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Mission Update!                                    March 2014 
National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force
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Let the Mighty 8th be a part of your Legacy 
For more information about Planned Gifts and the Mighty Eighth Foundation, please contact Pam Vining
Legacy of Honor 
National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force Legacy of Honor program
WWII Veteran
Please help us keep admission free for World War II Veterans by donating $10 to the "Legacy of Honor Program" Follow the link below to make your donation. 
The Legacy Ball 

On Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 6:30 PM the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force will be hosting its annual fundraiser: The Legacy Ball. This year's theme is " A Salute to Masters of the Air".

Once again, the evening promises to be a great time. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and viewing of the silent auction items will start the evening, followed by a fabulous dinner catered by Savannah Bell Catering. Dance music will once again be provided by the renowned Savannah Arts Academy's SkyeLite Jazz Band. We will also continue our tradition of inviting and honoring guests from all branches of the military services in addition to our treasured veterans.

Silent auction items will include hotel stays in Atlanta and Savannah, gifts, tickets to attractions (Disney, Zoo Atlanta, Stone Mountain), a fishing trip, Restaurant Gift Cards, art prints, golf and much much more!

Tickets are available at $100.00 and tables of 10 are $900.00.
For more information contact Jane Grismer
Win an A-2 Bomber Jacket 
The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force is raffling off a new A-2 Bomber Jacket on May 10th! Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20 and can be purchased at the Museum or online. Click here to purchase tickets online.

The "Type A-2" bomber jacket was standardized on May 29, 1931 and was manufactured under contract until 1943. It was the regulation Army Air Corps intermediate flying jacket and was issued and used until the end of WWII. The A-2 takes credit as being one of the most famous of all the WWII flying jackets and was considered a must-have jacket by both pilots and flight crews. The natural distressing and personalized details give each leather garment its own unique signature and character. Retail Value: $359 


Winners do not have to be present to win, so get your tickets before the raffle on May 10!
Summer Camp 
Every Dollar Helps!
The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force is funded solely by individuals, corporations and private foundations.  The Museum receives no federal or state funding.
Every dollar donated helps maintain and create new projects, programs and exhibits that honor the Eighth Air Force. Every dollar helps in the continued success of the Museum.  Please make your tax-deductible donation today!


Enjoy the Benefits of a Museum Membership!

Have you visited the Museum in the past and would like to visit again for free? Would you like 10% off in the Museum store? Would you like to register your children in advance for the Mighty Eighth summer camps? Support the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force with a membership. Every membership level includes free admission, a 10% discount in the Museum Gift Store, an Official Membership Card and free admission to over 100 Museums in the Southeast through the Southeastern Reciprocal Museum program. Please consider joining the Museum today. Choose your membership level and join HERE. For more information or questions, please contact Sarah Grubbs, our Membership Coordinator, at 912-748-8888 ext. 101. She will be happy to help you. 


Museum Gift Store 


Spring is on the way and we will be getting ready for our spring arrivals.  Take advantage of discounted sweat shirts and jackets. They will be 10% off through the end of March.  Hurry while supplies last.


Let's get ready for the warmer weather.  Purchase any t-shirt and receive 10% off any hat. 


The book of the month is "Jimmy Stewart Bomber Pilot".  This is a great read and only $14.95. 


Don't forget to check out our garden flags, windsocks and garden stones. 


Erin Go Bragh  

Shop the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Online Store Today! 

A Very Unique Donation from England

by Sam Martin

This past month the museum received a very unique donation in the form of a baseball bat made for American flyers at an English airbase in Lincolnshire.  Mr. Jim Derr of Poolesville, Maryland, who facilitated the donation, provided us with the history of the bat as related to him:


"So, my story starts in England in 1998 when I was assigned to work a program for my company.  My family came with me and we lived in southern England for 3 years. . . In our small village of Stubbington, my wife's regular hairdresser, Kim, loved to talk about her family and particularly her father, who loved Americans based on his interaction with them during World War II.  Her father was a teenage boy who lived in Lincolnshire, a county north of London.  The boy lived in a village close to one of the airfields used by the USAAF 8th Air Force, and spent a lot of his time 'hanging out' with the GIs.  Kim was kind enough to share her family stories and one of them caught my attention. . . The story goes like this (from a letter written by Kim to my wife Laura) '. . . In 1944 on a Lincolnshire airfield a squadron of American bomber pilots arrived.  They had their baseball, and the English pilots had their cricket.  One day, the Americans decided it would be fun to make the cricket bat disappear.  The English retaliated likewise, and the Americans' baseball bat disappeared as well.  The local village wainwright's assistant, who was only a young lad, thought the Americans were wonderful.  So he made them a baseball bat.  When the Americans finally went home, they gave the bat back to the young lad who made it.'  The young lad was her father.  Her father always cherished the bat and the memories that it brought back to him of a time when life was uncertain...and a bunch of American pilots entered his world.  He always had an affection for America after the war and his trophy bat reminded him of an exciting earlier time in his life."


In the coming weeks, we are working to identify the English airfield and the American USAAF unit assigned there as we give this unique artifact a permanent home as part of the Eighth Air Force's honored history.


The homemade bat from England after arriving at the museum.

Feature Volunteer 
Jim Phillips 

Jim Phillips was born in Hollywood, CA and raised in West Chester, CA.  He worked for fifteen years in the airline industry and thirty eight years in the steamship business doing various jobs.  Jim married a Southern lady and after bouncing around the country for his job they ended up here in Savannah.  He began volunteering as a greeter at the museum just a few short months ago.  

An Honored Guest 

Recently I had the pleasure of spending the day at The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force with my friends Richard and Prilly Taylor from England.  They own the land in Suffolk County near Ipswich where the 493rd B.G. flew from during WWIII.  "Station 152 Debach Air Field Third Air Division."  They have devoted much time, effort and money restoring the old air field to its wartime look.  The Control Tower is complete and full of memorabilia; the Technical Site is in good condition with original buildings.  They have erected new buildings for a visitors' centre and memorabilia display.  They also have a large collection of WWII Army vehicles which Richard restores and keeps in running condition.


They thoroughly enjoyed the Mighty Eighth museum and visiting the Savannah area.


If you should visit England, get out of London and visit:

493rd Bomb Group (H) Museum

'Helton's Hellcats'

Grove Farm, Clopton,

Woodbridge, IP 13 6QS


Cheers!  Jack Rude

Honoring the Eighth 
by Jaime Hanna

Many of us, myself included, have walked right past the painting named "Waiting for Rescue" done by an anonymous artist.  You see three men standing on the wing of a B-17 that has ditched into the water, and one crew member is supporting a second.  In the background you see a Medal of Honor citation stuck on the plane with the medal hanging from it.  In all honesty, I don't think it's the greatest painting and I have walked past it daily without giving it much thought.  However, after researching the story behind it, now I look at it in an entirely different light. 

            Forrest Vosler joined the Army Air Corps in October 1942 when he was just 19 years old.  He was assigned as a radio operator/gunner and was stationed with the 358th Bomb Squadron, 303rd Bombardment Group at Molesworth, England.  On the day he earned his Medal of Honor, T/Sgt. Vosler and his crew flew the B-17F Jersey Bounce, Jr.  It was December 20, 1943 and their target for the day was in Bremen, Germany.  This was to be the 3rd mission to Bremen that week and so far the 303rd had not experienced much resistance from either German fighters or flak so they were not expecting this mission to be any different.  On the way to the target, flak took out the number one engine and shortly after dropping their bomb load, the number 4 engine was also rendered inoperable.  As the bomber fell out of formation, German fighters swarmed. A 20 mm shell hit the radio room injuring Vosler's legs and damaging the radio equipment.  At about the same time the tail gunner, Sgt. George W. Buske, was shot through his upper abdomen - this was Sgt. Buske's first mission after recovering from wounds he received when shrapnel from another shell injured his left hip on a previous mission.  Immediately after being shot, another 20 mm shell exploded in front of Buske, opening wounds in his chest and abdomen and knocking him out of his seat into the fuselage.  Vosler ran to man the tail guns as he knew the tail was especially vulnerable to fighter attacks.  Another 20 mm shell exploded in the tail section and pieces of shrapnel lodged in Vosler's chest, face, and both eyes, impairing his vision to the point where he could only make out blurred shapes and shadows.  Despite the wounds, Vosler and the other gunners continued to fire until the German fighters assumed the damaged B-17 was going down. They then turned around and went back to their bases.

            The Jersey Bounce, Jr. was flying low over the North Sea with two damaged engines, low fuel and inoperable radio. The crew prepared to ditch.  Vosler knew their whereabouts were unknown to friendly forces which would make the chances of rescue dramatically lower, so he decided to attempt to repair the radio.  He felt his way back to the radio room and managed to repair the transmitter using his sense of touch only and made several distress calls.  (Later they confirmed that the distress call was picked up in England.)  The rest of the crew threw equipment out of the plane in an effort to lighten their load and Vosler volunteered to be thrown out also - a request the crew denied.  The plane crashed into the water and the crew began to make their way to the wing to inflate their dinghy.  Vosler walked out onto the wing unassisted while others dragged the unconscious and injured Buske out to the wing.   While waiting for the raft to inflate, Vosler held the radio antennae with one hand and kept Buske from sliding off the wing with his other hand until the crew could load them into the raft.  Fortunately, a Norwegian boat witnessed the crash and came and rescued the crew and returned them to England. 

            Vosler and Buske were taken immediately for medical treatment and Vosler would eventually lose one eye and have limited vision recovered in the other.  Buske would need almost a year to recover from his numerous wounds.  For his bravery in action, Vosler received the Congressional Medal of Honor on September 6, 1944 from President Roosevelt - one of only three enlisted men to receive the Medal of Honor in the Eighth Air Force.  Should you ever want to see it for yourself, it is proudly displayed in the 303rd Bomb Group's display case in "Honoring the Eighth" section of the museum.  And next time you see "Waiting for Rescue" on the wall of the Art Gallery, pause and take a minute to think of T/Sgt. Vosler and Sgt. Buske. 

Tell us what you think!
Winged 8
You are very important to us. Your comments and suggestions are welcome and encouraged. 
National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force | 912.748.8888 | |
175 Bourne Avenue
(I-95 at Exit 102)
Pooler, GA 31322