GREAT FALLS – The Great Falls History Museum will be taking people through some of the history of the military in Great Falls.
The History Museum director Jim Meinert says this is the most complete, researched film ever produced by the museum.
Meinert has been working tirelessly for the last three years on the special documentary: “A film of this magnitude can inspire and educate generations of people.”
“Thunder Under the Big Sky” is about the history of the military in the skies above and below the earth of North Central Montana.
The documentary will take viewers all the way back to World War II. “Few people know that 15,000 war planes roared in and out of Great Falls during World War II,” Meinert said.
Many of those crews trained at what was known as the Great Falls Army Air Base, which today is known as Malmstrom Air Force Base.
The documentary will also talk about the woman who flew those planes into Great Falls – they were part of the WASPS (Women Airforce Service Pilots).
A few years later, training began for what was known as the Berlin Airlift: “A route that saved blockaded cities and possibly prevented World War III. They were all trained here in Great Falls,” Meinert said.
Many who served during that time tell their stories and the documentary brings you into one of the planes that actually flew in the Berlin Airlift.
“We cannot forget what happened below the ground. The Minuteman missiles that were constructed. They provided that ‘ace in the hole’ for President Kennedy,” Meinert said.
Meinert says he is proud that this will be the final documentary that he will be working on.
“This is our final film. We think this is our biggest and best film,” Meinert said.
The history museum will be debuting Thunder Under the Big Sky at 7 p.m. on Thursday (September 27).
MTN will also be airing the documentary at a future date; we will update you when we find out when.
Reporting by Margaret DeMarco for MTN News