PORT CLINTON, Ohio - Liberty Aviation Museum, located in picturesque Port Clinton, is actually two museums in one. As you walk into the gallery, you are struck by telling two stories.
As you enter the main gallery, traditional WWII items are on display. Anything from flight suits to instrument panels and even a piece of the Memphis Bell, nick named the Flying Fortress.
In one section there are artifacts from a local man from Sandusky who was an All American who lettered in four Sports at Ohio State. He was second in command on PT109 (Patrol Torpedo Boat). The PT boat was cut in half by a Japanese Destroyer. The Skipper of PT 109 was our future President John F. Kennedy.
As you step out of the Gallery and into the hangar, you enter the second part of the museum, the Tri Motor Heritage Museum. The first thing you see is a restoration of a Ford Tri Motor plane. The Ford Motor Company built 191 of these planes. They were ahead of their time. They were well-known for their work horse reputation. The local islands relied on these planes to resupply goods and services. They were a modern day bus service for the kids to get to school.
Jeff Sondles, who is the director of operations, tells us, "They sat in wicker chairs, there is no means to supporting the back legs of the chairs and the front legs basically sat in a cup holder secured by a cotter pin."
The pride and joy of the museum is a fully restored and flyable B-25 Bomber named "Georgie's Gal." It was a medium range bomber and it looks like it just came off the assembly line.
There are many more WWII artifacts that dot the hangar floor. From jeeps to original motorcycles to a unique mobile mess kit from the German Army.
Another beautifully restored aircraft is the "Avenger." This was a Navy Torpedo Bomber. It is the exact kind of Bomber that our 41st President George Herbert Walker Bush was shot down in.
After you have taken in all of this history, you can top off your day with a lunch at the Retro "Tin Goose Diner." An original 1950s diner.
If you need an excuse to step out of the cold and to step back in time, the Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton is the place to go. It is located right off the freeway on Route Two, Exit 53 North head West on on East State Road.