This is the part of the museum I found the most interesting and the part in which we spent the most time, but even so, we only saw a fraction of what there was to see.
Curtiss P-36A Hawk — Fighter used by the United States, England and France at the beginning of the war but quickly replaced by better planes. This is the first one delivered to the Air Corps and is decorated like one that saw action at Pearl Harbor.
A variety of items used by the Japanese during the war.
Link Trainer — Created during the 1930s to train pilots, but used primarily by amusement parks until the war began.
Curtiss P-40E Warhawk — Fighter used by many nations throughout the war. This one is painted to represent the Fighting Tigers.
North American B-25B Mitchell (foreground) — Medium bomber painted to represent the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo
Douglas B-18 Bolo (background) — Bomber used early in the war.
Bell P-63E Kingcobra (left) — American-built fighter used mostly by Russia.
Beech AT-11 Kansan (right) — American bomber trainer used by most bomber pilots.
Bristol Beaufighter — British night fighter used extensively during the Blitz.
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc — British fighter. This particular plane was used during the war by the Royal Australian Air Force.
Vultee BT-13B Valiant(left foreground, blue with yellow wings) — Trainer used for pilots who had passed the first level of training.
Laister-Kauffmann TG-4A (left background, blue with yellow wings) — Glider trainer
Curtiss AT-9 Jeep/Fledgling (right foreground) — Twin-engine trainer
Consolidated B-24D Liberator (the big one) — Long-range bomber used in the raid from North Africa against the oil industry at Ploesti, Rumania. This particular plane flew combat missions from North Africa in 1943-1944 with the 512th Bomb Squadron.
Culver PQ-14 (upper right) — Radio-controlled target aircraft for training anti-aircraft artillery gunners.
Macchi MC.200 Saetta (lower right) — Italian fighter captured by the British at Banghazi airfield following the battle of El Alamein and later displayed around the United States to sell war bonds.
Lockheed P-38L Lightning — Dive bomber and long-range fighter.
Republic P-47D — fighter used throughout the war by several nations. This particular plane was built in the late 1940s and used by the Peruvian Air Force.
Waco CG-4A Hadrian (above) — Glider built of wood and metal covered with fabric, used in Sicily and on D-Day.
Douglas C-47D Skytrain (below) — Called the “Gooney Bird.” Used as a troop and cargo carrier and to tow gliders. This particular plane was the last C-47D in regular use by the Air Force.
The A-2 flying jacket, scarf and gauntlets worn by Phillip R. Taylor of Alameda, Calif., a waist gunner in a B-17 of the 91st Bomb Group during the Schweinfurt mission. The 8th Air Force attack on Oct. 14, 1943, against the ball bearing factories at Schweinfurt, Germany, resulted in the greatest air battle in history. The firing pin is from the .50-cal. machine gun used by Taylor to shoot down an enemy Fw 190 fighter plane that attacked his B-17. Taylor’s plane had more than 200 holes in it upon landing in England, and it never flew again.
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress — Daylight bomber. In March 1944 this particular B-17G was assigned to the 91st Bomb Group — “The Ragged Irregulars” — and based at Bassingbourn, England. There its crew named it Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby, after a popular song. It flew 24 combat missions in WWII, receiving flak damage seven times. Its first mission (Frankfurt, Germany) was on March 24, 1944, and last mission (Posen, Poland) on May 29, 1944, when engine problems forced a landing in neutral Sweden where the airplane and crew were interned.
V-2 on Meilerwagen — The first practical modern ballistic missile, built by Germany and launched at England and Belgium. This particular rocket was damaged in an air attack by allied forces before it could be launched.
Trombone played by Major Glenn Miller in the Maj. Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band. It was also used by Jimmy Stewart in the movie The Glenn Miller Story.
Ronald Reagan’s overcoat worn while serving in active duty with the 1st Motion Picture Unit and the 18th AAFBU, Reagan served as Personnel Officer, Post Adjutant, Executive Officer, and Commanding Officer. By the end of the war, his military units had produced 400 training films for the AAF.
Messerschmitt Me 163B Komet — Rocket-powered fighter built by Germany, used sparingly. This particular plane had some issues that may have been cased by sabotage by the French forced laborers.
Messerschmitt Me 262A Schwalbe — The first operational jet fighter. It proved very effective in combat but few made it to production due to allied bombing, lack of fuel and other problems. This particular one was captured when the war ended.
Stinson L-5 Sentinel (foreground, above) — Used for reconnaissance, front-line medical evacuation, delivering supplies, laying communications wire, spotting enemy targets, personnel transport, rescue and even as a light bomber.
Cessna UC-78B Bobcat (background, above) — Used for personnel transport
French “Forty and Eight” boxcar — These cars received their names because they could carry 40 men or eight horses — sometimes as many as 90 prisoners of war were forced into each boxcar. This particular car operated between France and Germany and likely carried P.O.W.s.
Sikorsky R-4B Hoverfly — The first production helicopter, used for the first time in combat in May, 1944.
Douglas A-20G Havoc — Bomber also used on low-level strafing attacks in almost every theater.
Curtiss C-46D Commando — Troop and cargo carrier of the type used to fly supplies over the “Hump” from India to China.
Consolidated OA-10 Catalina — Flying boat with retractable wheels for landing on land. Used primarily for sea rescue.
Boeing B-29 Superfortress— Long-range bomber. This particular plane, Bockscar, dropped the Fat Man atomic bomb on Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945.
Replica of the “Fat Man” bomb dropped over Nagasaki, Japan, on Aug. 9, 1945.
Items carried by Lt. Fred Olivi, third pilot on the Bockscar when it dropped the bomb on Nagasaki.
Mk I bomb, nicknamed “Little Boy,” the first nuclear weapon used in warfare. It was dropped by the B-29 Enola Gay on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945. This particular one was an operational bomb when built.
Northrop P-61C Black Widow — Night fighter