Mission: Educating. Preserving. Honoring the Heroes.
Our mission is to develop and maintain the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum: a World War II naval aviation Museum that educates young and old alike, to preserve history by honoring the memory of Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale and the men & women who defended freedom during World War II.
Results: This Museum has been instrumental in preserving the memory of Flight 19, one of the great aviation mysteries. Flight 19 flew out of this Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale (NASFL) on 5 December 1945 to vanish into the Bermuda Triangle. In addition, 19 year old future U.S President George H. W. Bush lived at this base as an Ensign to train as a torpedo/bomber pilot. Since then, the vast complex of 200 buildings that housed the air base have been all demolished. All except for the Link Trainer Building #8 - our current Museum. After a long battle to preserve it, this building was added to the National Register of Historic Places. It is the only Military Museum in Broward County and the only building remaining from Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale in WWII.
Target demographics: history, preservation, education, tourism, arts, entertainment
Direct beneficiaries per year: Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum
Geographic areas served: south florida
Programs: Historic exhibits, fundraisers, cultural events, memorials, volunteer programs, navy heritage programs, documentaries
Volunteer work can get very tedious, but it is really worth the effort.
I have enjoyed every minute of my volunteer efforts at this Museum. I never expected it to be this interesting. It was however very disorganized and it still lacks continuity. I've never been afraid of challenges and this has been definitely a big challenge and the most satisfying too. I became a volunteer 3 years ago, and it has been a continuous inspiration, because of the sheer necessity of organization and goals when I first became involved: there were so many boxes, everywhere, filled with historical photographs, records, artifacts, garbage, and what not. We have probably thrown out 85% of garbage and organized the vital artifacts now.
We are all volunteers here and give it our best. We are still finding treasures among the boxes. I can say that I have learned a tremendous amount about the history of World War II, but most especially about the men and women that experienced it. Many of the members are World War II veterans, and they are getting older, so it is vital that we record their experiences. We have started a Veteran's Stories Project. I'm always excited to meet and learn from every volunteer that brings in their own experience. There are many opportunities for growth, and the volunteer Directors are always welcoming new ideas. There are also several Luncheons and Events throughout the year, that we can organize for Fundraising.