An auction for Selfridge Military Air Museum begins July 30. Among other experiences, the museum is auctioning flights on vintage military aircraft, including the pictured T-6 Texan.

An auction for Selfridge Military Air Museum begins July 30. Among other experiences, the museum is auctioning flights on vintage military aircraft, including the pictured T-6 Texan.

Photo provided by Selfridge Military Air Museum


Selfridge Air Museum auctions flights to raise funds

By: Alex Szwarc | Metro | Published June 26, 2021

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — It’s not often that civilians have the chance to fly in military airplanes.

Come July 30, the Selfridge Military Air Museum in Harrison Township will have an auction to raise money to expand its offerings.  

Among other experiences, the museum is auctioning flights on vintage military aircraft, the proceeds of which will fund much-needed infrastructure and other updates.

Bidding begins at 6 p.m. July 30 and goes to 6 p.m. Aug. 6.

Flights include a B-17 bomber, a P-51D Mustang, a flight for two in the Goodyear Blimp, and an aerial tour for two of Detroit.

A press release for the auction notes that its purpose is to drive awareness and attendance at this “hidden gem,” located at Selfridge Air National Guard base in Harrison Township, and to raise funds for the construction of an aviation education center and hangar.

This will be the first time the museum is having an auction.

“Aside from the hands-on interactive features of the Selfridge Military Air Museum, it’s interesting to note that the museum is operated and maintained purely through the efforts and talents of it’s all volunteer staff,” Museum Director Steve Mrozek said. “The museum derives no direct government or military funding.”

He added that all support is achieved through internal programing, admissions and the Michigan Air Guard Historical Association.

Over 45 volunteers and other staff are on hand to provide thousands of annual guests with guided, hands-on experiences that include sitting in the cockpit of fighter planes, prowling the bays of transporters, and even getting inside the turret of a World War II-era Sherman tank.

“Volunteering at the Selfridge Military Air Museum provides the opportunity to stay connected with the veterans and, more importantly, honor the incredible history of Selfridge, it’s veterans and stories,” said Tom Demerly, a former member of an Army National Guard unit stationed at Selfridge and current volunteer at the museum. “Even more importantly, we’re privileged to bring the countless stories from the history of Selfridge to the museum’s many visitors. That is a sacred trust and an important obligation in keeping history alive.”

Operating funds are expected to be over $160,000 for the aviation education center and hangar.

Ed Kaminski, the museum’s deputy director, said the auction provides the opportunity for folks to participate in some aerial adventures that are just not available to the general public.

Kaminski said he hopes between $10,000 and $15,000 is raised.

“The auction, to the best of our knowledge, is the first of its kind offering these kinds of items,” he said. “You just don’t get to ride in the Goodyear Blimp. The average aviation enthusiast in their lifetime will probably never have a chance to take one of the rides we’re offering.”  

He said the museum is on a quest to establish and construct the education center and hangar where students and like-minded individuals can learn of the life changing innovations that came from the American Aviation Industry.  

The complete list of rides for the fundraising auction are on: a B-17 Yankee Lady or B-25 Bomber; a P-51D Mustang “Gentleman Jim”; a T-6 Texan; a Curtis JN-4 “Jenny”; a T-33 jet Shooting Star “Ace Maker”; the Goodyear Air Ship for two; an aerial tour of Detroit for two; a North American F-100F Super Sabre — the U.S. Air Force’s first supersonic jet fighter; and a World War II M-4 Sherman Tank.

All bidders must be 18 or older. Winning bidders will be provided the contact information for each donor in order to coordinate the date and location where the flight is to take place. Some of the flights, Kaminski said, have a six-month expiration date; others are good for one year.

The nonprofit museum is dedicated to the preservation of the history of the men and women who served at Selfridge.

Folks can learn more about the auction by visiting selfridgeair museum.org/aviation-adventure-auction.