Lubbock's 100 year history is a rich one that has directly impact on world events - namely World War II.
In the early 1940s, Otto Lyons came to Lubbock to earn his wings. "It was just a progression and a need and this was just the wide open spaces to train on this kind of a cargo glider," Silent Wings Museum Curator Eddy Grisby said.
Lyons was a World War II Glider Pilot. About 80 percent of the 6,000 glider pilots in World War II came to Lubbock to be trained at the South Plains Army Airfield, now Lubbock International Airport. While they were here they learned how to fly glider planes. Each glider could carry about 7,500 pounds of cargo.
Lyons now lives in Tennessee, but he enjoyed his time in Lubbock. "The people of Lubbock then, and still today, were tremendous. They just couldn't do enough for the service man who were stationed here," said Lyons.
That's why he's glad the museum was moved to Lubbock in 2002, and he keeps coming back every year to visit and volunteer. "It's one of a time, and it's very unique. It tells the story of the World War II glider pilots, and we're hoping it'll be here for a long time," Lyons adds.
The Silent Wings Museum commemorates a special World War II weapons system utilizing gliders, glider pilots, glider troops and their equipment and troop carrier units. The one-way trip of the glider pilots became history and the Silent Wings Museum is their legacy. The museum includes several exhibits including photographs, videos, and artifacts.
The first Silent Wings Museum opened in Terrell, Texas in 1984, but by 1997 the pilots realized that a more permanent museum home was needed. They selected Lubbock because a majority of the glider pilots were trained here.
The museum gets about 10,000 visitors each year. Click here to learn more about the Silent Wings Museum.
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