The primary missions of AMHF are preservation of this rare historical artifact and education of the public about its historical significance, as well as—because of the aircraft’s association with VPB-136 and Fleet Air Wing Four—the larger history of the “forgotten war” in the northern Pacific. Our organization brings the plane to airshows across the country, where attendees are permitted to tour the plane and hear about the type’s wartime service. We also host school outings, and keep an open door for visiting groups to see our maintenance operations first-hand. We provided materials and information that formed the basis of a junior-high-level history curriculum in the Indianapolis Public Schools, and regularly host veterans’ groups—most notably this past year, the reunion of Patrol Bombing Squadron 148, a Harpoon squadron that flew out of the Solomon Islands during the war.
Our organization also has a close, albeit non-monetary, relationship with the USS Indianapolis Survivors’ Association. That ship was torpedoed and sunk in 1945. Its crew of over 1200 had, just days before, delivered the components for the atomic bomb to Tinian Island. As the ship had been on a top-secret mission, it was not reported lost. The survivors of the sinking endured four days of horrifying conditions in shark-infested waters. Fortuitously, a patrolling PV-1 Ventura of VPB-152 spotted the remaining survivors in the water and initiated the rescue operation. The first aircraft to respond, coincidentally, was a PB5Y Catalina Seaplane piloted by Indiana native Adrian Marks. Marks landed, contrary to orders, and stayed until a rescue ship arrived. Only 318 men out of the Indianapolis’ original crew of 1200 survived the ordeal.
As our PV -2 is a look-alike for the PV-1, we performed a fly-over for the grand opening of the USS Indianapolis Museum, and our organization has come to have a relationship with theirs. The ship’s veterans who attended the event reported afterwards that the distinctive sound of a PV’s engines was unforgettable to them. On several subsequent occasions, we have displayed together with the USS Indianapolis Association. For several years, our groups have co-located as a "pair" at the Indianapolis Air Show. We have additionally discussed tentative plans to travel together throughout the state to smaller venues much like the Indiana Historical Society's "History Train" as the "Flying Classroom.”
In April 2011 we were awarded the Indiana Historical Preservation Award. We are registered as a Historical Artifact with the National Park Service and the Indiana Historical Society.
The Geography Educators Network of Indiana (GENI) has developed a lesson plan on their Geography and History of the World (GHW) website at www. IUPUI.edu and has deemed it "Indiana's newest lesson plan.” Nova also has a basic curriculum on their website as a companion to the film "Last Flight of Bomber 31."
Additionally, our aircraft was the subject of an article that appeared in the Australian magazine “Flightpaths” in 2009, describing the efforts of our maintenance force in replacing a failed engine and returning the plane to flight during the preceding two years.