World War II Museum

August 3, 2015

The foreground buildings are part of the World War II Museum against the backdrop of downtown New Orleans. We walked from our hotel on St. Charles to the Museum, about a mile.

Everyone we have talked to who has been to this museum ranks it as the best military museum they have ever been to. We would have to concur, and I'm hard to impress with a museum. Its size and scope were amazing. I had decided not to take the camera, and to just enjoy the museum, but when we got to the building with all the suspended aircraft, I couldn't stand it any longer and took a few photos with my phone.

The third building we went to was three stories high and had a number of suspended aircraft. This photo can give you the feel for it. There were catwalks on the high second and third stories for viewing the suspended aircraft. Below the P-51 Mustang with the red trim is a head-on view of what I believe is a General Motors TBM Avenger. It was used as a torpedo bomber in the Pacific.

This was a view at right angle to the above in the cavernous exhibit hall.The plane in the center is the Douglas SBD Dauntless. The suspended aircraft were the things that impressed me the most, but there were at least three large screens playing continuous footage of World War II.

At right are the Vought F4U Corsair and the Douglas SBD Dauntless. They are shown above with the P-51 Mustang and the underside of the B-17 Flying Fortress.
There were a couple of the bombers on display as well. This is the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. With the suspension of the aircraft and the catwalks, you could examine the bombers better than if you had been on the ground beside one.

The high catwalks were a great idea because you could look down on the planes and the ground equipment displayed below them. This is the Douglas SBD Dauntless.

Close-up view of a P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft.

Although the main emphasis of this building was the aircraft of the war, it was also good to see some of the ground equipment close up.

Behind the tank above is the cockpit of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator. About 18000 of them were made for service in the war and they served in every theater.

All of these pictures were taken in one of the four buildings we visited, the U.S. Freedom Pavillion: The Boeing Center. They don't begin to do justice to the content of even this building. Besides the films they had running, we listened to several personal testimonies of veterans from different parts of the war theater. They had an outstanding interactive event about the submarine USS Tang, the most successful submarine in World War II for its fifth and final war patrol on 25 October 1944. which had the record for the most kills of enemy vessels.

We spent the full day at the museum, and really needed two full days. All four buildings were outstanding. They did their best to put you on the battlefield, and also had extended guided stories about several of the campaigns of the war. We started with a film "Beyond All Boundaries", a general overview of World War II directed and narrated by Tom Hanks.

Tea at Vianne's Tea House

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