Yankee Air Museum Wants Home At Ex-Bomber Plant

VAN BUREN TWP. (AP) – The Yankee Air Museum wants to make its new home at a former World War II B-24 bomber plant, and officials have kicked off a $6 million campaign to make that happen.

Museum officials want to purchase and renovate part of the former Willow Run powertrain plant. The museum currently is housed at Willow Run Airport, near Ypsilanti, in Wayne County’s Van Buren Township. The museum’s original headquarters was destroyed by fire in 2004.

“To relocate where men and women worked around the clock to produce the aircraft that helped preserve our nation’s freedom will bring history to life in a unique and powerful way,” Dennis Norton, the founder and president of the Yankee Air Museum, said in a statement Tuesday.

Norton said he also has presented plans to Ypsilanti Township officials.

The museum said it has until Aug. 1 to secure funding to buy the site, including a shuttered 5-million-square-foot manufacturing building, from the Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust.

Willow Run originally was built by Ford Motor Co. to produce the B-24 Liberator bomber during World War II, and made C-119 and C-123 aircraft during the Korean War. GM bought it in 1953. The RACER Trust took over sites around the country left behind in the bankruptcy of GM.

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