by Kimberly A. Cook (Twitter@ WarriorTales)
Spent last week in Sisters and Madras, Oregon shopping, relaxing, digging thundereggs, and soaking in hot tubs. One fabulous exhibit we stumbled upon is the Erickson Aircraft Collection in Madras, Oregon.
Nestled in a refurbished World War II aircraft hangar at the Madras airport were more than twenty military aircraft complete with floor diapers for their oil leaks. They are still dripping oil since most of these rare birds are still flown on a regular basis.
Aircraft on display include a B-17G Bomber, P-51D Mustang, FM-2 Wildcat and even a ME-109 Messerschmitt. While wandering all around with my camera, I could not locate the Vought F4U Corsair, a favorite of my Dad’s. Found out it was in the shop for a tune up. Guess I will have to go back!
This collection started in the 1970’s by Jack Erickson and then his grandson Mike Oliver caught the airplane bug and serves as the General Manager of the Collection today. Pretty sure he might have been the one leading a tour of folks around the collection while we were there; the red Corvette parked out front a give away perhaps?
Since Madras served as a training base for B-17 pilots during World War II, it is the perfect place to host these fabulous machines. The stories of the men who flew these beauties were nicely displayed in the collection, especially since so many were local boys.
The women were not left out either with the role they played building these machines on display. Since USS Ranger magic is everywhere, one of the photos featured the time a B-25J Mitchell flew off the USS Ranger in San Diego, CA harbor to commemorate the Doolittle Raid.
Many of those Doolittle Raid pilots were drawn from the local area. Think USS Ranger was giving me a sign. If you get a chance, venture over and visit this amazing collection in Madras, Oregon.
Check them out at http://www.ericksoncollection.com
P.S. Did I mention there is an air show too? Must make another trip…..