"The St. Louis Museum of Transportation houses one of the largest
and best collections of transportation vehicles in the world."
John H. White
A range of watercraft, aircraft and other items are available for viewing.
This twin-engine 1943 Douglas Aircraft product, the military
version of the DC-3, is thought to have been used by the United
States Army Air Force in the World War II invasion of Normandy on
June 6, 1944. It is painted in camouflage with invasion stripes (the
stripes were placed on Allied aircraft used on D-Day to identify
them so that they would not be subject to friendly fire). This type
of aircraft was nicknamed “Gooney
Bird” by troops serving in the South Pacific after a bird
found on Midway Island which presents an awkward appearance when
trying to take
off or land. The C-47A proved both agile and dependable, however.
After its war service, this particular plane was used in commercial
passenger service in Nevada until it was reacquired by the military
for use by the 131st Tactical Fighter Group of the Missouri Air National
Guard. The National Guard used “Old 635” for 22 years,
until its retirement in 1972, to support its annual summer encampment,
as well as on cargo and emergency medical missions, taking advantage
of its ability to land and take off on comparatively short fields.
The aircraft hosted many notables in its career. According to a National
Guard account published when the
plane was brought to MOT, “The late president, Harry S. Truman,
several Missouri congressmen, numerous governors and other elected
officials have all enjoyed flights on the ‘Gooney’ over
the years of her service.” It is currently on loan to MOT
from the U.S. Air Force Museum.
HT Potts Tugboat
You can walk the
decks of the “H.T. Pott,” the first
Missouri River towboat with a welded steel hull instead of a riveted
hull. The vessel, built in 1933, operated out of Kansas City, MO.
It is named for Herman T. Pott (1895-1982), a distinguished river
transportation executive and entrepreneur. It was built by his
St. Louis Shipyard & Steel Co., which had operated under several
names since the Civil War. Because the groups of barges that are
moved on the nation’s rivers are called “tows,” the
boats that propel them are “towboats,” even though
they push the barges from the back instead of pulling them. The “H.T.
Pott” is 58 feet long and 15 feet wide, and it has a “draft” (the
amount of the hull below the water line) of six feet. It was built
with a 140-horsepower Fairbanks-Morse diesel engine, since replaced
with a 260-horsepower GM diesel. It was last used by the Massman-Peterman
Construction Company and was donated by Robert A. Latta in 1986.
How did it arrive at the landlocked Museum? Its hull was brought
in by truck, after which its engine was reinstalled and a replica
deckhouse built. Mrs. Pott rededicated it in memory of her husband
Fifth Avenue (New
York) Coach Co. Bus #1234
Lockheed T-33 US
Air Force training aircraft
West Barretts Tunnel
On March 2, 1935, the Missouri Pacific's Scenic
Limited, en route
to Denver and the West Coast, emerges from the west end of West
Barretts Tunnel, now part of the MOT site.