Thursday, April 16, 2009
A trip to Wright-Patterson AFB
As you can see from some of the mobile upload posts below, I recently visited the USAF Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
My dad works for General Electric and has always been interested in planes and the engines in them. When I was little, we often went to the Dayton Airshow and to visit the museum. I was always most interested in the nose art--especially that which appears on WWII aircraft because most of it follows the theme of beautiful, curvy bombshells and pinup girls. Despite my feminist upbringing, I appreciate the nostalgic value. I also feel a little sad for the men who missed the women waiting for them back home--many ladies painted on planes were modeled after sweethearts and wives.
Two of my favorite planes at the museum are a B17 Flying Fortress called the Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby after a popular song and a B24 called the Strawberry Bitch. The latter is rumored to be haunted.
Even if you know next to nothing about planes or aviation history, a trip to Dayton is an excellent way to spend a day or two. The museum is huge--we were there for six hours last weekend--and there is now a Presidential and R&D tour (these are very popular--get there early). You can also visit the Wright Brothers Memorial, Huffman Prarie Flying Field (where the brothers conducted many experiments) and the Wright family plot at the beautiful Woodland Cemetery. It's amazing to see all of these monuments and realize that Ohio is the birthplace of aviation. That's something to be proud of.
Forgotten Ohio list of haunted USAF Museum planes: http://www.forgottenoh.com/Counties/Montgomery/usaf.html
Woodland Cemetery http://www.woodlandcemetery.org/
Huffman Prarie Flying Field and Wright Brothers Monument http://www.nps.gov/archive/daav/pla_fac_huffmanprairie.htm (the monument is directly across from the interpretive center)
Museum site: http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/