Bombs Away!

Today started about 11am when we headed down to Pooler, GA to tour the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum 1

We started out by going through a ‘full immersion’ show of a typical 8th Air Force bombing mission.

We begin our flight by sitting in Quonset hut and listening to the flight briefing given through a combination of video and a live presentation from a actual 8th Air Force crew member. Then it was on to an excellent movie about the flight line and preparing the B-17’s for the bombing raid.

The final presentation was multi-media presentation simulating a bombing run over Germany, complete with loud flak explosions, bright flashing lights, and even rushing wind as the bomb bay doors open.

A really moving presentation.

The 8th Air Force Museum is located in Savannah because that’s where it was born. It was activated on January 2th, 1942 at Savannah Air Base, Savannah, GA, less than one month after Pearl Harbor.

During its 3 year operational history, over 350,000 men cycled through the unit. And of that number, there were 26,000 deaths and 28,000 casualties, with the loss of over 4000 planes.

Toward the end of the war the 8th Air Force was sending out raids with over 2000 planes and 1000 fighters on a single mission to multiple targets.

It is said that by early 1945 there was nothing left to bomb in Germany. Every target of strategic or military value had been destroyed.

Leaving the presentation we walked through the many exhibits. They even had a couple of fantastic dioramas. This one depicted a raid on a German refinery. Very realistic.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum Ollfield Raid

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And this one shows the 8th Air Force field at East Anglia, England.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum East Anglia

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They also have a number of planes on display, including this B-17, “The City of Savannah”,

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum B-17 1

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which was the 5000th plane processed through Hunter Field in Savannah in 1944.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum B-17 2

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Here’s the P-51 Mustang, the most successful long ranger fighter of WWII. Its introduction allowed, for the first time, fighters to escort the bombers all the way into Germany and back out on even the longest missions.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum P51

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And here’s one the P-51’s adversaries, the German bf 109.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum bf 109

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They also had a few more modern planes outside. Here’s a F-4C Phantom.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum F-4C

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A MiG 17A.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum MiG 17

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And finally, a Boeing B-47 Stratojet, our first swept wing all-jet bomber.

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum B-47

We all really enjoyed the 8th Air Force Museum, especially Jan and Terry, who were both Air Force Brats.

This is a must-see when you visit Savannah.

Leaving the museum, we made a couple of Post Office and bank stops before spending some time just driving around old Savannah taking in all the old homes. Then we made a couple of trips down along the waterfront checking all the neat shops and restaurants.

By this time it was after 4pm, and with everyone hungry, we headed back to Jalapeno’s Mexican Restaurant, where we ate a couple of days ago.

It was that good. So good that everyone ordered exactly the same thing we got last time.

Heading back toward home, we made a Wal-Mart stop along the way. We also made a few more passes up and down some more of Savannah’s streets.

Getting back to our rig, we put away our groceries, and then headed over to Nick and Terry’s for some more of Jan’s birthday cake, and a few more laughs.

The perfect end to a great day.

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Thought for the Day:

If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don’t understand, no explanation is possible.

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One Response

  1. You all are truly leading the “Good Life.” Very nice blog, Greg.

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