Brave Men And Planes

Have you ever seen the movie, “Always”?  It stars Richard Dreyfuss, and, honestly, it ranks right up there in my Favorite Movies List.  Hey, it’s also got John Goodman for laughs and Audrey Hepburn for class… you might want to find it some rainy day!

The story is about wild land firefighters… the aerial guys who fly the big old World War II tankers as slurry bombers.  Back in the day… the real life guys who defined that role was Hawkins And Powers out of Greybull, Wyoming.  Those old orange tailed bombers flew everywhere.  They closed up shop in 2005, but a few of the old girls are parked along a fence with a tiny museum, opening in a few weeks for the summer season.  Since it’s right next to the rest stop on our way to Cody or Billings… we always stop!

All the planes away from the fence aren’t available for public viewing… and there are many!

But the ones up close are Super Cool!

Beech 18, I believe.

Privateer.

Neptune.

Check out the Museum of Flight and Aerial Firefighting, and RuudLeeuw.com for some great photos of the planes off in the distance in the boneyard.  If you’re into history, firefighting, airplanes, or brave men… this is the place for you!


Comments

Brave Men And Planes — 8 Comments

  1. Gonna have to look up “Always” — some of my faves and I love Audrey Hepburn.
    Wish I’d known about this place when we were in Wyoming a few years ago.
    Living in So Cal I really am impressed with the planes that help fight the fires. Thanks Carol.

  2. I definitely want to see this spot someday. The pictures are wonderful, and thanks to Bert (one of your readers) I learned a lot! Thanks.

  3. Been There, Done That..! One of the last times my dad and I did anything together was back in the late 90’s. I had a deer tag and a place to hunt over East of Sheridan. He flew from Hawaii to Portland and we drove to Sheridan on the Northern Route through Montana. Coming home we took the road out of Ranchester, through the Big Horns turned left @ Burgess Junction through Shell (where I want to live before I die) to Greybull. We spent all afternoon at that museum, there was a lot more than just the airplanes, and we had the Grandest Time…

    For the record, the big bird officially is a PB4Y-2 Privateer, the Navy’s long distance patrol and cargo version of the B24 bomber. Main difference was the single vertical stabilizer vs the twin tailed B24. They actually saw service until the early 60’s. My dad finally had a lot to say about them and the time he spent in them because he spent the 2nd half of WWII in the Pacific.

    The little twin engine is a Beechcraft B-18, mostly used as the first multi-engine trainer for the guys who’d fly all the 4 engine birds. Was probably used as a spotter by the fire fighters.

    There were also a bunch of KC97’s w/ that big ‘greenhouse’ front end out in the ‘back 40’. We asked if we could go out and wander around… “Nope, too many Rattlers”… True or not we stayed put.

    Parts scarcity and maintenance costs, speed and carrying capacity of the airplanes themselves and more reliable turbojet engines pretty well doomed the WWII birds. If you want to see what these guys paved the way for do a search on the Global Supertanker… It’s AWESOME..!

    Thanks for the memories Carol, of that afternoon in Greybull with my dad.

  4. I’m jealous! I love air tankers and the job they do. What a great little piece of history, and museum!

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