PAM Timeline 1982 -1993

This timeline covers pre-Prairie Aviation Museum 1982 -1983
and PAM’s establishment in 1984 – 1993.

In the beginning:

August 17
Pantagraph Release

Norman Wingler, 2007 Benjamin Lane, Bloomington, is a member of Heritage in Flight Museum, Inc. and hopes to start a Bloomington-Normal chapter of the Springfield-based organization.

If the organization ls a success, the first project will be to acquire a DC-3 airplane that was built in the late 1930s and used chiefly to carry paratroopers during World War II.

First Patch

The shield with scroll is the traditional group color emblem display fashion of the United States Air Force.

The deep blue field with nebulae, a symbol of clouds, alludes to the sky.

The golden spread wings signifies our determination to fly our display aircraft.

The silver propeller, along with the gold piped Army Air Corps emblem denotes our groups interest in historic aircraft.

The red sub-field is to honor all pilots who have given their lives in the furthering of aviation.

The green horizontal striping indicates the forests, and the even stitch rows of gold comprising the lower field the harvest producing plains of our prairie state.

The emblem bears the national colors and the Air Force colors gold and ultramarine blue.

Late 1983 - Early 1984

The Prairie Aviation Museum started as a stand-alone not for profit organization in 1984, as an offshoot of a Lincoln, Illinois based aviation group.

One of its primary goals was to acquire a flying piece of aviation history which soon became a DC-3.

To help the new organization get established and raise funds to acquire the DC-3, fund-raising became the focus.

PAM Members met regularly at the former Elks building in downtown Bloomington to mass produce hand-made frozen pizzas which were sold to raise money. Dances were held.

Membership drives commenced including Lifetime Memberships for larger donations. ADAA (A Day At the Airport) events were held to drive interest in local aviation and raise money.

Wreaths and poinsettias were sold, normally at Christmas time, to raise funds. It took many hours of volunteer time and labors of love, but the DC-3 was acquired.

June 7th 1984
Our 1st Aircraft DC-3

“Miss Mossback”, a Douglas DC-3, begins the process of getting an overhaul.
Miss Mossback – Before Overhaul
Notice the green moss she picked up waiting to be cleaned up.

Miss Mossback – Becoming Airworthy

No more moss
January 19, 1984
Coming Home to Bloomington

First Sighting

Crossing the Runway

Greeting at the Gate
March 30 1987
Transition Miss Mossback to Grand Old Lady
Ozark Airlines repainted the plane during their 35th anniversary in 1985

Before transformation

After transformation

News release
August 22, 1987
Our 2nd Aircraft - Tern II

(Click to enlarge)

Seven year family project.
March 1987
Building a Home

PAM's need for building  the museum.

Inspecting the building site.
October 24, 1987
Our 3rd Aircraft

36 foot wingspan ultralight is donated as a static display.


Summer 1991
Our 4th Aircraft A7- Corsair
Preparing for move from Tennessee to Bloomington 

Click here to watch the movie of the recovery process and transport to Bloomington.

At Home in Bloomington

The Paint Crew
May17, 1993
Our 5th Aircraft - T33 Shooting Star
Received from U of I.
 In the beginning.

Checking Things Out
After restoration - 2023

How we offloaded the T33 upon arrival.
22 Slides
1993 Continued
June 1993
Our 6th Aircraft Cessna 310B

Preparing for transport from hanger to airpark.

Over the fence to the airpark.

At home in PAM's Chuck Schumacher Aviation Airpark.
June 1993
Our 7th Aircraft T38 Talon