National Museum of the United States Air Force
Note: I started this post way back when – November 30th, I believe – and I’ve been slowly working on it since. I had gotten stuck because I forgot one of the stories that I wanted to share with you. But over the Christmas visit with my family we went to the museum again and I took some more pictures to help me remember. Without further ado…….
The Friday after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday, was not a shopping day for us here at Casa de Stadelbacher. There wasn’t much out in the stores that
we Paul needed or wanted. So we went to bed early and slept in Friday morning. After eating some Tim Horton’s doughnuts we left for the museum.
There were a few boards of information that I found to be very interesting and took a few pictures to show you.
This first one talks about Aerial Navigation. Now I’d heard of Curtis E. LeMay several times and noticed that there are streets named after him on several bases. But I didn’t know who he was or why he was so famous. Now, just because Paul is in the Air Force and knows this stuff doesn’t mean that I do. While I was curious about who and why I never was too curious to look him up. So when I read about the Army Air Corps and how they had no centralized school for navigation training and how General (Ret.) LeMay demonstrated the importance of it, I understood why so many streets are named after him.
Basically, during the Interwar Years the US Army Air Service followed various roads, rail lines, or landmarks to get to their destination. Just as it reads in the bottom caption, “This portion of a map used by Lts Oakley Kelly and John Macready for navigation on their Transcontinental Flight on May 2-3, 1923, demonstrates one method of early aerial navigation. This commercial map produced by Rand Mcnally showed the rail lines, and the colored pencil marks indicate the westbound route they took across Illinois. Note that their flight followed the railroad tracks between Terre Haute, IN, and St Louis, MO, with the estimated times of arrival marked in 10-minute increments.”
In just six short years, the navigation training went from a few pilots who took their training back to their respective squadrons to new navigation schools that trained more than 50,000 new navigators by the end of World War II. Can you believe that?
So reading about Curtis E. LeMay at the National Museum of the United States Air Force was very informative and makes me appreciate the history of the Air Force that much more.
Tomorrow I’ll post the second story I wanted to share with you. It’s about a Tech Sergeant who’s nickname was Sandy and volunteered for his third combat tour at the age of 23.