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Warbirds Museum celebrating 30th anniversary with gala fundraiser 

warbirds museum paso robles expansion

The event will kick off the museum’s West Expansion Capital Campaign.

Fundraising event to kick off capital campaign for expansion

– The Estrella Warbirds Museum at the Paso Robles Municipal Airport in California is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and will commemorate the milestone with a special gala fundraiser on Oct. 15. Tickets are available until Oct. 15. Click here to sign up for the event.

Warbirds and classic autos will be on display. There will be a “Cowboy Formal” with black tie optional, catered by Bear City Social, with guest speakers and live music with the Robert Albert Quintet. Guest speakers include John Couch, museum president, and pilots of Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a hosted bar and appetizers. A four-course dinner will be served at 7 p.m., followed by a live auction at 8 p.m. with packages including a tour flight on Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber for 12. The event also commemorates the 75th Anniversary of D-Day in Normandy and kicks off the museum’s West Expansion Capital Campaign.

Attendees can view exhibits of the museum’s new 10-acre expansion plans which will help provide storage for aircraft and underwrite hangar space. Thousands of volunteer restoration hours have been devoted to this goal.

The idea of a museum at the airport, formerly Estrella Army Airfield, started in 1989 when Gary Corippo and Glen Thomson saw some aircraft displays at Moffett Field. Originally organized as a chapter of the Confederate Airforce (now the Commemorative Airforce), the Estrella Warbirds Museum was incorporated in February 1992 as a non-profit corporation.

Warbirds Museum celebrating 30th anniversary with gala fundraiser

Attendees can view exhibits of the museum’s new 10-acre expansion plans which will help provide storage for aircraft and underwrite hangar space.

Beginning with a small parcel of land and the construction of its first building, the museum has grown to a 14-building complex, including hangars, exhibit halls, restoration workshop, library, gift shop, and conference facilities. Dedicated to the preservation of military aircraft, vehicles, and memorabilia, the museum currently has a collection of 40 aircraft and 43 military vehicles. In 2009 the Woodland Auto Display opened with a collection of period and race cars that increased public interest in the museum. Perhaps the most valuable assets are the thousands of volunteers who, over the past 30 years, have restored and maintained the artifacts.

Education is a large part of the museum’s mission. School tours, monthly dinners with speakers, and a youth aviation program for middle and high school students are sponsored by the museum.

The Douglas C-47 on display at the museum flew to France in 2019 for the 75th Commemoration of the Invasion of Normandy and participated in flyovers and parachute jumps. Visitors have the opportunity to see and experience history by standing beside an F-14 Tomcat, in awe of its size, fly an F/A-18 flight simulator, or ride in the Douglas C-47 transport.

When the Estrella Army Airfield was dedicated in 1943, no one could have foreseen that it would become a bustling municipal airport – and the home of the Estrella Warbirds Museum.

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About the author: News Staff

The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.