WWII Museum(2019)
New Orleans
January 2019

The main floor of the museum is impressive with hardware and large screen video
You board a "troop train" to the main exhibits and choose a military person to follow his journey in the conflict
Looking down on the main floor

Exhibits included explanations of hardware
and life on the homefront
This plane was significant in WWII
Years after the war, my aunt would tell me
"save the soap for the soldiers"
The reality of segregated America was also documented

The D-Day landings are a prominent exhibit
This is an original map of Utah Beach
D-Day - June 6, 1944

In April 2015 we walked all the Normandy beaches
Sword, Gold, Juno, Utah and Omaha
imagining the sacrifice of those who landed on
"The Longest Day"
A duplicate of this statue on Omaha Beach stands at
The National D-Day Memorial,
in our town - Bedford, Virginia

All theaters of war are documented in this amazing museum
The War in the Mediterranean was of special significance to me because of the 5 battle stars of
my Dad's ship the USS Philadelphia (my tribute website to the crew and their history)
which contains additional documents and artifacts of those battles

Quite a surprise to see that the documents featured in the exhibits were from the Philadelphia
("The Galloping Ghost of the Sicilian Coast" and "The Terror of the Tyrannean")
The crew has held reunions for the last 54 years. They are very proud of their ship and their service

The crew of the Philadelphia saved many artifacts from their time at war which are included on my website
The message below was in the memorabilia of a marine Don Passoth whose unit was part of the Philly crew.

The photo below was taken at Torgau, on the western front when American and Soviet soldiers joined up for the first time

At right is the monument to this historic event
We visited there in October 2015


The war in the Pacific continued after Germany's surrender.
The island by island campaign is well documented in the museum
as well as plans for the invasion of the Japanese islands and the aftermath.
The Philadelphia was not deployed to the Pacific, but was a front line observer to an historical event that ended the war.

In July 1945 the Philadelphia escorted President Truman
to the Potsdam Conference.

Photo from my Dad's album

He wrote in his diary that for some reason they are setting new speed records returning suddenly to the USA

Crewman Russell Simpson recorded in his memoirs

In a letter dated August 6, 1945 my Dad Frank Paukstis wrote:

"I guess they won't need me in the Pacific after all"

It is important to me to remember this time in history
When ordinary men left their ordinary lives to go off and save the world