War Artifacts

War Artifacts

In our exhibit hall there are many display cases with artifacts in them from various wars and battles. Some of the artifacts include a WWI campaign hat, a Civil War parade drum, WWI medic supplies, and uniforms. There is also incredible documentation about two brothers, George Rodger and Ronald Ray Caplinger, who both fought in WWII. Read below to hear Sgt. George Rodger Caplinger's description of his service that was published in the Aero Products News Letter, in approximately May of 1943, and then be sure to come to the historical society to learn more about these brave brothers:

It's an interesting and fascinating life, that of being a tail-gunner on a four-engined airplane, according to Staff Sgt. George Caplinger, formerly an employee here, who joined the Air Corps last July. He is the son of William R. Caplinger of the Maintenance Department.

George's job now is on a B-24 Liberator, and he is stationed at Lowry Field, Denver. He received his gunner's wings last December, and during training he was stationed at Patterson Field, then in Harlingen, Texas, Salt Lake City, Tuscon, Ariz., El Paso, Texas, and Denver.

George is very fond of his job, and says he wouldn't trade it for anything in the Army, except being a pilot. When he gets into the huge bomber with the rest of the crew, he walks back through the fuselage to a separate compartment which is his "office." He closes a heavy door which shuts him off from all the rest of the crew.

He continues, "It's really comfortable back there. My chair has a sponge seat and sponge back and arms just like any easy chair. The stick I fire my guns with is right in front of me, and I control both guns at the same time.

"It's plenty noisy back there. I can here the engines just like anyone else in the plane and the wind makes a lot of racket, too. In fact, I can hardly hear the guns when they're firing. The only trouble with my spot is it's awfully rough. It bobs and weaves around all the time. Lucky for me I don't get airsick.

"We have a very young crew and boy, we have lots of fun. Yeah, that's true about a bomber crew all becoming attached to one another like a bunch of brothers. We're always working together, trying to out-perform any other outfit in our flight. Our pilot, a lieutenant from Kentucky, is twenty-three years old. The co-pilot is twenty-one. Our navigator is twenty-three and I'm twenty-two. I don't know all the other boys' ages but I do know our engineer is the oldest man. He's thirty."