The museum has two pieces of original artwork by aviation artist and Dowagiac native Rick Herter on exhibit, including its newest acquisition “Iven Takes Ivan.” The museum acquired “If Only I Could Fly” in 2016 through donations by Don and Joan Lyons, Chuck and Kathy Burling, Lyons Industries and Tom and Berne Buszek. At the museum’s request, Don and Joan Lyons commissioned Herter to do a painting of Cassopolis/Dowagiac native Captain Iven C. Kincheloe.
Captain Iven C. Kincheloe is one of Cass County’s most noted individuals in history. In 1956, the Air Force pilot set the altitude record in the Bell X-2 and was hailed as “The First Spaceman.” Before becoming a test pilot, Kincheloe was a Jet Ace pilot in the Korean War, which is what is depicted in “Iven Takes Ivan.”
On April 1, 1952, Captain Kincheloe flew his F-86 through MiG Alley and shot down two Soviet MiG fighters within one minute– a rare double kill. “Iven Takes Ivan” depicts that mission in great detail, with the Yalu River and mountains of Korea in the background. Kincheloe’s F-86, with all the appropriate markings, is in the foreground with one of the MiG fighters falling off in flames.
Special thanks to Don and Joan Lyons for commissioning and donating this wonderful piece of art to the museum!