Presentation on theme: "Women Depicted in U.S. Air Force World War II Artifacts"— Presentation transcript:
1 Women Depicted in U.S. Air Force World War II Artifacts National Museum of the United States Air ForceWright-Patterson AFB, OhioAnne ProescholdtLuther College Concert Band TourOctober 2010
2 Mrs. Aldaflak Bomber Jacket Note the play on words, Mrs. Aldaflak’s bare buttocks, and the number of bombs dropped by this person (or squadron).
3 Mrs. Aldaflak Bomber Jacket Description Note that jacket artwork was done by squadron members.
4 Queen of Hearts Insignia Note full nudity and sexual pose. The insignia was painted on both bomb squadron jackets and aircraft.
5 The Knockout Drops Bomber Jacket Note the play on words, the naked woman in the wineglass, and that the drops of wine turn into bombs.
6 The Knockout Drops Bomber Jacket Description Note that this description refers to the artwork as “appropriate” for the nickname of the squadron.
7 Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) This was one of the artifacts “honoring” women’s service in the U.S. Air Force during World War II.
8 Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) This was one of the artifacts “honoring” women’s service in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. Note the name of their aircraft.
9 Strawberry Bitch Bomber Note that the name of this aircraft says it all…
10 Strawberry Bitch Bomber …but that pictures are louder than words (this is the opposite side of the aircraft).
11 Shoo Shoo Shoo BABY Bomber Is this aircraft teasing us with a jazz ballad and a topless woman?!
12 Moon Light Serenade Aircraft “Moonlight Serenade” was a popular song composed by jazz legend Glenn Miller in Miller was a renowned trombonist and led his own jazz band, The Glenn Miller Orchestra. He joined the war effort in 1942 and formed and directed the U.S. Army Air Force Band.
13 Bockscar BomberThis aircraft dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.
14 Bockscar Bomber Description The Bockscar dropped the “Fat Man” on Nagasaki, Japan.
15 Little Boy Atomic BombThis is the (demilitarized and repaired) atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.
16 Little Boy Atomic Bomb Description The “Little Boy” was the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.
17 Remembering What War Does: A Plea for Peace Peace Memorial ParkHiroshima, JapanAnne ProescholdtLuther College Concert Band TourJune 2010
18 Atomic Bomb DomeJust one of the countless horrific consequences of the “Little Boy.”
19 Children’s Peace Monument This statue, based on the true story of Sadako Sasaki, is dedicated to the forgotten victims of war: children.
20 Memorial CenotaphThe cenotaph contains the names of those who were killed by the “Little Boy.” Note the Atomic Bomb Dome in the background.
21 Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum The museum contains an overwhelming amount of memorabilia and pictures of the bombing and its effects. It stands as a memorial, educational institution, and plea for peace and the destruction of all nuclear bombs.
22 Author’s StatementThe objectification of women has plagued the world for centuries, but I was dumbfounded to find the explicitly demeaning artifacts I found in the National Museum of the United States Air Force’s World War II wing. If ever there was a way to quite literally turn women into objects! And objects of killing, no less! (Especially when it was primarily men who organized and carried on with it!) My disgust only increased as I gawked at the puny exhibit in tribute to the women of the U.S. Air Force in World War II. I was more or less livid by the end of my visit at the museum, as I did not find even a placard attempting to explain in an “historical and educational manner” the offensive images of the past—let alone apologizing and outlining the steps that the U.S. Air Force has since taken to advance the status of women. Perhaps I did not look hard enough—but the very fact that no admission of any wrongdoing garnered a feature in the first place speaks volumes.In fact, few consequences of war beyond U.S. victory were memorialized in the World War II wing. Talk about a contrast when put up against the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum!After having visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial just a few months prior, I found it extremely difficult to stand before the Bockscar, the aircraft which dropped the bomb on Nagasaki. As creepy as it was to stand in the Bockscar’s presence, I made myself spend at least ten minutes inspecting it from every angle—as if trying to find a sign of at least a little American guilt hidden under a wing or inside of the cockpit. Later, I mentioned my discomfort to a fellow band member. He responded in the same way that the National Museum of the United States Air Force exhibit had: "But it ended the war, Anne! That was a good thing!" Sure. But, I still do not understand why so many innocent people had to die in order to do so. I doubt that anyone wants to die of a nuclear attack, but I certainly would not want to survive long enough afterward to live out my resulting nightmares, as the survivors of Hiroshima did. To this day, I cannot shake from my mind the mental image of an exhibit in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum depicting wailing children made of wax, surrounded by rubble, their clothes in tatters, flesh literally dripping off of their bodies. If ever the United States is attacked with a nuclear warhead, I will run toward the bomb. I am convinced that it is better to vaporize instantly than to melt a slow and painful death.My Japanese home stay families are far from villainous. They are some of the kindest people I have ever met. People are people everywhere you go in the world. What choice do we have but to treat each other as such?!