Posted by: bree1972 | February 23, 2010

Lest We Forget 02/24/2010

My husband is a history buff.  He majored in history, he taught history, he lives and breathes history.  He’s one of those people who will be driving down a road, spot a historic marker, and make a U-turn in the middle of the highway to go back and read about whatever skirmish was fought under that very oak tree.  I keep a paperback novel tucked under the passenger seat in the truck, just for those moments. 

Ted has been pestering me to do a story on the museum at the Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park across the river, and today seemed like a good day to drive over and take some photos.  Ted insisted on accompanying me, of course,  because, after all, it’s all about wars and battlefields and uniforms and medals.  There are a bunch of historic markers over there also – I made sure the paperback was still in the truck.

A few weeks ago, I did a story from the park about the Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club.  In addition to the museum and the resort, there is also the SAM Shortline Excursion Train, the golf course, a swimming beach, tent and RV camping, fishing, picnicking, nature trails, a model airplane flying field, and boating.   Georgia Veterans’ is truly one of Georgia’s finest state parks.

So, this one is for Ted – and anyone else out there who loves history.  To be honest, I love it also – especially the parts that deal with the brave men and women who have served in our Armed Forces.  If you are close to my age, your father probably served during World War II, younger readers perhaps had dads in the Korean War or Vietnam.  My daddy served in North Africa, and my son Jason proudly wears his granddaddy’s dogtags.

Georgia Veterans Memorial Park was established as a memorial to U.S. veterans, and its museum features aircraft, armored vehicles, uniforms, weapons, medals and other items from the Revolutionary through the Gulf Wars.  I counted eleven different wars the U.S. has participated in that are portrayed in some manner in the museum.  The only one missing is the current War on Terror. 

The museum itself is dedicated to the crew of the B-29 Super Fortress on display at the park (more on that later).  The crew served aboard that aircraft from June 1, 1945 until July 26, 1945, flying 12 missions and receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross for their display of skill and courage on June 29, 1945.  The crew was part of the 28th Bombardment Squadron, 19th Bombardment Group.  The Georgia Medal of Honor hangs in the museum and is dedicated to the memory of all Georgia veterans who served their country with honor and who rest in Arlington National Cemetary and other cemetaries throughout the world.

Here’s a tour through photos and captions: 

 
 
 

The American Revolution (1775-1783), the War of 1812 (1812-1815), the War for Texas Independence (1835-1836), and the Mexican War (1846-1848).

A Civil War (1861-1865) cannon.

A U.S. Calvary wagon, used in the West during the Indian Wars (1800-1899). This particular wagon was retired and later used to kick off the first March of Dimes. It was later used as a prop in the movie "Fort Apache".

 

World War I (1914-1918) artifacts

Uniforms and weaponry from World War II (1939-1945) - My father, my Uncle Hubert, and Ted's father all served.

The Korean War (1950-1953)

My generation's war - Vietnam (1961-1975). My first cousin Ronald, and my first cousin Wanda's husband, Weldon, both served in Vietnam.

 

The Gulf War (1991)

A tank from World War I

These things are heavy! A World War II tank.

The Long Tom, a World War II towed artillery weapon capable of firing its 100 lb. shells 14.4 miles. This one was nicknamed "Big Oli".

The Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star, a fighter jet. This plane was used extensively for pilot training. A student received 500 hours of ground insruction, followed by 100 hours basic flying training. The pilot then trained for 75 hours in the T-33A, before being assigned to a fighter aircraft. It is estimated that 90% of the free world's jet pilots trained on the T-33A during the 50's & 60's. This plane was used into the 70's.

The FJ-4B Fury - a fighter jet referred to by its pilots as the "Cadillac".

 

The Boeing B-29A Super Fortress Bomber. It is to the crew of this specific plane the museum is dedicated.

On Aug. 6, 1945, a B-29A Super Fortress called "Enola Gay" dropped the first Atomic Bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

Three days later, another Super Fortress - named "Bockscar" - dropped a second Atomic Bomb on Nagasaki, bringing an end to World War II.

 

A Bell UH-1D Huey Helicopter. This helicopter flew medical evacuations for the 498th Medical Company from Feb. 1966-May 1967. It then became a gunship with the 114th Assault Helicopter Company until Aug. 1968.

 

This tablet mounted in front of the helicopter commemorates the personnel of the 114th Assault Helicopter Company lost in action in Vietnam. The unit was nicknamed "Knights of the Air" and served in Vietnam for 10 years.

The Memorial at Georgia Veterans was erected by The Friends of Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park. To be a part of the memorial, brick pavers may be purchased in someone's honor or memory.

While we were at the park this afternoon Ted and I learned about the Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites program.  The Friends Senior Family program offers yearly benefits of two park passes, family entrance into historic sites, discounts in the park retail shops, overnight stay discounts, two free rounds of golf or two free nights of camping, and $10 off per ticket for the SAM Shortline for two adults.  Quite the deal!

Even for a “less than history buff” like myself, the afternoon visit to the museum was interesting and informative.  I especially liked all the tanks and planes and can remember bringing my own children to see them when they were young.  Back then they were actually allowed to hop up on the tanks to have their pictures made. 

As we headed out of the Park, Ted spotted this historic marker and swerved across the road to pull up beside it.  He jumped out to read, and I pulled my paperback out from under the seat.  We were both happy.

The next post to this blog will be Bree’s Recipe Day on Friday.  Don’t forget to email your Breakfast Dish recipes to brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com by Thursday afternoon.  Muffins, breakfast casseroles, omelet recipes, french toast recipes, pancake recipes, waffle recipes – send them all!  See you Friday!

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Responses

  1. I knew I’d love the photos today….but LOVED the header!
    Great story for someone “less than a History Buff”.

  2. Thanks for sharing this great place with us. I love history-wanted to be a history teacher but that didn’t happen. But I still love history. I have made my husband turn around, follow an old county road to read a historial sign. Now I have a spot for us to see on our return trip from FL.

    • Oh my gosh, Charlotte. When are you going to Florida? You need to stay over at the Retreat at the park. There is SO much to see in the park, and if you love history, a ride on the SAM Shortline is a must. It stops in 4 little Ga. towns, including Plains, home of past President Jimmy Carter – only about 40 miles from here. We love our park!

  3. Oh my gosh Brenda! Ted and my husband would get along so well. He loves history also and watches the History channel or the Military channel ALL the time. Honestly I would prefer to go watch Survivor on another tv. 😉
    Great pictures and very interesting story even for me. 🙂

  4. wow, Bree; this was such a good “eye opener” this morning! MY husband is also a history buff, but MOSTLY about WWII. I know he’ll enjoy these photos and the trip thru the museum. He especially loves WWII aircraft, so know he will enjoy those. It MAY even get him so interested in seeing all this in person that he’ll consent to a side trip to see it next winter, when I”M planning on doing a little travelling!! is there a website for the park? would love to stay there, also. SO–looking forward to everyone’s breakfast dishes; don’t have anything much different to offer, so won’t be sending you any!!

  5. I love all the pictures and history! My dad was in WWII and the Korean War and our oldest son was in Iraq for a year.
    Happy Thursday!

  6. You & Ted are so very lucky to live near such a treasure filled park- both in preserved historical military things, but the park itself sounds like SUCH a marvelous place to visit, with endless things to enjoy! Another great story Bree. Wish I lived closer, it is something my Dad (retired Airforce/Korean War) would very much enjoy seeing!

    I’m glad to hear that someone else besides me travels everywhere with a paperback stashed for ‘just in case’!!

    Jane in Minnesota

  7. This spring when you guys drive up to the Island, you should stop here in Ypsilanti, MI. We have the Yankee Air Force museum here at Willow Run Airport. http://www.yankeeairmuseum.org/
    They flew their big bomber over the island last year. If your husband likes history he’ll love that place. Or you could come down for the air show in July. Lots of old planes and tanks and helicopters.


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