The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum has announced a $10 million gift from the Kislak Family Foundation in support of an exhibition aimed at exploring the changes to flight and culture that developed during World War II.
Slated to open in 2025, the Jay I. Kislak World War II in the Air exhibition will examine how the revolution in warfare redefined the promise and peril of military aviation. In addition to smaller artifacts, the exhibition will feature rare fighter aircraft such as the North American P-51D Mustang, the Eastern Aircraft (Grumman) FM-1 Wildcat, and the Messerschmitt Bf 109 G. The exhibition, to be located on the east end of the building, is part of the second phase of the museum's renovation.
Kislak enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After three years of active duty with the naval air ferry squadrons, he served in the Naval Reserve for many years and continued piloting into his nineties.
"My father was very proud of his military service and of those with whom he served," said Kislak Family Foundation chair Paula Kislak. "He attributed his subsequent success and accomplishments in life to the character-building lessons he learned as a naval aviator. We in the family and at the foundation enthusiastically and humbly embrace the opportunity to support the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, and to put the name Jay I. Kislak on what we know will be a beautiful and inspiring gallery dedicated to all who served our country during World War II."