Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum

175 Bourne Ave, Pooler, GA 31322 (912) 748-8888

Mighty Eighth Foundation

Preparing for the Future Planned Giving – The Mighty Eighth Foundation

“I wish that I could do more.” We often hear this from the members and friends of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force. The truth is that doing more may be easier than you think through a planned gift to the Mighty Eighth Foundation. Gift planning is an art that combines financial, estate, and tax planning that will enable you to make gifts with significant impact and may provide tax and financial rewards. The Mighty Eighth Foundation is a separate 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization established to house the endowment for the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force. Our goal is to grow an endowment of $25,000,000 to secure the financial future of the Museum. Long after our veterans are gone, the Museum will continue on its mission to share their stories of courage and commitment with future generations. The endowment will fund the Museum's future programs and operations. Planning for the future will benefit your children and grandchildren and those organizations that you hold dear; helping you to share the values that have guided your life. Your estate gift to the Foundation will support the Museum long after you are gone. Your gift to the Mighty Eighth Foundation can also lessen the estate tax burden on your estate. There are many ways to remember the Mighty Eighth Foundation in your estate plan, and you may be surprised to discover how inexpensive most of these are to accomplish. Here are some options to consider:

1. Create a will naming the Mighty Eighth Foundation as a recipient of a bequest. The bequest would read: “I give (dollars) (a specific asset) or ( percent of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate) to the Mighty Eighth Foundation, Inc. located in Pooler, Georgia.”

2. Instruct your lawyer to prepare a simple, inexpensive codicil to your existing will, creating a bequest for the Mighty Eighth Foundation, Inc.

3. Amend an existing insurance policy to add the Mighty Eighth Foundation as the beneficiary.

4. Transfer ownership of a paid up policy to the Mighty Eighth Foundation and receive a charitable deduction.

5. You could also purchase a new life insurance policy for the Mighty Eighth Foundation's benefit.

6. Ask to amend your retirement plan to add the Mighty Eighth Foundation as a beneficiary of the policy.

7. Consider the Mighty Eighth Foundation's charitable gift annuity program. Besides providing attractive tax benefits, this easy-to-accomplish gift may reward you with higher annual income.

8. The Mighty Eighth Foundation could be named a beneficiary of a Charitable Remainder Trust.

A number of the gift arrangements are revocable and others cannot be changed once established. Some work better with cash and others with appreciated assets. There are many variations, enough so that a giving plan can be tailored to your needs, desires, and capabilities. Although we do not practice estate planning, we can help you start the process. For your protection, we urge you to check with your professional advisor(s) before completing any planned gift.

For more information about Charitable Gift Annuities and the Mighty Eighth Foundation, please contact Meghan Lowe, Director of Development at 912-748-8888 x165 or e-mail, or refer to our Ways to Give page.


Prelude to WWII

The Prelude to World War II exhibit chronicles post-World War I Germany, the conditions that allowed Adolph Hitler and his Nazi party to win the support of the German public, and his ambitions for Europe to be dominated by the Third Reich. Original uniforms and artifacts brought back by American soldiers after the war help bring this exhibit to life. The use of propaganda by all countries is also discussed as well as the essential role it played in swaying public opinion.

In August 1940, once Hitler and the Axis powers conquered the majority of Europe and Northern Africa, he turned his attention to the United Kingdom – which stood alone against the formidable German war machine. The Battle of Britain exhibit highlights the fortitude of the British people who were able to “Keep Calm and Carry On” under the leadership of Prime Minister Winston Churchill. A short film in our Battle of Britain Theater gives an overview of the importance of the Battle of Britain, how they were able to remain free, and why this accomplishment would have a direct impact on the United States.

While Germany was wreaking havoc in Europe and Africa, its ally Japan escalated its own campaign of conquest in the Pacific Theatre. The Day of Infamy exhibit examines the events surrounding the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, launching the United States into World War II. After the Germans and the Italians declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941, the U.S. and its allies must come up with a plan to win the war with fronts on opposite sides of the globe.

Mission Experience

Combat Gallery

Airman Down

Lights Come on Again

Honoring the 8th

Airmen Memorial

Modern 8th Air Force

More Heroes

Mini Rotunda

Colonial Group, Inc. Art Gallery

On the Ground

Masters of the Air

The Story of America's Bomber Boys

Masters of the Air is the deeply personal story of the American bomber boys in World War II who brought the war to Hitler's doorstep. With the narrative power of fiction, Donald Miller takes readers on a harrowing ride through the fire-filled skies over Berlin, Hanover, and Dresden and describes the terrible cost of bombing for the German people.

Fighting at 25,000 feet in thin, freezing air that no warriors had ever encountered before, bomber crews battled new kinds of assaults on body and mind. Air combat was deadly but intermittent: periods of inactivity and anxiety were followed by short bursts of fire and fear. Unlike infantrymen, bomber boys slept on clean sheets, drank beer in local pubs, and danced to the swing music of Glenn Miller's Air Force band, which toured U.S. air bases in England. But they had a much greater chance of dying than ground soldiers. In 1943, an American bomber crewman stood only a one-in-five chance of surviving his tour of duty, twenty-five missions. The Eighth Air Force lost more men in the war than the U.S. Marine Corps. Read the complete story. Purchase the Book

The bomber crews were an elite group of warriors who were a microcosm of America — white America, anyway. (African-Americans could not serve in the Eighth Air Force except in a support capacity.) The actor Jimmy Stewart was a bomber boy, and so was the “King of Hollywood,” Clark Gable. And the air war was filmed by Oscar-winning director William Wyler and covered by reporters like Andy Rooney and Walter Cronkite, all of whom flew combat missions with the men.

The Anglo-American bombing campaign against Nazi Germany was the longest military campaign of World War II, a war within a war. Until Allied soldiers crossed into Germany in the final months of the war, it was the only battle fought inside the German homeland.

Masters of the Air is a story, as well, of life in wartime England and in the German prison camps, where tens of thousands of airmen spent part of the war. It ends with a vivid description of the grisly hunger marches captured airmen were forced to make near the end of the war through the country their bombs destroyed.

Experience the History

Located only minutes from Downtown Savannah, where the Eighth Air Force was activated in 1942, the Museum features over 90,000 square feet of exhibits, interactive displays, historical artifacts and a magnificent collection of aviation art. See a visually realistic mission experience, a world renowned research Center and beautiful Memorial Garden. The World War II B-17 Flying Fortress, “City of Savannah,” is undergoing a complete restoration inside the Museum's Combat Gallery. Come be a part of history in the making!

We are pleased to be able to offer group tours of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force. These tours can be self-guided or guided by our incredible Museum Docents. If you choose for your group to tour self-guided (on your own), you will want to plan on a minimum of two hours. Guided tours are two hours in length. If you have limited time, just let us know and we will tailor a shorter tour for your needs.

All group tour adult admissions are $8.00 per guest ($5.00 per child) and we request a minimum of 10 guests for this group rate. All tours and packages need a 30 day minimum scheduling.

Group Tour Rates Adults = $ 8 Children = $ 5 Tour Package A $ 20
per guest

Lunch and Tour
Lunch available 11 am–2 pm

Enjoy the two hour Docent led tour of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force. Relax and enjoy a buffet luncheon from our in-house restaurant, Miss Sophie's Marketplace, either before or after your tour. Lunch includes: Green Salad with Rolls and Butter, Hot Entrée (Chef's Choice), Two Side Dishes, Beverage and Dessert

This package is available Monday – Friday (No guest minimum) and Saturdays and Sundays with a minimum requirement of 35 guests.

Tour Package B $ 25
per guest

Afternoon Tour and Dinner
Tour at 3 pm, Dinner at 5 pm

Begin a two hour Docent led tour of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force followed by a delicious hot Dinner Buffet by our in-house restaurant, Miss Sophie's Marketplace, to include: Green Salad with Rolls and Butter, Hot Entrée (Chef's Choice), Two Side Dishes, Beverage and Dessert.

This package is available 7 nights a week with a 35 person minimum.

Our B-17 Restoration Project

Mission Statement: “The B-17 Flying Fortress “City of Savannah” will be restored to its full combat configuration, including operational systems and components, with the goal of making it the finest static display B-17 in the world.”

The B-17G comes to us from the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC after a decade-long search for this rare heavy bomber. The aircraft, alongside the B-24 Liberator, was flown on combat missions to German targets between 1942-1945.

The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force is pleased to utilize this original airplane in our educational programs and in our mission to preserve and present the legacy of the courageous airmen and women who served in the 8th Air Force. This B-17 Flying Fortress is undergoing complete restoration and is on display now in our Combat gallery. Come, be a part of history in the making!

Restoration of the B-17 continues at a steady pace. You can be a part of the Museum's B-17 Restoration Project by contributing to its funding. The Museum appreciates all financial gifts, and for $100 or more you will receive a certificate of participation, suitable for framing, that recognizes your part in this historic Museum event. Please make all checks payable to “B-17 Project” and mail to the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, 175 Bourne Ave., Pooler, GA 31322. You can contribute online or contact Meghan Lowe at 912-988-1847, ext 101, to pay by credit card.

Chapel of the Fallen Eagles

The chapel was built in 2002 to reflect a Gothic English chapel and was funded through individual and group donations. The design is that of Ken Spriggs. Like all Gothic English chapels, our chapel has an east-west orientation with the front door facing west and the centerpiece window facing east.

The sanctuary has fourteen pews that came from Jones County, Pennsylvania and were crafted in the late nineteenth century. The railings, lectern and choir stalls are also vintage pieces found in antique shops in Tennessee and Georgia and were donated to the Museum.

The most impressive features of the Chapel are the stained glass windows. All the windows have been provided by Eighth Air Force veteran groups or family members. Jon Erickson is the artist and creator of the windows from the concepts presented to him by these groups. Aurora Glass studios of Savannah created all the windows.

The Chapel is available for weddings, memorial services and church services by special request.

Memorial Garden

Experience Our Garden

The Museum's Memorial Garden lies outside the rear of the museum to remember those who have served in the Eighth Air Force as well as those who love and respect them. The Memorial Garden pays tribute to those who served in the Eighth Air Force during WWII and subsequent conflicts, and who are being remembered by families, friends, aircrews and others. There are many beautiful memorials throughout the garden on both sides of the reflective pool. All the memorials in the Garden have been purchased by Eighth Air Force veterans or by their families.

To the South is a memorial to the 61 fatalities that included 38 five-year old children who perished on August 23, 1944, when a B-24 bomber crashed in a thunder storm into the Holy Trinity Church of England School in Freckleton, England.

To the North of the garden is the Chapel of the Fallen Eagles, a beautiful place to take your guests and allow them to sit while enjoying the stained glass windows.


Come in and Dine

The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force is home to a traditional English Pub. You can enjoy lunch there, Monday–Friday from 11 am–2 pm, with food prepared by our in-house restaurant, Miss Sophie's Marketplace.

Hours: Monday – Friday, 11 am – 2 pm

Also available for Special Events per the following schedule:

  • Monday – Thursday, $500
  • Friday $700
  • Saturday: Not available
  • Sunday $600

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