Greene County News Report
FAIRBORN – On Aug. 9, 1945, the B-29 Bockscar dropped the “Fat Man” atomic bomb on Nagasaki, which led to Japan’s unconditional surrender and the end World War II.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, and the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force – where the B-29 Bockscar and an actual “Fat Man” atomic bomb are on display – will have several special opportunities to commemorate it.
Col. (Ret.) Joseph Sweeney, the son of Bockscar pilot Gen. Charles Sweeney who was at the controls when the aircraft dropped the bomb on that fateful day, spoke about his father and the war during a presentation in Carney Auditorium on Aug. 7 at 10 a.m.
Col. Sweeney has served in both the United States Marine Corps, as well as the Massachusetts Air National Guard, and was the former commander of the 102nd Air Intelligence Squadron at Otis Air National Guard Base, Mass., before retiring in 2012. Some of his major awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with 1 Device, Air Force Commendation Medal, Combat Action Ribbon and the Legion of Merit.
In addition, several WWII veterans will also be on hand to discuss their experiences with visitors in the museum’s WWII Gallery 1 to 3 p.m., Aug. 14. The museum’s WWII Gallery houses one of the world’s top collections of WWII aircraft and a variety of engaging and evocative exhibits to tell the proud story of the U.S. Army Air Forces during the war. The gallery captures the pivotal moments, campaigns and figures of U.S. Army Air Forces’ air power in both the Pacific and European Theaters.
Finally, the Air Force Museum Theatre will feature the film D-Day: Normandy 1944. Although the largest Allied operation of WWII began in Normandy, France, few know in detail exactly why and how, from the end of 1943 through August 1944, this region became the most important location in the world. Narrated by Tom Brokaw, the film pays tribute to those who gave their lives for our freedom. During the week of Aug. 7 through 14, WWII veterans will be offered complimentary tickets to the film and all others will receive a special discounted rate of $6. For more information, call (937) 253-4629 or visit www.afmuseum.com/attractions/theatre.
The theatre is operated by the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc., a Section 501(c)(3) private, non-profit organization that assists the Air Force in the development and expansion of the facilities of the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The Air Force Museum Foundation is not part of the Department of Defense or any of its components and it has no governmental status. For more information on the Air Force Museum Foundation, visit www.airforcemuseum.com.
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 17 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year about one million visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.
Story courtesy of the National Museum of U.S. Air Force.