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 South Dakota Museum Ellsworth AFB outside RApid City SD and 2 Indian War monuments

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Kyushu J7W

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Join date : 2017-02-18
Location : East Coast USA

PostSubject: South Dakota Museum Ellsworth AFB outside RApid City SD and 2 Indian War monuments    Sun Feb 19 2017, 10:08

If your planing a trip to the Black Hills this is well worth the visit.   Ty and I did what has become an annual father son trip to the Black Hills.  We visited the abandoned western fort sites and several of the Indian battlefields up through the Custer Memorial, then over to Yellowstone and back to finish in the Badlands national park.    May is a good time of year to take these sorts of trips.   Kids are still in school so its not crowded, but its warm enough if you have a jacket.   Come home just as the Memorial day holiday weekends starts.     The air museums are just a little bonus Smile

The missiles are the Hound dog, the first true stand off missile and the smaller one is the Genie.  The  Genie was a nuclear tipped anti aircraft missile intended to be fired by the F102 . F106 and F101 at any Soviet bombers coming over the polar cap.    The museum has a series of nice simulators for the B1 and the now closed Minuteman missile silos.  Lots of exhibits  about early aviation in Wyoming .   Its free and has a small but very nice gift shop.  













I have never been to that part of the country.   You really get a sense of what people in wagons faced in the 1800's.   Oxen drawn carts, walking along side most of the way.   I wanted to find the Fetterman Massacre site.     It's a desolate place but you can see how he got trapped by forces just behind the ridges.   The entire command wiped out 10 years before Custer repeated the same mistake.


That is I-90 on the right, the road on the left is abandoned and long closed.    There are markers along a trail you can walk that mark the progress of the battle .   I suppose like the Custer fight later they tracked this by the bodies they found.   Fetterman was told not to go over a ridge out of site of Fort Phil Kearney but he is described as somewhat arrogant and a glory seeker.   After this battle there were negotiations and three forts were abandoned.  The Indians burned them to the ground.   Part of the palisades of Fort Kearney has been  rebuilt and the area marked off with markers describing what was there .  A small museum is there run by the Wyomig State parks commission.




The Custer battlefield was impressive.   I only thought of it as the picture of Custer hill, but its strings out for quite a distance of miles.      You can see where there were lines formed and then they kept falling back until overwhelmed.   Seeing and walking the fields, ravines and hills  myself I think Benteen & Reno got a bad rap about not helping Custer enough.  The distances and the terrain IMO would not have let them get to him in time.  It would have left them in positions they could not have as easily defended.    Custer's stone is the one with the black filled in around the letters.  There was a large fire a few years back and with all the brush and grass burned away, the parks service found more equipment,  spent cartridge cases and even bones that helped them mark the site even better.   There is a very nice park museum just ahead of the burial ground.   Don't stop at the so called museum just ahead of the park located next to a CONOCO gas station.   Smile  



There are a few red marble stones with Indian names.   Their oral traditions mention where a few fell so a few markers are there in the fields.    

There is a small veterans burial site there in the photo to the right of Ty   A few of the surviving Indian cavalry guides are buried there as are vets from the Spanish American war  WWI  WWII Korea and I think even Vietnam before it was filled and closed.

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