Grumman Wildcat F4F-3
Cactus Air Force refers to the ensemble of Allied air power assigned to the island of Guadalcanal from August 1942 until December 1942 during the early stages of the Guadalcanal Campaign, particularly those operating from Henderson Field. After December, the official name of the unit became Commander, Aircraft, Solomons (AirSols), but Cactus Air Force was still used frequently to refer to the organization. The term "Cactus" comes from the Allied code name for the island. In April 1943 the organization was redesignated as AirSols.The airfield was frequently attacked by the Japanese Air units and their surface ships. They even were shelled by a couple of Imperial Battleships, the Kongo and the Haruna. The Navy and Marine Pilots and ground personnel held off the Japanese attacks, the Navy had several battles around Guadalcanal trying to protect the Marines on that island, The casualties and losses were immense, the Japanese would run "the Slot" trying to resupply their men and the U.S. Navy would try to stop them. The end results was that it bled the Japanese and in the end, they finally withdrew what was left of their forces and the United States neutralized the huge Japanese base at Rabaul with the "wither on the vine" tactics. and their operations in the Solomon islands helped pave their eventual return to the Philippine Islands.
The ground crewmen frequently labeled bombs to help deal with the frustrations of being shelled and shot at by the Japanese. In the modern world, such things might be frowned upon as "hurtful" but back then we were made of sterner stuff. The Great depression and the Japanese Attack at Pearl Harbor had molded the United States servicemen into steel, the "special Snowflakes" had been weeded out by natural selection. I could go on and on about the battle at Guadalcanal but that is a subject for another time.
F.1 Camel C8228, built by Sopwith in 1917, is on display at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida.
Man Snoopy gets around...I saw him at the Apollo Spacecraft Museum in Florida last year...
The nemesis of the Red Baron
Here is a view of the "Main Area" what I call of the Museum
You see many airplanes on display, like I stated you can WALK up to an airplane and actually examine it. I am sure that they would frown on you climbing on one...Just a guess.
Here a few more things that I saw...
Here is the Story on this car....Notice the refueling probe on the roof.
I also saw this airplane out there....the propellers are different as is the livery, I wonder if Old NFO can shed some light on it. I saw no information on this airplane there..
My son and I got hungry and so we ate at the "Cubi Cafe". In addition to the displays, the museum operates an IMAX theatre, museum store, and cafe. The Cubi Point Café is itself an exhibit as it displays squadron memorabilia from the closed NAS Cubi Point Officers'
I took pictures of a couple of the plaques, some were simple and others were very ornate. I wonder if some "nugget" got voluntold "you are responsible for the plaque" and some of them really took the assignment and ran with it....like this one...
Or this one...
I wonder what fleet air units do now for plaques since the Cubi Air Station was closed down in 1992
and if they still do stuff like this. The detail on some of these plaques are amazing. It was interesting to see the history of a unit and after looking at some of them, I started recognizing names from past deployments.
Also there is a mockup on the floor of the Museum of the U.S.S Cabot island with a coupe of aircraft on "ready 5" I believe the term was..But today was some kind of ceremony from the chairs and color guard units standing around.
I and my son enjoyed the museum immensely, we would go again....Like I said in the prior post, you have to come in through the west gate off Blue Angel Parkway to get to the museum. It is in my humble opinion one of the best aviation museums in the United States. Did I say you can walk up to an airplane....there is no barrier ropes preventing examinations..? I must have...somewhere. Go check it out, I plan on going again I am sure I missed stuff in there from my past 2 trips.