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Home Places to Visit Museums National WWII Museum in New Orleans Opens $35 Million Freedom Pavilion

National WWII Museum

National WWII Museum in New Orleans Opens $35 Million Freedom Pavilion

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The US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center, telling the story of a nation mobilized for war, is now open at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, La.

The thrusting glass and steel exhibit space holds a tribute to WWII Medal of Honor recipients and displays huge macro artifacts including a B-17E Flying Fortress - the massive bomber was part of America's "Arsenal of Democracy" that won the war. It now joins one of the world's finest collections of WWII artifacts.

wwii_new_wingOther artifacts inside the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center include the "big guns" of American military might, consisting of restored aircraft such as a B-25J Mitchell, SBD-3 Dauntless, TBM Avenger, P-51D Mustang, Corsair F4U-4 and an interactive submarine experience based on the final mission of the USS Tang.

Visitors will man authentic positions and perform the battle actions of actual crewmembers as the Tang engages the Japanese forces in a recreation of the doomed sub's final war patrol battle.

The USS Tang, launched in 1943, was America's most successful submarine during World War II. Roaming the Pacific she sank 33 Japanese ships. In 1944 she was sunk during her last engagement by a circular run of her final torpedo. Only nine men escaped. They were captured by the Japanese and sent to a prison camp. Seventy-eight others died.

This educational and interactive exhibit, Final Mission: The USS Tang Submarine Experience, honors their memory. Exhibits in the new pavilion make full use of the newest digital technologies for a thrilling journey into the heart of the war experience.

"We are the nation's WWII museum," President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Gordon H. "Nick" Mueller said. "And with Sunday's public opening of the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center, we'll have even more compelling artifacts to display to our community, our visitors and the world. This is an exciting and emotional day."

The $35 million building officially opened Jan. 13, 2013, and is the next milestone in its museum's $325 million expansion plans.

Funds for the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center came from a $20 million Congressional grant through the United States Department of Defense and $15 million gift from The Boeing Company.

The gift from Boeing, which built the B-17, represents the largest private contribution the Museum has received to date. Funding for individual exhibits and artifact restoration were provided by other generous donors including Madlyn and Paul Hilliard, the Goldring Family Foundation & The Woldenberg Foundation, Pratt & Whitney, Martin Granoff, the Ricketts family, the Ready family, Capital One and Whitney Bank.

The museum opened the new pavilion even as another, the $33 million Campaigns of Courage: European & Pacific Theaters, rises nearby - scheduled to open in 2014. The last major building, The Liberation Pavilion (scheduled opening in 2016), will focus on the war's closing months and the immediate post-war years and contain an expansive special exhibits gallery.

A proposed hotel and conference center as well as a parking structure, if built, will finish out the expansion. Upon completion, the museum will directly sustain more than 400 jobs and generate $100 million each year in positive economic impact.


The National World War II Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world - why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today.

Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-day Museum and now designated by Congress as America's National World War II Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and the Home Front.

For more information, visit the Web site at
www.nationalww2museum.org or call (877) 813-3329

 
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