The National WWII Museum’s Crashed Glider

Last week I visited The National WWII Museum in New Orleans. This visit took me down memory lane back to our install in 2000. We fabricated several exhibits for the museum, including a full scale, walk-in German bunker on the coast of Normandy, an American training barracks, a hedgerow scene and my favorite the crashed CG4A WACO combat glider scene.

Toward the end of the installation process I showed up on-site and immediately started walking through to look at progress.  As I wandered through the galleries looking at our work and others, my installation team was subtly following me.  I was taking my time, learning along the way.  I started to get annoyed thinking, why aren’t they working?!  Then I came around the corner to the crash glider scene.  Wow!  What a story it tells.  As I wandered into the gallery I finally glanced up and noted that my team named the glider after me – Betty Lou.  They were all there to see the expression on my face.  I was quite surprised and probably a bit teary eyed.

For the scene, we were able to locate an actual frame of a glider near Kansas City, which we had to dig out of a pasture.  We were proud to offer our client a true artifact.  It was tricky getting a jeep and glider in an elevator in order to install it in its proper gallery.  But we’ve gotten lots of large objects to fit in small spaces, including a Wright whale through double doors.

On my trip through New Orleans last week, I was very happy to hear many people say the crashed glider scene was their favorite.  I’d love to hear what some of your favorite exhibits are.  Please share in the comments section!