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World War II Era Airplanes and Vehicles Showcased at the New Lyon Air Museum at John Wayne Airport

“Fuddy Duddy,” “Willa Dean” and “Feeding Frenzy” are just a few of some of the world’s rarest operational aircraft and vehicles on display at the new Lyon Air Museum based at John Wayne Airport. The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Fuddy Duddy” was used as a VIP transport in the Pacific arena at the end of World War II – it once carried U.S. Army Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower, who later became the 33rd President of the United States, and Douglas A. MacArthur. The Douglas C-47 Dakota, “Willa Dean” is one of the most complete and original C-47s currently in operation. The Douglas A-26B Invader “Feeding Frenzy” fought in more wars than any other aircraft type of its era.

Boeing B-17G “Flying Fortress.”  Called “Fuddy Duddy”

Boeing B-17G “Flying Fortress.” Called “Fuddy Duddy,” the B-17 was used as a VIP transport in the Pacific at the end of World War II. It once carried General Dwight D. Eisenhower who later became the 33rd President of the United States. In civilian life, it worked as a fire bomber and was occasionally used for motion picture filming, flying on screen in movies such as the 1962 Steve McQueen movie, “The War Lover” and the 1970 blockbuster “Tora Tora Tora.”

Courtesy of Lyon Air Museum

Several military and civilian automobiles and motorcycles are also on display including an original 1939 Mercedes-Benz Model G4 Offener Touring Wagon, a 1945 Indian Motorcycle “Chief,” and a 1940’s Divco Helms Bakery Truck.

Museum founder Maj. Gen. William Lyon, USAF (Ret) developed his passion for aviation history while serving in Europe, the Pacific Region and North Africa during World War II, flying combat missions in Korea, and serving as Chief of the U.S. Air Force Reserve. His dream to share this passion – especially with young people – led to the creation of the museum, making his collection available to the local community and visitors from around the world.

The Lyon Air Museum, located on the west side of John Wayne Airport, is co-located with Martin Aviation, an aviation repair facility established by famed aviation pioneer Eddie Martin back in 1923. Museum President, Mark Foster, and numerous volunteers – some are World War II veterans themselves – were instrumental in gathering historical information and creating educational displays, and now are crucial for the day-to-day operation of the museum.

John Wayne Airport and Lyon Air Museum invite you to visit the museum’s Web site,, for in-depth exhibit information or better yet, come by and take a stroll. Let volunteer docents guide you through the 30,000 square foot pristine hangar filled with aircraft, cars and motorcycles from the past, and browse through the interactive educational exhibits. And when you’re finished admiring aviation history, you can watch modern-day airplanes take off from and land at John Wayne Airport right through the large glass hangar doors. A visit well worth your time!

Address: Lyon Air Museum 19300 Ike Jones Road Santa Ana, CA 92707 714.210.4585

Courtesy of Lyon Air Museum

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John Wayne Airport - Eddie Martin Administration Building, 3160 Airway Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA 92626