AUVM Founder with "Flying Circus" Firebee Drone at Bien Hoa
LT COL Harold "Red" F. Smith standing with "Flying Circus" Firebee drone. This drone provided real time COLOR photo and video feed to the DC-130 mother-ship during Vietnam War. Photo taken at Bien Hoa: U.S AIR FORCE BASE, VIETNAM WAR.
The Aviation Unmanned Vehicle Museum (AUVM) is a collection of incredible, rare, drones and artifacts. was founded by retired Lt. Col. Harold (Red) Smith.
Our mission is to honor the men and women in our military and the private sector that paved the way for remotely piloted vehicles, more commonly known today as DRONES. AUVM strives to educate the public about the beginning history and uses of unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAV's).
Drones from the early 1930's that were used for gunnery practice, to the 1970's when the first strike drone was born!
Red, worked in the RPV (Remotely Piloted Vehicle) sector of SAC (Strategic Air Command) during his 32 year military career in the US Air Force. Red was also one of the founding members of the AUVSI.
Over the course of 40 years he collected over 40 unmanned aircraft, as well as military vehicles, and other military items associated with the Vietnam War and Unmanned aviation.
We are a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit organization and rely on the support of donations and volunteers. Please see our donation and volunteer page if you are interested in contributing.
We have many rare unmanned aircraft and are invite you to book your tour today! We are located at the Caddo Mills Municipal Airport in Caddo Mills, Texas (7F3) and offer the availability to fly into the airport, if that’s an option for you.
50 Fully Restored drones, 20+ working to restore
Hundreds of artifacts, drone pieces, targets & more in process of being restored
The ONLY US military drone museum in the USA
Founded, Owned & Operated By 3 Generations of Smiths
Founder is a multi-decorated war hero including a Bronze Star recipient
The AUVM Founder
HAROLD F. (RED) SMITH, LT COL USAF
SECURITY CLEARANCE: Top Secret/ Special Access
Education: Bachelor of Science, Aeronautics and Aerospace (AA), at the University of Colorado, a Master of Science, Engineering Administration, at Southern Methodist University, and achieved Professional Engineer (P.E.) status in 1972.
Red is one of the original founders of the National Association for Remotely Piloted Vehicles (NARPV) which became the Association for Unmanned Vehicles International (AUVSI), and he was the second National President of NARPV. He was a program management principal in the Vietnam era for remotely piloted vehicle programs, including Long Arm Decoy, Lightning Bug photo reconnaissance in Vietnam, Electronic Warfare in Combat Angel, Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) in Combat Dawn and Strike in Have Lemon Task 05. He served in RPV Systems at SAC Headquarters, the Big Safari Office, and the Drone/RPV System Project Office (SPO) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio, and in Vietnam and Thailand.
With a total of 15 months in the Vietnam war, Colonel Smith holds many military awards, among them the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal twice, the USAF Commendation Medal, the Vietnam Campaign medal with five battle stars, and a USAF Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V." He is a recipient of the Operations Award at the 1989 National NARPV Convention in Washington, D.C. for his contribution to the unmanned community, and was similarly recognized by the Air Force Association. He retired from the USAF as Chief of the Operations Support Branch of the Drone/RPV System Project Office, and is an Associate Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and a Life Member of the Air Force Association (AFA).
Military Experience: Chairman, Systems Concepts Panel, USAF RPV MISSION ANALYSIS, Deputy for Plans, HQ ASD, WPAFB, OHIO 45433. Responsible for formulating concepts for the future roadmap for Drone/ RPV employment in USAF. Evolved the Multi-Mission concept for the BGM-34C, May of 1973/1974. Pave Spike Program Manager, RWRS, WPAFB, OHIO 45433. Acquisition Manager for LASER designator for the F-4 Phantom Aircraft. Task included concurrent D, T&E, Pre-Production, I, O, T&E, and combat deployment to Southeast Asia, JUNE 1972 to MAY 1973. Vietnam War, Vietnam Bien Hoa Airbase 1968 During the Vietcong Tet Offensive.
Mark Witham, founder of the Military Heritage Collection in Nevada, Texas, said Smith’s work kept pilots out of harm’s way.
“It just saved countless lives and I doubt anyone ever turned to him and said ‘Thanks,’” Witham said. “I meet a lot of people and he’s one of my heroes.” - Dallas News
This is an incredible piece of American and US military history that has been somewhat overlooked, despite it's great importance. The amount of knowledge & history among this family and in this museum is simply incredible. You leave with an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia and patriotism.
- Bailey Martindale