great deal of history during my visit from one of the volunteers.

The building housed the LINK trainer (a tiny flight simulator) that pilots had to train on before being qualified. A desk in front also contained the equipment used to evaluate their performance.

A large library was at the end and bookcases and tables were full of articles, books and magazines covering base operations through the present day.

Another room was dedicated to President George HW Bush who was a trainee at the base. His footlocker, photos and other personal effects were displayed here along with details about his visit when the museum was established.

The base was also memorialized for the infamous Flight 19 that disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle. A marker and biographical details of the pilots and crew were on display towards the back.

I learned a lot about the evolution of the WWII fighter plane through the models on display. Many more airplanes, ship models were here along with an eclectic collection of uniforms, flags, plaques, etc.

Outside the museum were torpedoes, anti submarine mortar battery and a deck gun.

Good stop if you have the time. The volunteers would enjoy having more visitors!
Written October 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Victoria201154
Fort Lauderdale, FL605 contributions
May 2021 • Friends
Interesting small museum with dedicated volunteers eager to show you around. Lots of model aircraft, old uniforms, flight suits and memorabilia. There is also a library filled with books and newspaper clippings. Definitely worth supporting.
Written May 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

robertzaret
Deerfield Beach, FL26 contributions
Aug 2021
George gave a wonderful and interesting tour. This is my second visit and I accompanied a retired marine this trip. Historic and complete with planes and ships, pictures of places and the people involved in this memorialization of world wars I and II. I encourage visitors to enjoy a visit. They are only open on Saturdays 11:30 to 3. They are also open to commemorate the loss of the flight of trainers below Florida on December 5 every year.
Written August 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Edward F
Pittsburgh, PA27 contributions
Mar 2021
Run by volunteers, open a few hours a week, collection of stuff people have sent in rather than throw out. Some volunteers know a few things about the museum but most don’t. Lifesized cardboard cutout of Trump in the main room, who IMHO has no place in a WWII military museum, having never served. Room dedicated to George HW Bush, who indeed did train here to fly Avenger torpedo bombers.

I would not bother.
Written March 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JoAnn S
53 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
Wonderful small museum run by volunteers. My father served as a radio man and tail gunner and was trained at this base. I was able to see a model of the plane he flew in and the docent explained where he would have sat and the job he did. It was interesting and although my father passed long ago, I felt he was there with me. Definitely worth doing as the artifacts were all donations. We must not let this history die. The story needs to be told.
Written February 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

LikesAGoodDeal
California261 contributions
May 2014 • Couples
My husband rated this a 5 for WWII history buffs and those interested in Flight 19. This small museum building is history in itself as it is the only remaining building of the Naval Air Station at Fort Lauderdale. We visited on a Thursday after calling to make sure the museum would be open. There is no admission fee but donations are greatly appreciated. This is a completely volunteer, labor of love, on the part of the people who keep this museum running.

It has a great deal of information about the ill-fated Flight 19 which was lost in the Bermuda triangle along with a search plane. There are artifacts, family donated memorabilia, flight logs, search logs, etc.

There are detailed models of WWII aircraft that were made by a volunteer that are fantastically detailed. The museum also contains one of the last remaining instrument flight trainers.

There is also a mural on the wall of Avenger torpedo bombers returning from a training mission to NAS Ft Lauderdale. The pilots of this flight, including former President George H. W. Bush, have autographed the mural and there are pictures showing his visit. There is also a room that has been maintained in historical perspective and depicts the room that President Bush would have used as a trainee.

It does not take too long to visit since the museum is small; it is worth taking the time.
Written May 19, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dawn-ohbehave
Fort Lauderdale22 contributions
This is an all volunteer run attraction and the passion of the docents and staff is truly admirable. Great memorabilia and wonderful storytelling. A must see for all you locals and aviation enthusiasts like me. Our docent, Gary answered all of our questions and it led to even more great stories. He has extensive aviation experience. If you are a local, I suggest getting a membership to support maintaining our local history. We did!
Written April 12, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Miles Archer
Boca Raton, FL7,290 contributions
Oct 2014 • Solo
This is a neat museum located at the southwest corner of the airport. There's a room set up to resemble a living-quarters room in the junior BOQ (Batchelor Officers Quarters) such as the one George H. W. Bush stayed in when he was a naval aviator cadet at the naval air station (now Fort Lauderdale International Airport) here during World War II. The accommodations were spartan then. The room consisted of little more than a cot, a desk with a chair, and a locker. A full length photo of Barbara Bush, in a dress, from the 1940s sits on the desk in this mockup room. She was very attractive.

There are dozens of model airplanes in other rooms of this museum. There's also a link trainer, such as the ones used to train naval aviators here during the war. To me, a licensed private pilot, the link trainer seemed so primitive. But it was very effective in its time.

The building housing this museum is the sole surviving structure from that naval air station. During the war it served as a link training building. It has since been moved from its original location elsewhere on the airport grounds to its present site.

There is a collection of period military uniforms from that war era, and from other times. A photo of Fort Lauderdale's most famous hero from the Second World War, Lt. Alexander "Sandy" Nininger, is on a wall. Supposedly he was the first Medal of Honor recipient of that war, though certainly not the first to earn it during that war. He was killed in action against the Japanese in January 1942. There were several awardees of the medal from the Pearl Harbor attack.

The museum houses a tribute to the ill-fated Flight 19. There are several memorabilia to that lost flight, including a transcript of radio communications involving those pilots. When I have more time, I'd like to return and pore over that transcript.

This museum is well worth a visit.
Written October 26, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Peter S
Gilroy16 contributions
Feb 2014 • Couples
We called and made an appointment to visit the air museum Sunday 2/23/14. We were able to talk to one of the volunteers who told us to come by, she was doing a tour. (call to see if open prior to visit). We arrived and spent about 45 min looking at the displays inside of the building. A lot of books, and models on air and sea. This is for people interested in the history of the Navy and its impact on Ft. Lauderdale. When we arrived, we were lucky to be joined by a vet who had been stationed at the air station. This was a huge bonus as he brought his own book on his time in the Navy and being stationed at the air station. A lot of good work has been done in keeping our history for all to see. Thanks to the many volunteers. The site can been seen from I-95 and is a easy 5 min. drive from the airport.
Written February 24, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

cleichhorn
Charleston, SC251 contributions
Aug 2013
If you have any historical interest of Ft Lauderdale's role in WWII then you MUST visit this site. Unknown to the public, this Museum is a labor of love by a dedicated MM22 and his cadre of volunteers. Packed with history and pictures and personal artifacts you could spend the entire day exploring and reading. Signatures fro Medal of Honor recipients, past Presidents and elite military are on the wall mural. Donations only, some items in small gift shop for sale, library being developed. Don't miss this rare piece of history!
Written August 15, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum

Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum is open:
  • Thu - Thu 11:30 AM - 3:30 PM
  • Sat - Sun 11:30 AM - 3:30 PM