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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Two Libraries and One Air Museum

The stay started early with a drive from Destin to Navarre FL. Lulu had a 9 AM visited at a school library there. While she worked - I drove around Navarre - not too many points of interest to see. There is a causeway bridge out to Navarre Beach - as the sign said - "One of Florida Finest Secrets." It is safe with me.

After that the Eglin Air Base Armament Museum was along the road - so a short one hour stop was in order. This is a fantastic museum that I visited two years ago - but Lulu never had the honor. Since it is an Air Force museum - most of the aircraft were planes that were used in training at Eglin. This base is known for training bomber pilots. Admission free - and tons of planes.

Here I am in an F-15 simulator trainer. I know that the movie Top Gun was about Naval Aviators in F-14's but I  still was able to say, "I am too close for missiles - I switching over to guns!"

Here you can see my Dad's favorite airplane and his favorite daughter-in-law. This is a B-25. That is Lulu - she is wearing her Jimmy Doolittle flight jacket in his honor.

The Army Air Force trained here in Florida for one of the most famous bombing raids. In December of 1941 - the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor - Hawaii. The USA was not in the war yet and our military was in a fallow state. President Roosevelt knew America needed a morale builder. Secretly the Army Air Force trained to launch several of these lumbering bombers from a short aircraft carrier. No one though it could be done - but with training and weight reduction they did it. In April of 1942 we secretly sent the aircraft carrier toward Japan with 16 B-25's and pilots that never before took off from a carrier. The bombers certainly surprised the Japanese with each plane carrying four 500 pound bombs. The planes flew on to China and crash landed there. Japan massacred 250,000 Chinese for helping the US pilots escape.

One of my favorite students - Chuck Shuck served in the Army with his partner Gabe. This memorial honors K-9's like Gabe. Chuck and Gabe served two tours of duty in Iraq sniffing out explosives. 

After the museum - we stopped at a Po Folks Restaurant in Niceville FL. Whiles waiting for our table we noticed the restaurant was selected best in town from 2000 to 2005. One wonders what they did to lose the honor. 

After lunch Lulu visited the Valparaiso Public Library. It is located in downtown next to City Hall. While Lulu had her meeting - I listened to the roared of military aircraft. The end of the runway was very close to downtown.

After that we returned to our Residence Inn - spent some time in the hot tub - and here we are. 

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