Bandy Center Debuts WWII Traveling Exhibit
January 24, 2013
The Bandy Heritage Center of Dalton State College pays tribute to World War II-era Georgians who contributed to the war effort overseas and on the homefront in a traveling exhibit that is open to the public January 30 and 31 on the Dalton State campus.
“Entitled ‘Over Here and Over There: Georgia and Georgians in World War II,’ the exhibit is the first of many future traveling exhibits that will cross the state and region stopping at museums, schools, historical societies, libraries, and other sites,” said Dr. John Fowler, Director of the Bandy Center and curator of the exhibit.
“It is one-of-a-kind in terms of its flexibility and components,” Fowler said. “While the exhibit as a whole covers the entire state, portions of the exhibit can be used to tell the specific story of portions of the state. For instance, the Northwest Georgia section covers the activities at Fort Oglethorpe, the use of textile mills for the war effort, and the stories of veterans from across the region.”
The heart of the traveling exhibit is a series of expertly rendered models of vintage aircraft, armored vehicles, and war ships. Replicas of aircraft from the Eighth Air Force initially based at Savannah and armored vehicles of the Six Cavalry initially based in Fort Oglethorpe are featured in dioramas.
In addition, there are three unique models constructed by Stephen Vallis, an internationally known model builder from Canada. The first is the cruiser USS Atlanta lost in naval action off Guadalcanal, the second is a liberty ship constructed along the Georgia coast, and the third is a German U-boat such as the ones that prowled off the Georgia coast searching for merchant ships and brazenly landing saboteurs targeting defense plants.
In addition to text panels, photographs, and models, the interactive exhibit includes uniforms, equipment, and replicas of firearms used by Georgians in the military. There are also recorded accounts of veterans, factory workers, nurses, and other ordinary Georgians who contributed to the war effort. Period music and news broadcasts are also part of the exhibit. “Using text, photos, models, artifacts, and recordings, the exhibit is designed to immerse the visitor in the sights and sounds of war as experienced by what many consider to be America’s greatest generation, “he added.
The exhibit will be available for viewing from 9 am to 3 pm Wednesday, January 30, and Thursday, January 31, in Room 105 of The James E. Brown Center at the north end of the Dalton State campus.
The Bandy Center plans to create future traveling exhibits covering topics such as the Civil War in Appalachia (especially North Georgia) and the development of the textile industry, Fowler said. “As these exhibits travel across the state and the South they will draw attention to the Center, Dalton State College, and the Northwest Georgia region and its people.”
“The unique cultural and historical heritage of this area is truly remarkable and worth sharing,” he said.