Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The Memphis Belle At The National Museum Of The Air Force


My husband has always been fascinated with World War 2. One of his favorite aircraft of the era is the Memphis Belle. When he heard the National Air Force Of The Museum was restoring the Memphis Belle, he knew he wanted to see it. I enjoy history as well, so I didn't mind, and the kids were excited because, well, aircraft. ("I see a lot of these in my video games!" my son told us.)


The museum is located in Dayton, Ohio near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. It is open every day of the week from 9-5. It is free, but donations are appreciated.






The museum is separated into different areas: the Early Years, World War 2, Korea, Southwest Asia, Cold War, Missile, Space, Presidential...plus many more.

It is neat how the airplanes are set up.

I thought my husband would want to race right for the Memphis Belle but no, he said he wanted to do things in order. So we started off with the Early Years.






There are spots where kids can learn more about the aircraft.



We moved to the World War 2 area:






And then it happened. We spotted the Memphis Belle. I gripped my husband's arm. "Are you super excited? Do you want to cry?"

"No," he answered.

"But you've been wanting to see this for MONTHS. And here it is. Right in front of you in all its glory. You aren't even going to tear up?"

"No."


He was impressed though. Everyone involved did a fantastic job.








We probably spent about 20 minutes staring and taking in the Memphis Belle. For those who don't know, the Memphis Belle flew in every combat zone during WW2. It's a bomber plane and completed 25 missions, and if you want to learn more, talk to my husband. The crew were and are heroes.


We eventually moved on.




This might have been in the Vietnam section. I fully admit I do not know my aircraft.




If you get hungry, there are places to eat. It's nothing fancy, but tasty enough. I was in desperate need of Diet Coke and the cafe had some. I found Diet Coke in the Valkyrie Cafe. This is the bigger of the food options. The other is just the Refueling Cafe, and it doesn't have as much, plus no Diet Coke.

(We went there first and I panicked when I didn't see the Diet Coke. They only had Pepsi. "What's going on? Where's the Diet Coke, Tom? Where's the Diet Coke?" I nearly grabbed the collar of his shirt. He told me to relax, we moved to the Valkyrie Cafe and they had fountain Diet Coke. Phew.)

Naturally my husband had to get the Memphis Belle cup:




We ate and continued on:



I was feeling much happier after Diet Coke:



Another cool thing about the museum is that you can sit in some of the aircraft and go through them:



Also, if you get tired, there are plenty of chairs to sit and rest. This is the perfect place to relax when your husband looks at the same airplane for over ten minutes or gets into a conversation with another dude about aircraft.



We ventured into the space area and found a flying saucer:



It was pretty cool to see Apollo 15 too. ("Remember the story about Apollo 13?" Natalie asked and shook her head. "Tom Hanks did a great job.")




Plus they have President Kennedy's Air Force One:








Be sure to walk around outside and see the memorials. Tom really liked this one made for Security Forces:



I highly recommend going here. It's worth it to travel to if you don't live nearby. We arrived at 9 and left at 2. There's so much to see and do!

Oh, and when you enter the museum, you'll get your photo taken. I'm sure no one is surprised that we picked the Memphis Belle background. (There are others.)




So if you're looking for a fun and free summer activity, I highly recommend the National Museum of the Air Force.




Have you ever been?

55 comments:

  1. What a neat place! It's definitely amazing to see the evolution of the aircrafts! I had no idea what the Memphis Belle was, so good to know!! Glad you got your Diet Coke!!

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  2. My husband would love this museum since he is an Air Force veteran. Love the Memphis Belle cup.

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  3. Being retired Air Force this of course was a must see for our family. Cool the way they let you get in some of the planes and of course it is a picture perfect moment.

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  4. My kiddos would absolutely love going to this place. It is someplace that I can take my younger and my older kiddos and both have a wonderful time!

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  5. Memphis is somewhere I would like to visit one day and be finding out the Attraction you shared with us it would give me something to share with my son and family and might entice them into visiting Memphis with me.

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  6. WOW! So much rich history in this museum. I've never been. However, this looks like a trip that my family would love.

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  7. Thank you for sharing this! Wow! The photos are amazing and what an experience this was for you and your family. Very nice!

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  8. My 11-year-old son would love this place. He really love airplanes and the old ones fascinate him.

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  9. Wow! This museum is actually really awesome and laid out really well - I would get caught in here for HOURS!! My husband would too! I am not a huge museum person but this one actually has me rather intrigued!

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  10. This is actually a doable weekend trip for us. My kids love History as well and this would be a super interesting spot to visit. Thanks for the recommendation

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  11. Wow this looks fab we have similar museums in the UK and my little boy also loves them. He is really into his planes at the minute. X

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  12. I have to admit I am not a car or plane enthusiast but the history from olden days to spacecraft looks like a fun tour. I have never been to Dayton so this is a good reason to go.

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  13. What a cool museum to explore! I would have loved to sit a in a few of the aircrafts. And I am so glad that you guys were able to see the Memphis Belle (with dry eyes). :)

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  14. Wow, what a great looking museum! I'm sure it was a wonderful day filled with lots of history. :)

    Marriah Tarango

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  15. We love visiting museums. It's amazing how many wonderful things you can discover. We used to have an aerospace museum and there were replicas of military aircraft but nothing like the historical Memphis Belle.

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  16. Our kids like hanging out at the air and space museum here in DC. It's fun but yeah like you, I don't know my aircraft lol

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  17. This is one museum that my family would enjoy. Especially my father and husband.

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  18. Oh wow this looks like an amazing place for people to go and look around - those planes are just amazing!

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  19. That is so cool. What a fun place to learn about history. Our girls what have really enjoyed a day here when they were young. We would have enjoyed it too.

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  20. What a cool place. My kids would love to go there someday.

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  21. Oh wow, that would be such an awesome trip. I love the look of old aircrafts.

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  22. Wow! That is such a cool and amazing trip. I am sure not only kids would enjoy seeing this place but also us adults.

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  23. Haha that's exactly what I'd ask my husband if he was about to see something he'd wanted to see for so long! That looks like such an amazing place to visit, for the kids and the grown ups!

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  24. I've never been there before but I really appreciate you sharing what we can expect! It's not just for aircraft enthusiasts but also for those who love history. It's great for the kids because they can learn a lot of things as well!

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  25. This looks awesome! I would love this. I love history too and my Dad fought in WWII.

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  26. i have never been there before but looks like a cool place to visit, a lot of history, hope yous had a great time there

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  27. Definitely a great time for family bonding. My cousins will definitely love to see this awesome items too. I am looking forward to see this as well.

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  28. Wow to the Air Force One! And I'm only sorry he didn't cry at the Memphis Belle, but maybe you'll catch him crying while drinking from the cup one day!

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  29. I loved visiting places like this! It’s great that there are still places that preserve history. And I salute you for taking your family here!

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  30. What fun this would be to visit. I love visiting places like these and so do my kids. They love hearing about history so they'd love this! - Jeanine

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  31. This looks so fun! I would love to visit I could only imagine the history behind everything.

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  32. This is so cool!! And not too far from me, I need to go check out the Memphis Belle!!

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  33. I love museum! A museum for the air force must be so interesting and allow non military to learn more about the air force!

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  34. It looks like you guys had so much fun! My son would have been right there "ooohhing and ahhhing" with Tom. He is obsessed with WWII!

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  35. Looks like you guys had a great time! This looks like something my nephew would love to visit!

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  36. This is Freaking cool! THe museums in America are for sure a whole new experience... I would love to visit there!

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  37. This museum is quite interesting. I am sure you had lots of fun there :)

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  38. That is a super cool museum! Love seeing all the history and the aircrafts, so fun.

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  39. That's one museum I believe we'll all love. The amount of history is just amazing!

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  40. My family would love to visit this museum. There's so much to see. I'm impressed with the Memphis Belle and would love to see Kennedy's Air Force One up close. What a great museum!

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  41. My husband and your husband have something in common with the love of history. This looks like it was a great time for your family.

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  42. What a fun experience for the whole family! You all looked like you had a fabulous time! I wish we had an aircraft museum like this within driving distance of where I live. My husband and I love learning about history.

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  43. The planes and displays really looked impressive. Exploring this museum sounds like a good way to spend a day out!

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  44. omg i havent been since i was a kid but it was SUCH a cool experience- i def wish i could get my kids here someday bc they love to learn all about the history!

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  45. What a great experience! I especially love that there are some aircraft you can sit in! That helps bring it to life so much better!

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  46. Such an interesting museum and I love that you did it in order. I'd love to take my hubby here to explore since he loves these types of museums!

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  47. That looks like it was a lot of fun. I love being able to visit places like these. You can learn so much from it too.

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  48. We've never been, but we did go to an Aviation Museum in Charlotte, NC before and we had a blast. Hubby told me about the story of Memphis Belle. Fascinating!

    -Lynndee

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  49. This is awesome! I'd love to visit this place. Lots to learn and see there!

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  50. We wanted to head here during our last trip to Ohio. We didn't make it, but you pictures have me definitely wanting to add it to our list of places to go.

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  51. wow! What an interesting idea for kids. Once we visited a military museum and my kid loved it!

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  52. Sounds like a great museum. I think my kids would love to enjoy this place.

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  53. What a neat place to visit. Looks like fun and good to learn some history as well. It's good to find museums like these to check out.

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  54. This looks like such a cool museum-- we have an air museum near us and it was really neat to go look at the old planes. I would def be interested in checking this one out!

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