South Dakota Air and Space Museum shares the history of bombers at Ellsworth Air Force Base

Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 8:32 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Ellsworth Air Force Base has a long history of bombers, and you can see a number of them at South Dakota Air and Space Museum.

The story behind bombers at Ellsworth goes all the way back to 1942 when Ellsworth started as a training base for the B-17 Flying Fortress.

“Then following World War II it was as a B-29 base up until 1949, then from there the B-36 was stationed here until 1957, and finally the B-52 from 1957 until 1986. And since 1987 we’ve been home to the B-1 Lancer,” Technical Sgt. and South Dakota Air and Space Museum curator Timothy Beanesderfer stated.

Several historical planes are on display, including one of the types flown by the Doolittle Raiders, B-25 Mitchel. “Which are a land-based medium bomber off of an aircraft carrier. The commander of the rai,d Jimmy Doolittle, was an aviation pioneer himself. He was one of the first people to champion instrument flying. So, he was kind of a rock star for his day,” Beanesderfer added.

The first B-21 flight is expected to happen in 2023.