Tag Archives: Cape May NAval Air Station

Aviation Museum Ranked Top Attraction in Cape May Area

Immediate Release
June 25, 2014
Aviation Museum Ranked
Top Attraction in Cape May Area

Cape May Airport, Lower Township, NJ- The Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum (NASW) is now ranked #1 of 22 attractions in the Cape May area on TripAdvisor.com. Rankings are determined by visitor ratings and volume of reviews. The majority of new visitors learn of the museum through TripAdvisor.

NASW has also received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor. Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website.

Cape May Airport was formerly Naval Air Station Wildwood, which served as a World War II dive-bomber training center. The museum is dedicated to the 42 airmen who perished while training at Naval Air Station Wildwood between 1943 and 1945.

Yankee Lady Prepares for Barnstorming Cape May

May 28th, 2014

Yankee Lady Prepares for Barnstorming Cape May


Cape May Airport, Lower Township, NJ— Yankee Lady, the meticulously restored World War II Boeing B-17G heavy bomber will be flying into Cape May Airport and the Naval Air Station Wildwood (NASW) Aviation Museum on Sunday evening June 8th  for a barnstorming appearance that begins June 9th and runs through Wednesday June 11th, 2014.  The four-engine Flying Fortress, flagship of the Yankee Air Museum based at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Michigan, will be available for tours and Flight Experience (FLEX) rides.


“It’s absolutely great that the Yankee Lady is coming back to NASW Aviation Museum again this year,” exclaimed Bruce Fournier, Chief Operating Officer of the Aviation Museum. “Last year the weather and a minor engine problem kept the B-17 on the ground, but we are confident the weather will cooperate this year. We’re told the Yankee Lady is running strong and ready for Cape May.”


Fournier, who helps manage a substantial collection of historic WWII artifacts at the Museum, explained the thunderous four engine heavy bomber initiated daylight, precision strategic bombing in the European Theater of Operations.  This campaign attacked the enemy’s ability to make war by destroying munitions factories, bases and oil refineries from 1942 to 1945.


“I’m extremely proud to host her,” Fournier said. “The majesty of this rare aircraft casts a patriotic spell over people of all ages.  The opportunities to teach young people about the price of freedom are endless when a Flying Fortress is the classroom.”


Fournier said that unlike planes of today, the technology of this aircraft is fully visible. To save weight, all of the inner workings like cables, pulleys, fuselage spars and ribs are exposed. He says kids are amazed when they find out the plane was designed and built long before computers existed.


More than 12,700 of these stout aircraft were built between 1936 and 1945. Their strength became legendary as literally thousands returned to home bases so severely damaged by enemy fighters and anti-aircraft artillery they were barely able to fly.  Over 5,000 were shot down in Europe during combat operations during the historic air war.  Yankee Lady is one of only nine B-17 Flying Fortresses still flying and one of only seven on which people can take a ride.


“Yankee Lady is a pristine B-17 and we appreciate the opportunity to share her,” said Ray Hunter, Chairman of the Yankee Air Museum Board of Directors.  “Our purpose is to honor aviation history and its participants through a living, flying museum.  Support from our friends at the NASW Aviation Museum and the Cape May community makes this mission possible.”






Hunter explained that while Yankee Lady never saw combat, she served in a variety of military and civilian roles. The Museum restored her to 98% authentic WWII condition and only the real bombs and bullets are missing. He added that keeping the aircraft in its award winning condition requires an enormous amount of financial and volunteer resources.


Hunter says the sights, sounds, smells and feelings on board a B-17 FLEX ride are unparalleled, providing an inkling of what WWII airmen endured.


“Anyone who wants to feel real lift, fly close to the wind and see the panorama of the seashore and countryside unfolding before them will want to fly in the Lady,” said Dave Wright, Yankee Air Museum’s director of Flight Experiences.


The B-17 Flying Fortress, Yankee Lady will arrive at Cape May Airport on Sunday evening June 8th, and remain on station through the 11th.


“We’ll also be sure Yankee Lady will be available for ground tours,” said Wright, “Hopefully she’ll be going out on numerous FLEX flights but will always return throughout daylight hours.  When she departs and returns it’s just part of the excitement to see her in action.”


Wright said ground tours are included in the price of museum admission.  A ride is a 45-minute experience with approximately 30 minutes of flight time and costs $450.00.  To order a B-17 FLEX ride or to obtain a gift certificate, call Dave Wright at 734-483-4030, extension 236.  Donations to the Museum for this purpose may be tax deductible, consult your tax professional for details.


“This is the perfect Father’s Day gift!” exclaimed Wright, concluding “the smile will last for days and the memory—forever.”  Fournier added that the purpose behind bringing Yankee Lady to Cape May is to help celebrate American Pride Days. This year, American Pride Days will span 3 days and include entertainment by The Bob Ferris Orchestra (June 9).


Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum is located in Historic Hangar #1 at the Cape May Airport, New Jersey. Cape May Airport was formerly Naval Air Station Wildwood, which served as a World War II dive-bomber training center. The museum is dedicated to the 42 airmen who perished while training at Naval Air Station Wildwood between 1943 and 1945. For more information, visit the www.usnasw.org website.


Established in 1981, the Yankee Air Museum (YAM) a non-profit 501 (c)(3) tax exempt organization is based at the historic Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Michigan. For more information about YAM visit the www.yankeeairmuseum.org website. For a 90 second video glimpse into a FLEX Ride aboard the aircraft visit:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rkfBZgPnQI



Air station looks to solve identity crisis


Air station looks to solve identity crisis

Written by Mary LinehanTuesday, April 30, 2013 10:47 am



Attention: open in a new window.LOWER TOWNSHIP – The Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum here at the Cape May Airport suffers from a little bit of an identity crisis.

“We are at the Cape May Airport, which is not in Cape May, and called Naval Air Station Wildwood, but not in Wildwood,” said Bruce Fournier, deputy director of the museum located in the World War II era hangar there. “Sometimes people who live and work here get confused about where we are.”

Even the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA), which operates the airport where the museum is located, can’t seem to pinpoint the location. According to the DRBA maintained website for the Cape May Airport, “this well-maintained 1,000-acre general aviation airport” is located in Rio Grande, New Jersey, approximately five miles from Cape May. The site does list the airport’s address as being in Erma.

Rio Grande is part of Middle Township and Erma is in Lower Township.

The air station was originally called NAS Rio Grande when it was established during World War II, but that created confusion with a large air station out of Rio Grande, Texas, so the Wildwood moniker was attached.

“You know this happens to us all the time,” Fournier said. “We’ve got a lot to offer and have trouble getting our name on anything.”

Fournier and his marketing committee hosted some 70 local accommodation business owners and operators at a hospitality night last Wednesday, April 17 to help get the word out about the air station, said Fournier.

“The event went well, for the first year,” he said. “Next year, I think we will hold it just after Memorial Day, so that more of the Wildwood businesses can be represented.”

The two hour event informed local motel, hotel and innkeepers what the NAS Wildwood Museum has to offer for visitors, and told them how to point them there.

“It’s about branding, and being part of the overall Cape May County brand,” said Fournier. Wine at the event was provided by Jessie Creek Winery, of Cape May Court House, and snacks by Cape May Smokehouse, with locations in North Cape May and on the Washington Street Mall in Cape May.

“It seemed like a great way to get the word out,” said Ken Hutchinson, owner of the Cape May Smokehouse. “I guess one of the staffers at the museum had been at an event we catered and approached us about this.”

Hutchinson just opened the Cape May location on Easter, but has operated out of North Cape May for some five years.

“We also do a lot of catering. We serve traditional Southern style barbeque – ribs, chicken, brisket,” he said.

Fournier said that the museum had over 30,000 visitors last year, not including special events such as the annual “American Pride” weekend.

“Once we get people here, they are thrilled,” he said. “So having locals at local businesses pointing the way and really knowing what we have to offer really increases foot traffic. The hospitality event seemed like a low cost way to increase those referrals.”

Fournier said that they offer discounts with nearby businesses, such as the Flight Deck restaurant and Cape May Brewing Co, both located at the airport, as well as the Forgotten Warriors Museum just across the street.

The Forgotten Warriors museum hosts a large collection of memorabilia, most donated by local veterans, from the Korean and Vietnam wars.

“It all links up to make the county a great destination,” said Fournier.

The museum recently announced its plans for an inaugural 5K run, as well as its annual Aviation Career Education Summer Academy held July 8-12, for students aged 12-17, and the Explorers Summer Academy held July15-19, for students aged 9-11.

Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum is located inside Historic Hangar #1 at the Cape May Airport. The site was formerly Naval Air Station Wildwood, which served as a World War II dive-bomber training center. The mu