If you are a regular reader then you know that like a migratory bird I am taking a sojourn in warmer climes while the Wellington winter blows itself out. And what warmer climes. The average temperature so far on our trek across the USA has been 35 degrees Celsius (is America the only country in the world that uses Imperial measurements - perhaps some sort of longing for their colonial overlords). We've been to Houston, New Orleans and Boston, and I'm currently flying to San Francisco before home (I hear SF has a more realistic 20 degrees on offer).
Last week we visited the National WWII Museum in New Orleans and what a great experience it was. The conflict is handled in an informative and tasteful way - not too much "USA - Back-to-Back World War Champions". At the ticket office you are offered the chance to buy tickets to a 45 minute film "Beyond All Boundaries" produced and narrated by Tom Hanks. Make sure you do. It is a great presentation and puts the rest of the museum in context (don't worry about the "Last Mission of the USS Tang").
The two best exhibits are the two campaign exhibits - one on the Pacific War and one on the European Conflict. In the latter there is little mention of the Soviet Union apart from their death toll.
The P-51 Mustang that was billed as the "best fighter plane in WWII".....though it is mentioned it was crap until refitted with Rolls Royce engines.
B-24 Bomber that undertook the daytime bombing of Germany from UK Air Force bases.
The US Army's workhorse Sherman tank. I wouldn't have fancied sitting in one of these as throughout the war it was significantly outgunned by the German armour. Yes quantity has its own quality but not necessarily if you are one of the "quantity".
The one that ended it all. It was one of these planes that dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Ngasaki forcing the Japanese surrender. If you were in any doubt as to the validity of the action, the footage of IWork Jima, Okinawa and Japanese response to Tokyo firebombing may change that view. Thankfully it has never had to be used again.
The Museum is in downtown New Orleans and is a little at odds with the city's other attractions. If you are a local who hasn't visited or a visitor passing through the city I'd urge you to check it out. We spent a full day there.