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Taking Flight: Oklahomans Explore the Skies exhibit opens

March 1, 2023

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On Wednesday, March 1, the Oklahoma History Center will open a new exhibit Taking Flight: Oklahomans Explore the Skies featuring the first steps toward air travel, as well as the remarkable ways that Oklahomans contributed to all aspects of aviation.

In the Vose Atrium Gallery, a timeline of flight begins with a large-scale mural of a 1900s-period balloon created by artist Manuel Cruz III, which represents the dawn of exploration of the skies. This exhibit explores both military aviation and the development of commercial flight. Visitors will see a reproduction of the pressurized suit B. F. Goodrich Company developed for Wiley Post, learn the history of airplane nose art, and view items used by US pilots.

The exhibit provides a wonderful introduction to Launch to Landing: Oklahomans and Space, located in the nearby Gaylord Special Exhibit Gallery, which has as its centerpiece the Skylab 4 Apollo Command Module (CM-118) on loan from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

A B-24 Liberator #42-40738 aircraft nicknamed “The Oklahoman.”
Members of the 389th bomb group 566th bomb squadron standing (left to right): S/Sgt. George “The Greek” Triantafillos, Tail Turret Gunner; S/Sgt. George B. “Doc” Farrell, Radio Operator; T/Sgt. C. Lowell Vick, Flight Engineer/Top Turret Gunner; S/Sgt. Wiley C. Windham, Right Waist Gunner; S/Sgt. Bernard H. Shelley, Ball Turret Gunner; S/Sgt. William L. Wilhelm, Left Waist Gunner; Lt. Walter J. “Stabo” Stabrowski, Navigator; Lt. Elden N. “Neil” Colby, Co-Pilot (shortly after this photo, Neil got his own crew and was shot down in late December 1943. He spent the remainder of the war as a POW); Lt. John C. “Jack” Martin, Pilot; Lt. Robert C. “Bob” Schroeder, Bombardier, (Image 15320, American Air Museum in Britain).


March 1, 2023
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Oklahoma History Center
800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive Oklahoma City, OK 73105