In the heart of New Orleans, Louisiana is The National World War Two Museum of the United States. This city is home to the museum because the then President Eisenhower (also the General in charge of the June 6th, 1944 D-Day invasion in Europe during World War Two) named Dr. Stephen Higgins the man who helped win the war. His ship building company designed the Higgins Landing Craft that facilitated seaborne invasions and in 1943 92% of the US Navy consisted of ships and boats designed by Higgins Industries, of which many were built at one of their 7 plants located in New Orleans. It was a very important company and city to the war effort.
The industrial might of the U.S. was the difference that helped win World War Two. Displayed throughout the museum are the vehicles and weapons that were mass-produced in US factories and were so important to the Allied war effort.
Don’t miss the Bob Hope section of the museum. Apart from being a hilarious and great actor and comedian he dedicated almost 50 years to entertaining the troops on USO tours from World War Two through to Operation Desert Shield (1941-1990). His support to those in service on the front lines was recognized in 1997 when Congress designated him the first honorary veteran of the U.S. armed forces. Quite the honour!
In addition to being a fantastic collection of historical artifacts and weaponry, the museum has one of the most impressively displayed aviation collections you will see. The aircraft are suspended from the ceilings of the various buildings but you don’t just look up at them. You can go many stories high and see the aircraft at and above the level they are displayed at.
The design of the galleries gives you a unique opportunity to take a look at some of the most important US aircraft of World War Two from all angles, top to bottom. Standing high up above a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress in the The US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Centre is something you can’t do everyday!
Aircraft on display include those used by the US Army Air Force (USAAF) and US Navy. There is also a British Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb in the D-Day gallery.
The aircraft on display while I was at the museum are from the Allied side of things but I noticed in the new section of the museum called Campaigns of Courage: European and Pacific Theatres which was still under construction during my visit, that they had a later model German Messerschmitt Bf-109 being readied for display (it was mostly under a tarp but there as no mistaking that familiar shape). I guess that will be an expansion of the air war over Europe and a good reason to go back and visit the museum again some day.