I warned you kids that I was doing one more History lesson…The Pensacola Naval Air Museum…and it was simply amazing…and free. Don’t panic if you don’t like too much jabber, this will be mostly photos…I cannot remember too much about the planes, there were so many…
One of many statues and artworks..This is called “The Spirit of Naval Aviation” and it greets you when you walk in..Left to right,(all pilots), WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf War. The premise of this work of art is that the WWII pilot, second from the left, is reliving his flying experiences with his former and future aviators..I really fell in love with this one.
Too many planes, too many pictures…Here is a collage to study…Lots of neat stuff here! Let’s hear it for our military heroes!!!!
Everything was so intriguing ..We could have taken a guided tour, but opted to take the brochure and wander along at our leisure to take it all in. We did sign up for the flight line tour. You have to ride on the guided tour trolley and it takes you right by the active runway used by so many military jets and other aircraft. Each display had plenty of information and explanations to go with the exhibits…Upstairs they had flight simulators you could ride in, (no thanks), and I was also fascinated by one section upstairs where they recreated life in the US during WWII..
Left, I was trying to get into the movies free with this sailor(he ignored me..story of my life!)…middle pic, a Marine waits for a shine outside the Barber Shop…and right, now THAT is a REAL LIVE lady!! She was sitting outside an old general store and told us what it was like to live back in “the day”…She must be there almost every day. She told Den and me that when any military personnel come by, she won’t take a handshake, only a hug, as she silently prays for their safety…Just as we were leaving her, a couple GI’s walked by….
I know..this photo isn’t very clear, but it’s hard to take a good photo when your own eyes are tearing up…Apparently this young man has been here before…He said “Great to see you, Grama…I need one of your big ol’ hugs!”. I immediately went into my “wet mess” mode…Actually there were quite a few times I got pretty emotional…patriotism just takes me over, and I make no apologies for THAT!
There were a few old Navy posters used for recruitment in the 40’s that I found absolutely fabulous…What pieces of history these are:..
That last one kills me..The Navy needs binoculars and spy glasses..They will pay $1 for each one they accept. You tag each with name and address them using “express mail”, and mail them to Hon. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ass’t Sec’y of Navy in D.C. The Navy will return them when the War has ended….if possible!!! Wonder how many got them back???
We went a little farther along and they had a mock up of the conditions the Navy found on some of the islands… It was like you were walking through the movie, “South Pacific”…
I especially loved the official rules of the shower…Kind of like the showers you take in an RV, right???
I happen to see this Veteran just sitting and looking over aircraft below him from the balcony. I would love to know what he was pondering as he reminisced here alone. Another” tear jerker” for me.
There was a regular art gallery to stroll through…so many works of art here, these are only a few..
By afternoon, we were not nearly done, but you cannot see this all in one day..We had heard from Sam Weibel that we needed to stop in at the Cubi Bar and Cafe before we left…The Cafe’s decor and layout duplicates the bar area of the famous Cubi Point Officers’ Club at Naval Station Cubi Point at Subic Bay in the Phillipines.. This club was a major source of enjoyment for Navy and Marine Corps squadrons, ships and units as they passed into the Western Pacific and was heavily used in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
“The club was especially famous for its Plaque Bar, where transiting squadrons retired old plaques and commissioned new ones to commemorate each WestPac tour. The tradition of placing plaques in the O’ Club bar was started during the Vietnam Conflict and endured until the closing of the base in 1992.When the original officers’ club was closed in 1992, the thousands of plaques that adorned the walls of the club as tokens of thanks were packed up and sent to the Museum to be placed as they were when the Cubi Club was closed. The legacy of this Cubi Bar brings back many memories to aviators whose squadron plaques decorate the walls.”
They were only open from 11AM until 3:30PM…however, they did serve beer and wine…Did we have one? Do birds fly??? and we had a great plate of Nachos too!! I wouldn’t have cared what they had, I wouldn’t have missed this for anything…Thanks Sam!
Such a great time we are having here in Pensacola…but the weather isn’t exactly “Florida-like”..Low of mid 30’s tonight..Den has a campfire going and I made a brief guest appearance..THAT will cost him..Some of you are wondering where the photos are of my “ensembles”…Don’t worry, it’ll happen, but I have to wait until I can stay outside for longer than 10 minutes~~