As I was heading over to Superior last night, I passed this museum. Since it was closed last night, I decided to visit it today. It seemed like it would be pretty cool.
Richard I. Bong was the highest scoring American Ace with 40 kills. This is a statue of him as a kid playing with a model airplane. He began his studies at the Superior State Teacher's college and while he was there, he took flying lessons. When the war began in 1941, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He received his wings in 1942.
All of his kills were in the P-38 Lightning Fighter. He served in the Pacific Theater. The P-38 was not very successful in Europe but was a game changer in the Pacific. It was faster than the Zero and certainly heavier armed. In January of 1945, Bong was sent back to the United States where he became a test pilot. He would be killed on August 6, 1945 while testing the P-80 Shooting Star.
There is a little section of the museum dedicated to Duluth's role during the war. It of course was the source of much of the iron used in steelmaking during the war. It also played a major role in shipbuilding. The above is an example of one of the ships built in Duluth.
A pilot's hat from the Pacific Theater.
Another angle of the P-38.
The P-38 was nicknamed the Fork-Tailed Devil by the Germans. It was a twin boom aircraft.
The museum was pretty small but still pretty interesting.