History of the Mighty Eighth Air Force
Visiting the Museum
Using state-of-the-art graphics, memorabilia, vintage motion pictures and photographs and interactive "live-it-yourself" features, the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum is a work of art by itself.
Divided into galleries, which effectively group the information presentation by either time or location, the museum begins with a concise retracing of the events leading to World War II in the Prelude to War, then paints a bleak picture of Britain, seemingly alone, against the powerful German forces. Dramatic archival footage, some of which is rarely seen, recreates the life and death struggle that took place over the skies of Great Britain from 1940 until 1942.
The entrance to Mission Experience is a Quonset hut briefing room, where an officer addresses the "squad" of museum visitors and shows a brief video. Nearby, an armed MP stands guard. Leaving the "ready room," more video helps envision preparing for the bombing run on which we are about to embark. Visitors "fly a mission" over the English Channel and into Nazi-occupied France. Vividly recreated, with "ack-ack" fire loudly bursting and shaking the plane, this dramatic recreation of a Mighty Eighth bombing run is a highlight of the museum. As the lights come up former members of the Mighty Eighth offer to answer visitor questions.
Largest of the museum's exhibits is the Combat Gallery, where planes used by the Mighty Eighth and their opponents are on display. These planes, which are either restored or replicas, are augmented by additional planes on the grounds, including the one by the exit on I-95. Among the famous people associated with the Eighth are the Tuskegee Airmen, African-American pilots who were fighting two battles, actor Jimmy Stewart who flew 25 Mighty Eighth missions, and future test pilot Chuck Yeager, who became an "ace" during World War II.
The museum is developing an area of post World War II exhibits to augment the current exhibits. This will take a look at the Mighty Eighth's involvement in the Strategic Air Command, Vietnam, Afganistan and desert operations.
Grounds and Memorial Chapel
On the grounds of the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum are addtional aircraft with interpretive signs. A stone chapel handles services for weddings and funerals, particularly for (although not limited to) members of the Mighty Eighth.
A word of thanks
Roadside Georgia Managing Editor Phyllis Reardon and publisher Randy Golden would like to thank everyone at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Musuem that made our trip to the facility such a pleasure.
Location: Two exits north of I-16 on I-95, west of Savannah
Directions: From the intersection of I-16 and I-95, take I-95 North to U. S. 80, the Pooler/Garden City exit. Turn right on U. S. 80 and make the first left onto Bourne Ave. The museum is on the left.
The Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum
175 Bourne Ave.
Pooler, GA 31322
Date added: March 26, 2004
Last update: September 9, 2005
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