Cheyenne, Wyo. - Union Pacific pays tribute to the United States armed forces with its newly unveiled UP No. 1943 The Spirit locomotive with an open house at the Cheyenne Depot Museum, Monday, November 13.
UP 1943 "The Spirit"
Only the 16th commemorative locomotive presented in Union Pacific’s 155-year history, UP No. 1943’s Cheyenne stop is part of a multi-state Salute to the Military tour. It spotlights Union Pacific’s relationship with thousands of veterans who helped build America after defending the United States - a tradition dating back to the company’s founding by President Abraham Lincoln. Today, about 17 percent of Union Pacific’s employees have military experience, with some actively serving in the National Guard or Reserves.
Created in collaboration with Union Pacific veterans, the locomotive name is connected to a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress funded by war bond contributions from Union Pacific employees in 1943. The plane was christened The Spirit of the Union Pacific and assigned to the 571st Bomber Squadron. The Spirit of the Union Pacific was shot down on its fifth mission during a raid on enemy installations in Munster, Germany.
The Spirit’s front is symbolic of Air Force Silver, and the blue stripe is a reflection of the former Strategic Air Command’s “nose sash.” The lettering inside the sash is the original hand-drawn font used on the B-17. It is followed by the Coast Guard’s “Racing Stripe” and the Navy’s Battleship Gray, which frames Union Pacific’s traditional American flag. The military camouflage is a nod to the Army and Marines.
As the train passes by, the final message on the tail is dedicated to U.S. prisoners of war and those missing in action, featuring the POW/MIA symbol and its motto, “You Are Not Forgotten.”
For more information on No. 1943’s other Salute to the Military tour stops, visit https://www.up.com/aboutup/special_trains/commemorative/1943-spirit/index.htm.