National Cold War Museum announced for city of Blytheville

The museum will center on the
the base’s still-in-tact “alert” compound, a facility that housed...
The museum will center on the the base’s still-in-tact “alert” compound, a facility that housed U.S. Air Force B-52 crews during wartime efforts of the 1950s through the 1990s((Source: KAIT-TV))
Published: Apr. 29, 2019 at 6:27 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) -Members of the Greater Blytheville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Blytheville-Gosnell Regional Airport Authority announced Monday their plans to build a museum at the former Blytheville Air Force Base.

According to a news release, a National Cold War Museum will focus on the still intact compound at the base, which housed U.S. Air Force B-52 Crews during the Cold War from the 1950s-1990s.

The group will also open the Blytheville Air Force Base Exhibition, which will focus on key points of the Strategic Air Command Base that housed over 300,000 people over the years.

Museum Board Chair Mary Gay Shipley said this represents an important time in history.

National Cold War Museum at the former Blytheville Air Force Base
National Cold War Museum at the former Blytheville Air Force Base((Source: KAIT-TV))

“The entire base represents a fascinating time in American history,” Shipley said. “Nuclear threat was a reality and the country prepared itself in a variety of ways, one of the most interesting was the idea of keeping crews on alert, with the ability to be airborne in minutes.”

Blytheville native Byron Carlock Jr. said their fundraising goal is $20 million.

“We are very excited,” Shipley said. “As we bring more people into the process, former Blythevillians, military retirees and area business people, the optimism only builds."

The base opened in 1942 and then closed after the completion of World War II.

The base reopened in 1955 as a tactical command venue, becoming a strategic air command in 1957.

The base closed again in 1992 after being renamed the Eaker Air Force Base in 1988.

Copyright 2019 KAIT. All rights reserved.