A little bit of history is once again available to the public with the opening of the Rio Grande Valley Aviation and Transportation Museum.
The museum is inside the Port Isabel Cameron County Airport, located at Veterans Airport Drive, two miles north of FM 510 on Buena Vista Boulevard, outside Los Fresnos.
World War II aircraft, vintage operational ground and support vehicles and other artifacts donated by local families are on display.
Most notable in the museum is an amateur radio operator’s logbook, Morse Code keying device and earphone set.
In a press release, Tom Santos, a museum member said, amateur radio operator John Paul Jones, of Brownsville, was the first person in the Valley to learn about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which precipitated the United States entry into WWII. His logbook notates the time he was in communication with a fellow radio operator in Hawaii and when they were notified to clear the airwaves for a National Emergency on Dec. 7, 1941, Santos stated.
The museum’s tentative hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Guided tours for groups are welcome during the week by appointment by contacting Museum Director David Christopher at (970) 397-4604.
Weather permitting and crews available, one of the museum’s vintage planes will be flown during the tour. Plane rides are available for a $250 donation.
Because the museum is a non-profit organization, attendance donations are used to maintain and operate its aircraft, ground rolling stock, and indoor displays.
The museum had previously been housed at the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport but was informed by airport management in 2017 that the city would no longer be able to subsidize its hanger space and utilities.