Why Dwight came to Green Bay, Acquisition of British Railway Board #60008

Green Bay, Brown County, Wisconsin
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Why Dwight came to Green Bay
Acquisition of British Railway Board #60008
Awareness of Dwight D. Eisenhower's existence was the product of a chance meeting at the National Railroad Museum in 1959. Mrs. Kovachek, a museum patron, spoke to a man doing some yard work at the Museum about a locomotive she had seen in her youth at Yorkshire, England that bore General Eisenhower's name. The man she told her story to was not a gardener, but rather Harold E. Fuller, Chairman of the Museum's Board of Directors. Fuller inquired of the British Railway Board (B.R.B.) about the possibility of buying the locomotive but was firmly rebuffed, as according to the B.R.B., Dwight D. Eisenhower still had "many years . . . of sterling service in front of it."
The Union Pacific lends assistance.
In 1961, Harold Fuller was in Omaha, Neb. negotiating with Union Pacific Railroad President Author Stoddard for the donation of a Big Boy to the museum. During that meeting, Fuller told Stoddard about Dwight D. Eisenhower and his desire to acquire it. Stoddard had served under Major General Carl R. Gray, Jr. in the Military Railway Service during World War II. General Gray is credited with formulating the idea of a national railroad museum to preserve the legacy of American steam railroading. Since Fuller represented the National Railroad Museum, Gray's dream project, Stoddard was inspired to put Fuller in touch with Carr Sharrington of the B.R.B.

Over the course of three years, hundreds of letters and telegrams were sent back and forth as the Museum attempted to secure this locomotive. Eventually, the Museum gained agreement that it would get first chance at the locomotive upon its retirement from service.
The journey to America
The British steam locomotive re-named Dwight D. Eisenhower began its journey to the National Railroad Museum on April 28, 1964. This 122 ton locomotive traveled under its own steam to Southampton docks in England, where it was loaded aboard the U.S. Lines American Planter bound for the U.S. (below left). The ship and its cargo arrived at New York in early May; and the locomotive was unveiled in a dockside ceremony (below). From Pier 86, the locomotive was floated via barge by the Central Railroad of New Jersey and moved to Bound Creek, N.J. From there four railroads, the Reading, Baltimore & Ohio, Chesapeake & Ohio, and Chicago & North Western, collaborated on bringing Dwight D. Eisenhower to Green Bay.
Eisenhower's coaches
The cars that are behind Dwight D. Eisenhower came to the museum in 1968 as part of an agreement with the B.R.B. (below). They have been displayed with Dwight D. Eisenhower since then as a single consist, although this particular locomotive never pulled General Eisenhower's command train, the British government honored him by renaming London & North Eastern Railway (L.N.E.R.) #4496 Golden Shuttle to L.N.E.R. #4497 Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1945. However, carriages #1591 and #1592 were assigned to General Eisenhower's command train, Alive.
The marker is located inside the National Railroad Museum located at 2285 South Broadway, Green Bay, Wisconsin 54304.

The Dwight D. Eisenhower is a LNER Class A4 steam locomotive designed by British engineer Sir Nigel Gresley.

Mallard and Gresley A4's (YouTube video / documentary)
very nice!

Mallard 4468 and her record breaking run July 3rd 1938 (YouTube video / documentary)
love the Brit enthusiasm and accent!
If ever a locomotive knew it was the star of the show, it must surely be "Mallard" . . . 

This marker is one of a series of markers placed at the Dwight D. Eisenhower and Command Cars Exhibit at the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Click here for more information and to view a list of all the markers.

The Dwight D. Eisenhower, British Railways Board #60008 is currently across the pond in England, where it is being lovingly restored to its original condition. A ceremony celebrating the engine's return to Green Bay will occur on August 2, 2014.
Awaiting the August 2, 2014, return of Dwight D. Eisenhower,
British Railways Board #60008.

Born in 1923 in Eau Claire, he attended Eau Claire State Teachers College, now UW-Eau Claire, and played on the football team in the early 1940s. He left Eau Claire to fight in World War II. He was awarded 25 military decorations, including two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts. He spent nearly 25 years in the U.S. Army and served with the early Green Berets. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in engineering. After his first wife died in the 1980s, he married French actress Denise Darcel. He died on August 29, 2003, at the age of 80.
The marker is located at the National Railroad Museum.

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