Two aircraft frame the approach to the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force. The first aircraft was introduced in 1951. The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17A remained on the frontline of duty with many Warsaw Pact countries and their client states well into the 1980s. The MiG-17 went into action in Vietnam and in many of the African and Middle-Eastern conflicts of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. This Russian-built MiG-17 bears the distinctive insignia and camouflage pattern of the North Vietnamese Air Force. This aircraft is owned by the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force.
The second aircraft in the approach to the museum, the F-4C Phantom, was originally designed for use onboard Navy aircraft carriers. In 1962 the Air Force adopted a ground attack version of the F-4. This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
To emphasize the role of the United States Air Force during the Cold War years, the Memorial Garden includes a B-47 Stratojet. This aircraft was America’s first swept-wing jet bomber. The B-47 played a vital role in deterring Soviet nuclear aggression. This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of the United States Air Force.