PENSACOLA, Fla. – (April 14, 2015) – “Year of Victory: 1945,” a new exhibit that opened April 6, 2015 at the National Naval Aviation Museum overseas by servicemen. Western Union telegrams tells the story of the final year of World War II one indelibly etched into the nation’s collective memory with famous images of the flag-raising atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima and a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. “Seven decades after it ended, World War II re- mains a period in history that is of great interest to our visitors,” commented Museum Historian Hill Goodspeed. “The fact that it was fought on such a grand scale means that most everyone has some connection to it.” Entering the exhibit, which is located in the entrance to the museum’s Emil Buehler Naval Aviation Library, visitors are greeted by large photographs of the celebrations that occurred when news of victory both in Eu- rope and Japan reached those on the home front. A towering display case contrasts two flags with ties to the war’s end, one the Stars and Stripes flown by the aircraft carrier Lexington (CV 16) when she steamed into Tokyo Bay and another Japanese flag pulled from the bay’s waters by a sailor serving as a crewman on a fleet tugboat. Goodspeed indicated that in selecting artifacts the museum staff “wanted to bring those final months of the war home in a very personal way.”A Marine’s sea bag, its canvas noting the ships to which its owner was assigned and the battles in which he served, points to the months spent overseas by servicemen. Western Union telegrams announcing a sailor’s death in the sinking of the cruiser Indianapolis (CA 35) after the ship delivered components for the atomic bombs to the island of Tinian, points to the sacrifices of service. About the National Naval Aviation Museum The National Naval Aviation Mu- seum features nearly 350,000 square feet of displays and is one of the world’s largest aviation museums. Located aboard Pensacola Naval Air Station, the facility boasts more than 150 beautifully restored aircraft representing Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard aviation, and is Florida’s most-visited museum. Be sure to visit the Museum’s new expansion, Hangar Bay One, displaying aircraft of the post- WWII era including Marine One presidential helicopter and Apollo 17 Lunar Module replica. Among the countless things to touch, see and experience are thrilling 3D MaxFlight simulators and a variety of special exhibits, as well as the drama and power of amazing IMAX® films. The Cubi Bar Café offers a unique dining experience, and the Flight Deck Store is the perfect place to find a memento of the spirit of Naval Aviation. Museum admission is free. The National Naval Aviation Museum is open daily from 9 a.m.–5 p.m., except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. For more information, visit www.NavalAviationMuseum.org.
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