Donate To Honor Brigadier General C.E. “Bud” Anderson

Triple Ace General Bud Anderson has made many incredible contributions to aviation, and he continues to inspire future generations to explore STEM careers. His love and passion for education is at the heart of our mission to “honor the past and inspire the future through STEM education.”

Your donation will contribute to keeping Bud’s passion alive by sponsoring children to participate in our STEM programs. Your scholarship donation of $100 helps to cover the costs curriculum, instructors, supplies, lunches and snacks for a summer camp student. Together we can inspire the next generation of aviators, astronauts, and trailblazers.

We will recognize scholarship donors on our website plus donors will be provided a summer camp impact report. Best of all, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you made a difference in the life of a child this summer!

Thank you for your generous support.

For $100, you can Honor General “Bud” and help send a child to summer camp! Donate now!

$100 will help send an underserved student to attend a week of Aviation Aces 2023 Summer Camp

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Brigadier General C.E. “Bud” Anderson Promoted at 100 WWII Triple Ace

Brigadier General C.E. “Bud” Anderson Promoted at 100 WWII Triple Ace, American Hero, National Treasure

Clarence E. “Bud” Anderson, the only living American triple ace pilot, was honorarily promoted from colonel to brigadier general on December 2, in a rare and historic ceremony presided over by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. He turns 101 years old on January 13th.

General Anderson’s promotion was recognized at a ceremony at the Aerospace Museum of California, near Sacramento, packed with a room full of family, friends, and dignitaries.

When one of the world’s greatest aviators, and one of America’s bravest hero’s gets awarded Brigadier General, they bring in the big guns. The Presiding Officer officiating the ceremony was none other than General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

Remarks By Presiding Officer

General Brown called Anderson, 100, a “wrecking ball” of a pilot who “many of us probably wouldn’t want to have … behind us, shooting us down.” During his remarks Brown said, “I get service records of each member of the Air Force I have a chance to promote. Bud, your binder was pretty thick… the impact you had on the history of our Air Force reminds me how fortunate we are to stand on the shoulders of gentlemen like you, and those other ladies and men who have served within our Air Force to make us great… I consider you, Bud Anderson, General Office Material.”

“So, we’ve come full circle,” Brown said. “Bud started his career at McClellan, he retired here at McClellan, and he’s going to get his first star here at McClellan.”

50 Years in the Making

General Anderson waited 50 years for this promotion, he retired in 1972 and was promoted to Brigadier General 50 years later. A group of local and national individuals petitioned the Secretary of the Air Force for the promotion. In order for a retired member of the military to receive an honorary promotion, Congress must either pass a law, or a member of Congress must request a review from the Secretary of the department in which the service member served. Such instances are few and far between. In late 2019, Congress included honorary promotions for Col. Charles McGee of the famed Tuskegee Airmen to brigadier general and for Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole of the Doolittle Raiders to colonel in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.

Pinning of Insignia

General Brown and Anderson had met before the Dec. 2 ceremony, the Chief of Staff noted. As a student at Air Command and Staff College, as commander of Pacific Air Forces, and as CSAF at the Oshkosh air show this past summer. “Today’s number four,” Brown said. “And so I’m so glad that our paths have crossed so many different times.”

General Brown was proud to pin the insignia on Anderson’s shoulders and as he did, the room burst in applause with the audience of over 200 guests giving the new general a standing ovation and tears of gratitude.

Said Brown, “This has been a tremendous honor. And Bud, thank you for making this day possible. Thank you for your service and thank you for all you’ve done for the United States Air Force and for our nation as you continue to serve.”

Unfurling of Personal Flag

General officers are presented with their own flag upon promotion to Brigadier General. General Anderson was no exception.

Remarks by Honoree

Brigadier General Anderson was given the microphone to make some remarks after his historic promotion. In his Bud-like fashion he had this to say:

“First I want to thank everyone here for coming and for anyone here who had anything to do with my promotion… I usually either have a short talk or a long talk. The short one is ‘Thank you…’ and the long one is ‘Thank you very much.’ But this evening exceeds that phrase. To see the Chief of Staff himself come to do this is a bit overwhelming. And to my many friends out there in the crowd I didn’t expect to see… thank you very much.”

Old Crow Tribute Celebration

General C.E. “Bud” Anderson (100 years young!) celebrated his promotion to Brigadier General with a shot of “Old Crow” P-51 Mustang style with friends General Charles Q. Brown, Junior, the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, and Tom Jones, Executive Director of the Aerospace Museum of California. The post-ceremony social included cake and trays filled with shots of Old Crow.

Thank you Jim Beam Distilling Company for the beautiful custom P-51 barrel head. The makers of “Old Crow: shared the following message “General Bud Anderson, Congratulations on your honorary promotion to the grade of Brigadier General. You have had such an incredible career and we love that Old Crow is a major part of your story. We hope that you enjoy this special gift from our James Beam Distilling Co family as we honor you and your legacy.”

General Anderson flew three different P-51 models of the Mustang during World War II. All of the aircraft General Anderson flew during his military career were named and painted “Old Crow.”

Unlike other young World War II pilots of the time, he did not name his plane after his wife or girlfriend because he was single. Instead, Anderson named his aircraft after the cheapest bourbon whiskey brand available at the time, Old Crow.

As General Anderson charmingly recollects, “For all of my church-going friends, I told them that “Old Crow” was named after the smartest bird in the sky. But all my drinking buddies knew that it was named after that smooth Kentucky whiskey.”

Cheers General Bud!

Watch it here!

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Autodesk Design Challenge, Fall 2020

Autodesk Design Challenge, Fall 2020

In Fall 2020 Autodesk coordinated with the Aerospace Museum of California to sponsor a Fusion 360 design challenge. The goal was to create an innovative and effective new blade crutch design for the CH-21 Flying Banana helicopter in the Museum’s Air Park. The aircraft currently has no rotor blades mounted on the airframe. Due to space constraints, the CH-21 needs its blades to be mounted and folded back along the airframe, then crutched using effective and well designed rotor blade crutches.

Autodesk sponsored the Design Competition, then coordinated 20 student teams from 3 colleges – Los Angeles Pierce College, College of San Mateo, and Cal Poly Pomona. Eight Museum volunteer engineers, Board Members and the Executive Director of the Aerospace Museum of California judged the competition.

The experience was valuable for students especially during this tough year – internship and employment opportunities became even harder for students to come by.

Congratulations to the team of Andy Chau, Maxwell Stolarz, Max Quinn, and Roberto Santos of Los Angeles Pierce College, crowned the Grand Prize winner of the Design Competition. Autodesk awarded the team $900 for their outstanding design. Fabricating the crutches will be the next step in this journey.

Check out the winning team’s design video here.

Aerospace Museum of California’s Old Café Celebrates World War II Triple Ace Pilot Colonel “Bud” Anderson

Aerospace Museum of California’s Old Café Celebrates World War II Triple Ace Pilot Colonel “Bud” Anderson

On May 19, 2021, the Aerospace Museum of California hosted the grand opening and dedication of the Old Crow Café, which was inspired by Colonel C. E. “Bud” Anderson, a 99 years young, World War II Triple Ace Pilot, and friend and supporter of the Museum. Colonel Anderson, a Sacramento area local, was the guest of honor and led the ribbon-cutting ceremony with our Executive Director, Tom Jones. He charmingly told the backstory of “Old Crow,” and why he chose the name for his P-51 Mustang fighter plane, “I tell most of my my non-drinking friends, its named after the most intelligent bird in that flies in the sky, but my drinking buddies all know it was named after that good old Kentucky street bourbon whiskey.”

The café was dedicated in memory of the late Kelly Kreeger, who was not only a friend to the Aerospace Museum of California but was the president of the official Colonel C. E. “Bud” Anderson Fan Club. After her passing in 2020, Kelly’s estate donated many World War II artifacts and memorabilia to the Museum, which inspired our staff to create the Old Crow Café and display them inside.

After the ribbon cutting, fans stood in line to meet Colonel Bud Anderson, the highest-scoring living American fighter ace. Many came folks came with their copy of To Fly and Fight: Memoirs of a Triple Ace, Colonel Anderson’s harrowing book about his experience in World War II. The thrilling memoir, which is also available in our Museum gift shop, explores Colonel Anderson’s experience flying a P-51 Mustang during two combat tours where he saw 116 combat missions (480 hrs) in which he destroyed 16 and 1/4 enemy aircraft in aerial combat and another one on the ground.

Colonel Anderson took time to sign books, greet guests, and explore the Old Crow Café. Executive Director Tom Jones remarked, “We were honored to have Colonel Bud Anderson join us in the dedication and ribbon cutting of our Old Crow Café. He is an amazing friend and supporter of the Museum, and we believe our mutual friend Kelly Kreeger would be happy to see the public enjoy the café and all the unique World War II memorabilia on display.”

On your next trip to the museum, stop by the Old Crow Café for a sampling of delicious food and history! We invite you to explore our 4-acre air park and rotating exhibits, families can engage with our STEM activities for all ages and let their imagination soar. A Smithsonian Affiliate and member of North American Reciprocal Museum Associate®, the Aerospace Museum is truly a place where dreams take flight!

Be sure to watch highlights of the Grand Opening of the Old Crow Café from our local news outlets who covered the story!

Fox40 Sacramento News Coverage

Good Day Sacramento Local News Coverage

General Chuck Yeager Has Flown West

General Chuck Yeager Has Flown West

Colonel Bud Anderson (left) and General Chuck Yeager (right)

General Chuck Yeager (February 13, 1923 – December 7, 2020) was more than just a pilot, he was an inspiring legend who was always ready to challenge the limits of aviation. He was fearless, and larger than life. Flying past the speed of sound – something that had never been done before Yeager did it – took incredible skill and bravery… He had the “Right Stuff.”

His incredible feats inspired generations of pilots, astronauts and Americans. As a fellow pilot, General Yeager’s skill and bravery inspired me.

General Yeager was a great friend to the Aerospace Museum of California and we will truly miss his courageous spirit. The Museum is lucky enough to have a signed X-1 model that the General personally autographed during one of his visits.

We are also proud to display a painting of General Yeager that captures how he spent the last years of his life doing what he truly loved: flying airplanes, speaking to aviation groups and fishing for trout in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. It is a painting that captures the heart of this true American hero.

Although he is gone, General Yeager’s pioneering spirit – his life and his career accomplishments will continue to inspire the next generations of dreamers and doers. We as a nation owe much to his outstanding contributions to aviation and aerospace. He will be missed.

– Commander Tom Jones USN (Retired), Executive Director

Discover From Home!

Discover From Home!

Discover from home! We’re providing original, fun, and educational content as well as curating activities and content from our favorite sources like NASA!

NASA’s Hubble Space telescope has been in operation for 30 years this April. Check out our playlist of original videos for fun activities and facts about the Hubble Space Telescope!

Watch our Ask An Astronaut video with 4-time Shuttle Mission Astronaut, Dr. Stephen K. Robinson!

Check out some more of our original videos featuring everything from fine art to guinea pig pilots!

Activities and Opportunities Selected by NASA STEM Experts

Need to keep the kids busy at home? Try NASA Science for Kids

Help Your Child Learn About Space

How Can You Help Your Child Learn About Space Exploration?

Does your child have an interest in outer space? Take a look at how you can help your child learn more about astronomy and explore a future career in the field with a trip to a museum.

Visit an Aerospace Museum

What better place to learn about the world of space travel than a museum devoted to the subject? Not only does an aerospace museum provide plenty of expert information, but this type of educational environment also offers a first-hand way to explore and make discoveries.

While there are a variety of types of experiences and exhibits that can help your child learn, areas of interest to astronauts-in-the-making may include:

  • The Apollo moon landings. From the technology behind early rockets to humankind’s first steps on the moon, an Apollo exhibit can help your child to understand the history of space exploration better.
  • Real rockets. How often does your child get to see real-life rockets up close? Chances are not a lot — if ever. An aerospace museum gives children the chance to view these engineering marvels for themselves, not just in the pages of a book.
  • The Hubble Space Telescope. Space explorers are not always astronauts. Some scientists explore the stars and planets using technology, such as the Hubble Telescope. An exhibit on the telescope can help children learn about astronomy, technology, and exploration.
  • Notable figures in space history. Along with the technology, your child needs to understand the efforts of everyone who helped to make space exploration what it is today. Not only can exhibits about notable figures provide historical context, but they can also inspire budding scientists.

If you’re not sure how an aerospace museum visit can help your child, think about what they’ll see and how they’ll interact with the exhibits. Read on for more information on making the most of your visit.

Discuss the Museum Visit

This step comes in two pieces — a pre- and post-visit discussion. The pre-visit discussion can include anything you think your child will need to better prepare for the museum. This discussion could include rules to follow (such as not touching the exhibition pieces), an overview of the exhibits, or time to ask questions about what your child might see.

After the visit, hold a second discussion. Again, you can include anything you feel your child needs to talk about. If you’re not sure where to begin, consider these discussion starters:

  • What was your favorite part of the visit? Keep the questions open-ended and avoid anything that has a yes or no answer, such as, “Did you have fun?” Instead, ask your child to think about what they saw and which exhibits they enjoyed most.
  • How did the visit change the way you think about space exploration? Your child’s new knowledge may totally reframe how they view their potential future career. Ask them to integrate the new knowledge with what they previously thought about a career in this area.
  • What famous missions or people did you learn about? This line of questioning will help your child to think critically about how they view the history of space exploration and how they see themselves as part of the field’s future.

Another option is to simply ask your child to tell you about what they learned during the visit. This opens up the discussion to focus on anything your child has an interest in.

Create a Project

Now that your child has visited an aerospace museum and discussed the trip with you, it’s time to put the information into action. Explore project ideas together, and encourage your child to write a report, create their own biography book, or put together a photo poster of their time at the museum.

Does your child want to learn more about flight and space exploration? Contact the Aerospace Museum of California for more information.

Hubble Space Telescope and STEM

How Can the Hubble Space Telescope Help Your Child to Learn About STEM?

How can a telescope that’s 340 miles away from the Earth help your child to learn about science? Whether your child is all about outer space or just has a fleeting interest in STEM, take a look at how the Hubble Space Telescope can engage and educate students of all ages.

New Vocabulary

Younger children who are new to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) may have a limited science and technology vocabulary. If you have a preschooler, kindergartner, or child in the early elementary years, the Hubble Space Telescope, its uses, and the concepts that surround what it does can help your child to learn, understand, and use new words.

What types of words can the Hubble Space Telescope help your young learner to explore? While dozens of possibilities exist, the top categories include:

Telescope words. These vocabulary picks include words that directly relate to the Hubble Space Telescope and telescopes in general — such as the parts of the telescope. Spectroscopy words. From the word spectrum to the rainbow of colors it includes, your child can learn new vocabulary such as wavelength or prism. Space words. What does the Hubble Space Telescope look at? Vocabulary words your child can delve deep into in this category include galaxy, star, nebula, and more. Are you planning to visit the Hubble Space Telescope Exhibit? Pre-visit vocabulary pre-work can make the exhibit more interesting and accessible to your child. Even though this type of wordy preparation is perfect before your family’s visit, you can continue to use the words with your child regularly as they learn new science concepts in school, at home, or anywhere else.

New Concepts

Each of the new Hubble Space Telescope–related words your child learns ties to a new concept. This makes the next step in your child’s education learning about how the telescope works and what it can view. While younger children (in kindergarten and under) may need simplified versions of the concepts, older students can transition from vocabulary lists to more of a conceptual thought process.

Again, if you have plans to view the Hubble Space Telescope exhibit, this is the prime time to illustrate the concepts at hand. Your child can take what they learn in books, online, or through discussions and see it in action. Even though they can’t visit the actual space telescope, a museum trip is the next best thing.

After the museum visit, your child can continue to explore Hubble Space Telescope–related concepts and even translate them into other areas of science and technology education. These include anything from planetary science to physics and beyond.

New History

While the history of the Hubble Space Telescope isn’t new, it is new to your child. If your young student doesn’t know what the Hubble Space Telescope is or only knows that it’s a telescope in space, you have the ideal opportunity to help them to learn about this awe-inspiring piece of technology.

Introduce the telescope to your child with a brief history of its namesake, Edwin Hubble. Don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with the telescope’s history. Plenty of resources are available in libraries and online to help you and your child.

With their new vocabulary and new concepts, your child has a solid starting point to better understand the history of the telescope. If they need a concrete way to explore the telescope, what it does, and how it came to be, a visit to the Hubble Space Telescope exhibit can help.

Is your child ready to learn about the Hubble Space Telescope from the experts? The Hubble Space Telescope Exhibit is an easy way to bring out-of-this-world concepts to your young student’s level. Visit the Aerospace Museum of California for more information.

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Aerospace Museum of California - McClellan, CA 95652