The National WWII Museum welcomed its newest artifact Monday morning.
Spectators were treated to a show as cranes hoisted the P-40 Warhawk fighter plane to its new home. During the early 40s these aircrafts were the third most produced in our country, today only 32 remain.
“It was made very famous by a great Louisiana hero General Claire Chennault. He’s another one of these forgotten heroes” Dr. Nick Mueller, President and CEO The National WWII Museum explains.
Chennault’s granddaughter was on hand to see this plane make its taxi and recall some of its victories.
“On December 20th of 1941 they actually scored their very first victory, and they, like I said, what that meant for the Chinese people when they saw that, the Japanese could be defeated. It really turned the war for them,” Nell Calloway said.
“There are no parts for them and if you do find some old parts for them, they are usually in pieces or corroded, Rolando Gutierrez Chief Engineer, Flyboys Areoworks explains, It took 19,000 man hours, two and a half tons of sheet metal aluminum.”
The fighting tiger on the plane has a connection with the country’s most famous cartoon mouse.
“The art work was designed by Disney as part of the war effort during WWII The flying tiger was his design. Gutierrez said.
The P-40 Warhawk will be part of the Campaigns of Courage Exhibit is set to open next year.