About the MuseumThe Story of Co-Founders John and Sue Paul
The Warhawk Air Museum was brought to life in 1989 by our co-founders John and Sue Paul as a place to preserve military aviation history. The museum has since become an educational destination for over 5,000 school-age children and 25,000 visitors each year.
Love at First Sight
It all began with John Paul’s passion for airplanes. In the 1950s, he watched and listened as two Corsair fighter planes ripped through the sky over his third-grade classroom. He purchased his first plane by the time he was 20: a Fairchild PT-19 WWII trainer with an open cockpit.
Further down the road, John met a woman named Sue Painter and the two fell in love. In 1964, the couple married and purchased a P-40E shortly after, which they restored at their home in California.Source
Many years of restoring planes passed when in 1978, the couple discovered parts of a P-40N buried in a Canadian farm field.Source John nicknamed the plane “Curtissaurus Rex” upon seeing the shape of the plane. They received help from a local farmer who remembered watching the burial of the plane 23 years earlier. In order to bring the plane back to California with them, they spent two days salvaging the buried parts, digging them up and loading them onto a truck.
While the plane the Paul’s uncovered in that Canadian farm field is no longer in their possession, there are a number of permanent aircraft included in the museum’s collection, including:
Serving Their Community
Why we do what we do:
Dignify the pursuit of freedom.
Our Mission Statement
To educate the world about the cost of freedom and honor those who paid its price.