NASFL Museum Online-Only Exhibits
The Disappearance of Flight 19
This Exhibit presents artifacts and archival items in the Museum collection relating to the disappearance of Flight 19 over the Bermuda Triangle, 5 December 1945, and the investigation that followed:
Amelia Earhart: "Our Poetic Tribute to Amelia Earhart"
The collection was Produced by Broward County, Florida Poet-in-Residence Anastasia Clark, who worked for a year bringing awareness, readings and workshops around South Florida. The collection is showcased at the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum, in Atchison, Kansas, and at other Museums and Libraries across the country, including our Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum. The heirloom quality album features three original artworks by Shae Leighland-Pence and the works of 42 emerging and established poets with 49 poems from South Florida, California, Texas, North Carolina, Virginia and Utah. The collection was launched on April 2012 at our Museum.
The Commissioning of a Ship: USS Jason Dunham
On April 14, 2004, Corporal Dunham was manning a checkpoint in Karabilah, Iraq, when an insurgent leapt from his car and began choking Corporal Dunham. A scuffle ensued as two Marines approached to help. Reportedly, the last words from Corporal Dunham were, "No, No. Watch his hand." Suddenly, the insurgent dropped a grenade. Corporal Dunham took off his Kevlar helmet, dropped to the ground, and covered the explosive as best he could. The blast seriously wounded all 3 Marines. Eight days later, Corporal Jason L. Dunham died at Bethesda Naval Hospital from wounds he received in the incident. He was 22 years old. Corporal Dunham made the ultimate sacrifice, and in doing so saved the lives of his fellow Marines. Due to his actions on that fateful day, he has been posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. In Jason Dunham's honor, the Navy's newest and most advanced, guided missile destroyer arrived at Port Everglades for its commissioning on November 13, 2010. Experience the Commissioning of the USS Dunham.
ENTER The Commissioning of a Ship EXHIBIT
WWII Cartoon Illustrations from Avenger Newspaper
During World War II, Aviation Radioman Phillip Bower was discovered to have a great talent as an illustrator. His illustrations were used at various Air Bases in Florida to teach new recruits to recognize Japanese aircraft, warships, destroyers and other warfare subjects. When Petty Officer Bower arrived at Fort Lauderdale Naval Air Station, he did the illustrations for a new manual on the TBF/TBM torpedo bomber Avenger which was used to teach aviators and their crewman. He drew the pilot's and aircrew diplomas upon their graduation, and mapped out the big signs at the main gate of the NASFL base. He also drew cartoons for the Avenger Newspaper at the base, which added to the morale.
Nose Art Exhibit
An Online-Only Exhibit focusing on Nose Art, from military insignia which were used as nose art for bombers and as unit logos. The practice evolved to express the individuality often constrained by the uniformity of the military, to evoke memories of home and peacetime life, and as a kind of psychological protection against the stresses of war and the probability of death.
TBM/TBF AVENGER AIRCRAFT EXHIBIT
The Avenger was one of the outstanding torpedo bombers of World War II. The Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale trained American and British pilots and air crews on the Grumman Avenger TBF/TBM torpedo bomber, which was the largest single engine plane used during the war. This exhibit showcases the Avenger's history, technical notes, and photographs.
ENTER AVENGER EXHIBIT
ENTER LINK TRAINER EXHIBIT: Mechanical & Engineering Landmark
The Art of Bob Jenny
An Online-Only Exhibit focusing on the art of Bob Jenny, who was a leading muralist in South Florida. His murals and paintings have been featured at the White House and around the world. A prolific artist whose works often included scenes of South Florida wildlife and nature, as well as Aviation art. Jenny donated several original aviation paintings to the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum, as well as a 25x7 mural featured on the main exhibit room.
Aviator's Flight Diaries
A collection of Aviator's Flight Log Books. A personal look at flying diaries from naval aviators, flight officers and air-crewmen from NAS Fort Lauderdale and other Florida bases during and after World War II. In between their worn out pages we can explore the rigorous training, their flight accomplishments, and oftentimes their personal experiences. The diaries are nondescript in appearance, with worn covers and pages. The writing lists in methodical fashion the length and type of each flight hour, yet, there is much more to these Aviator Flight Log Books: you'll be able to sense the individual stories of young and seasoned men at war.
Japanese WWII Photo Album from a Cave in Saipan
Japanese mementos from a Sniper cave in Saipan were donated by WWII veteran Ray Rivera, a sailor on the USS Bunker Hill. When the war ended, the Bunker Hill became a “Magic Carpet” taking troops back and forth, throughout the South Pacific. It was on one of these trips to pick up military personnel, that Ray had a close encounter with a Japanese sniper. As he recalls: "Our ship arrived in Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands) to pick up more of our troops. If we had to walk around, we were assigned a Marine escort because it was still dangerous as there were snipers hiding in caves. Some Japanese soldiers didn't know the war had ended, and we still had several incidents. A small group of us were walking around with our escort, and suddenly we got shot at. The shots were coming from a wooded area ahead of us. The Marine took aim in that direction, and then there was silence. We proceeded to the area and checked the perimeter, and we found several abandoned caves. It looked like someone had been living in them for a while.
At that time it was customary to take "souvenirs" so I looked around and saw several torn pages from a photograph album. There were of young men, like us fighting the war, and I wondered if they had sisters, mothers, brothers. I also found torn pages from what it looked like Japanese propaganda from magazines. The pages had been perforated with one top and bottom hole and held together with shoelaces. I was drawn to the images and I wanted to safe-keep these mementos. I held to these pages for more than 60 years. I don't speak Japanese and don't know the names of the Japanese soldiers in the photographs, but it would be good if someone knows their families or recognizes them. "
UPDATE: The Morikami Japanese Museum has translated the photographs in this exhibit. It is our hope that relatives/friends of these Japanese soldiers can find some closure. ENTER UPDATE
Lost & Found:
Walter R. Parpart, Jr., Radioman on Flight 19
New Artifacts shed light on one of the great aviation mysteries: with never before seen photographs, a Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale log book from a crew on the lead plane, original family correspondence, and a Presidential citation hand signed by Harry Truman. Walter Reed Parpart, Jr., was the radioman in FT-28, piloted by Flight Leader, Lt. Charles Taylor. There was no known photograph of Walter, and furthermore, there are no original artifacts known to the public that relate directly to Flight 19. Until now, when one of Walter's relatives contacted the Museum to tell us her story.
Memories of the USS Bunker Hill
Remembering the USS Bunker Hill through the WWII Cruise Book of crew member Ray Rivera.
The Images of Reconnaissance WWII Photographer: Francis "Frank" Frezza
Frank worked at Admiral Chester W. Nimitz' Office then he was selected to be a part of the JICPOA (Joint Intelligence Center Pacific Ocean Area), or better known as the “Silver's Gang”— a group of about 180 Navy photographers that became instrumental for reconnaissance. They worked tirelessly, and in 3 months they would have between them 2 ½ million pictures. Their missions included taking aerials, beach charts, moon charts, tide charts, and they would also come to photograph island invasions in the pacific theater, including Iwo-Jima. On the final days of the war, they recorded in images, the site of the atomic bombs two days after they were dropped. On their down time, they would focus on photographing life on the base, as more and more women joined the service, and their contributions to the success of the war had to be recorded.
Herbert (Adolph) Weigand - U.S Marine Corps and U.S Army Air Corps WWII
"Dedicated to Herbert, Unknown Hero No More"
For several years, the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum kept a wooden trunk in storage. The trunk belonged to an Army soldier from World War II. Nobody knew who this soldier was. He was affectionately called “The Ghost” by Museum volunteers. The trunk had been donated by an acquaintance of Herbert A. Weigand, after his passing. According to this acquaintance: "Herbert's body had to be retrieved from his apartment after a few days, and the Sheriff asked me if I could do something with the contents of the trunk, being that I was ex-military." Herbert had no other relatives or friends to claim his belongings. His military journey was unknown to all— until two volunteers at the Museum opened his trunk to unveil his life. Finally, his war experience and service to our country and the world, can be honored and remembered. This is what we discovered:
An Online-Only Exhibit focusing on young Ensign George H.W. Bush and Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale in 1943, training with Flight 44. Included in this exhibit is his visit to the former Naval Air Station in 1992, and his signing of Bob Jenny's mural "On Final Approach."