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Pacific Aviation Museum of Pearl Harbor (pt 3)

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Pacific Aviation Museum of Pearl Harbor (pt 3)

Post by (A/229) BBall on Fri 16 May 2014 - 14:19

OK guys....so to continue our little tour of the “Pacific Museum of Avation Pearl Harbo”, I wandered back to the Hangar 37 stuff (where the bus drops you off, and it all begins). Their newest addition here is the SBD Dauntless (don’t know the story behind her), and she’s a beauty!

Here we go....

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The scoorge of the Pacific for so many years, the A6M Zero... I recently read that the fact that she had so little armor (and/or no self sealing fuel tanks) was actually due to lots of input by the pilots to the Mitsubishi factory! Their thoughts of superiority seemed to far outweigh their feelings about survivability... (funny how different two cultures can be...right?)

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Speaking as a pilot....I’ll bet she was a joy to fly.

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Is it me, or does she always seem just a bit TOO fragile to be trapping aboard a carrier? (as apposed to a Hellcat, Dauntless, Helldiver, TBM, etc....)

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Looking back toward the other exhibits. P-40, B-25, SBD, F4F...

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The story of Ken Taylor and George Welch on that fateful Sunday morning....

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Every time I’m around a Mitchell, I can’t help but stand in wonder imagining myself sitting in that left seat, throttles firewalled, engines howling for all they're worth, wind and spray whipping across the deck of the Hornet, legs straining holding the brakes, and the flagman waving me off toward Tokyo and an unknown destiny...

They were incredibly brave men, doing an impossible  job, and here we are 70 years later STILL in awe of them. If you haven’t read Ted Lawson’s “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo”, you owe it to yourself to do so... (http://www.amazon.com/Thirty-Seconds-Over-Tokyo-Lawson/dp/0743474333 ). It's a hokey, but pretty good movie (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ww58PQ2_LVY ), but it's a terrific book.

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The signatures of two from that group of amazing men.

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The Dauntless.

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Another view...

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On my last visit here, I was admiring their little F4F Wildcat, and an old geezer walked up and started talking to me (“Chick” fought at Wake Island and was a volunteer for the museum). He told me they pulled this little gem out of Lake Michigan. Seems that they did a huge amount of carrier practice in the Great Lakes, and many machines are resting on the bottoms of those lakes due to “pilot error” (and other causes). He said when they pulled her out, due to the fact that she had been in “clear water” for all those years, they had almost NOTHING to do to get her to museum shape. He said the tires were still inflated, the fuel was good, the ammo was still OK, and save some draining of the engine, one could’ve sat down, moved a few switches and started her right up!

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Their diorama is (of course) from the “Cactus Air Force” circa 1942 Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. Beautiful machine in a dramatic setting...

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My only other story from the museum is from the last time I was there. Adjacent to the F4F display, they have an area of "Combat Simulator Flights" (you can see the sign in the background of the first F4F pic). They have a set up of several “cockpits”  featuring a P-38, and once paying your money, you can plop in and “dogfight” the Zeros that appear on the screen in front of you (it’s all really cheesy, and the graphics are from the “Aces Over Europe” era...almost 20 years ago). I paid my $, “strapped in” (with the help of a volunteer that shows you the controls and how you use them....lol), and proceeded to yank and bank, blasting my way through all the Japs (to the amazement of the volunteer!). He asked if I had any actual flight time (“uhhhh...no”), or if I had flown a flight simulator before (“uhhhh....no”), and I left smirking while he stood shaking his head....

Huey pics soon.... Very Happy  Very Happy  Very Happy
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Re: Pacific Aviation Museum of Pearl Harbor (pt 3)

Post by (HHC/229) flyer on Fri 16 May 2014 - 14:32

Very nice
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Re: Pacific Aviation Museum of Pearl Harbor (pt 3)

Post by (HHC/229) Strut on Fri 16 May 2014 - 16:26

Great pics mate, thanks for posting them.
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Re: Pacific Aviation Museum of Pearl Harbor (pt 3)

Post by (B/229) NeF on Fri 16 May 2014 - 18:26

Gr8 pics and great stories!
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Re: Pacific Aviation Museum of Pearl Harbor (pt 3)

Post by (A/229) Hawkeye on Fri 16 May 2014 - 21:53

Like everyone above has stated--Great Pics & Anecdotes!

Thanks for sharing
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