Sunday, 21 September 2014

Savannah, Part two The Mighty 8th

As the last post was pretty big I had to break it down a little, sorry to confuse you.
Not too far from Savannah is the home of The Mighty Eighth Air force Museum, dedicated to the Eighth bomber command that went to England during the second world war. There were many locations throughout England from 1942 until 1945.

Outside the Museum are modern ish aircraft which does seem a little odd.
An F 4C Phantom
The nitty gritty

A Russian Mig
Inside we met some very dedicated volunteer staff, some of which were ex veterans but of course none from WW2. They have whats called "The Theatre of War" which is inside 3 different rooms showing videos and a guy that tells stories from that age. Some of the video was very touching with some sad facts.

"By mid-1944, the 8th AF had reached a total strength of more

 than 200,000 people (it is estimated that more than 350,000 Americans 

served in 8th AF during the war in Europe). At its peak, the 8th AF could 

dispatch more than 2,000 four-engine bombers and 1,000 fighters on a 

single mission. "

City of Savannah 
 One of the huge B17 bombers is being restored and looks amazing.
Just imagine sitting in this slung underneath the belly of the plane and how cold it was.
Looks so lifelike, the background that is not Don, it even goes onto the floor just as if you are on the real base
This picture stopped me in my tracks, very moving

An old Humber bike as used in those days, look at the rod brakes, I did notice the flat tyres though
Did you know that Jimmy Stewart the actor was a very distinguished bomber pilot?
A Japanese Kamikaze pilots scarf and bayonet  
As it says a remarkable effort with those number of missions 

The exhibition is on a huge site with so many displays inside and outside, there are so many memorials to the groups in the gardens.
One of the guides told us about a veteran that visited the museum and he said the coldest temperature he experienced minus 62 F which must have been so bad.

A British tunic

German tunics 

 We were told by one member of staff about an accident when a bomber crashed into a school full of children and church, very few survived but one lady who was a child that was badly burned did visit the memorial and placed flowers next to the names, they were her friends

They were some of the lucky ones
Not so lucky 
A huge Strato Jet fighter
Of course the "unsung lady heroines" are mentioned but only at the end of the exhibits.
 The ladies not only flew these planes to the bases they towed targets behind them which the pilots shot at.
When the war ended they had to pay their own way back, they didn't even get a pension, there were 38 ladies.
WASP, stands for Women Air Force Service Pilots
The ladies were given mens oversized overalls which they had to make do with.

Overall the visit was quite emotional, we all enjoy freedom thanks to those brave men and women, I found myself writing this blog post imagining the conditions they must have endured. Not only the pilots and gunners, the ground crew who took care of each aircraft like it was "their baby". Some of the exhibits such as the prisoner of war display, the amount of memorials outside with thousands of names and dates including the number of missions they flew, some only made a few others made it back to live on but at what  price. It certainly makes you think. Of course thats the American side of the story, just think of the British and allied forces that fought for years and the sacrifices they made for freedom.
For those of you on Facebook here is something you may be interested in
If you ever have the chance to visit this place you will see far more than I can place on the blog I know I could have written more about this but we have to move on.

Next blog Charleston.

Don and Glenys
Agua Therapy

Savannah, second stop part one

Savannah, in the state of Georgia, love it!
Lots to see, the place triggered off memories of Forrest Gump, the start of the film where he (Tom Hanks) sits on the bench waiting for the bus to take him to see Jenny his girlfriend.
There isn't a bus stop really
The cities tourism flourishes with so many things, books, films and so much history.
A film was made from the book "Midnight in the garden of good and evil", we must read it or watch it I'm told.
Savannah has been the location of so many movies, here is a list of a few.
Savannah with
The Great Santini with Robert Duval
Cape Fear
The Gingerbread Man
The Longest Yard Burt Renolds
The Generals Daughter with John Travolta
When the Circus Came to Town Christopher Plummer
Shadow Man

The English pub where Julia Roberts stood in her pyjamas in the film Something to Talk About

I could make a huge list of movies made here but this page would be way too big so thats just a few.

As for history the town plan dates back to 1773, some of the streets are still cobbled, the stones came across the ocean from England as ballast on ships which then returned with good from America.

Juliet Gordon Low the founder of the Girl Scouts of America was born and lived here.

City Market where we walked through a pedestrianised street lined with restaurants, souvenir shops and art galleries, if only we could have bought some of the wonderful paintings, oh well never mind.
The only drawback here I lost my glasses which was a real pain so reading was out for a while until a visit to find some reading glasses.
Horse carriages are everywhere

The Washington memorial

Even the drains are attractive
Again we did a tour on a trolley with commentary which took us around the city, we then returned on foot to see the places we liked the look of. This is the way we manage to take some exercise even if it is only walking, I'm so glad we have comfortable footwear, having said that I bought some peppermint and tea tree foot gel which is wonderful after walking for hours.

A bar at the top of the city market 

A tribute to "Johnny Mercer" he wrote Moon River
There is so much to see both old and new, we enjoyed a great fish lunch along the River street commonly known as River front and watched the tug boats.

Dons seafood platter

The atmosphere is lovely despite being a tourist attraction, local people are friendly and always very informative.

One of the drag shows, he/ she looks very attractive
Don at the world war 2 memorial along the River front
One of the tugs on the river
Gilded in 24 Carat gold

This lady takes people on a tour inside her house
One of the places we had heard about was the catholic cathedral which looked very impressive from the outside so at the end of the trolley tour we walked to it, wow its amazing inside. The stained glass windows show the "12 stages of the cross" the rest of the cathedral is beautifully restored.
The cathedral of St John the Baptist
The entrance


Main alter

One of the stained glass windows showing one of the 12 the stages of the cross

There are so many historic buildings here within the centre with so many stories it would take weeks to see them all and hear them all we enjoyed our time there.

Showing at the cinema
Love these big trucks
Another place we walked to was he cemetery, weird I know but lots of history there.

Such a pity I didn't have the telephoto lens with me

Family ties?

We had dinner at the Crab Shack out of town, the wait for diner took ages so some went in search too close to the water.

Another little fact, in 1857 James Pierpont who was in Savannah at the time wrote Jingle Bells, originally called one  horse open sleigh.

Right off we go, next stop Charleston
Don and Glenys
Agua Therapy