Staring History in the Face
I know there is still plenty controversy about the necessity of the use of atomic bombs at the end of World War II. Regardless of one’s level of support (or disapproval) of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, you cannot deny that the use of these weapons was a pivotal moment in history. Yes, WW II ended after the dropping of the second bomb. And yes, there was a long-lasting devastation as a result of these bombings. But in a larger context, it marked the advent of the nuclear age and the subsequent ‘arms race.’ Add to the fact that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the only times atomic bombs have been used in combat. Yes, the planes that were used to drop those bombs truly are pieces of history.
The Bocks Car, the plane that dropped the second bomb, is on display at the Air Force Museum. You can’t help but reflect on everything that led up to the decision to drop the bomb as you look at this large plane. And it’s definitely a large plane. It’s huge! The plane design certainly lives up to its billing: Superfortress.
The display reads, Bockscar: The Aircraft that Ended WWII
I tried to get close enough to the sign that intersted parties could read it…
This was one of the monuments I don’t remember seeing before. It these etchings of the more prominent planes from WW II. I’ve always had an interest in the P-47 Thunderbolt (seen on the right) because many of them were manufactured in my hometown. Although it’s hardly considered a center of manufacturing might today, Evansville was an important part of the war effort during WW II. It was the largest inland producer of LSTs (Landing Ship, Tank) during the effort. And it was one of two cities to produce a particular line of P-47 Thunderbolts. According to Wikipedia, Evansville produced 6,242 P-47s and 167 LSTs during the war. Partially because of the tie to local history, I’ve always been infatuated with the ‘flying jug.’
If I understand correctly, the P-47s built in Evansville were similar to this one above. The cockpit cover is the ‘razorback’ style, different than the cockpit in the P-47 below. Evansville made the razorbacks. Last time I was at the Museum, I think there was only one P-47 on display. I was happy to see two this time.
Of the more modern aircraft, I think the A-10 is one of my favorites. Maybe it’s partly because it’s known as the Thunderbolt II, paying homage to the P-47, which was also considered a highly effective ‘tank-killer.’
The moment you step into the hangars, you can just feel the history of this place. It oozes out of every corner of the building. I mean, they have one of the first planes sold by the Wright Brothers, for crying out loud!
They also have several capsules from the different space missions (Mercury, Gemini, Apollo). So their collection spans from the dawn of human flight to the space age…and beyond.The kids in front of the Gemini capsule:
And it always amazes me how much of the modern technology they have on display. Of course, I’m sure most of the high-tech, top-secret stuff is in the interior, it’s still amazing that they have planes like this on display where an average person like me could walk up and take a picture of it.
The updates aren’t done. Check back later for more – yes, even more pictures from our experience at the Air Force Museum.
Aunt Christy getting her “newborn fix.” Yes – she’s in heaven! I think Caedmon is, too.
I’m trying a trick that worked really well with our kids. I remember hearing somewhere that the vibrations of your voicebox (through humming or singing) on a newborn’s head is really soothing. Caedmon was crying when we were trying to pray, so I took him and tried it on him. It didn’t work. Maybe it just works on your own kids.
As promised, I’ve posted some pictures of my new nephew. More will follow – I promise!
In a pretty cool twist of irony, today is the Fest Day of St. Caedmon in the Catholic Church. We’re not Catholic (and today’s not Caedmon’s birthday), but there’s a close enough coincidence that I figured it was worth mentioning here because…well…it’s MattDanTodd Land and mattdantodd thinks it’s cool.