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Minter Field Air Museum

401 Vultee Street
Shafter, California

Phone: 661-393-0291 --

Statement of Purpose:

To commemorate and document the role of aviation in the lives of the people of Kern County and Southern California.

Highlights & Collections:

The Museum is housed in the original fire station built at Minter Field in 1941. The base was a major basic training facility where 11,261 pilots received basic training in BT-13's (Vultee Valiant), UC-78's (Cessna Bamboo Bomber), and other aircraft.


Minter Field is a center for restoration of WWII aircraft, with several shops that specialize in WWII aircraft. Pep Duffy's Bird's Nest specializes in Boeing Stearman and Fairchild trainers. Warbirds Unlimited has restored such aircraft as P-51 Mustang, British Spitfire, P-47 Thunderbolt, and Yak-3.


Minter Field is home to 6 time Reno Air Race Unlimited Champion Bill "Tiger" Destefani and his modified P-51 Mustang "Strega", as well as 8 time Reno AT-6 Class Champion Eddie Van Fossen and his "Miss T-N-T".

The Museum houses many artifacts, pictures, uniforms, radio gear, Class books (Echelons), and many models.

We are currently restoring 3 Minter Field era aircraft including a BT-13 Vultee Valiant, L-3B Aeronca Grasshopper, and a T-50 (UC-78) Cessna Bobcat (Bamboo Bomber). We are also restoring a Link Trainer to operational status. A Link Trainer was a WWII flight simulator used to train pilots on how to fly by instrumentation for their combat flights and missions.


We also have a 1939 Plymouth staff car, two period "Follow-Me" jeeps, and a WWII era fire truck.

Other aircraft on the field include 2 P-51 Mustangs, an AT-6 Texan, PT-13 and PT-17 Stearmans, a Fleet PT-26 Cornel, Fairchild 24, a Taylorcraft L-2, 2 Stinson L-5 Sentinels, and a Grumman S-2 Tracker, as well as several helicopters.


We also have resources regarding WWII events.

Exhibits & Special Events:

The Museum houses artifacts and photographs of the men and women who were stationed here. Artifacts include uniforms, radio equipment, Echelons (Class books), Snap Roll Newsletters, and hundreds of photographs.

Minter Field is base to many WWII aircraft, including Stearmans, Ryan PT-26, Piper L-4, North American AT-6s, and P-51 Mustangs. Minter Field is the home of Reno Air Race Champions Bill "Tiger" Destefani and Strega, and Eddie Van Fossen and his AT-6 "Miss TNT".

The Museum is currently restoring 3 period aircraft. An Aeronca L-3B "Grasshopper", a Vultee BT-13 Valiant, and a Cessna UC-78 "Bamboo Bomber".

Warbirds In Action Air Show


Admission & Directions:


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