The National World War Two Museum

In the heart of New Orleans, Louisiana is The National World War Two Museum of the United States. This city is home to the museum because the then President Eisenhower (also the General in charge of the June 6th, 1944 D-Day invasion in Europe during World War Two) named Dr. Stephen Higgins the man who helped win the war. His ship building company designed the Higgins Landing Craft that facilitated seaborne invasions and in 1943 92% of the US Navy consisted of ships and boats designed by Higgins Industries of which many were built at one of their 7 plants located in New Orleans. It was a very important company and city to the war effort.

Higgins Landing Craft National WW2 Museum New Orleans
Higgins Landing Craft
The C-47 was an integral part of the D-Day airborne invasion of 1944
The C-47 was also an integral part of the D-Day airborne invasion of 1944
C-47 Dakota/Skytrain
C-47 Dakota/Skytrain

Apart from being a fantastic collection of historical artifacts and weaponry the museum has one of the most impressively displayed aviation collections you will see. The aircraft are suspended from the ceilings of the various buildings but you don’t just look up at them. You can go many stories high and see the aircraft at and above the level they are displayed at.

The US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Centre National WW2 Museum New Orleans
The US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Centre
The National WW2 Museum New Orleans
What a display!

The design of the galleries gives you a unique opportunity to take a look at some of the most important US aircraft of World War Two from all angles, top to bottom. Standing high up above a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress in the The US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Centre is something you can’t do everyday!

B-17E Flying Fortress My Gal Sal National WW2 Museum New Orleans
B-17E “My Gal Sal” was abandoned in Greenland in 1942 after an emergency landing. 53 years later she was returned to the US. After a further 5 years, restoration began in 2000 in Ohio and was completed in 2012 for display in the Museums new wing in 2013
"My Gal Sal" just after the forced landing in Greenland in 1942 and today in New Orleans WW2 Museum
“My Gal Sal” just after the forced landing in Greenland in 1942 and today in New Orleans
B-17E "My Gal Sal"
B-17E “My Gal Sal” heavy bomber – quite the view from up there
USAAF North American P-51D Mustang
USAAF North American P-51D Mustang – protector of the B-17
USAAF North American P-51D Mustang National WW2 Museum New Orleans
Top down view of the Mustang
North American B-25 Mitchell National WW2 Museum New Orleans Louisiana USA
North American B-25 Mitchell medium bomber
Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bomber
Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bomber
P-51D and B-17 National WW2 Museum New Orleans Louisiana
Big Brother and Little Brother

Aircraft on display include those used by the US Army Air Force (USAAF) and US Navy. There is also a British Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb in the D-Day gallery.

US Navy Vought F4U Corsair National WW2 Museum
US Navy Vought F4U Corsair
USN Grumman TBM Avenger torpedo bomber
USN Grumman TBM Avenger torpedo bomber
US Navy Douglas Dauntless dive bomber
US Navy Douglas Dauntless dive bomber
Douglas Dauntless National WW2 Museum New Orleans
Top down view of the Dauntless
Corsair Dauntless National World War Two Museum New Orleans
Fleet defenders
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb National WW2 Museum New Orleans
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb

The aircraft on display while I was at the museum are from the Allied side of things but I noticed in the new section of the museum called Campaigns of Courage: European and Pacific Theatres which was still under construction during my visit that they had a later model German Messerschmitt Bf-109 being readied for display (it was mostly under a tarp but there as no mistaking that familiar shape). I guess that will be an expansion of the air war over Europe and a good reason to go back and visit the museum again some day.

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4 thoughts on “The National World War Two Museum

  1. Very nice photos. I think the B-17 is an F model and not an E model though. Could be wrong, of course. I like how the aircraft are displayed by suspension from the ceiling and all the natural light. Hope you enjoyed some red beans and rice while you were there!

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      1. Thanks Deano, clearly my error! Somehow I thought the Easy model was the last shark fin B-17 type but it must have been the Dog model (to use the phonetics of that era). Now I’m thinking of Andoullie sausage and some rice 🙂

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