CAF Dixie Wing Honors WWII Heroes, Homefront and Local Heroes at Atlanta Airport

Powell’s P-51 Mustang Nose Art During a crash landing one of Powell’s P-51 Mustangs was badly damaged. His crew chief however was able to save a portion of his Nose Art from the scene of the accident, which Powell then transported back to the United States. On Loan from the Family of “Punchy” Powell.
WW2 Army Officer’s Dress Coat Belonging to William J. Faulkner who was killed on November 7, 1944. Faulkner was a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta. On Loan from the Alan B. Taylor Collection, Springfield Ohio
WW2 Army Officer’s Dress Coats belonging to William J. Faulkner who was killed on November 7, 1944. Faulkner was a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta. On Loan from the Alan B. Taylor Collection, Springfield Ohio

Captivating stories of Atlanta’s involvement in World War II unfold across a series of five large display cases at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport T Concourse. The displays, prepared by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF), the CAF Dixie Wing and the Airport Art Program, include photos and artifacts that highlight the Eighth Air Force, the Tuskegee Airmen, hometown heroes, homefront construction and homefront life.

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The year-long exhibit tells the story of WWII through people, events, and war efforts, specifically those contributions from the state of Georgia, by utilizing histories of local heroes, home front efforts, Dixie Wing aircraft, and amazing artifacts. The artifacts, arranged in five 30-foot display cases, are on loan from the CAF Collection, Dixie Wing Collection, Powell Family, Alan B. Taylor Collection, Ken Tilley and Paul Crawford.

Visitors will be able to see unique artifacts such as WWII ace Robert “Punchy” Powell’s original P-51 Mustang Nose Art; Original WASP uniforms; Tuskegee Airmen diaries, jackets and pilot uniform; a Norden Bomb sight, and original Coca-Cola bottles used at Guadalcanal.

Powell’s P-51 Mustang Nose Art During a crash landing one of Powell’s P-51 Mustangs was badly damaged. His crew chief however was able to save a portion of his Nose Art from the scene of the accident, which Powell then transported back to the United States. On Loan from the Family of “Punchy” Powell.
Powell’s P-51 Mustang Nose Art. During a crash landing one of Powell’s P-51 Mustangs was badly damaged. His crew chief however was able to save a portion of his Nose Art from the scene of the accident, which Powell then transported back to the United States. On Loan from the Family of “Punchy” Powell. Photo by John Willhoff

 “The CAF WWII exhibit is an impressive display in terms of artifacts, information and presentation, and also is a great collaboration between CAF headquarters in Texas and the Atlanta Dixie Wing, based in Peachtree City,” said Dixie Wing Leader Jay Bess. “This partnership has created a museum-quality exhibit that has already captured the attention and imagination of the flying public, air crews and airport personnel.  Over the coming year, the CAF exhibit will be seen by more than one million people.”

Clear Coca-Cola Bottles -Manufactured in plants across the Midwest, clear Coke bottles were produced for shipment overseas. These examples were recovered on New Georgia Island, in the South Pacific. “Green” Coca-Cola Bottles -Manufactured on the West Coast of the United States, Green Bottles produced for the state-side market were shipped overseas until regional bottling plants could be set up using clear bottles. These examples were recovered on Guadalcanal, in the South Pacific.
Clear Coca-Cola Bottles -Manufactured in plants across the Midwest, clear Coke bottles were produced for shipment overseas. These examples were recovered on New Georgia Island, in the South Pacific. “Green” Coca-Cola Bottles -Manufactured on the West Coast of the United States, Green Bottles produced for the state-side market were shipped overseas until regional bottling plants could be set up using clear bottles. These examples were recovered on Guadalcanal, in the South Pacific. Photo by John Willhoff

“It was a privilege to install such a large exhibition at the Atlanta Airport, where thousands of people will enjoy it every week,” said CAF Curator Keegan Chetwynd. “The exhibit is an exciting way to give travelers a look back at Georgia during World War II, connecting people to the sacrifices made by America’s Greatest Generation in service of freedom.  The Homefront exhibit gave us the opportunity to showcase a side of our collection that is rarely seen, including a world- class selection of children’s toys from the war years.”

WASP Jacket belonging to Inez W. Woods. Trained in WASP Class 43-W-4 Woods was assigned to Romulus Michigan as part of the Third Ferry Group. She transported hundreds of aircraft from the factories where they were constructed to the stateside bases where they were used to train servicemen who were going overseas.
WASP Jacket belonging to Inez W. Woods. Trained in WASP Class 43-W-4 Woods was assigned to Romulus Michigan as part of the Third Ferry Group. She transported hundreds of aircraft from the factories where they were constructed to the stateside bases where they were used to train servicemen who were going overseas. Photo by John Willhoff

“This exhibit provides an incredible look into the life of the World War II aviators and aircraft that led America to victory,” said David Vogt, Art Program Manager at the airport.  “The amazing artifacts will attract passengers to the exhibit and the rich graphic panels will bring to life this most important chapter of American history.”

Paper Toys The paper toy arsenal was not complete with airplanes alone. Tanks, destroyers, and torpedo boats were also commonly seen, as were models of the ubiquitous Jeep.
Paper Toys. The paper toy arsenal was not complete with airplanes alone. Tanks, destroyers, and torpedo boats were also commonly seen, as were models of the ubiquitous Jeep. Photo by John Willhoff

“Our partnership with the Commemorative Air Force has resulted in a gem of an exhibit that will educate and engage passengers of all ages and backgrounds,” said Benjamin Austin, airport Art Program Manager.  “The Airport Art Program takes pride in offering the very best exhibits and we are pleased to offer this museum-quality experience to the traveling public.”

B-3 Flying Jacket The heavier fleece lined B-3 Flying Jacket was popular on winter missions. The Eighth Air Force’s mission against Germany was not suspended seasonally and extreme cold was a tremendous risk at altitude during the winter months.
B-3 Flying Jacket. The heavier fleece lined B-3 Flying Jacket was popular on winter missions. The Eighth Air Force’s mission against Germany was not suspended seasonally and extreme cold was a tremendous risk at altitude during the winter months. Photo by John Willhoff

 

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