Air Force Museum (Dayton Ohio)

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Air Force Museum (Dayton Ohio)

Postby Tom&Shelly » Sun Aug 21, 2022 3:59 pm

Last weekend we camped in Caesar Creek State Park, Ohio, to attend a doll house convention in Fairborn that Shelly may want to rent a booth at next year, and to see the National Museum of the Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Wow! What a mouthful! Those are the words for the congressmen when the Air Force lobbyists ask for money. To us, they are the Air Force Museum and Wright-Patt, or just WPAFB.

Anyway, we've stayed at three state parks in Ohio and the campsites are all big lawns with few trees

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But we did camp at the edge this time

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There is a lake back there, although we used it as a base to see the suburbs of Dayton, not to explore the park. Served that purpose quite well, and we will likely be back when Shelly sells her wares next year.

I was stationed at Wright-Patt back in the mid-80's, when the museum consisted of a small hanger with many aircraft outside. Man, what a change! Today, there are 4 large hangers, and it took us a day and a half to see everything.

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There are still a few aircraft outdoors. This A-10 couldn't have been there when I first visited, because the events it participated in (Gulf War, War on Terror) hadn't happened yet.

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I won't comment much on this one

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other than to say I wasn't the one who bent the nose. If necessary, I can show you the results of the investigation that prove it! :o

I used to visit this museum a lot. I even took dates there (which may partially explain why I was single for so long). I took my Grandparents there along with an Uncle, when he was the Wing Commander of the A-10 training wing. (His picture is now in the museum, btw. It happens he was the first one to fly 100 combat missions in the "Hun", or F-100, when he was a Misty FAC in Vietnam.)

I well remember in those days seeing the old World War II pilots bringing their grandchildren and telling them what they did. (I'd eavesdrop!) Today, it's the Vietnam pilots doing the telling. (I still eavesdrop!) The museum is free, which of course means all of us US tax payers paid for it. Well worth the money in my opinion. (Not that I was consulted in the matter.) The way the museum is laid out today, it will educate on both the history of airpower, and the history of US participation in the wars from World War I to the present.

Tom
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Re: Air Force Museum (Dayton Ohio)

Postby jandmz » Tue Jan 24, 2023 1:13 am

I was reading your post, and it is sad that we have lost most of "The Greatest Generation". I know what you mean. I am a Navy Vietnam vet (surface ships, not aviation), and our ranks are thinning too.

Our friend, who recently passed away, was an AF veteran from the '60's and was a volunteer at the museum. He invited me to be his +1 at the unveiling of the Memphis Belle when it first went on display. When they dropped the curtain, it was a real "OH! WOW!" moment.

He and his wife were our ballroom dance instructors for several years. We just found out that the museum is holding an "After Dark Event" next month that will be a swing dance among the planes in the WWII gallery. We are planning on attending, just because it sounds like it will be a unique experience to recreate the music and dance of the time among all that historic hardware. https://www.afmuseum.com/events/after-dark-events
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Re: Air Force Museum (Dayton Ohio)

Postby TimC » Tue Jan 24, 2023 11:16 am

I'd love to visit this museum someday. My dad trained in the Navy during WWII on a Naval Aircraft Factory N3N. I heard that there was an N3N at the EAA in Oshkosh a couple years ago. I'd love to see it.

Dad never talked about the war. I only remember him saying he trained to fly, the war ended and he was released. I only found the real story after he passed in 2012. He spent almost 30 months in active duty and flew transports around the eastern US after he was done training. I think I understand now why he was so humble about his service. I think he didn't want to take much credit for his time in the Navy since it was many of his friends who were deployed and some who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The Greatest Generation indeed!
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Re: Air Force Museum (Dayton Ohio)

Postby Tom&Shelly » Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:35 pm

jandmz wrote:I was reading your post, and it is sad that we have lost most of "The Greatest Generation". I know what you mean. I am a Navy Vietnam vet (surface ships, not aviation), and our ranks are thinning too.

Our friend, who recently passed away, was an AF veteran from the '60's and was a volunteer at the museum. ...


So sorry to hear about your friend! Some of the fathers in our Boy scout troop were Vietnam vets, and later, when I worked in a Scout camp, some of the other cadre were vets. Later, most of my early supervisors and mentors in the Air Force were Vietnam vets. Needless to say, I owe them all a lot!

I was too busy, and my time at WPAFB was too short, to volunteer at the museum. I thought it would be interesting if I could have become involved with refurbishing aircraft systems, but it didn't happen. Maybe they wouldn't want someone with no experience anyway!

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Re: Air Force Museum (Dayton Ohio)

Postby Tom&Shelly » Tue Jan 24, 2023 5:07 pm

TimC wrote:Dad never talked about the war. I only remember him saying he trained to fly, the war ended and he was released. I only found the real story after he passed in 2012. He spent almost 30 months in active duty and flew transports around the eastern US after he was done training. I think I understand now why he was so humble about his service. I think he didn't want to take much credit for his time in the Navy since it was many of his friends who were deployed and some who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The Greatest Generation indeed!


My Dad was much the same. He joined the Navy in the Summer of 1945 and was still in boot camp when it ended. He trained at the radio repair technician school at Great Lakes and spent several years on Pacific islands. Went into the Reserves and went to college on the GI Bill, but got called up his sophomore year and spent two years on a fleet oiler bringing supplies from Japan to the ships fighting the Korean war. To others he would say little about it, or tell some great stories that had nothing to do with combat or heroics*. To his immediate family he would sometimes complain that there was no reason to call up his colleges and him, and disrupt their college, when there were others who could have done the job. So many in his generation were in the services that I don't think he thought it was much of a big deal.

Later, as an electrical engineer, I met another man who went to that same Navy radio repair technician school and learned it was really giving the student's college level training.

Tom

* A few of my Dad's stories, that I told at his memorial:

While still in high school in Philadelphia, he went to work in the afternoons at an Army Depot. His supervisor knew my Granddad, who was a Philly beat cop. During prohibition, the supervisor used to run numbers and he naturally hated to run into Granddad. Because he would have to pay him off!

There was plenty of down time working at the depot, so Dad and his buddies took a stack of boxes in one corner and made themselves a "club house" inside. Set up some old chairs and such so they had themselves a semi-secret break room. Unlike most of Dad's friends, he also worked a shift on Saturday. One Saturday, there were guys in three piece suits, whose boss was J. Edgar Hoover, talking with Dad's supervisor about a shocking discovery someone had just made: A secret Nazi office right there in the Army Depot, probably sending secret coded information back to the Germans! :shock: Dad decided to let the adults handle that one, and he quietly went about his business.

When Dad was on the fleet oiler in Korea his job was to maintain and repair the radio and radar equipment. There was an ancient emergency transmitter that broadcast on 500 KHz. Mostly out of boredom, Dad decided he should fire it up and test it. He did so at the proper time for testing on the emergency frequency, sent the proper signal and received the proper reply from Tokyo, and he shut it down. A little while later, the cook came into Dad's shop with his personal radio, which had stopped working. Dad realized the front end was burned out, and happened to notice the cook had attached his antenna to the antenna of that emergency transmitter. Dad was able to rewind the inductor, and got the radio working, and after that he was welcome into the kitchen for midnight snacks of eggs, etc. Dad said he never told the cook what happened because, if the midnight snacks ever dried up, he figured it would be time to test the emergency transmitter again! :FNP
Last edited by Tom&Shelly on Tue Jan 24, 2023 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Air Force Museum (Dayton Ohio)

Postby Tom&Shelly » Tue Jan 24, 2023 5:15 pm

TimC wrote: I heard that there was an N3N at the EAA in Oshkosh a couple years ago. I'd love to see it.


Tim, this got Shelly and I thinking about going up to see some of the event this year (24 - 30 July). We're wondering about camping venues. Rather than stay at the EAA campsite, which looks like a crowded RV city, we are thinking about High Cliff State Park about 45 minutes away. Any insights? Are we already too late to make reservations at either place or other campsites? Anyone else with experience please chime in too!

We're also thinking of getting a larger campsite so we can share it with an uncle who travels in his van. (Brother of the Vietnam Fighter Pilot.)

Looking at the EAA tickets for the event, it seems like it may make sense for Shelly and/or I to join for a year. Again, anyone with experience or insight please chime in!

Thanks in advance for any information, or tips.

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Re: Air Force Museum (Dayton Ohio)

Postby TimC » Tue Jan 24, 2023 7:31 pm

Tom&Shelly wrote:...
We're wondering about camping venues. Rather than stay at the EAA campsite, which looks like a crowded RV city, we are thinking about High Cliff State Park about 45 minutes away. Any insights? Are we already too late to make reservations at either place or other campsites?
Tom


Hey Tom, that's very exciting. I've never been to EAA but hear it is awesome. My daughter, in Appleton, says High Cliff is a very nice state park. I know reservations are open but I'm not sure how full they might already be. If you are OK with the 45 minute drive then you should not have too much trouble finding a campsite nearby.

Take a look at this community campground in Berlin... https://berlinwi.myrec.com/info/facilities/details.aspx?FacilityID=14702 It seems to have good reviews. It would be a 30ish minute drive to Wittman Field directly east. There are a few other community/county campgrounds scattered within an hour's drive.

Hartman Creek SP is about 51 miles west on US10 and is a very nice park as well. A small town on the way to Oshkosh, Waupaca, has many restaurants and two craft breweries. Also nearby in Amherst is Central Waters Brewery. Oh wait, you asked about camping... ;)
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Re: Air Force Museum (Dayton Ohio)

Postby Tom&Shelly » Wed Jan 25, 2023 10:17 am

Thank you Tim! Especially for the tips on community campgrounds. All very helpful information! :thumbsup:

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Re: Air Force Museum (Dayton Ohio)

Postby TimC » Wed Jan 25, 2023 11:46 am

Tom, you're welcome. I'll keep looking for other community/county sites.

You might want to PM Pmullen503 (Pat) to see if he has any suggestions. I think he still lives in Fon du lac, just 20 miles south of Wittman Field.

Also looking forward to your map showing a Wisco visit. Will it be red (On Wisconsin!), Green and Yella (Go Pack!), Green (Go Bucks!) or navy and gold (Go Brew Crew!) :lol:
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Re: Air Force Museum (Dayton Ohio)

Postby Tom&Shelly » Wed Jan 25, 2023 5:55 pm

TimC wrote:Also looking forward to your map showing a Wisco visit. Will it be red (On Wisconsin!), Green and Yella (Go Pack!), Green (Go Bucks!) or navy and gold (Go Brew Crew!) :lol:


How about orange/yellow for my favorite Wisconsin dairy product? :D

I use http://www.mapchart.net (bought the guy a cup or two of coffee--it's what we used to call shareware). Often I'll go in there with an idea of the color I want for a particular state, but when I try it out it just doesn't look right for some reason (Texas is too big for bright red; but it brings out little Rhode Island, for example). Map Chart has a pretty big pallet. The only state that is "intrinsically correct" is New Jersey where buff is the state color. (Evidently because it was George Washington's favorite color.)

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Re: Air Force Museum (Dayton Ohio)

Postby Pmullen503 » Thu Jan 26, 2023 9:09 am

I've been going to EAA ever since it began. So here are a few thoughts.

If you are airplane geeks like me and really want to get the experience, camp at EAA. Lots to do at all hours and you get to commune with other airplane geeks. It's like Woodstock but for aviation.

If that's too much then stay at a camp ground nearby.

See the night air show if you can. Don't know if you'll have time but take a look at the free workshops; composites, welding, rib building etc. A good way to pick up some new skills.

High Cliff is a nice park. Never camped there but visited many times. Some municipalities have camping available at their fairgrounds or city parks. Fond du lac and Waupun do.

Join EAA. The reduction in ticket price pays for the membership if you go for more than one day.
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Re: Air Force Museum (Dayton Ohio)

Postby TimC » Thu Jan 26, 2023 10:32 am

Some more options. I'm kind of assuming you want something out a bit from the crowds. If that's not the case there are a handful of parks in the Oshkosh area.

Near Ripon, WI
https://www.fdlco.wi.gov/departments/departments-n-z/parks-trails/camping

On Green Lake
http://www.hattiesherwood.com/

Waupaca County area campgrounds
https://www.waupacacounty-wi.gov/departments/parks_and_recreation/campgrounds.php
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Re: Air Force Museum (Dayton Ohio)

Postby Tom&Shelly » Sat Jan 28, 2023 12:14 pm

Pmullen503 wrote:I've been going to EAA ever since it began. So here are a few thoughts.

If you are airplane geeks like me and really want to get the experience, camp at EAA. Lots to do at all hours and you get to commune with other airplane geeks. It's like Woodstock but for aviation.

If that's too much then stay at a camp ground nearby.

See the night air show if you can. Don't know if you'll have time but take a look at the free workshops; composites, welding, rib building etc. A good way to pick up some new skills.

High Cliff is a nice park. Never camped there but visited many times. Some municipalities have camping available at their fairgrounds or city parks. Fond du lac and Waupun do.

Join EAA. The reduction in ticket price pays for the membership if you go for more than one day.


Thank you for the advice! I was an airplane geek once, but Shelly's not, so we need to compromise. Probably an off-site campground is best. We will likely join EAA.

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Re: Air Force Museum (Dayton Ohio)

Postby Tom&Shelly » Sat Jan 28, 2023 12:18 pm

TimC wrote:Some more options. I'm kind of assuming you want something out a bit from the crowds. If that's not the case there are a handful of parks in the Oshkosh area.

Near Ripon, WI
https://www.fdlco.wi.gov/departments/departments-n-z/parks-trails/camping

On Green Lake
http://www.hattiesherwood.com/

Waupaca County area campgrounds
https://www.waupacacounty-wi.gov/departments/parks_and_recreation/campgrounds.php


Thank you Tim! Yes, out of the crowds is what we are looking for. Shelly noticed there is a doll house show in Minneapolis a week after the EAA event (she owns a business making and selling doll house furniture and can rent a table at the show) so it looks like we will have a week to explore Wisconsin and the area. She has friends on the Door Peninsula and I have family in Chicago, so we'll keep ourselves productively busy.

We plan to start this trip a few weeks earlier crewing for friends at a hot air balloon rally in Gunnison Colorado over the 4th of July, so we'll probably be spending a month and a half or so living out of the teardrop. Long as the weather is decent most of the time, it should be fun!

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