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  • Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee: "High Flight"

    Note: This exhibit is located in the hallway between the Early Years and World War II Galleries."High Flight" was composed by Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee Jr., an American serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was born in Shanghai, China, in 1922, the son of missionary parents, Rev.

  • Private 1st Class Desmond R. Wilkerson

    Distinguished Service Cross, 1951Private 1st Class Desmond R. Wilkerson, a medic, volunteered to go on a mission in bad weather to rescue a downed Navy flier. At the scene, Wilkerson left the helicopter to help the pilot on board but was later killed when the helicopter crashed in poor

  • Personal Account from Capt. McConnell

    31 January 1953 "I encountered 4 MiG 15's at 46,000' I turned left into them, then reversed my turn on the first 2. I then broke right into the second 2 and again reversed my turn and lined up on the #2 MiG of the 1st element. I hit the MiG it rolled over and dived for the ground. I followed firing

  • Prisoners of War

    "Each hour seemed like a month and every second was filled with pain."- Lt. Wallace Brown, B-29 co-pilot shot down over North Korea, on his experience as a prisoner of the ChineseAir Force prisoners of war held by communist forces endured horrible conditions during their imprisonment. In the face of

  • Parachute Flare

    Painted on the canopy of a parachute flare, this artwork depicts the flags of the U.S., South Korea and the United Nations. It also illustrates the insignia of the 5th Air Force and some of the USAF units that were based at K-16 in 1952.These flags were handmade by a Korean woman for Airman 1st

  • POW-Made Jacket, Cap and Gloves

    The donor made the jacket, cap and gloves from a GI blanket on a POW-constructed sewing machine while imprisoned at Mukden, Machuria. The donor was wearing the jacket in 1944 when B-29s made first bombing raids on Mukden. One B-29 was damaged and released its bombs, two of which fell on the POW

  • President Ronald Reagan

    Several years after graduating from college and while employed as a sports announcer by a radio station in Iowa, Ronald Reagan began taking home-study U.S. Army Extension Courses. He enrolled in the program on March 18, 1935, and by December 1936, he had completed 14 courses. He then joined the

  • Political Pressure

    In the late 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt anticipated that the U.S. could be drawn into a war in Europe. His administration began a pilot training program in 1938 to create a reserve of trained civilian fliers in case of a national emergency. African American leaders argued that blacks

  • Primary Evasion Lines in Western Europe

    The three major evasion lines in western Europe were the Pat Line (also known as the O'Leary or P.A.O. Line), the Comet Line and the Shelburne Line.Click here to return to Winged Boot: Escape and Evasion in World War II.

  • Post-War Testing and Development

    Germany's technologically advanced V-weapons foreshadowed weapons to come. Modern cruise missiles, nuclear ballistic missiles and space boosters were developed in part from V-weapon experience.During World War II, German technicians were well ahead of the Allies in making advanced rockets and flying