This past weekend, my youngest son and I were looking for things to do on a rainy day in New Jersey. We decided to check out the Air Victory Museum in Lumberton, New Jersey. Let me tell you, this is one of those “Jersey Gems” that I often mention and more people ought to know about.
The Air Victory Museum highlights the history of air travel starting with the Wright brothers’ flight through present-day aviation. Located in (what else?) an airplane hangar, the museum displays authentically restored aircraft as well as full-sized replicas of historic aircraft, including replica of a Wright Brothers 1903 Flyer built by students from the Chapin School of Princeton, New Jersey. Most of the aircraft on display at the museum are on loan from the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Florida. As a result, the exhibits change over time – which means it’s worth the cost of paying admission for a return visit (or purchasing a membership) because you are likely to see planes that weren’t there on your last visit!
On our visit to the Air Victory Museum, my son and I got to see…
A McDonnell-Douglas A-4F Skyhawk II (flown by the Blue Angels) – c. 1974.
A Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star (the first operational jet fighter in the United States) – c. 1944.
My son got to sit in the cockpit of the P-80, which was a real thrill!
A LTV (Ling Temco Vought) A-7 Corsair – c. 1965. These planes flew bombing missions over Vietnam and were extremely reliable. Of 12,9928 missions flown, there were only 4 losses.
A Grumman F-14 Tomcat – c. 1974
A Grumman E-2B Hawkeye (all-weather, carrier-capable tactical airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft) – c. 1966.
In addition to aircraft, the Air Victory Museum also houses the Gallery of Aviation History, featuring photographs, artwork, and historical articles which give visitors a chronological view of the evolution of aircraft. Here we saw a poster signed by the astronauts of the Gemini II mission.
The museum also features an extensive collection of military uniforms representing every service branch in the United States Military. Many personal items used by service members dating from WWI to the present are on display as well. From vinyl records, to pocket knives, to biscuit tins, these items give visitors a glimpse of what it was like for service members serving overseas in times of combat.
The Air Victory Museum keeps the youngest of visitors in mind as well, providing them with the Kids Port where they can explore the magic of aviation in a fun, hands-on environment.
The Air Victory Museum is located at 69 Stacy Haines Road in Lumberton, New Jersey, on the grounds of the South Jersey Regional Airport. Visit the museum online (or call 609-267-4488) for hours of operation, admission costs, and directions.
Other things to do in the area:
- Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge
- Battleship New Jersey
- South Jersey Baseball Hall of Fame
- Diggerland USA
- Apple Picking in South Jersey
- Pumpkin Picking in South Jersey
- Peach Picking in South Jersey
- Blueberry Picking in South Jersey
- Batsto Village
- Wharton State Forest
- Brendan Byrne State Forest