TOUR AMERICA 2019: FLORIDA PANHANDLE

Home Is Where We Park It:  Blackwater River State Park

Date:  May 8, 2019

National Naval Aviation Museum – Cubi Bay Cafe

Another day of sightseeing and discovery was in order for us today.  We had already spent one day at the National Naval Aviation Museum but had not even gotten through one fourth of building one.  Then there was building two!  It clearly was going to take a few days to see it all.  Thankfully, we have the time.  And the desire to see it all.

At a glance the museum has 35,000 square feet of exhibit space set on 37 acres.  It contains over 150 historic aircraft.  Along with them are an array of exhibits containing a priceless collection of memorabilia and art work that documents signature events in Naval Aviation history.  It is one of the largest aviation museums in the world.

Let’s get going.  It all begins here with a full ID check.

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This gives you access to the museum but not the full base itself.  Once in this is what we are looking for.

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We’re at the front door.

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One of the first exhibits that grabs your attention as you walk in is the Blue Angels Atrium.

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Then this.

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Then these banners on the wall.

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Ready to go exploring?  Wait, we’re first going to take you to a truly unique place to eat.  It, in it’s own right, is a museum exhibit.  It is called the

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The Cafe’s decor and layout duplicates the bar area of the famous Cubi Point Officers’ Club that was a major source of enjoyment for Navy and Marine Corps squadrons, ships and units as they passed into the Western Pacific.

For nearly 40 years, the Naval Air Station Cubi Point Officers’ Club, in the Republic of the Philippines, was a marvelous mix of American efficiency and Filipino hospitality. The club was especially famous for its Plaque Bar, where transiting squadrons retired old plaques and commissioned new ones to commemorate each Western Pacific tour. The tradition of placing plaques in the O’ Club bar was started during the Vietnam Conflict and endured until the closing of the base in 1992.

When the original officers’ club was closed in 1992, the thousands of plaques that adorned the walls of the club as tokens of thanks were packed up and sent to the Museum to be placed as they were when the Cubi Club was closed. That is, some of them are on the wall.  There are still over five hundred in storage because there is no room for them in the current cafe due to its size.

Without further ado here is a little bit of what is on the walls today.  As you view them see if you can spot some of the following:  The Skinny
Dragons; The Swordsmen; Fighting Red Griffins; The Fighting Redcocks; The Bengals; First Fleet Hornets; Black Sheep; The Rat Pack; The Knight Riders; The Indians; ; Free Lancers; Black Lions; Nighthawks; Black Knights; Fighting Vigilantes; Moonlighters; Can Do Indians; Crusaders. 

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So how many did you find?  I believe you’ll  agree with me that this is a really unique and fascinating place for lunch.  An added bonus is the food is good and the prices reasonable. Now how about that!

What about the museum itself?  Here are a few pictures that will give you an idea of what is on the main floor in just one section.

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We’ve got a lot to see, lots to learn, and lot’s of exciting discoveries waiting for us.  Stay tuned and we’ll bring it all to you in coming blogs.

That brings us to the end of our day on The Road of Retirement.  The last two days have been a whirlwind of sight-seeing.  With lots more to come.  We’ll be moving on Friday but we’ll still be in striking distance of the museum so we’ll be going back for another day or two.  In addition to finishing up the museum we also have a lighthouse and two historical forts to visit.  Tomorrow we’re going to scope out some more local attractions.  No idea of what we’ll find but we’ll let you know when we get back.

Thanks again for joining us, have a good night and we’ll catch up with you tomorrow.

These are the voyages of  Graybeard and it’s occupants, four paws and two humans.  Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have not been before

See you on down the road

One thought on “TOUR AMERICA 2019: FLORIDA PANHANDLE

  1. Wow, looks like a great museum. Brought back memories of the National Museum of the Air Force at Wright-Patterson. So glad there are people that preserve these items. Great blog with great pictures.

    Like

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