The Eighth Air Force Museum museum is quite well laid out, part mausoleum and crypt – especially with the memorial garden and chapel in the back – and part collection. The latter part we went through, and after a brief introduction and bypassing the film areas, we found ourselves face to face with a B-17 that was being restored.
The nose and some tail sections were removed, but the engines and all the rest were still in place, even leaking oil – the old radial engines on airplanes were notorious for doing that, and why they couldn’t drain them for a museum piece is beyond reason – but they were leaking out and onto cook pans on the floor. We circled the inner hangar around this old giant – small by current standards it was famous for its tough construction.
An American P-51, a German Messerschmitt 109 hung from the ceiling, and the nose of a B-24 Liberator also filled the cluttered hangar – which was far neater than the New England Air Museum in Connecticut.