The United States Air Force's Enlisted Heritage Hall offers visitors a
unique glimpse at our country's rich history of military aviation. Located
at Maxwell Air Force Base, Gunter Annex, the Enlisted Heritage Hall hosts
thousands of people each year who learn from its educational, enlightening
and fascinating story.
The mission of the Enlisted Heritage Hall is to preserve the rich and
dramatic heritage and tradition of the enlisted corps of the U.S. Air Force
and the U.S. Army Aeronautical Division, Air Service, Air Corps and
Air Forces in the development of air power
to defend the United States.
The Heritage Hall achieves this by featuring artifacts, art collections,
pictorial exhibits, written documentation, audiovisuals, equipment and aircraft
Upon entering the Enlisted Heritage Hall, visitors encounter
a floor-to-ceiling American flag. The flag is draped in an alcove
in a salute to the U.S. Air Force
and the U.S. Army Air Forces enlisted Medal of Honor recipients.
Take a stroll through the Enlisted Heritage Hall and you'll learn about
the technology of the World War I era
from an array of artifacts that features flying gear, early telephones, uniforms
and other memorabilia.
One section features the history and development of ballooning. Balloons rapidly gave way to
in August 1912 Corporal Vernon
Burge was certified as the Army's first enlisted
A long and distinguished list of enlisted
pilots eventually followed in his footsteps, and these brave individuals
flew virtually every aircraft in the World
War II inventory.
Another highlight is a tribute to the all-black
ground crews of the 332nd Fighter
Group. During the European theater of World
War II, these crews kept the "Tuskegee
There is also a tribute to Glenn
Miller and his band of enlisted men.
As you move through the Enlisted Heritage Hall, you'll discover a section
dedicated to the Korean War and
Pacific theater of World War II. A tribute
to the Doolittle Raiders is
also featured in this section.
War era exhibit includes displays of a fully equipped pararescueman
and combat controller,
along with a tribute to the 23 enlisted recipients of the Air
Force Cross, the Air Force's highest award for Valor.
The centerpiece of this exhibit is a hauntingly realistic Vietnam prisoner
of war cell.
The Desert Shield and Desert Storm
and Operation Enduring Freedom exhibits contain artifacts and memorabilia
from the Gulf War to present day operations.
There are also exhibits displaying artifacts from the 1950's and 1960's.
An exhibit that is truly unique to the enlisted force is a
salute to the Chief Master Sergeants of the Air Force. This
exhibit honors those who have ascended to the highest office in
the enlisted corps and have made significant contributions to
the development of our Air Force -- the strongest in the
Another area of special significance to the enlisted corps is a display
of aircraft gun stations. Featured
the Sperry ball turret used
on the B-17 and B-24,
a complete tail section of a B-52D,
and a one-of-a-kind
B-32 top turret -- all operated by enlisted gunners.
The Hall is the Khobar
Towers Memorial Display. Stands as a memorial to the nineteen
Air Force Personnel killed in the terrorist bombing of an
complex in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia on June 25th, 1996.
Featured on the "Wall of Achievers" are
former enlisted airmen who achieved fame in civilian careers or attained star
ranks in the military services. Of note are Johnny Cash, Chuck Norris, Gene
Flip Wilson and Charlton Heston, as well as former USAF Chief of Staff
General Larry D. Welch,
Brigadier General Chuck Yeager, President George W. Bush, and many others.
The USAF Enlisted Heritage Hall operates on funds donated
by USAF Senior NCO Academy
students, visitors and supporters from bases throughout the world.
Future plans include expanding the Heritage Hall facility to provide
additional space for tributes to the millions of enlisted men
and women who have contributed to the growth and development of
the United States Air