Bomber Museum: 'Everything in here belonged to a person'

Bomber Museum: 'Everything in here belonged to a person'

Part 5 of a 6-Part Series

MILWAUKIE, Ore. - Terry Scott, whose husband Jayson's grandfather was Art Lacey, the businessman who brought the B-17 Lacey Lady to Milwaukie back in 1947, serves as the curator of the Bomber Museum, which is much more than just a spot to store items from the World War II era.

It's a place where stories are told and memories are kept alive.

"Everything in here belonged to a person," said Jayson. "In the bomber jackets, in the silk lining, they had a map that had one of Germany and one of Italy on the other side.

"So if they were shot down they could tear out the lining of the jacket and they could use it as a map.

"Well, the thing is, if you look at this one here, you'll look and see that there is burn marks in it.

"Well, the guy was shot down but the plane was on fire. And he survived and was able to take what was remaining of this map out of the jacket and it helped him escape from Germany."

Even something as innocuous as a white rock has special meaning.

"That white rock right there, that's a part of the White Cliffs of Dover and the man standing right behind it, Ed Armstrong, his plane was shot up terribly," said Jayson.

"And they were going down and so they told everybody on board to throw - they were flying over the English Channel - to throw everything out, anything but yourself. And so they were throwing everything out of the plane because the plane was failing and they weren't sure they were going to make it. And he said 'I knew if I could see the White Cliffs of Dover, that we would be able to make it.' "

"And literally they broke - and it was terrible weather out, foggy and whatnot - and they broke out and they saw the White Cliffs of Dover, made it to the other side and crashed.

"I mean, it was basically a controlled crash landing," he said. "And so the first thing that he did was he literally climbed over the White Cliffs of Dover and broke off that piece of rock. He carried it with him all the rest of his life and then gave it to us."

"And it meant a lot to him," said Terry. "His wife had Alzheimer's so he was caring for her and he could see the end of his road coming. And so he wanted to have it in good hands. It meant a lot for him to give it to us."

Terry said Ed has since passed away.

Follow the story of Art Lacey's "Lacey Lady" and his family's efforts to preserve this piece of history this week in a special 6-part series. Watch for a new installment daily at noon through June 16.