Sunday, February 10, 2013

Wright Patterson Air Force Base and Museum

Wright Patterson Air Force Base and Museum is in Dayton, Ohio, the hometown of the Wright Brothers. They have a very cool museum of aircraft from the early days of the Wright Brothers to Space craft and everything inbetween. I have come to learn that in the Sci Fi fan circles, it is believed that after aliens crashed in Rosewell, New Mexico back in the 1940's, that the reckage and alien bodies were brought to Hanger 18 at Wright - Patt. I also heard that when Arizona Senator and Presidential Canidate Barry Goldwater visited Wright - Patt, he asked if he could see the reckage in Hanger 18. He was firmly told that not only can he not see Hanger 18, but that he had better never meantion it again. Nothing I saw could either confirm or deny any of this. The reason that made the site post worthy on this Presidents sites blog is that they have the best collection of Presidential aircraft that I am aware of.

I have been there a few times in my life, since it is less then 2 hours away. But it has been about 2 years since I was last there. The Museum is free, but if you want to see the Presidents planes, then you may want to get there early so that you can guarantee a bus ticket to the hanger that houses all of the Presidents planes.

The 'Sacred Cow'. Both FDR and Truman used this plane. It's the plane that flew FDR to the Yalta conference.

'The Independence' was the plane used by Harry Truman. Named for his home town on Independence, MO

The 'Columbine III' used by Dwight Eisenhower. Named for the Columbine flower, official flower of the state of Colorado, homestate of Eisenhowers wife Mamie.

This smaller plane was also used by Eisenhower

President transporting Helicopter

An interesting one. During the time when Science fiction was gaining popularity, the Air Force wondered if a flying saucer was a practicle flight design. So they made this flying saucer aircraft to test. They couldn't get it to fly more then a couple of feet off of the ground.

This smaller Air Force One was used by Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan

This is the main reason that you would want to come to this Presidents plane hanger. This Air Force One was used by every President from Kennedy to Clinton. It is the plane that flew Kennedy to Dallas when he was assassinated. After the assassination it flew Kennedys body back to Washington, and it was on this plane that Lyndon Johnson was sworn into office.

My kids Khloe and Nicky with me in front of Air Force One

Me in the area of the plane in which Lyndon Johnson took the oath of office and became the 36th President of the United States

Pretty tight quarters

This is back in the main museum area once we got back from the Presidents planes hanger. To me, this is another must see. It's the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, ending WW2

A replica of the bomb that the Bockscar dropped on Nagasaki.

Me in front of the Bockscar. It is hard to grasp the significance of this bomber in history

A display that includes Ronald Reagans over coat and Air Force ID

They also have a Holocaust Museum display. Very heart breaking

This wooden cross was the original gravemarker for the grave of Quentin Roosevelt, youngest son of Theodore Roosevelt, who was a fighter pilot killed in WW1.

Elsewhere in Dayton in Woodland Cemetery. The final resting place for both namesakes of the Wright Patterson Air Force Base. This is the gravesite of the Wright Brothers.

In 1918 a young test pilot named Frank Patterson was killed at Wright Air Force Base in a plane crash. In his honor the Base was changed to Wright Patterson Air Force Base. This is his and his families gravesite.

So if your passing through Ohio. Maybe hitting some of the Presidential sites in the Cincinatti area. Keep in mind Wright Patterson, if time permits, you won't be dissappointed.