Ottumwa WWII era building to become flight museum

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) — A nonprofit group in Ottumwa is raising money to turn a 1942 building into a museum to remember thousands of pilots who learned how to fly at the Naval Air Station there during World War II.

The Ottumwa Courier reports ( ) the group hopes the two-story, 23,000-square-foot former the air station administration building can open as a museum in five years. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places but needs significant repair.

The Naval Air Station operated from 1942 to 1945 north of Ottumwa on the site that is now the city airport and an industrial park.

More than 4,600 pilots completed training at the base including Richard Nixon and Scott Carpenter, who went on to become the second U.S. astronaut to orbit the earth in 1962.

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