New Museum in Monahans Will Pay Tribute to Pyote Air Force Base - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

New Museum in Monahans Will Pay Tribute to Pyote Air Force Base

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

MONAHANS -  A groundbreaking was held in Monahans on Wednesday for a new museum, one that's being built to pay tribute to an old West Texas Air Force Base.

Those behind the project are hoping it will tell the story of just how important that base was during World War II.

A deteriorating runway is what's left of the Pyote Air force Base also known as the "Rattlesnake Bomber Base."      

During its peak in 1944, the base had over 6,000 personnel assigned there. The base closed in the early 1960's and many know little or nothing of the base that once stood there. 

For some officials, the groundbreaking of the museum has been long overdue. They hope it will help people remember the base that once put Pyote on the map.

"It's been a long awaited event to move out here. It was a complicated process to find a home. We are excited to have it out here at the Million Barrel Museum Complex for all of Ward County to see and anybody else," Ward County Commissioner, Larry Hanna, said. 

Pyote once had a museum recounting the time it once had an Air Force base but unfortunately viewing and access was limited to visitors. Travis Sawyer, Chairman for the Ward County Historical Commission, says the museum will be visitor friendly. 

"Any visitor coming down the Interstate, the local kids, local schools, everybody can come and actually take a look and see what was going on in Pyote,Texas during World War II," Sawyer said.

The museum will be 2,400 square feet, two-thirds of the area will be for display, one-third of the facility will be used to store and prepare exhibits but perhaps what many are looking forward to most is the chance to see what the outside will look like. 

"It will resemble an airplane hangar, that's what the radius front is for, same thing for the stager doors on the store front like that and the glass in the front is going to look like the fold a way doors that you see on the old time hangars," Ward County Facility Supervisor, Bill Dean, said.  

The inside will have priceless World War II items. 
     
"Quite a number of uniforms that were worn on the base, a number of weapons and other items that were used artifacts that come from the base. We have plans from the pictures, they'll be scanned and will be available digitally so that folks can look and see those pictures," Ward County Judge, Greg Holly, said.  

Hanna believes the museum will attract many visitors who will be able to check out other Monahans attractions as well.

"We feel it will bring more people into Monahans to view this along with the other items and things that we have to offer her in Monahans. We got a proud city and we are proud of what we have and this is another item that we can really showcase and present to people and hopefully they'll enjoy it as much as we do," Hanna said.
 
The new museum is set to open their doors in the next couple of months.
 
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