8 Minutes: Bradley Air Museum and the 1979 Windsor Locks Tornado

Keeping the Museum Afloat


At the museum, staff, board members, and volunteers sifted through the wreckage and wondered what to do next. The outdoor yard was a heap of twisted metal, their hangar was unusable, and almost all the surviving aircraft needed some level of repair work. Revenue from admissions—BAM’s primary source of income—would be nonexistent for the foreseeable future.

A fundraising campaign was launched, the highlight of which was “Bucks for Bradley,” a telethon presented by WTNH-TV on November 25th that raised $75,000 through corporate and private donations.

It was a start, but this money would only be enough to cover short-term operating costs; the museum still had to raise the funds to build a new facility at their new location.


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