Strolling through Auburn's Hoosier Air Museum is walking backward through time, military time...past some of this country's most famous warbirds, like the Boeing Stearman, a critical trainer for World War Two fighter pilots..and the UC-78, the Bamboo Bomber..the first twin engine aircraft flown by many American bomber pilots. But there's much more to this facility than these historic aircraft. The library archive holds thousands of records and photographs of great air battles and the personalities who fought them.
The museum is also home to the photographs of Bill Jones, a Columbia City native who was one of the first photographers to visit Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan, just weeks after the atomic bombing of those cities. His images of the charred remains haunt hundreds of history books.
"This is my most important picture, this shows the two schools" Bill says, pointing to a photo of two bombed out buildings. "This is an elementary school, this is an elementary school. The second and third floors were elementary schools, the first floor on both of these buildings was none other than two of the Mitsubishi aircraft factories."
The story of the Tuskeegee Airmen is here, America's black fighter pilots whose skill and bravery are legendary. And the newest addition to the museum, memorabelia of air force general Robin Olds, fighter pilot and flying ace who fought in World War Two, Korea and Vietnam. Olds' P-51 Mustang, the Scat Seven, was restored by Huntington businessman Jim Shuttleworth, who lost his life when the plane crashed in 2003. There are too many stories to retell in one sitting, too many to take in in a single day. But there's no hurry, they're all here waiting to be heard, dramatic and inspiring, .undiminished by time. Eric Olson reporting out in 'Your Country'.
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