During WWII Monroe was the site of the Selman Field Army-Air Force Navigation School (opened in 1942) — which was the largest such facility in the US, offering the nation’s only complete navigation course during WWII.
The school graduated more than 15,000 navigators, over 1,500 of whom lost their lives in combat.
In 1986, those who trained there and their descendants held the first Selman Field reunion, agreeing to work with the City of Monroe to establish a repository of artifacts and memorabilia of the field.
The Museum opened in 2000, at the corner of Kansas Lane and Central Ave., in one of the last surviving buildings used by the Selman Field School. Since then, the Museum’s scope quickly grew to encompass more of the rich aviation and military history of NELA, including General Claire Lee Chennault.
General Chennault and the Flying Tigers were highly instrumental in World War II, as they volunteered to assist the Chinese military who were being overrun by the Japanese. General Chennault grew up in Gilbert, Louisiana and after the war made his home here in Monroe.
TUES – SAT: 9 AM – 4 PM, Closed: SUN & MON