request a Speaker!
The Yankee Air Museum is proud to offer our talented speakers to your group or audience. Our presenters will provide an informative and engaging program, which typically lasts an hour, and includes a question and answer session. Most speakers use visual aids that will require some A/V support. Speakers prefer venues within 25 miles of the Museum. However, for locations outside of the 25 mile range, we can arrange a Zoom presentation or a presentation at the Museum.
While there are no speaker fees, we do appreciate a tax-deductible donation being made to the Museum. This could be accomplished through our Crew Member program or by a one-time gift. Depending upon the distance of the venue from the speaker’s residence, travel reimbursement may be requested. Once you fill out the request form below, we will promptly get back to your organization to work out the details. We look forward to making a presentation to your group.
Topics for presentations include but are not limited to the following:
The History of Willow Run
Willow Run’s remarkable history – now spanning over 80 years – is a microcosm of America. On what was once agricultural land, Willow Run has seen aviation and automotive manufacturing, new technologies, commercial and cargo air traffic, an aviation history museum, and much more. Our team of speakers have three options for your group, each focusing on a different aspect of the story:
How Detroit saved the world: The Willow Run Story
The Presentation will have a short history of the Yankee Air Museum. The “Willow Run story” starts with Roosevelt’s call in May of 1940 for mobilization to build 50,000 airplanes per year. It will go over the world and national events leading up to the decision to involve the auto industry in the construction of airplanes for WWII and ultimately to build the Willow Run Bomber Plant. Bill Knudsen would mobilize the auto industry. Detroit would go on to produce the parts that ensured massive bomber production.
The Allies won WWII due to the overwhelming production capability of the US. This is the little known story of WWII. The story of how American Businesses produced victory in WWII needs to be told. Willow Run was the ultimate image of auto industry conversion to aircraft production and the manifestation of the American productive miracle.
Willow Run and the Story of Rosie the Riveter
This “hour-plus” program highlights the history of the Willow Run B-24 Bomber plant, the inspiring story of Rosie, the Riveter and the involvement of the Yankee Air Museum with the National Veterans History Project. Presented by a Rosie in period costume, you’ll laugh, cry, chant, cheer and feel good about the teamwork of America as we became the “Arsenal of Democracy” during World War II. Note: a shorter version of this talk is also available.
The Overall History of Willow Run
Willow Run’s overall history, including the Bomber Plant, Kaiser Frazer, General Motors, passenger/cargo aviation, and the Yankee Air Museum will be covered. The triumphs and setbacks from the wide range of companies at Willow Run as well as human interest aspects of the story will be presented.
Yankee Air Museum – Past, Present, and Future
Explores the history of the Museum, from its roots in the Willow Run Bomber Plant to its founding in 1981 by a group of aviation enthusiasts, and with a look ahead to our future. We will cover some of our flyable and static aircraft, restoration projects, the Thunder Over Michigan Air Show, and our new showcase, the Roush Aeronautics Center. A constant theme is the dedicated work of Museum staff and volunteers in telling the story of aviation history in Southeast Michigan.
“Operation Market Time”
The U.S Navy’s effort to intercept North Vietnam’s ocean-borne resupply routes during the Vietnam War
The North Vietnamese effort to resupply its forces in South Vietnam has largely focused on the activity on the Ho-Chi-Minh Trail. A lesser known resupply route was the seaborne attempts to supply forces in the south. Supplies could reach South Vietnam in seven days as compared to up to 150 days on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. To counter this seaborne supply route, the U.S. Navy set up interlocking patrols of ships and aircraft that ran 24-hour-a-day coverage of the water around Vietnam. Our speaker flew as a pilot with Patrol Squadron 45 on these patrols and will bring his personal insights on Operation Market Time.
A Historic Flight of WWII Airplane “Rosies Reply” Told through the Eyes of Rosie
This 35-minute program will share the fun and excitement experienced by Rosie on the 9-day historic flight of “Rosie’s Reply”, the B-25 Mitchell WWII warbird. Great pictures introduce you to the crew, the flight routine, the plane, a few WWII veterans and Original Rosies and share with you the humbling experience of flying in this aircraft during peacetime instead of during the dark days of war. Celebrate the “greatest generation.”
B-52 Bomber: Preserving a Legend
The presentation provides an overview of B-52s and their role in the Cold War as one of the most important aircraft in US aviation history. We will discuss the B-52s role in the Cuban missile crisis, nuclear alert duty, as well as some less well-known missions – such as taking the X-15 airborne before launch. Our focus will turn to the Museum’s acquisition of B-52D #SN 55-0677 – which flew an estimated 600 combat missions during the Vietnam war. We will conclude with the Museum’s ongoing efforts to preserve the airframe for future generations.
Wings of Change: The Women Airforce Service Pilots
In the 1970s, the United States Air Force announced it would start accepting women for pilot training for the first time ever. A campaign ensued immediately to rightfully recognize the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War Two as the first women who ferried aircraft for the U.S. military, learned to fly “the army way,” and proved that women were every bit as capable of pilots as men! A fascinating look into the history of the W.A.S.P.s, their contribution to the war effort, their impact on future generations of women who dared to soar to new heights, and their special connections to Michigan! This presentation will leave you in awe of the women who insisted that a woman’s place is in the cockpit, not in the kitchen!
Stay up-to-date on what is happening at the Yankee Air Museum by subscribing to our email list!