03 July 2008

Boneyard part tree

Ok, this is the last of the Pima posts, and focuses mostly on the majority of the museum's WW2 collection, whic we saw after the AMARG tour. We begin with this spectacular plane, rarely seen in the US, the Hawker Hurricane, the unsung hero of the Battle of Britain.
B24 Liberator, arguably a better overall plane than the B17 and did just as much, but far less well known.
An actual Nazi V1 Buzz bomb, the weapon that terrorized London in the latter days of the war. Most examples in museums are reproductions.
F16 canopy from aircraft shot down in Iraq Jan 19, 1991 (the first Gulf War.) It was flown by Major Jeffrey Scott Tice, who ejected safely after being hit by a Surface to Air missle and was held as a POW until Mar 13. The canopy was recovered by the 101st Airborne Division in April 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
A local resident says hello
A parade of old airport firetrucks brings a sense of completness to the aircraft collection.
An oddly shaped meteorite known as the Tucson Ring Meteorite
This is the 390th Bomb Group Memorial, called a "museum within a museum", this is separately run from the rest of Pima, but is located inside it and has no additional cost. The 390th flew its first bombing mission on Aug 12, 1943, but became famous on a mission to Munster on Oct 10, 1943. On this raid, a fierce air battle took place where the 390th shot down a record 62 German fighters. This reputation continued as they became known as the most accurate bomb group in the 8th Air Force, with the lowest losses per mission/bombs dropped. They flew 301 missions until May 1945, losing a total of 179 aircraft, and never once turned back due to enemy action. The heart of the memorial is the meticulously restored B17 Flying Fortress, the most recognized aircraft of WW2.
First US flag ashore on Utah Beach on Jun 6, 1944 (DDay).
An F4F pulled out of Lake Michigan. On April 12, 1945, Ensign Robert Woodruff flew out of Glenview Naval Air Station to conduct landings and takeoffs on the training carrier USS Wolverine. Just before reaching the deck, the Landing Signal Officer saw he was too low and waved him off. The plane touched the deck just as the pilot applied power, and the tailhook caught an arresting wire, causing the plane to be dragged down to the deck and over the side. The pilot was not hurt and returned to Glenview for more training. The aircraft was one of several recovered from the lake in the mid 1990's.
The giant B29 Superfortress. Like the B17, but much bigger and with much more range, it brought the war to Japan, destroying their production to the point where they no longer had enough fighters to attempt to shoot down the invading bombers. On August 6, 1945, a B29 changed the world forever by dropping the first atomic bomb, bringing a hasty close to the world's most bloody war.
Another fairly uncommon plane, the TBM Avenger. Developed just before WW2, this large torpedo bomber was first shown to the public at the opening of a new Grumman plant on Dec 7, 1941, just hours before the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor hurled the US into the global conflict. The aircraft first saw action at the end of the battle of Midway. They were flown by both actor Paul Newman, and future President George H. W. Bush, who was shot down, but dropped his payload on target first, earning him the Distinguished Flying Cross. The planes flew many important missions, including the sinking of the Japanese Super Battleship Yamato, and the submarine I52, which was transporting gold to Germany as payment for technology. It is also belived that the sub was to pick up some Uranium Oxide from the Germans to build a nuclear "dirty bomb". The Avenger also gained fame when a group known as Flight 19 disapeared in the Bermuda Triangle.
Bomb tags used on B29 bombers, including the city, date, and mission number.

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