Visit Walterboro’s Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Honoring the Red Tail Angels

The Germans called them with great respect the Black Bird Men. Legend has it the Tuskegee pilots Tuskegee Airmen Memorialnever lost an aircraft to enemy during their coverage support missions in Europe. For their bravery air-bomb crews nicknamed them the “Red Tail Angels”.

So on your way to Hilton Head and South Carolina Sea Islands stop in historic Walterboro (exit 53 from interstate I-95) to honor the first African-American pilots in the United States. The Tuskegee Airmen Memorial is part of the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor and is located at the Lowcountry Regional Airport. Here is the Google Map. It’s inspirational, patriotic, has extreme historical significance and it is free to attend.

Interesting facts and things to know before you go

1. US Army Air Corp launched the first African-American pilot training program in 1941 in Tuskegee, Alabama. In August of 1942 the Walterboro Army Airfield base was activated to provide final combat training for the Tuskegee Airmen before they were sent straight into action. .The Jug!

2. From 1942 untill its closure in 1945, 992 pilots completed the program and over 450 of them saw combat overseas. Among their missions: Rome, Southern France, Central Europe, Tunisia, Japan, China, New Guinea, Western Pacific. Air Combat support was provided from Walterboro for many important defense facilities and cities, such as Santee Cooper Dams, the Parris Island Marine Base, the Navy Yard and Charleston.

3. The base was also the largest camouflage school in the United States. Some 600 acres were used just for bomb storage! At times it housed 6,000 military personnel and hundreds of German POWs.

4. The Tuskegee Airmen trained for 3 months, seven days a week from dawn to dusk.They were sent as replacement pilots for the 332nd Fighter Group, an all black fighter group operating in Europe. Pilot and Trainer
They trained on 3 types of planes the Air Cobra, the Thunderbolt and the Kittyhawk. Flying the nose-heavy Thunderbolt – “The Jug” – was very dangerous and 5 men lost their life during routine training.

5. Go downtown to the Colleton Museum to learn more about the Tuskegee Airmen – including their ongoing struggle against discrimination – see photographs and aircraft replicas and read the news articles from the war time.

This is another free to attend family attraction and definitely worth the time. The museum is housed in the old county jail-house and has great artifacts about the region’s history, culture and lifestyle over the last 3 centuries.

Check this out for more fun things to do with kids in and around Beaufort.

Come experience the rich history and honor the veterans of beautiful South Carolina!

Gentleman and Headless Torso ghosts, the Carriage Inn spooky residents (Charleston free and scary things to do)

The Carriage House Inn, located on South Battery Street right across from the Battery Park, has been a Charleston darling for more than a century. Some of its guests are so enchanted they don’t want to ever leave. As people say, in Charleston “you are almost always in spitting distance of a ghost”

Front of the Carriage House Inn There are two spirits haunting this intimate yet mysterious hotel. The Gentleman Ghost, sometimes referred to as the Gentleman Caller, usually visits room 10. “Well-dressed and groomed…he likes to lie down beside female guests. He never disturbs them knowingly.” If you scream or cry he will exit quickly through the nearest wall.

View of Room 10 through spooky wall figureCheck out this spooky lion-figure on the wall outside room 10, it’s just asking for specter trouble.

A lady recalls her experience “…I was restless and couldn’t fall asleep…I noticed a wispy gray apparition to be floating through the close door, and through the air, entering the room…he lay down beside me on the bed. He placed his right arm around my shoulders. I didn’t feel any pressure from his arm touching me…I wasn’t frightened because he didn’t seem threatening”.

Room 8 Sight of the Headless Torso Ghost The Torso Ghost is not as docile; he hasn’t harmed anyone yet is a far scarier sight to see. Clothed in wool gray Confederate uniform, it is believed this is the ghost of a soldier who lost his limbs and head during an accidental munitions explosion.

One of the less fortunate people to have seen the Headless Ghost remembers “…what I could see on my side…was this torso of a person from the waist to the neck…It was big, not necessarily tall but broad. A strong, barrel-chested man…I reached out and touched it – his overcoat was very coarse material like burlap…the breath changed into the guttural growl of an animal. He moaned, or uttered some angry sound that made it clear he didn’t want me to do what I was doing…I felt like he wanted to chase me out of there”.

If you would like to read more about these Front Gate
phantoms and many other specters haunting the ever mysterious South Carolina grab Terrance Zepke’s exhilarating book “Best Ghost Tales of South Carolina“.

Take a virtual tour of Charleston’s mystery, murder and romance tales and other famous ghosts sightings.

Eager for more Lowcountry folklore? Visit Huntington Beach State Park to learn about Brookgreen Plantation’s bloodstains of the dead and Atalaya Castle’s gold-watcher.

Happy Ghost Hunting in Haunted South Carolina!

Wild Turkey Chasing Vultur video at Charles Towne Landing zoo

Come admire the natural-habitat zoo at the Charles Towne Landing state park’s Animal Forest showcasing native Carolina wildlife as it was more than 350 years ago. Among the highlights to enjoy at this historic Charleston attraction (our state first settlement) are the bison, puma, black bears, bobcats, otters and the yellow crowned night heron.

Oh yeah, and the pompous wild turkeys which in Spring they gotta do their dance mating thing. Apparently no one told them the poor lone vulture is no threat competing for their cuties.
Well good for me cause I could shot this little chase video 🙂

Enjoy wildlife, experience history and relax among serene oak trees in beautiful Charles Towne Landing park the birthplace of South Carolina!

The Hunley Submarine mystery and replica operation video (things to do in Charleston and Columbia)

To this day we don’t know what happened to the H.L. Hunley, the Confederate submarine built to help break the Civil War blockade. We do know it disappeared on the night of February 17 1864 after it sunk the Union ship the USS Housatonic (the world’s first submarine to do so in combat!)

If you are visiting Columbia you can see a full size replica at the SC State Museum downtown. Of course, nothing beats the original, which can be admired in Charleston at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center (here is a Google Map with the location). Tours are offered Saturday from 10 AM – 5 PM and Sunday Noon – 5 PM. Tickets are $12, seniors, military and members pay $10, and kids under 5 get in for FREE.

Hunley submarine replica

While in the area and you’re hungry for more military adventure go visit the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier. It has dozens of “little” war planes waiting for you to play with!

Interesting Hunley trivia
-Built in Mobile Alabama and hauled by train into Charleston
-Operated by 9 crewmen from one extraordinarily tight room…truly seating like sardines
-Prohibited to travel underwater by the Confederate commanders after 13 crewmen died in two accidents
-Reached the amazing speed of 2 knots in calm waters!
-Its observation ports had to be kept above the surface for the pilot to navigate.

Inside Hunley sketches at the State Museum

Let your children experience our country history in amazing South Carolina!

UPDATE!

Check out the latest clues uncovered at the Hunley recovery project. It’s about the sub bilge pumps!

Spread the word and submit to
add to del.icio.us :: Digg it :: Stumble It! :: seed the vine :: :: post to facebook

Out of “what to do this weekend” ideas? How about taking the kids to Jumps N More where they can safely burn energy bouncing and jumping and running around? It’s only $6.

Fort Sumter: Family Day Trip in South Carolina History

Located in the middle of the Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter marks the start of “The War Between the States” (as it is called here since was nothing “civil” about it), when Confederate artillery opened fire April 12, 1861. Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later. Union forces would try for nearly four years to take it back.

Fort Sumter entrance signSeven millions of pounds of metal were furiously shot at it without success. Amazingly, the Confederate losses only counted 52 killed and 267 wounded. The fort suffered major destruction with the right flank wall and the gorge wall all but vanished. For the next 100 years it remains a garrison but with limited military significance.

In 1948 Fort Sumter was transferred to the National Park Service and became a national monument and a popular family attraction.

Things to know before you go
1. Fort Sumter is open year round except for New Years, Thanksgiving and Christmas Days. The fort is open 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM from April 1st to Labor Day, at other times call (843)-883-3123. Entrance to Fort Sumter is free, however you must pay for the ferry ride to get there. For more info see: Fort Sumter accessibility and visit hours.

Bridge to Fort Sumter Charleston2. You can access Fort Sumter by ferry or privately operated boats. The concessioned ferry leaves from two locations: Liberty Square (340 Concord Street in Charleston), and Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum (40 Patriots Point Road in Mount Pleasant). Tours usually depart every 2 hours and the ride takes about 30 minutes. The ferry has a snack bar and restrooms. For ticket info call 1-800-789-3678.

3. If you depart from Liberty Square make sure to visit the Charleston Aquarium; if you depart from Patriots Point, reserve 2 hours to explore the wonderful USS Yorktown aircraft carrier with its dozens of war planes, the submarine and the Congressional Medal of Honor Museum.

4. You can’t get to Fort Sumter from Fort Moultrie. Pets are not permitted at Fort Sumter or on the ferry. Pets accompanying private boaters must remain on the boat, and must not be left unattended.

Big Canons at Fort Sumter Charleston5. During the ferry ride you can capture amazing photos of the Charleston’s Harbor and Ravenel bridge, so make sure you bring your camera and plenty of batteries along.

6. Kids have fun checking out the big canons spread throughout the fort and chasing each other through the maze of tunnels.

Fort Sumter little beach

7. If traveling by ferry you will have about 1 hour to wonder around. Save yourself some hustle and bustle and conveniently get loose from the “family group” by sunbathing on the grass near the flags; you will enjoy breathtaking ocean views and can quietly soak in all the history around you.

See more family day of fun at Fort Sumter on this slideshow

Enjoy your vacation in South Carolina!

Charleston Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, re-discover the child in you! (things to do with kids under $10)

At the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry in downtown Charleston kids are kings and queens at the fairy tales castle, learn to catch shrimp, shop at the supermarket, paint and create art crafts, get wet while studying hydro-energy…in other words they have all around unlimited fun!

Children playing at the Charleston Children Museum

Preparing a royal feast

Check this compilation post for ideas, insider information, tips, photos and even videos about fun things to do with kids while visiting Charleston.

Let your children’s imagination run wild at the awesome South Carolina museums!

Brookgreen Gardens: amazing sculptures and Lowcountry Zoo near Myrtle Beach

Brookgreen Gardens is a National Historic Landmark with the world’s most significant collection of figurative sculptures in an outdoor setting by American artists and the only accredited zoo on the South Carolina coast.

Brookgreen Gardens Time and Fate of Man

Located between Myrtle Beach and Pawleys Island, SC on highway 17, with more than 300 acres of beautifully landscaped settings, the Brookgreen Gardens collection contains over 900 works of American sculpture, from the early 1800s to present.

Founded in 1931, Brookgreen Gardens was America’s first public sculpture garden. In 2003, the sculpture garden was named the Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington Sculpture Garden in honor of the founders.

Learn about the mysterious Brookgreen Gardens beginnings and the folklore surrounding its remarkable founders as illustrated in Nancy Rhine’s fascinating book “Tales of the South Carolina Lowcountry”.

Travel tips to know before you go
1. Hold on to your admission ticket; it’s good for 7 consecutive days. Trust me you will want to come back to see and enjoy it all.
2. Plan a day for just admiring the sculpture collection, one for the zoo and occasional wildlife encounters and if time permits one to enjoy one of the many events and tours that take place throughout the week.
Mother with child statue3. Sculpture touring is a great way to introduce kids to art. Little ones are immediately attracted to the the mother and child, mother bear with cubs, and Youth Taming the Wild sculptures.

Kids of all ages enjoy creating crafts and watching the daily live animals show at the Lowcountry Center (free admission)

4. Older kids can learn about wild and domestic animals rehabilitation at the Lowcountry Zoo. All animals were either born in captivity or have sustained an injury and would not survive in the wild. You can see: Alligators, Bald Eagles, Great Horned Owls, Grey and Red Foxes and River Otters. Animal feeding is at 3:00 PM. In 2003, Brookgreen Gardens opened the Domestic Animals of the Plantation Exhibit. The animals in this exhibit are considered “rare breeds”, highly specialized hybrid descendants of today: Marsh Tacky Horses, Red Devon Cattle, Tunis Sheep, Guinea Fowls and Cypress Aviary.

On the Trail behind the Garden Wall

5. The entire family can cool off and enjoy a ferry ride at the boat dock off the Trail Behind the Garden Wall.
The Fountain of the Muses
6. Biking, commercial photography, weddings, swimming, fire grill cooking are not permitted. You can bring food and beverages as long as you eat them at the designated picnic areas. There are 3 restaurants and cafes on the premises.

Where
1931 Brookgreen Drive, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576. Off of highway 17 between Pawleys Island and Myrtle beach and across from Huntington State Park.

Buy Yellow Sea Prints

Admission Tickets: Adults 13-64: $12; Seniors 65 and over: $10; Children 6-12: $5. Discount prices for groups of 15 or more.

Visit www.brookgreen.org to learn about Broogreen Gardens calendar of events, tours and Lowcountry excursions schedules, educational programs, maps and driving directions.

See more photos about Brookgreen Gardens here.