A range of watercraft, aircraft and other items are available for viewing.
Some of the highlights
Douglas Aircraft C-47A
This twin-engine 1943 Douglas Aircraft product, the military version of the DC-3, is thought to have been used by the United States Army Air Force in the World War II invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. It is painted in camouflage with invasion stripes (the stripes were placed on Allied aircraft used on D-Day to identify them so that they would not be subject to friendly fire). This type of aircraft was nicknamed “Gooney Bird” by troops serving in the South Pacific after a bird found on Midway Island which presents an awkward appearance when trying to take off or land. The C-47A proved both agile and dependable, however. After its war service, this particular plane was used in commercial passenger service in Nevada until it was reacquired by the military for use by the 131st Tactical Fighter Group of the Missouri Air National Guard. The National Guard used “Old 635” for 22 years, until its retirement in 1972, to support its annual summer encampment, as well as on cargo and emergency medical missions, taking advantage of its ability to land and take off on comparatively short fields. The aircraft hosted many notables in its career. According to a National Guard account published when the plane was brought to NMOT, “The late president, Harry S. Truman, several Missouri congressmen, numerous governors and other elected officials have all enjoyed flights on the ‘Gooney’ over the years of her service.” It is currently on loan to NMOT from the U.S. Air Force Museum.
HT Potts Tugboat
HT Potts tugboat, first tug to have an all-steel welded hull. You can walk the decks of the “H.T. Pott,” the first Missouri River towboat with a welded steel hull instead of a riveted hull. The vessel, built in 1933, operated out of Kansas City, MO. It is named for Herman T. Pott (1895-1982), a distinguished river transportation executive and entrepreneur. It was built by his St. Louis Shipyard & Steel Co., which had operated under several names since the Civil War. Because the groups of barges that are moved on the nation’s rivers are called “tows,” the boats that propel them are “towboats,” even though they push the barges from the back instead of pulling them. The “H.T. Pott” is 58 feet long and 15 feet wide, and it has a “draft” (the amount of the hull below the water line) of six feet. It was built with a 140-horsepower Fairbanks-Morse diesel engine, since replaced with a 260-horsepower GM diesel. It was last used by the Massman-Peterman Construction Company and was donated by Robert A. Latta in 1986. How did it arrive at the landlocked Museum? Its hull was brought in by truck, after which its engine was reinstalled and a replica deckhouse built. Mrs. Pott rededicated it in memory of her husband in 1989.
Fifth Avenue (New York) Coach Co. Bus #1234
T-33 US Air Force trainer
Lockheed T-33 US Air Force training aircraft.
West Barretts Tunnel
On March 2, 1935, the Missouri Pacific’s Scenic Limited, en route to Denver and the West Coast, emerges from the west end of West Barretts Tunnel, now part of the National Museum of Transportation site.