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Mighty 8th Air Force Heritage Museum

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Opened in 1996, the Mighty Eighth Air Force Heritage Museum in Savannah, GA is a tribute to the men and women who bravely fought the bombing war over Europe during World War II. It's conveniently located just off I-95 at Exit 102. We visited the museum on 26 Dec 2009.

 8af04 Stories, art, memorabilia outline the trials and tribulations of the Army Air Corps aviators and support staff. 
 In the Honoring the Eighth Exhibit, there are collections of artifacts from various World War II 8th Air Force groups. Rich in stories of heroism and artifacts, visitors view some of the personal valuables of the men of the 8th. 8af18 
 8af03  One of the Museum’s feature exhibits, the Mission Experience, enables visitors to attend a pre-flight briefing in the Quonset hut, receive ground crew orientation, and then become an observer on an 8th Air Force flying mission over enemy territory in the Museum’s immersion theater.
 A model of one of hundreds of air bases built in southern England during WWII. 8af07 
 8af12  As a meteorologist, I was quite interested in the small display of weather equipment.
 The centerpiece of the museum is this B-17G, which came to Savannah in 2009 from the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC after a decade-long search for this rare heavy bomber. The aircraft, along with the B-24 Liberator, was flown on combat missions to German targets between 1942-1945. 8af05 
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The museum is restoring its B-17 in honor of the B-17 named “City of Savannah” on December 3, 1944. The aircraft was the 5000th airplane processed through Hunter Army Air Field at Savannah, GA during World War II. It was christened prior to its take-off to England to fly combat missions with the 388th Bomb Group, 563rd Squadron of the 8th Air Force.

For more details and pictures of the move and restoration of this plane, visit the Mighty Eighth's website.

 Another authentic aircraft is a Boeing-Stearman PT KAYDET. The PT-17 was one of the most widely used training aircraft in the United States. The aircraft's wings and fuselage are covered with fabric.  8af08
 8af10  A German ME-109.
“Fighting Sam” is the actual nose section of a B-24 Liberator. 8af11
8af14 The Escape and Evasion Exhibit is housed within a helper’s home known as a safe house, which allowed many downed fliers to escape from Nazi-occupied countries and return to England. 
The POW Exhibit explores daily life for these fliers, including an examination of their treatment and living conditions. 8af15
 8af16 At last !! 
 A Mig-17 - Vietnam-era. 8af31 
 8af24  Visitors have the opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices made by our veterans as they visit the Chapel of the Fallen Eagles. This beautiful stone chapel is built to resemble an English chapel and is meant to give visitors a place of quiet reflection.
 Weddings and Memorials are held in the chapel.  8af26
 8af29  One of the several stained-glass windows in the Chapel.
 The Memorial Gardens are a quiet testament to the cherished memory of the veterans. Stone walls and granite monuments with the names of those who valiantly served their country line the winding paths around a dramatic reflecting pool; each having been designed and funded by veterans and their families. These memorials are not limited to World War II and include a Vietnam War Monument and a planned Korean War Monument. 8af23 

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