Tornado Damages National Museum of U.S. Air Force’s Restoration Hangar

The storage hangar is one of three WWII-era structures located on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

The damaged facility—known as Restoration Hangar 4—is one of three historic buildings in Area B of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. [Credit: U.S. Air Force]

A historic World War II hangar belonging to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and several other buildings at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, were damaged by a tornado, according to the U.S. Air Force.

The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed that around 4:37 a.m. EST, an EF1 tornado first developed in Montgomery County, south of the air base near Dayton. In neighboring Greene County, where Wright-Patterson AFB is located, high winds ripped sheet metal off the hangar used by the museum for restoration.

[Credit: U.S. Air Force]

"Some planes that were in the process of being restored also took damage due to flying debris,” the NWS said. “This damage was notable enough to warrant EF1 strength winds around 100 mph. A few of the dwellings on the eastern side of the base took damage to the roofs as shingles were ripped off."

Damage from the early morning storm was isolated, according to an Air Force official.

"Our initial focus right now is on safety and damage assessment,” Colonel Travis Pond, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, said in a statement. “I can’t speak highly enough about our security forces, fire department, and civil engineer airmen for their quick response and hard work to assess damage and determine a path forward for restoring operations as quickly as possible.”

According to Jaima Fogg, a spokesperson for the 88th Air Base Wing, the museum's public area was not damaged, Air & Space Forces magazine reported.

The damaged facility—known as Restoration Hangar 4—is one of three historic buildings in the air base's Area B, the Dayton Daily News reported. The buildings were constructed at the onset of WWII, museum director David Tillotson told the newspaper.

"These are where the B-29s were modified for the atomic mission, so they have some historic value,” Tillotson said.

According to Tillotson, the hangar is used for storage of artifacts, including six aircraft and a missile system that were awaiting restoration. Some artifacts sustained minor damage, he told the newspaper.

Watch: Video Showing Damage and Cleanup at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base 

Kimberly is managing editor of FLYING Digital.

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