How We Got Here: Miss Montana

An Exhibition of Transportation to the American West

Billings - Yellowstone County Museum Lands Miss Montana C-47 for Fundraiser

Fresh from the Normandy D-Day reenactment, Miss Montana, a 1944 C-47 plane, is joining the Yellowstone County Museum’s 65th anniversary exhibit How We Got Here - the history of western transportation with a two-day exhibition of the classic vehicles that brought our ancestors to the Yellowstone Valley. How We Got Here takes place in and around a hangar at Edward’s Jet Center, September 6 and 7.

The Friday evening event includes museum and exhibit tours, live music by Cooper and the Crowd Thinners with Kristie Ostlund, substantial hors d’oeuvres, and dancing. The party culminates with an auction featuring experiences such as accommodations for six in the Caribbean island of St. Croix and a chauffeured ride in a vintage car to the Edgar Bar for an evening of fine dining. The party begins at 5:30 pm. Tickets are $75 per person.

On Saturday, September 7, the exhibit is free to the public, 11am to 3pm Food and beverages will be for sale onsite. Saturday participants may also purchase rides in a vintage stagecoach.

About the exhibit: The Miss Montana C-47 display is made possible by Bennett/ Diamond B Enterprises and Edwards Jet Center. Other vintage vehicles featured include the iconic Wells Fargo stagecoach; a working replica of the world’s first practical automobile - the 1888 Benz motor wagon; an 1886 buggy; a 1914 Model-T Touring car; and a 1916 Franklin Touring car. Other forms of transportation on display include motor vehicles from the early 1900s and vintage motorcycles including a 1916 Harley Davidson, 1947 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead, 1938 Harley Davidson, and 1947 Indian. 

For both days, parking is available at the short-term parking lot at the Billings Airport. Tickets will be validated at the museum for free parking.

Funds raised benefit the Yellowstone County Museum education outreach program which provides children and youth in our community with historical perspectives and an appreciation of the importance of preservation.

For more information, phone YCM Executive Director Terry at 406-256-6811.

More about Miss Montana

The Miss Montana historic C-47 aircraft is displayed at the Museum of Mountain Flying in Missoula. The N24320 was built as part of the United States war effort. She did not fly during World War II, as the war ended prior to her being completed. Her original mission was to serve America in World War II. She was recently flown to Normandy to complete her mission. Even though she did not serve in World War II, she led a life of service.

The N24320 is the airplane that transported smokejumpers to the Mann Gulch Fire near Helena in 1949. Twelve smokejumpers and one smoke chaser perished fighting the fire. N24320 is displayed in the Museum of Mountain Flying as a tribute to those smokejumpers and all smokejumpers that help protect the forests of the United States.

The C-47 committee selected the designation “Miss Montana to Normandy” to represent and honor the participation of the more than 57,000 Montana citizens who served during World War II in all branches of the military, and also to honor the citizens of Montana who served in the war effort on the home front.

The original designation “Miss Montana” was the nose art on the B-25 flown by Capt. Malcolm W. Enman, a Drummond, Montana resident who earned the Distinguished Flying Cross with a cluster, the Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters, and the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and American Defense ribbons, along with three stars for participation in three major campaigns, the Gilbert, The Marshall and the Caroline Islands. Mac, now deceased, is the father-in-law of museum members Dick Komberec and grandfather of Eric Komberec, who made the trip to Normandy as pilots.

For photos of Miss Montana and more about the Museum of Mountain Flying go to: