About the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum

Aviation Museum Airplanes Display

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum San Diego is the only Museum in the world dedicated to United States Marine Corps (USMC) aviation, with the largest and most complete collection of vintage aircraft flown by Marine pilots in the world. The Museum tells the proud story of USMC Aviation and the part it has played in defending America.

Aircraft and Artifact Displays

  • 27 aircraft currently on display, including “Lady Ace”, the helicopter that evacuated the U.S. ambassador from the rooftop of the embassy in Saigon on April 30, 1975.  See the birds-eye view
  • 8 galleries of artifacts from World War I to present day including Marines in Space and Women Marines
  • One of the world’s finest collections of Marine Aviation patches
  • On-site gift shop offering Marine Corps and aviation-themed books, models, patches, clothing and gifts.

What You'll Experience

The Museum is staffed almost entirely by veterans, many of whom served as pilots, air crew, or ground crew in past conflicts and wars.

They give tours, share spellbinding stories, and provide eyewitness accounts and insights on history and personal experiences.

These veterans as a group donate more than 24,000 hours of time annually to share their deep knowledge with visitors.

Yearly Events

Open Cockpit Days” – visitors can sit in the cockpits of fighter jets and in the cargo area of a helicopter.
“Picnic with Pilots” – Pilots who flew aircraft on display talk about their experiences and share pictures!

Hours

Open 9:00 am to 3:30 pm Tuesday through Sunday and admission is free. In the last 12 months, 32,000 visitors from around the world came to the Museum.

Where We Are

On MCAS-Miramar through the Museum Gate on Miramar Rd between Camino Ruiz and Cabot Drive.  (View Google Maps.)

Great for Parents!

San Diego enjoys gorgeous weather year-round, and children love to walk around our planes. The outdoor display area is fenced in, so you can let your kids explore without them wandering too far astray. The planes are fun to explore for all ages!

Aircraft Restoration

The Museum maintains and restores vintage aircraft used by the United States Marine Corps (USMC) through work performed by employees and volunteers.

  • Current restoration projects include an iconic World War II-era Douglass Dauntless SBD bomber.
  • Restoration work has been done for the USS Midway Museum and Air and Space Museum in San Diego.

History

The Museum was established in 1989 on MCAS El Toro in Orange County, CA. When Base Realignment closed El Toro in 1999, a group of retired Marines from San Diego, led by Major Generals Bob Butcher and Frank Lang, spearheaded the move of the aircraft and artifacts to MCAS Miramar.