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John A. Weeks III
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Aviation History And Aircraft Photography

Virtual Aerospace Museum Tours

Georgia Veterans Memorial Airpark

Boeing B-29A Superfortress

I visited the Georgia Veterans Memorial Airpark on a day filled with bright sunshine on February 4, 2012. It was my second visit to this location, having visited about 10 years earlier when I was tracking down all of the surviving B-29 aircraft. The park is located just west of Cordele, GA, which is on I-75 in the southern part of the state. The park is open daily. If you are in the area, be sure to stop and visit the Titan ICBM that is on display at the Cordele exit (US-280 at I-75).

The aircraft above started off as a Boeing B-29A Superfortress. It flew in the Pacific during WWII. Nicknamed ‘City of Lansford’, one of its crew received a Distinguished Flying Cross for flying through a typhoon with only two working engines. It was converted into a F-13 photo recon plane, and is the only surviving F-13 aircraft of the 118 that were converted.

Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
This is a Republic F-84F Thunderstreak. It was delivered to the USAF in late 1954. It never saw active duty. Rather, it was first assigned to a maintenance unit at Edwards Air Force Base. It was later used by General Electric as a testbed. After retirement, it was on display at the USAF Museum in Dayton, Ohio, before being put on display here in Georgia.

Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star
This Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star served as a trainer, mostly at bases in Florida, from its delivery in 1952 until it was retired in 1962. The T-33 was used as an intermediate trainer as pilots transitioned from propeller trainers into jet aircraft.

North American FJ-4B Fury
This aircraft, which looks a lot like a North American F-86 Sabre, is actually the Navy version that is designated as a FJ-4B Fury. It was delivered to the US Navy in 1957. It took part in 3 carrier cruises and then returned to duty at land bases before being retired in 1965.

Bell UH-1D Iroquois
This Bell UH-1D Iroquois helicopter, commonly referred to as a ‘Huey’, served in Vietnam in the mid to late 1960s. It first operated with a medevac unit and later as a aerial gunship. It was then transferred to Germany, and subsequently to NASA Langley in Virginia. It ended its career as a trainer at Fort Rucker in Alabama where it was retired in 1980.

M4A2E8 Sherman Tank
The service history of this M4A2E8 Sherman Tank has been lost. What is known is that it was manufactured by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in January 1944. This specific model was very rare in Europe, so museum staff believes that it might have seen duty in the Pacific theater or later in Korea. Other nations used the Sherman tank, some as late as 1973. This 70,000 pound vehicle features a 75mm main gun along with three machine guns.

M47 Patton Tank
The M47 Patton Tank was the second of four different tank models to be officially named after the famous General. The M47 served briefly with the US Army, where it never saw combat, but it was used extensively by other armies around the world. This model was built in the 1950s (this example in 1951), but served in allied armies into the 1990s.

M3A1 General Stuart Tank
This is a M3A1 General Stuart tank. It was used early in WWII, such as in North Africa as a light attack tank. It was obsolete compared with the vehicles used by NAZI German and was supplanted by the Sherman tank. However, since it was fast, light, easy to maintain, and very reliable, it saw extensive service in the Pacific against the Empire of Japan.

LVT-3C Bushmaster Landing Craft
The vehicle on the left is a LVT-3C Bushmaster landing craft. This is a WWII era design, many of which were built and ready to go at the end of WWII, waiting to be used in the invasion of Japan (which never happened). Those models were placed in storage, then later upgraded to a new standard that included an armored roof. The vehicle on display was built to that standard in 1950. The vehicle on the right is a LVTP-5A1, a new improved landing craft built in the 1950s. Since sea invasions were rare, these vehicles went largely unused. Some examples were sent to Vietnam to be used as a troop carrier but they were poorly suited to land operation.

M1 155mm Gun The Long Tom
This is a M1 155mm, commonly called ‘The Long Tom’. It served during WWII and into the 1950s in US service, and into the 1970s with other armies. It could fire a 100 pound projectile over 14 miles.

M1918A3 155mm Howitzer Gun
M1918A3 Howitzer featuring a 155mm gun. It could fire a 95 pound round at rates of up to 5 per minute with a range of just over 7 miles.

M3 37mm Antitank Gun
M3 37mm Antitank Gun. It could fire a 2 pound projectile over 7 miles at a fire rate of up to 20 rounds per minute. It was developed just prior to WWII and was the standard antitank weapon until improved German armor rendered it obsolete. It continued to serve in the Pacific since Japanese armor was not as advanced.

M1 57mm Antitank Gun
This is a M1 57mm Antitank Gun. It fired a 6 to 7 pound projectile up to 6 miles at a rate of up to 10 per minute. It is derived from the British Quick Fire 6, the gun that replaced the obsolete M3 early in WWII.

Russian D-44 85mm Gun
Above is a Russian D-44 85mm divisional gun. It was developed during WWII as an antitank gun, however, it arrived too late to see service during WWII. This example was captured in Vietnam. Below is a Russian M-843 120mm Mortar. This example was manufactured in 1943, but its operational history is not known.

Russian M-843 120mm Mortar

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