Replica World War II atomic bomb goes on display at The Highground
NEILLSVILLE, Wis. (WEAU) - The Highground Veterans Memorial Park’s museum is offering visitors a different view of World War II.
The Pacific Theater serves as the backdrop for the newest exhibit at The Highfround Museum.
Museum coordinator Theresa Hebert says she wanted to go beyond a photo display.
“We couldn’t think of anything that was more of a world-changing event than the creation and the dropping of the atomic bombs during the end of World War II and with it being the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor and having this exhibit, it was something we wanted to develop,” Hebert said.
The result is a replica model of the atomic bomb named Little Boy that was dropped over Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945.
“We thought why not go full scale and that’s 10 foot long and 20 inches in diameter,” Hebert said.
With more than 130 hours between their businesses, Dale Hammel from Combat Parts Inc. and Paul Erikson with Kulas Body Shop made Hebert’s vision a reality.
“This is really just out of this world compared to everything else we’ve done over the years,” Hammel said.
Erikson feels the same way.
“We’ve seen unique things come through our shop, but nothing quite as impactful as this project was,” Erikson said.
Hammel says working on the project gave him a new appreciation for what was accomplished 80 years ago.
“We had thought we were pretty fortunate with the equipment we have nowadays to make it versus what the original guys or girls who originally made this, made this Little Boy years ago,” Hammel said.
Erikson says in his research for the project, he too saw this project in a new light.
“To see the men that were working on it originally and the environment that they were in and the equipment that they had, how much, we’re way more sophisticated and it’s just amazing to see what they were able to do with what as available to them,” Erikson said.
Hebert hopes the replica increases interest and sparks conversation.
“The complexity of why World War II was happening in the Pacific Theater,” Heber said.
The Pacific Theater exhibit is on display at The Highground Veterans Museum until March 6th, but the replica atomic bomb will become a permanent addition to the museum.
The Highground Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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