Around the Miami Valley
11:02 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

LBJ Library Vies For Historical Air Force One At NMUSAF

The Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Texas wants to adopt President Kennedy’s Air Force One that’s now at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton. The request isn’t sitting well with Ohio leaders.  

The plane that served as Air Force One for Presidents Kennedy through Clinton is part of the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Now, the LBJ Library has asked the Air Force to transfer the aircraft to their collection. 

Visitors at the NMUSAF tour Kennedy's AF1
Credit NMUSAF

Tom Johnson, with the LBJ Foundation, says the plane was important to President Johnson, who was sworn in on it following Kennedy’s assassination.

“It also is the plane the President Nixon sent to Texas to retrieve President Johnson’s body, after his death," the chairman emeritus said.  "[And] to bring it to Washington for him to lie in state, and then to return him to Texas for his final services at the LBJ Ranch.”

Yet, Johnson says the library in Austin, Texas doesn’t want to "create any adversaries" at the Air Force museum, or among Ohio’s lawmakers.  Congressman Mike Turner, of Dayton, believes the move could set an unwelcome precedent.

“We want to make certain that this doesn’t become a habit of presidential libraries seeking the planes that really should be on public view, public display as part of the Air Force Museum," he said.

Museum officials in Dayton have said they have no plans to move or loan the plane out, and there’s been no word yet from the Air Force on the subject.