Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sam 26000

This morning I took off from Somerset in the pouring rain.  The driving today was all highway stuff.  Set the GPS, hook the Bose phones to the I Pod and cruise..

There aren't many pictures to take on the highway but I found this interesting...

I never gave much thought to how work is done on these things.  Those guys were waaay up there...

It is 300 miles from Somerset, PA to Dayton, OH so I just cruised along.  My truck and I also took our first ride through West Virginia. Although my in-laws hail from there, I have never been. There's a first time for everything.

Once I got through Columbus the traffic lightened up and the driving was easy.  Originally I planned to see the Air Force Museum tomorrow but I arrived in Dayton around 2:30 so I headed toward Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

It's an expansive area and there is lots to see.  I was particularly interested in the Presidential Aircraft so I hopped the bus to that hangar.  Their are several planes housed there beginning with Franklin Roosevelt and running through Clinton. 

The one of interest to most is SAM 26000, the aircraft put in service by President Kennedy in October of 1962.  Kennedy had it painted in distinctive blue and white instead of relying on military colors. The title " United States of America " was emblazoned on the fuselage and a large American flag painted on the tail. It is the same plane that carried him to Berlin and then home from Dallas.

After the assasination the plane was reconfigured a few times to fly seven more presidents, so there is little evidence of what happened on November 22, 1963.  There is however, a saw cut in the wall where Secret Service agents had to remove a piece of the wall to get the casket into the plane.  The cut was repaired by a couple of pieces of molding but is still evident. 

Connor and I saw the Kennedy Limousine at the Henry Ford Museum two summers ago.  Like the limo, looking at that corner of the plane gave me an eerie feeling.

Before I left for the day I took a look in the World War II section and paid particular attention to a couple of war birds.  

My friend Professor Tim's Dad piloted a B-17 Flying Fortress over Germany from English air bases during the war. 

 Tim's father in law was a P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter Pilot.  Both are impressive aircraft..

I am just back from dinner at Smokey Bones, a rib joint right next door to the hotel.  It was a good meal and an easy walk..  Tomorrow I will head back to the Air Force Museum. Depending on how much time I spend there I may stay in Dayton again or head north to South Bend..

1 comment:

  1. Bill,

    Thanks for posting photos of the Flying Fortress and the Thunderbolt. I wish that I could have joined you on this trip.

    Happy Motoring,