A small propeller-driven version of Air Force One used by President Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s is on display at the Regional Military Museum in the bayou city of Houma.
It’s an unlikely place to find a piece of U.S. presidential history. President Dwight Eisenhower used the twin-engine Aero Commander U-4B for short flights from Washington DC to his farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It is the smallest version of an Air Force One. The historic aircraft was moved to Houma from storage in Patterson, Louisiana. The plane is now on permanent display at Houma’s Regional Military Museum.
History moves to new museum home
It is unknown whether President Eisenhower piloted this aircraft. He was a licensed pilot. The plane was used by the Air Force Academy and Civil Air Patrol after retiring from its duties as Air Force One. The aircraft is still capable of flying.
In addition to the aircraft, the Regional Military Museum also has on display the flight logs of trips and passengers who flew on this plane with President Eisenhower. British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery is among those recorded passengers. Montgomery, the senior British Army commander in World War 2, served alongside Gen. Dwight Eisenhower when he was Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe.
Journey down the bayou
The former presidential aircraft was moved 40 miles from the Louisiana State Museum in Patterson to its new home in nearby Houma. A crane, truck and barge were used to move the aircraft to the Regional Military Museum, where it becomes a centerpiece among the military artifacts on display at the Houma museum. The museum has several full-size military vehicles along with weapons, uniforms and other artifacts collected from families who live in the Houma area.
Houma’s Regional Military Museum recently underwent a major expansion with the addition of 18-thousand square feet of exhibit space. This will allow room for more major military artifacts and stories from veterans who have served their country.
The Regional Military Museum is located at 1154 Barrow Street in downtown Houma, Louisiana.
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