|Aviation History And Aircraft Photography|
Virtual Aerospace Museum Tours
Georgia Veterans Memorial Airpark
I visited the Georgia Veterans Memorial Airpark on a day filled with
bright sunshine on February 4, 2012. It was my second visit to this
location, having visited about 10 years earlier when I was tracking
down all of the surviving B-29 aircraft. The park is located just west
of Cordele, GA, which is on I-75 in the southern part of the state. The
park is open daily. If you are in the area, be sure to stop and visit
the Titan ICBM
that is on display
at the Cordele exit (US-280 at I-75).
The aircraft above started off as a Boeing B-29A Superfortress. It flew in
the Pacific during WWII. Nicknamed ‘City of Lansford’, one of
its crew received a Distinguished Flying Cross for flying through a typhoon
with only two working engines. It was converted into a F-13 photo recon
plane, and is the only surviving F-13 aircraft of the 118 that were
This is a Republic F-84F Thunderstreak. It was delivered to the USAF in late
1954. It never saw active duty. Rather, it was first assigned to a maintenance
unit at Edwards Air Force Base. It was later used by General Electric as
a testbed. After retirement, it was on display at the USAF Museum in Dayton,
Ohio, before being put on display here in Georgia.
This Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star served as a trainer, mostly at bases
in Florida, from its delivery in 1952 until it was retired in 1962. The
T-33 was used as an intermediate trainer as pilots transitioned from
propeller trainers into jet aircraft.
This aircraft, which looks a lot like a North American F-86 Sabre, is
actually the Navy version that is designated as a FJ-4B Fury. It was
delivered to the US Navy in 1957. It took part in 3 carrier cruises and
then returned to duty at land bases before being retired in 1965.
This Bell UH-1D Iroquois helicopter, commonly referred to as a
‘Huey’, served in Vietnam in the mid to late 1960s. It
first operated with a medevac unit and later as a aerial gunship. It
was then transferred to Germany, and subsequently to NASA Langley in
Virginia. It ended its career as a trainer at Fort Rucker in Alabama
where it was retired in 1980.
The service history of this M4A2E8 Sherman Tank has been lost. What is known
is that it was manufactured by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in January 1944.
This specific model was very rare in Europe, so museum staff believes that
it might have seen duty in the Pacific theater or later in Korea. Other
nations used the Sherman tank, some as late as 1973. This 70,000 pound
vehicle features a 75mm main gun along with three machine guns.
The M47 Patton Tank was the second of four different tank models to be
officially named after the famous General. The M47 served briefly with
the US Army, where it never saw combat, but it was used extensively by
other armies around the world. This model was built in the 1950s (this
example in 1951), but served in allied armies into the 1990s.
This is a M3A1 General Stuart tank. It was used early in WWII, such as
in North Africa as a light attack tank. It was obsolete compared with the
vehicles used by NAZI German and was supplanted by the Sherman tank.
However, since it was fast, light, easy to maintain, and very reliable,
it saw extensive service in the Pacific against the Empire of Japan.
The vehicle on the left is a LVT-3C Bushmaster landing craft. This is a
WWII era design, many of which were built and ready to go at the end of
WWII, waiting to be used in the invasion of Japan (which never happened).
Those models were placed in storage, then later upgraded to a new standard
that included an armored roof. The vehicle on display was built to that
standard in 1950. The vehicle on the right is a LVTP-5A1, a new improved
landing craft built in the 1950s. Since sea invasions were rare, these
vehicles went largely unused. Some examples were sent to Vietnam to be
used as a troop carrier but they were poorly suited to land operation.
This is a M1 155mm, commonly called ‘The Long Tom’. It served
during WWII and into the 1950s in US service, and into the 1970s with other
armies. It could fire a 100 pound projectile over 14 miles.
M1918A3 Howitzer featuring a 155mm gun. It could fire a 95 pound round
at rates of up to 5 per minute with a range of just over 7 miles.
M3 37mm Antitank Gun. It could fire a 2 pound projectile over 7 miles
at a fire rate of up to 20 rounds per minute. It was developed just
prior to WWII and was the standard antitank weapon until improved
German armor rendered it obsolete. It continued to serve in the Pacific
since Japanese armor was not as advanced.
This is a M1 57mm Antitank Gun. It fired a 6 to 7 pound projectile up
to 6 miles at a rate of up to 10 per minute. It is derived from the
British Quick Fire 6, the gun that replaced the obsolete M3 early in
Above is a Russian D-44 85mm divisional gun. It was developed during WWII
as an antitank gun, however, it arrived too late to see service during
WWII. This example was captured in Vietnam. Below is a Russian M-843 120mm
Mortar. This example was manufactured in 1943, but its operational history
is not known.