On January 28, 1942, fifty-three days after the infamous attack
on Pearl Harbor, the 8th Air Force was officially activated
in the National Guard Armory on Bull Street in Savannah, Georgia.
1983, Major General Lewis E. Lyle, USAF Retired, a B-17 veteran
of 70 combat missions during World War II, and with the help
of other veterans, began planning a museum. The Museum would
honor the men and women who helped defeat Nazi aggression
by serving in or supporting the greatest air armada the world
had ever seen—the 8th Air Force. These individuals pledged
themselves to honor the courage and commitment of more than
350,000 members of the 8th Air Force. Of this number, 26,000
were killed in action and 28,000 became prisoners of war during
World War II.
planners traveled throughout the United States and Europe,
visiting museums and talking with staff from these institutions.
The very best elements found among these facilities were then
combined to create a dramatic 90,000-square foot museum complex.
14, 1996, to the applause of 5,000 8th Air Force veterans,
their families, dignitaries, and supporters, the vision became
a reality with the dedication of The Mighty Eighth Air Force
Museum in Pooler, Georgia, just west of Savannah.