Last Friday we drove our rental car about 45 minutes from Orange Beach, Alabama to Pensacola Florida to visit the National Museum of Naval Aviation. The museum is located on Naval Air Station Pensacola, the home of the Blue Angels. We were sorry to miss the Homecoming Show of the Blue Angels by only a few days.
The museum includes aircraft and spacecraft from the 100+ year history of naval aviation, including fully restored examples from the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Our excellent tour guide was a retired Navy fighter pilot who used a series of aircraft to explain the evolution of military air power since WWI.
The main floor of the museum inlcudes a reduced-size replica of an aircraft carrier flight deck, to show how small an area Navy pilots, including our friend Chris from Lafayette, have to takeoff and land, sometimes at night in rough waters. Impressive!
The museum auditorium was being used for a retirement ceremony of a senior officer. Sailors, officers, friends, a color guard and a miliary band were gathering to honor his service.
We then had a trolley tour of the Flight Line, with dozens of fully restored, partially restored, and to-be-restored aircraft. Some of the planes were one-of-a-kind with intriguing battle histories.
We were inspired by this museum and its volunteer tour guides. It renewed our appreciation for the service of military aviators, including our friend Chris.
3 thoughts on “National Museum of Naval Aviation”
Love reading your blog and following you guys!! We are in Demopolis leaving tomorrow. Hope our paths cross!!!!
Been there, done that. Loved it! Several years ago, one of the Blue Angel pilots, who is from Grand Rapids, flew home for a family event (funeral, I believe) in his Blue Angel. Son Greg and his daughter Jessica met him at the
Great museum. With all the snow we have in West Michigan, the blue skies look great too.
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