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Chicago’s Midway International Airport has a secret

19 August 2009

41º 47′ 15″ N / 87º 44′ 31″ W

It is not how its name came to be since it was named in honor of the pivotal WW II Battle of Midway. It is not in its location as one end of the Orange Line (a metro rail line) is located there. There is no mention of it on the airport’s website, there is no sign pointing visitors to it in the airport and there is no indication given by any of the airport maps that guide travelers through the terminals. Yet, there is a significant display at Chicago’s Midway International Airport.

Here is the secret. Go down the hall towards Concourse A and you will see the Battle of Midway Memorial, complete with a Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber suspended from the ceiling. Along with the aircraft there are wall panels artfully illustrating the battle’s history as well as a relatively quiet area with tables and chairs to use while awaiting one’s flight.

Douglas SBD Dauntless of the Battle of Midway Memorial at Chicago's Midway Airport -- photo by Joe May

Douglas SBD Dauntless of the Battle of Midway Memorial at Chicago’s Midway International Airport — photo by Joe May

Why the secret?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 21 August 2009 10:41

    Yes why the secret? Interested to know the answer to that one.

    • travelforaircraft permalink
      21 August 2009 17:14

      I’m afraid that will remain one of Life’s mysteries. Not all are interested in aircraft but almost all are interested in flying, so why not let people know? There are precious few distractions in most airports, so why not let people know? Public money was used and public space is dedicated to the display, so why not let people know?

      The SBD Dauntless was recovered from a lake and must have taken years as well as tens of thousands (if not the lower hundreds of thousands) of dollars to restore.

      So why not let people know? A lack of foresight and caring for what others may be part of it. Some airports have art and some have history on display — but letting people know may not hurry them through — perhaps that is part of the answer?


  1. On Midway, Part 2: To Tell A Story | In The Corner, Mumbling and Drooling

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