June 17, 2024

The Planes Are Back!



Getting the second floor of the Canal Museum open for displays caused lots of shake, rattle and rolling. The model airplane display was the most shaken.  Now, thanks to Dick Oder, who is retired from the military, the planes are all back in order. The wheels, wings, struts and other assorted parts and pieces are glued back in place and the planes are neat, clean and cataloged. Thank you, Dick, for all the painstaking volunteer time spent on restoring and labeling this display. (By the way, Dick is Nancy and Skip Will’s son-in-law.)

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, fear of an attack on the mainland of America was taken very seriously. The people of Florida were already aware that German U- boats were sinking British merchant ships right off their coastline.  Many adults and teens who were not already serving their county in some capacity were encouraged to volunteer for the Civilian Defense of our nation. One of those Civilian Defense activities was to watch for enemy aircraft heading toward our shores.  The Ground Observer corps was organized by the national Office of Civil Defense and enlisted over a million volunteers who were trained in aircraft spotting. These citizens were taught to recognize the silhouettes of U.S., British, German and Japanese aircraft. A system of observation  posts manned by volunteers were set up on the East, West and Gulf coasts to monitor all activity which was then reported via phone to the proper authorities.

One of these volunteers was Alden “Brad” Bradstock from Baltimore, Maryland. Brad lived very near Logan Airfield in Dundalk and spent many hours with his high school buddies watching for enemy air activity around their area of the Baltimore Harbor. During this time Brad began a lifelong hobby of assembling, painting and collecting model airplanes.  He donated this collection to the Delphos Canal Museum. And now, thanks to Dick Oder, these planes are back in good order and displayed on the second floor of the Canal Museum. Stop in and check out this and our many other military displays. The Delphos Canal Museum is open on Thursday morning from 9-12 Noon and on Saturday and Sunday from 1-3 pm.

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