WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A historic plane from World War I has a new home while undergoing restoration.

2nd Lt. Erwin Bleckley (courtesy Dept. of Defense)

The 1918 De Havilland DH-4 biplane is known as the “Bleckley Plane.” It gets that name as it is the exact make and model and has the identical markings as the plane flown by Wichita native Erwin Bleckley.

Bleckley is Wichita’s only aviator to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Bleckley flew for the Army Air Service during World War I.

U.S. Army Signal Corps photo dated October 29, 1918, of the surviving members of the “Lost Battalion.” (courtesy The National Archives)

He was killed in action in France on October 6, 1918. At the time, Bleckley was attempting to locate, map, and resupply the “Lost Battalion” during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

The DH-4 first came to Wichita in 2021 and had been housed in the hangar at Global Aviation Technologies. However, that building was sold in December.

The Kansas Aviation Museum had been storing the plane for the Bleckley Foundation while they searched for a new home. Businessman and property owner Steve Barrett reached an agreement with the Bleckley Foundation to allow his property at 359 N. Mosley to be the “Bleckley Workshop” as restoration efforts resume.

The plane will eventually be on display at Eisenhower National Airport. More details can be found at the Bleckley Foundation website.