Eglin AFB – On the way back to Savannah from Pensacola yesterday, we stopped by the US Air Force Armament Museum at Eglin AFB. This is a small, but nice museum with a well restored and maintained collection. It tells the story of Air Force armaments from World War II up to the present time, including guns, bombs, rockets, missiles, and the aircraft they have been and are used by. It’s also an excellent companion museum to the National Aviation Museum at NAS Pensacola; if you travel to the area to visit one, I’d strongly recommend visiting the other, they really do compliment each other well.
There is a poem near the exit of the museum that provided a perfect end to the week’s museum visits and I think it also sums up why some of us love and respect Warbirds so much. In restoring these aircraft, keeping them in good repair, and displaying them for future generations to see we’re honoring not only the aircraft but the aircrews that flew, fought, sacrificed, and died in them.
Strangely abducted from proper time and space.
Ghostly shapes stand at attention in this place,
Fully alert, with wings drawn back, as if to say,
Aye, Sir! Rerady to obey the orders of the day.
How many times have they risked their all,
To be there and answer their nation’s call?
To face bursting flak and buzzing sting,
How many have lost an engine or wing?
Their crews sleep under crosses, row on row,
Beneath grassy fields where flowers grow,
But each breave warbird no monument needs,
Its presence here testifies to heroic deeds
John S. Schafer, 1997