ABOUT THE MUSEUM
Background Why An Air Museum . . .
Our vision is to
create a lasting memorial to historical and current aviation
through the display of aviation memorabilia and aircraft for
the education of the public and our future generations.
The James Rogers McConnell Air Museum, Inc. was chartered in the Fall of
2013 as a North Carolina non-profit, tax exempt Corporation. It is named
after James Rogers McConnell, WWI airman and one of the founding members of
France's Lafayette Escadrille. It is located at Gilliam-McConnell Airfield
(partly named after the airman) in Carthage, North Carolina, where a
permanent memorial site exists to honor McConnell.
There is also a second memorial honoring 2st Lt. Robert Hoyle Upchurch, a WWII
airman who was a member of Chennault's "Flying Tigers" prior to the United
States entry into the war. Original goals of the Museum included building an
Aviation Hanger and Museum, adjacent to the memorials, to provide a
permanent place for the display of both historic aircraft and memorabilia,
as well as educational facilities and a Gift Shop. The museum's lobby
and media room would be available to the public for organizational meetings
or social events.
The museum is a non-profit organization, staffed completely by volunteers,
and supported by the generous donations of our visitors and sponsors.
(click here) is a private airfield created in
1994 by its present owners, Roland and Nancy Gilliam. Gilliam is an WWI
historical flying enthusiast and owner of WWI replica aircraft. The airfield
is also the location of Chapter 1220 of the national
Association" (EAA). The chapter's members are are strong advocates of
aviation education. The local group is a sponsor of the
Eagles" program that
semi-annually has provided thousands of young children the opportunity the
experience the thrill and joy of flying through free air rides. Assisted by
the local high school's Air Force ROTC unit, the long term goal is to spark
the enthusiasm and desire to seek aviation careers or to become pilots
For visitors' convenience, adjacent to the airfield is a 15 site
RV Park with full hook-up.
(click here), and a very
popular Southern BBQ restaurant, the
"Pik-n-Pig" (click here).
On any clear and warm Saturday, multiple private planes and even air clubs
will fly-in to enjoy the beautiful Sandhills scenery and the delicious BBQ
lunches. (see Photos page)
Why an Air Museum . . .
The museum will honor the millions of patriotic men and women who
have distinguished themselves in aviation in all branches of the military as
well as civilian aviation. The museum will also salute the vast
technological achievements that have made American air power the most
formidable on earth. In less than 100 years, air and space power have
changed the face of the world. It is important to the education of
everyone, not just the children and youth, to learn about and understand
these historical advancements, and to recognize the significant part they
play in the world's history.
1 Roland Gilliam - President
2 Dennis (Denny) Smith - Vice President
3 William (Bill) Bardin - Secretary/Treasurer
4 Richard Hester - Board Member
5 Ramsey Henderson - Board Member
6 Dale Frye - Board Member
7 Felice Schillaci - Board Member at Large
8. James (Jim) Wiltjer - Member at Large
9. Charles (Chip) Peterson - Member at Large
10. Lee McGraw - Mayor of Carthage - Honorary Member
11 John Perkins - Website Administrator
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