The Combat Gallery houses original aircraft, engines and scale models as well as a multitude of exhibits. Inside the gallery is the Museum’s very own B-17 Flying Fortress being restored as the “City of Savannah” which was the 5000th airplane to have been processed through Hunter Army airfield in Savannah during World War II.
A second authentic aircraft is a Boeing-Stearman PT KAYDET. The PT-17 was one of the most widely used training aircraft in the United States. Hanging above the B-17 and PT-17 are four scale models including a P-51 Mustang, a German Me-109, a B-24 Liberator and a B-17 Flying Fortress.
The Crosley CT-3 Pup is one of only seven known to exist today. It was a lightweight jeep-type vehicle capable of being transported by air. Only six Pups made it overseas during the war, following testing at Fort Benning. Underpowered by a small engine, the Army quickly scrapped the project leaving few for posterity.
The Ploesti Diorama commemorates the 1 August 1943 mission flown by nearly 200 B-24s in a 2400 mile round trip to bomb at low altitude the oil refinery at Ploesti, Romania which supplied 60 per cent of Germany’s crude oil. This mission was one of the most daring and dangerous bombing missions of World War II.
Along one wall is the exhibit, Second to None, telling the remarkable story of the men and women of the Second Air Division including Fightin Sam, the actual nose section of a B-24 Liberator. The Deenethorpe Diorama shows the base of the 401st Bomb Group. Each 8th Air Force Bomb or Fighter Group had its own air base in England with a similar layout.
Additional exhibits include a Navigator Exhibit, an interactive Gunner Exhibit, and the Tuskegee Airman Exhibit.