The 390th Memorial Museum Foundation, Inc., announces the appointment of William Buckingham as the new Executive Director of the Museum.
William Buckingham comes to the Museum with strong executive experience, including leading both private, non-profit museums and several federal Visitor’s Centers, most recently the Visitor Center Manager of the Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tucson, AZ. In that capacity he had overall responsibility for the vision and leadership of the museum’s visitor programs. Previously he led and expanded the museum programs at two NASA Centers (NASA Glenn Research Center, Columbus, OH, and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD) and also the design and construction of a new visitor center at the historic Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Mr. Buckingham obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Planetary Astronomy from Bowling Green State University, OH, and during his time in Flagstaff took post-Graduate Courses in Management Leadership at the College of Business Administration, NAU. We expect his managerial skills, coupled with his extensive exhibit and design experience, will be a great asset for our museum. Bill’s enthusiasm for World War II history and his love for the B-17 Flying Fortress will also be a plus – he has flown on three B-17s and is a fan of I’ll Be Around, our own B-17 aircraft.
Located on the grounds of the Pima Air and Space Museum, the 390th Memorial Museum is an independent, non-profit Museum whose mission is to honor and memorialize those veterans of the 390th Bombardment Group, based in England during World War II, who flew with and served as its ground crew in the battle to free Europe from Germany’s Third Reich. It is the home of the B-17 Flying Fortress, I’ll Be Around, proudly displayed in its museum. The museum is a one-of-a-kind personal experience, designed in part with exhibits made by the veterans themselves as they retired to Tucson or visited Tucson during the winter months. Their stories are personal and help make the museum the treasure that it is in southern Arizona. The 95th Bomb Group also tells its story in a room dedicated to its veterans, all part of the Thirteenth Combat Wing that flew together during the War.
The Museum is continuing to evolve and grow and expects to house a collection of artifacts from the One Hundredth Bomb Group. The 100th, the 95th, and the 390th were the three Bomb Groups that made up the Thirteenth Combat Wing of the Eighth Air Force in WWII. The 100th is actively engaged in the production of a TV mini-series produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, sponsored by Apple, called “Masters of the Air”, with a release expected in 2023. Upon its release we anticipate a significant impact on our museum and Bill Buckingham will be part of this evolution.