Welcome to the Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum Columbus, Indiana









Bakalar Green Columbus Indiana Municipal Airport

(click on thumbnail size photographs for full size)

Bakalar Green is a park-like area located immediately south of the Columbus Municipal Airport Terminal Building and is bounded by Ray Boll Boulevard and Poshard Drive.

Bakalar Green is named in honor of Lt. John Bakalar, an Indiana native, who was killed when his fighter plane crashed in the European Theater during World War II.

The Columbus Municipal Airport was formerly Atterbury Army Air Field later renamed Bakalar Air Force Base.

This airport diagram shows you where the Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum, Bakalar Green, Historical Monuments and Jeanne Lewellen Norbeck Memorial Chapel locations are on the airport property. The control tower is to the north and the rotating beacon is to the south on the complex. This air photo is somewhat dated but the indicated locations are as they are today.

The daughter and son of Lt. John Bakalar at the dedication of Bakalar Green on November 11, 1991. Suzanne and Bob Bakalar are standing next to the memorial with their families. Bob was two when his father went overseas and Sue never saw her father. They were 10 and 12 years old when the Air Base was named for their father and were at that dedication also. The second photo is of Major General John Hoff with the Bakalar family. A color guard at the dedication, the working on the memorial and a cake at the November 11, 1991 dedication. Photos by Jim Alvis, museum volunteer.

Bakalar Green features the Fred Meyer Beacon Plaza, a wildflower meadow, and historical markers dedicated to the Tuskegee Airmen, WWII Glider Pilots. Original Landowners, 434th and 2466th Air Force units and Lt. John Bakalar. These features are connected by a segment of the Columbus Indiana People Trail and Memorial Promenade.

The Promenade leads to the Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum and to the statically displayed F4-C fighter plane east of the Museum.

Bakalar Green and its features provide a place for quiet contemplation.

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Photographs of Bakalar Green from the control tower to the rotating beacon, T-151. The photo on the left was taken near the control tower, T-89 and F-4C Phantom static display. The second photo is looking North toward the tower from the base of the rotating beacon. The F-4C aircraft is across the street from the museum entrance.

Museum volunteers Wendell Ross and John Walter review plans for replacement of the F-4 markings during the aircraft's new paint job. This aircraft was donated by the 181st TFG.in 1988.


F-4C near the front of the air museum. 

This F-4C, Serial Number 64-0844 was donated for display by the Indiana Air National Guard. The aircraft was assigned to the 181st Tactical Fighter Group, Hulman Field , Indiana .

This photo is of a row of 181st Tactical Fighter Group F-4's at, Hulman Field , Indiana. Our display F-4 was probably in this row during its flying days.

According to the ATFO Form 95, this F4-C was delivered to the Air Force’s 15th Tactical Fighter Wing at MacDill , Florida on 29 October 1965 from the McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Corp. factory.

On 7 April 1979 this F-4C was received at the 122nd Tactical Fighter Wing, Fort Wayne , Indiana , with total aircraft hours of 2610.5.

The aircraft was received 1 July, 1988 at the Columbus Municipal Airport to be placed on permanent display.  

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The F-4 Phantom displayed on Bakalar Green was delivered to Columbus Municipal Airport by CH54 Sky Crane 1 July 1988. Photo on the left shows the airport ramp from over the wing of a vintage aircraft the day of the F-4 delivery. The vintage Cessna T-50 was flown by George Mock. Photo number two is the Sky Crane heavy lift military helicopter of Company H, 104th Aviation "Heavy Haulers" from Harrisburg, PA. Photo three is the F-4 slung under the CH54 on approach to the Columbus Municipal Airport. Photo four is Lt. Colonel Pierce talking to the Sky Crane crew. LTC Pierce was the Air-Ground Range Officer at Camp Atterbury and a F-4 pilot with the 181st Tactical Fighter Group, Hulman Field. The photo on the right is the F-4 on the ramp before being placed on permanent display where it may be viewed today. Thanks to Jim Alvis, Museum Volunteer for these historical photographs.

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These historical photographs were taken by museum volunteer Jim Alvis at the F-4's November 11, 1988 dedication program. The F-4 was in place before the museum was built. Note the control tower's old red and white checkerboard paint job. In the photo on the left you can see the hanger on the right in the distance which used to house C-119's. Looking past the nose of the F-4 across the street is the vacant lot which became the Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum location.


The foundation of building T-146 Base Gym in a 1986 photo in the future Bakalar Green area. The gym was south of Arnold Street and North of Bakalar Street.  In this 1991 photo from the control tower some of the original buildings remain next to and to the left of the rotating beacon. These buildings by the beacon were demolished for the completion of Bakalar Green. Most of the buildings to the left of the beacon were demolished at a later date.

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The 434th Troop Carrier Wing and 2466th Air Force Reserve Training Center and Original Base Landowners Historical Markers dedicated on July 12, 2003. The historical markers along the Veterans Promenade on Bakalar Green looking toward the rotating beacon.

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Historical Markers Dedication event photos starting with the photo on the left is Columbus, Indiana Mayor Fred Armstrong and former mayor and community historian Robert Stewart. Vocalist Harvey Leggett, Jr. a former Marine sings the National Anthem as the 113th Support Battalion, Indiana Army National Guard Color Guard stands at attention. In the third photo is Lt. Colonel Charles W. "A-Train" Dryden, of the famous Tuskegee Airmen and his wife, Marymal. General Hoff at the podium introducing former Mayor Robert Stewart as one of the keynote speakers. Tom Vickers at the podium, former Mayor Robert Stewart, General Hoff and Airport Manager Rod Blasdell.

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In the first photo is David Doup, son of one of the original base landowners addressing the gathering. The second photo is of former 434th, 2466th and current members of the 434th Air Refueling Wing. Former Landowners family members of the George Doup and Walter Steinker families. Another photo of 2466th and 434th members. James and Betty Landrum participate in the historical markers dedication. James a former 2466th airman and a historical photograph and information contributor to the museum.

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The stone marker honoring Lt. John Bakalar was located just a few steps west of the control tower. The marker has been moved to the entrance of the Museum.

Tuskegee Airman Louis Hill with Columbus Mayor Fred Armstrong during the Tuskegee Airmen Historical Marker dedication.

Tuskegee Airmen Historical Monument on Bakalar Green at the former Atterbury Army Air Field Columbus, Indiana dedicated August 16, 1997 with many Tuskegee Airman and family in attendance.

WWII Glider Pilots Historical Marker on Bakalar Green


3rd Battalion 139th Field Artillery Indiana Army National Guard firing a 21 gun salute for the WWII Glider Pilots and saluting during the playing of Taps at the WWII Glider Pilots Historical Marker dedication on Bakalar Green.

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71st Special Operations Squadron Historical Marker dedicated on Bakalar Green, Saturday May 18, 2002. Over fifty former 71SOS crewmembers were on hand.

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Nancy Warren, Columbus Aviation Board President and Colonel James Pyle dedicate the 71st SOS Historical Marker. Tuskegee Airman, Louis Hill, who served at the former air base addresses the crowd. Bruce Dalton speaks in behalf of the WWII Glider Pilots who served at the former Atterbury Army Air Field. Museum Board President, Tom Vickers thanks the 71st for their service in Vietnam and the featured speaker, former Indiana Governor, Edgar Whitcomb, who was at the former air base June 6, 1969 to welcome home the 71st.

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Traveling 3/4 scale Vietnam Wall visits Bakalar Green July 19, 20 and 21, 2002.

A UH1 Huey of the Indiana Army National Guard lands at The Wall. Early morning at The Wall. Museum Volunteer, Chaplain Richard Yeaton participated in the activities during the visit.

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Small white crosses with the names of the some of the Columbus, Indiana, Bartholomew County Vietnam KIA's on the wall. White River Broadcasting Director of Programming, an Air Force Veteran, John Foster prepares for the live broadcast of opening ceremonies. An Army National Guard Color Guard lowers the Colors as the crew of a Medivac "Dust-Off" UH1 renders salute. The Color Guard marching past the Wall. A UH1 approaches The Wall for landing. Every day during the visit of the Vietnam Wall a UH1 and its crew would visit to honor the Wall. Often you could see the tears in the eyes of the Vietnam Veterans as they heard the whop-whop-whop of the Huey coming in to land. Those visits meant so much to them.

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Major General John Hoff, USAF (Ret.) introduces former Indiana Governor Edgar Whitcomb at The Wall. A couple of C-130's make a pass over The Wall. Members of B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 150th Field Artillery, Indiana Army National Guard fire a cannon salute in honor of The Wall with a M-102, 105MM Howitzer. A UH1 making a pass over The Wall.

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Send your questions or comments about this web site or the museum to: lakegc@aol.com  Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum 4742 Ray Boll Boulevard Columbus, Indiana 47203
Copyright © 2000-2012 Last modified:
January 16, 2012