Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 36

A mile in their boots
Georgia's military museums give visitors a taste
of service members' experience

KEVIN BRAUN

COURTESY NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE MIGHTY
EIGHTH AIR FORCE

BY LAURA RAINES

The City of Savannah, a B-17 bomber, was restored at the National
Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force in Pooler, where a second
B-17 is on display as it is being restored. To read more about the
restoration effort, see "Georgia lands rare B-17 bombers" in the
September 2015 issue of GEORGIA Magazine at bit.ly/b17restoration.

G

eorgia has some of the most significant military-history museums
in the country. If you're thinking
dusty display cases filled with weapons and uniforms, it's time for a road
trip. Today's galleries are high-tech,
interactive and engaging for all ages.
"A military museum isn't just
about telling the history of the military," says Henry Skipper, president/
CEO of the National Museum of the
Mighty Eighth Air Force in Pooler.
"It's about telling the history of our
country. It's important that we remember and tell these stories."

National Museum of the Mighty
Eighth Air Force, Pooler
mightyeighth.org
A month after the attack on Pearl
Harbor (Dec. 7, 1941), the American
military began training and equipping flyers at Hunter Field in Savannah. They were sent to England for a
strategic daylight bombing campaign
to destroy German military targets.
36

"The Price of Freedom Fully Paid" by Donna L. Dobberfuhl is an
art installation outside of the National Prisoner of War Museum in
Andersonville. Part of it is a bronze figure that represents a former
prisoner of war who is raising his eyes upward in gratitude for his
newfound freedom.

Later, they would clear the skies of
German Luftwaffe to give the troops
landing on D-Day a better chance,
says Vivian Rogers-Price, research
center director.
It would be the longest military
campaign of the war, and the Mighty
Eighth Air Force would lose 26,000
men, but "many people don't know
their story," Skipper says. "Our mission is to explain what it meant to be
in the Mighty Eighth and to honor the
valor, courage and sacrifice of these
men."
The research is ongoing in a
huge archives and library at the
90,000-square-foot museum.
In three short films, the Mission
Experience exhibit takes visitors into
the action of sitting through a briefing, working with the ground crew
and flying a mission. Later, they can
see a historic B-17 bomber undergoing restoration.
"When you touch the skin on
the airplane, you realize it's not arMore online at www.georgiamagazine.org

mored. It's vulnerable to enemy fire
and flak," says Pearl Fyderek, director of marketing. "The cabins weren't
pressurized. Flying at 30,000 feet, the
men had to wear oxygen masks, and
the temperature could be 40 degrees
below zero. You're amazed that the
flyers went up at all, but they did, day
after day."
Exhibits also explain what happened when flyers went down and
became prisoners of war.
"The reaction we often hear is
'Wow, I had no idea!'" Skipper says.

Andersonville National Historic
Site, Andersonville
nps.gov/ande
Andersonville, the site of the
Camp Sumter prison for Union soldiers, is considered the deadliest
ground of the Civil War.
Built 18 months before the war's
end, the 26.5-acre stockade was
meant to hold 10,000 U.S. Army prisoners. At times, the ranks swelled
GEORGIA MAGAZINE


http://www.bit.ly/b17restoration http://www.nps.gov/ande http://www.mightyeighth.org http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - January 2018

Contents
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 3
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 5
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 6
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 7
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 8
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 9
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 10
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 11
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Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 26
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 26A
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 26B
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 26C
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 26D
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Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 38A
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 38B
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