After Roosevelt died in 1945, then Vice President Harry S. Truman became President. Aboard the Sacred Cow, President Truman signed the document that created a separate United States Air Force. He replaced the Sacred Cow with a modified C-118 Liftmaster named the "Independence," which was christened on July 4, 1947. Presidential pilot Lieutenant Colonel Henry Myers, who also flew the Sacred Cow coined the name Independence to represent patriotism and the name of President Truman's hometown in Missouri.
The U-4B was the smallest Air Force One and the first presidential airplane to have only two engines. It also was the first to carry the blue and white paint scheme. President Dwight D. Eisenhower used it from 1956 to 1960 for short trips.
Probably the best-known Presidential aircraft is SAM (Special Air Mission) 26000, which carried Presidents from John F. Kennedy to Bill Clinton. This US Air Force Boeing VC-137C was the first jet made specifically for use by the President of the United States.
President Kennedy flew aboard this SAM 26000 to Dallas, Texas, where he was assassinated, and it was on this airplane where President Johnson was sworn in as the president.
The crew did not want President Kennedy's body to be flown back to Washington in the cargo hold. So, a wall was cut and removed so the casket could be placed in the rear cabin. Two rows of seats were removed and the President's casket was placed there. Mrs. Kennedy sat in a seat opposite the casket.
This communication facility enabled the president or other officials to remain in contact with Washington, DC, or any other part of the world. It was amazing to see how the technology has evolved over the years.
Visitors are allowed to walk through the presidential aircraft. Plexi-glass was installed by the Museum to protect the inside of the airplanes, which leaves only 17" where one can walk.
As we left the National Museum of the United States Air Force, we were both proud of our service to the Air Force. It will be something we will carry with us forever. It took a lot of time, effort and devotion to plan, organize and develop such a contribution, not only to the Air Force, but to men and women everywhere who have served this great country we live in -- the United States of America.
There is so much more to see than I have depicted here. Our prayer is that you will read this blog and be inspired to take a trip to Dayton, OH, to see this Museum for yourself.
Again, as we celebrate the 4th of July this week, may we continue to remember those who have served and are serving to protect this great nation. Take a minute this 4th of July to thank a vet.
As we leave OH, may God continue to bless our voyage and our family and friends, wherever they may be.
Don't forget to check back to see where we go next.