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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Different Directions

Once again, I found a couple of museums I wanted to visit.  Once again, Marti and Gail left me on my own and went shopping.  Different directions.  :c)

Rhode Island had quite a place in providing support to the military during World War II.  There was a large Navy base in Quonset, RI that did training for Naval aviators, PT boats (remember President John F. Kennedy’s PT 109?) and was the home of the first Navy Seabees (Construction Battalions).
In an old WWII airplane hanger is the Quonset Aviation Museum.

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It was not your usual museum, even though it has some really historic aircraft, it is more of a working restoration facility where aircraft are in various stages of being returned to like new status.

Outside there are a few planes on display, like the P-2 Neptune submarine hunter.  The funny looking white thing sticking out from the tail is a device called a Magnetic Anomaly Detector, that could detect metal (submarines) under the surface of the water.

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Also some nice jets like the A-7,

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a Harrier STOL (Short Take Off and Landing),

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even a Russian MIG-17.

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Surrounding the hanger was lots of spare parts and future restoration projects.

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Inside are about a dozen aircraft either fully restored to flying condition like the Skyraider,

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to a TBM torpedo bomber restored to pristine static condition with future plans to get it back to flying condition.  It was pulled out of a Maine forest some years back from where it had crashed.

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A Grumman Hellcat under restoration after being salvaged off Martha’s Vineyard where it had crashed in 1945.

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After seeing the results of their restoration work, all done by volunteers, I could easily give them a pass for not being a “Spit-and-Polish” museum.

A few other little interesting things, here is a Link Trainer, a mock up of an airplane cockpit that pilots in training spent hours “piloting” to get the feel of an airplane before they climbed in to a real one.

The idea was for the trainee to make all his (or her) mistakes here instead of in a real aircraft.

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I got a chance to observe some of the volunteers working on a plane.  Very interesting to see, up close and personal.   All in all, worth a stop if you like airplanes more than shopping.

A couple of miles away is the Seabee Memorial and Museum.  It was closed when I got there, a sign on the entrance door said “Back in 10 Minutes”.  After 20 minutes with no one returning, I did a little walk around the locked Quonset huts and left, maybe another try on some other day.

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The Seabees, know as Construction Battalions (where the “CB” came from) were created in WWII to provide construction expertise to build runways, port  facilities and other high priority projects to support the war efforts. 

Most of the members were older men with construction backgrounds, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, equipment operators, etc. that were able to put their civilian expertise to use.  They also were trained in weapons so they could provide their own security while working near or on the front lines.

They developed a mascot, the Sea Bee.

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It is holding all the tools of a Seabee’s trade.

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Which brings me to…

THE END!

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Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

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17 comments:

  1. I see you've been bitten by "the end" bug, too :-)))

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  2. Nice try, but it will take you years to catch up with my "ends". :) I enjoy the competition.

    I would have been off to the museums too rather than shopping. Soon, I'll be visiting the Coast Guard Rescue Stations on the Outer Banks. Think you might like that...

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    1. Pea Island Station is one that is very historic. It was staffed by an all African-American crew that pulled off some amazing rescues.

      There is a memorial display at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC honoring those brave men.

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  3. Paul I think that was a very good entry in 'The End contest'. I tried one today but I think we're going to have to bow to Judy. At least for now. :-))

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  4. Serving on an LST we usually carried a detachment of CB's and UDT (underwater demolition team, the predecessor of the Nay Seals. I feel duty bound to correct your spelling of SeaBees. Now slap yourself on the forward and move on, because you knew that.

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    1. I need to correct my spelling too, it's Navy.

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    2. I can't believe I made that mistake. I went and made all the corrections on my own before I read your comment. Can't have a "Squid" pointing out a mistake to a "Shallow Water Sailor". ;c)

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  5. I too prefer museums to shopping. I've been to three air museums here in Oregon and enjoyed each one. Always something different to see.

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    1. Loved the Tillamook Air Museum and many of those aircraft there are privately owned and flyable. Also liked the way they had some storage for RVs in that giant Blimp hanger.

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  6. So I gotta say I love museums too, maybe not so much your kind.:-)

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  7. Museums over shopping for me too.

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  8. I'm into airplanes too and all kinds of museums with them in it. I find them fascinating and lucky for me, so does Terry. Marti probably feels you are pretty safe in one of those museums since she doesn't have to worry about you buying much as you wouldn't be able to tow it behind or carry it onboard.

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  9. Tell ya what.....you can go to museums, Marti can go shopping, I'll go to the beach!

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  10. Looks like a good museum. I am reading the book "unbroken" and now have an even greater respect for those who flew those machines in defense of our country.

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  11. another great 'man' day!!..glad you enjoyed yourself!!..we have been to air museum in Tillamook too, enjoyed it also!!

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  12. Darn it! I would have gone shopping too. And look what I would have missed!

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