The Swing Shift Shuffle is a radio program of swing, big band, jazz, boogie woogie and other popular music from the 1930's and 40's that airs every Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (US Central Time) on WEVL 89.9 FM in Memphis, Tennessee, with a live webcast at In addition to the radio show, this blog is dedicated to all aspects of the Swing Era, including art, automobiles, cartoons, comics, history, movies, music, news, science, technology, and anything else that happened during that time. It also includes announcements about events in the Memphis/Mid-South area related to the Swing Era, such as classic movies, concerts, dances, lectures, etc. If you see something that fits the description, send it to me at If you would like more information about the radio show, just go to the Radio Show FAQ page.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, Florida

We recently visited the National Naval Aviation Museum at the U.S. Navy base in Pensacola, Florida. It is an impressive facility, with over 150 aircraft on display, ranging from the early days of U.S. Navy aviation up to modern Blue Angels jets; and admission is FREE! We usually do not take guided museum tours, but for some reason, the wife suggested it, so we did. Our tour guide, whose name I believe was Wheeler, was a retired U.S.N. ordinance and flight crew member who served on the U.S.S. Enterprise - not the nuclear powered aircraft carrier currently in service (CVN-65); but the 1936 aircraft carrier U.S.S. Enterprise (CV-6) that fought the Battle of Midway in 1942, and went on to become the most decorated U.S. Naval vessel of World War II. He loaded bombs that sank the Japanese Imperial Navy aircraft carrier Hiryu, and served as a rear gunner on a SBD Dauntless dive bomber (above). This 89 year old man was a walking, talking piece of American history, who not only gave the expected information in his tour, but his personal recollections of life in the Navy during World War II, as well as a touching story about his meeting a former Japanese pilot from the Hiryu who visited the museum.

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