|Robert B. Pamplin Jr|
Colonel Morgan's flight jacket takes center stage in the collection's war-time additions. Worn by Morgan, the jacket is a piece from the story of The Memphis Belle, one of the first and few Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses to fly 25 combat missions over France and Germany, with her crew intact. The Memphis Belle flew 148 hours, dropped more than 60 tons of bombs and had every major part of the plane replaced at least once. Two films were made about The Memphis Belle and its heroic crew.
"When speaking of historical preservation, one often thinks of buildings and landmarks, which Dr. Pamplin also holds, but he takes his passion for historical conservation a step further," said Chet Orloff, Pamplin Collection manager. "Unlike many top art collectors, Dr. Pamplin views his collection through a historical lens as well, and selects each piece personally, with the mindset of adding pieces that are historically important and tell a more personal story."
Additional WWII memorabilia anticipated for release and available online at www.pamplincollection.org in the winter of 2015 include:
- Memphis Belle nose painting: A rendering of the original nose painting for The Memphis Belle.
- Memphis Belle crew photograph: The original photograph shows the crew, under Colonel Morgan, at their base in England.
- Wanted poster: A poster offering a reward for the arrest of members of the Czech resistance who assassinated General Reinhard Heydrich. Heydrich, head of the Nazi police in Bohemia and Moravia and chairman of the 1942 Wannsee Conference, architected the "The Final Solution," Hitler's plan to destroy European Jews.
- Concentration camp prisoner's uniform: The uniform belonged to Sister Voysik Maryi, who was working for the Jehovah's Witness program in Vilna, Poland.
- Photographs of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in North Africa and of Adolph Hitler and Rudolph Hess.
One of the country's top collections by value, the Pamplin International Collection of Art and History contains more than 100,000 historically significant pieces. The collection features Civil War, Wild West, World War II, Native American, Chinese, European and American fine art, illustrative art, historical furniture and decorative art.
"I've always been interested in the stories of those who have boldly faced and conquered adversity," said Pamplin. "As shown through my art and history collection, and the creation of Pamplin Historical Park, I've worked tirelessly to ensure generations to come will remember those who lived with valor."
Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier is one of the most important repositories of Civil War articles, information and experiences. Pamplin established Pamplin Historical Park in the early 1990s, and has since created one of America's premier historical attractions. The 424-acre park includes two award-winning museums, four antebellum homes, historic venues and interpreted battlefield trails.