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Museums and Collections Topics related to WWI aviation museums and collections

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Old 25 April 2007, 11:09 PM   #1
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National WWI Museum

Has anyone been to the national WWI museum in Kansas City, Missouri?
The whole museum is full of various WWI memorabilia--from French, British, and German weapons, mortars, grenages, propaganda, trenches, medical equipment, badges, etc. Additionally, one wing of the museum is dedicated to American soldiers and all their various equipment and supplies. There is even a section devoted enitrely to WWI era songs, poems, and literature. But was anyone else dissapointed in the dedication to WWI aircraft? There was one wall inadequately dedicated to the aces of various countries and only two aircraft were displayed, including a virtually hidden Fokker D.VII. It just seems sad that so much was dedicated to so many aspects of the war except aviation. Any thoughts?
Old 26 April 2007, 06:55 PM   #2
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I've never been there, but I'd like to go. From everything I've read, including your review, it sounds like it's worth the trip.

Do you have any photos?

Drew Ames

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Old 26 April 2007, 07:15 PM   #3
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Do you have any other details on the DVII and other aircraft? Real, replica, replica with correct engine?
Edward P. Soye
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Old 27 April 2007, 10:17 PM   #4
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Excuse me, but it has been a year since I've been, but it was a spur of the moment and I did not get a chance to take any pictures

And regards to the aircraft, there were only 3. They all seemed to be replica's made just for the museum. In addition to the D.VII, there was an American aircraft in the American wing with Lafayette Escadrille insignia (in what looked like a Nieuport 17, but I can't be sure), and also a British "pusher" plane that was from the '20s, but never flew in the war. Also, the D.VII was in the theater with low lighting, so I never got a chance to see if all the aircraft had the correct engine, but I imagine that they had smilar recreations.

The museum boasts a collection second to the Imperial War Museum in London, and it is definitely checking out. However, everything is in a compact area, and it is totally possible to look at everything in a few hours. It is a great museum and if anyone is in the area, it is worth seeing. However, do not expect to see any exquisite WWI memorabilia, as this exhibit is dissapointing compared to the rest of the exhibits.
Old 1 May 2007, 07:48 PM   #5
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I was Lucky Enough

Dear Knutsak, I was lucky enough to be present at the Memorial's rededication ceremony back in 2002. There were delegations and dignitaries there from all of the Allied nations. Ginger you'd be happy to know that there wasn't a Hun lover in sight that day.

It was truly an impressive and emotional ceremony. Thinking about my Uncle Bill, the doughboy who was gassed in 1918 and died back in 1958, I wept. For personal and sentimental reasons, I brought the old German coal scuttle helmet that Uncle Bill brought home as a souvenir back in 1918 to the ceremony. I thought it fitting and think that he would have liked that gesture. Bill always said that he brought two souvenirs home from the war, the helmet and his rear end but, not exactly in those terms.

Was the Fokker D-VII on display all white? If so, it was the same replica that was present at the ceremony in 2002.

Yes go see it guys if you get the chance while visiting KC. Also the Arabia Steamship Museum not too far away in an amazing place to tour. VR, Scott

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Old 6 May 2007, 06:16 AM   #6
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Just visited National Museum last weekend

No need to restate what has been said in previous posting - it's a wonderful museum. I went to high school in KC and used to visit the museum in 1967-70and it was poorly lit, typed descriptions were either wrong and merely read "German helmet". As to the lack of aircraft or WWI aviation coverage I agree they focued on the ground war. Tanks aren't covered all that well either but I only had two hours and could have missed something. Next time will plan to spend a day. Impressive collection and well described.
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Old 28 June 2007, 10:55 PM   #7
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Sorry if it seemed like I did not appreciate the museum, but quite the contrary. I thought the museum was both wonderful in its vast collection and its aim at trying to divulge the emotional effect of the war (like the field of poppies, each representing 1,000 deaths). I believe it is totally worthwhile to see, as it boasts the second largest WWI collection behind Britain's Imperial War Museum (quite impressive indeed!). Another huge plus is that the price of admission allows for 3 whole days (consecutive, non-consecutive...3 days anytime you'd like!) to view the whole museum!

Roadhog- I respect you for your act of remembrance for your uncle...though I'm sure the ceremony would have been quite different had you brought his rear end! And to answer your question, no, the D.VII was red...

It's a brilliant museum though, and I encourage everyone to take the time to enjoy it.
Old 29 June 2007, 04:25 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by knutsak View Post
Has anyone been to the national WWI museum in Kansas City, Missouri?
But was anyone else dissapointed in the dedication to WWI aircraft? There was one wall inadequately dedicated to the aces of various countries and only two aircraft were displayed, including a virtually hidden Fokker D.VII. It just seems sad that so much was dedicated to so many aspects of the war except aviation. Any thoughts?

I was at the Memorial last year in August and the section for aviation was under renovation. I believe the aviation section is still a work in progress. You are right. It is a wonderful museum and is definitely underrated. Also my understanding is that the Memorial/museum foundation is making strides, such as bringing in new artifacts, in order to make it a first class WW1 historical venue.

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Old 29 June 2007, 07:34 AM   #9
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The real work of WWI aviation was reconnaissance and artillery spotting!

I need to go across the state and see the museum.

What I would like to see in a museum is a display on the work of reconnaissance aerial photography and artillery spotting and how these activities affected the war. By removing the element of surprise and directing fire, aviation did a lot to further the stalemate. Question to also consider: To what degree did the numerical superiority of allied aircraft in the latter half of 1918 lead to the final push?
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Old 29 June 2007, 06:45 PM   #10
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The three aircraft are modern replicas. I made my first visit there about 2 weeks ago. This is a WWI memorial built in the 1920s. The museum is new, it just opened last year. They have some rare stuff, but mostly its allied and not so much German artifacts. The opening movie (the first visit of a display at the museum) is the best explanation to why WWI started that I have ever seen!
It has a great view of downtown too. Its located very high up on a hill. The entrance to the museum (underground) is below the tower (dark brass doors)

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