History Taking Flight
Nampa’s Warhawk Air Museum
It all started with a couple of boxes of WWII memorabilia.
Memories carefully curated and stored by Sue Paul's father. Memories Sue and her husband John wanted to share with the world in order to honor the past.
Today, that simple dream has grown into the Warhawk Air Museum, 40,000 square feet of historic planes, artifacts and, perhaps most importantly, life lessons that span over 100 years of American flight history.
Museum visitors can get up close and personal with the museum’s aircraft, including, including this P-51C Mustang: The Boise Bee.
A visit to the museum is a deeply personal experience. It does not simply showcase war memorabilia, it helps you live it by telling stories of people – including those of famous and worthy-of-fame Idahoans.
Exhibits span World War I, World War II, and the Cold War era, including the Vietnam Wars.
Take, for instance, the story of Nat “Blackie” Adams who rescued George Bush Sr. from capture by the Japanese, and later became a Boise architect.
Or the adventures of Sam Pollard, whose portrait hangs next to his army uniform… it is easy to envision him wearing it when he captured 107 German soldiers during WWII.
Both men come alive in the museum’s exhibits, bringing you closer to history and the personal journeys of these local heroes.
Walking through the museum makes you feel like your are in grandpa’s attic, seeing his WWII keepsakes, but without getting in trouble.
In addition to aircraft, the museum features a number of interactive displays.
At the At the heart of the Warhawk’s permanent collection are 11 historic and replica aircraft made famous by war, including a F-86F Sabre Jet (Korean War), UH-1C Huey (Vietnam War), P-51C Mustang (WWII), and a Fokker DR-1 triplane (WWI). A rotating list of visiting aircraft are also on display.
All machines built with a purpose. And each a work of art in their own right.
Being so close to these fascinating, historic machines is enough to bring out anyone’s inner eight-year-old.
The airplanes are always ready to head out to the runway and take flight.
The museum’s Russian-made MiG-17 from the Vietnam era and MiG-21 from the Korean War era provide a rare look at the enemy’s combat aircraft. Studying them, it’s easy for your mind to wander to the American pilots who were brought down by these planes. To the sacrifices they made. And to the lasting impact of their efforts.
For John, Sue, and the rest of the Warhawk staff, it’s these moments of appreciation and respect that make their work so worth doing.
After all, while time and memories fade, the accomplishments of American veterans live on in the freedoms and way of life we enjoy today.
Visiting the Warhawk Air Museum:
Location: Nampa Airport — 201 Municipal Drive
Group tours are available. Contact the museum for details.
Give yourself at least a couple of hours to see and experience it all.
The Warhawk Air Museum is a SWITA member — thank you for helping us promote the best of Southwest Idaho.