What it is

The only Museum in the world solely dedicated to United States Marine Corps (USMC) aviation, with the largest and most complete collection of vintage aircraft flown by Marine pilots in the world. The Museum tells the proud story of USMC Aviation and the part it has played in defending America.

Aircraft and Artifacts

  • 30+ aircraft including “Lady Ace 09”, the helicopter that evacuated the U.S. ambassador from the rooftop of the embassy in Saigon on April 30, 1975.
  • One of the world’s finest collections of Marine Aviation patches.
  • Artifacts include photographs, uniforms and artwork from WWII to present day.

Aircraft Restoration

The Museum maintains and restores vintage aircraft used by the United States Marine Corps (USMC) through work performed by employees and volunteers.


The Museum was established in 1989 on MCAS El Toro in Orange County, CA. When Base Realignment closed El Toro in 1999, a group of retired Marines from San Diego, led by Major Generals Bob Butcher and Frank Lang, spearheaded the move of the aircraft and artifacts to MCAS Miramar.

After the museum was closed in April 2021 at MCAS Miramar, the City of Irvine approached the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation about hosting the museum in Great Park, the original MCAS El Toro and the first home of the museum.  A Memorandum of Understanding to lend the collection to a museum to be established in Great Park was signed by USMC, Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation and the CIty of Irvine in May 2022.


Currently closed to the public pending relocation. Target date to open to the public in Irvine is August 2023.

Where it is

The aircraft and artifacts are currently being prepared for transport to their new home in Great Park, Irvine, California.  Target date to open to the public in Hangar 296 in Great Park, Irvine, CA, is August, 2023.