Posts Tagged With: World War II

Friday Flashback: Displaying Nebraskans in World War Two: Exhibit Closing Soon at the Nebraska History Museum

Writing about Nebraska’s part in World War 2 has been a part of upcoming blog post plans.  But I had to accelerate the timing due to the fact that I found out the Nebraska History Museum is closing this formerly permanent exhibit.

photo of World War II living room exhibit

Photo taken directly from Nebraska History site

Now they have their reasons, and they are pretty good ones.  Due to increased funding, they are doing some restructuring. Here is the official announcement that I received in an e-mail from the Nebraska State Historical Society.  (No, I did not receive special notice – I am simply a part of their e-mail list! 🙂

“What Did You Do in the War? Nebraska in World War II” will close to the public on Sunday, March 2, 2014. Artifacts in the Nebraska History Museum exhibit in Lincoln will be stored away and exhibit components disassembled as the museum prepares for a major infrastructure renovation funded by the Nebraska Legislature. The museum at 131 Centennial Mall North ( 15th & P Streets) in Lincoln is open Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 1:00-4:30 p.m.  Closed state holidays. Admission is free.

 A variety of resources about Nebraska in World War II is available on the Nebraska State Historical Society website, including articles from Nebraska History Magazine, veterans’ stories, photographs, a newspaper aimed at 4th-graders, a teacher’s guide, and more. Visit www.nebraskahistory.org and type World War II into the search box.  

 For more information call 402-471-4782 or visit www.nebraskahistory.org

We actually used many of the Nebraska State Historical Society’s resources to have our own “Living out World War 2 in Nebraska” day last spring.  In an upcoming post, I will share what our family did to learn more about those who lived here during the mid-century war.  For now, I simply wanted to encourage you to check out this great World War 2 exhibit.  This area has been a favorite one for my kids to explore every time we visit.   Hopefully we will make it back one last time before the display is gone.

Categories: Family Outings, Flashback Fridays, Lincoln, Metro, Military and Memorials, Nebraska History, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grateful for Nebraska Veterans and Those Beyond …

SAS flag quilt

11-11 Row of Flags

Thankful for veterans that are a part of my life ….

Papa G. (my father-in-law)

Dennis, Jed, Daniel, Ray, Anthony, Jeremy, Marty, Devan, Justen &Chris AND your families who also have paid their part for freedom!

And to those no longer here: My Grandpa Gus and my Grandpa Michels – I miss you.  Thanks for telling me enough stories that I appreciate what veterans have done!

And thank you to those who I have never met but have still fought on our behalf.

Today and every day, we are grateful for your sacrifice!

11-11 Flags

11-11 Veteran's Day Poem

11-11 Thankful

 

Categories: Military and Memorials | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flashback Friday: How the Strategic Air Command and General LeMay Found Their Way to Nebraska

Hard to believe that just over a century ago flying was a novelty.  In fact World War One was really the first occasion when flying played a role.  Then really airplanes were only used as reconnaissance.  By the mid century mark, jets  could be seen across the skies.  The army air force pilots changed the course of World War 2.  On September 16th, 1947, the Air Force branch of the armed services officially began.  Nebraska would play a part in the beginning operations of this branch of service.

A series of transitions would occur for this involvement to take place.  According to Nebraska State Historical Society Air Force Records, the area now near Bellevue played many roles in United States military history.

This plant was formerly the main assembly building of the
Glenn L. Martin-Nebraska Bomber Plant, 10 miles south of Omaha.
Air Defense Command assumed command of Fort Crook in 1946 and
merged with Offutt Air Force Base. The aircraft plant was re-activated in Oct. 1946 and production started in March, 1947.

So, Fort Crook to a bomber plant to an extensive air force base.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/64/Offut_field_-_October_1936.jpg

An aerial photograph of Offutt Air Field in 1936 before it became a base.

Within a year of becoming a base, on November 9th, 1947, Offutt Air Force base found itself with a new title: headquarters for the Strategic Air Command.  This was a new era in fighting – the cold war and potential for nuclear bombs.  To keep operations safe from long range missiles, the location needed to be in the central part of the continent.  Protected from potential dangers.  (Bombers had a shorter reach back then.)

SAS SAC sign

The strategic air command was primarily was responsible for deliberate (strategic) land bombing.   Showing enough force to keep the threatening forces away.  One man had the most influence toward the direction that the S.A.C. would take.  General Curtis LeMay oversaw the Berlin Airlift, the initial step in halting the progress of communism.  He was a natural fit to lead the relatively new organization for nine years and transformed the soldiers into trained men.  Initially they were a bit rough around the edges, for example, missing their targets by a few miles during a mock nuclear test.  LeMay’s goal to build up the men and the bases into a viable threat kept communism and Stalin on the defensive, instead of the offensive.

LeMay also did his part to transform the town of Bellevue.  With only 1500 residents and one paved street at last mid-century, today the town boasts almost 50,000 people (and a network of maintained roads 🙂  )  General LeMay was known to be demanding, but it was his fierce love for those under his command that motivated progress.

LeMay also is the one who started the first Strategic Air and Space Museum, locating the displays at the Offutt Air Force Base.  He wanted the public to be able to view that airplanes that helped to maintain peace during the uncertainty during the 1950’s Cold War period.  In 1998, the airplanes and artifacts moved to a new location halfway between Lincoln and Omaha.  Allowing airplanes to be displayed and restored, this new location has encouraged new heights for all of the aircraft of this conflicted era. (Plus if you read, my blog posts from yesterday, you know how many additional purposes this museum provides!)

SAS by Mahoney

You can see the Mahoney State Park tower and flag just over the hill from the Strategic Air and Space Museum.  Their site halfway between Lincoln and Omaha is easily accessible.

If you are interested in learning more about the Strategic Air Command  program or about General LeMay, please click on one of the many links that are below or are mentioned in this article.

The Strategic Air Command (site is a  work in progress) (“Peace is our Profession)

SAC photos and documentation

Offutt Air Force Base Wikipedia Article

Strategic Air Command – the classic movie starring Jimmy Stewart (based on true events)

Categories: Flashback Fridays, Military and Memorials, Nebraska History | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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