Before their journey into past comes to a close, visitors still have a few more indoor exhibits to experience at the Armed Forces History Museum before moving out into the 15,000 sq. ft. outdoor display area.
The Cold War Exhibit
The museum has an area in which visitors can take time to read some of the details that surrounded the Cold War Era. The walls contain interesting photos, facts and information pertaining to this volatile time in which our nation was preparing for possible nuclear attack. From this era, the museum has managed to secure a Soviet B-10 82mm recoilless gun and a Soviet B-11 107mm towed recoilless gun. A display case in the area has Soviet uniforms along with some interesting artifacts.
Saddam Hussein and the Gulf War
In April of 2003, 1st Sergeant Michael T. Hibbs managed to obtain an official uniform of Saddam Hussein. The museum was able to secure this uniform via a third party associated with Hibbs. The uniform – the only one known to exist in the United States – is on display at the AFHM along with the very uniform worn by Hibbs the day he obtained it. Visitors can read Hibb’s story as well as additional information about his military involvement in Southeast Asia when viewing this display.
Another case inside the museum from this era is dedicated to the USMC Fast Company Pacific who were active during this time. FAST Company Pacific provided security on the Maritime Prepositioning Ships and were also involved in the invasion of Iraq. Some very interesting artifacts, along with a rare, full close quarter combat uniform specific to FAST is housed in this display.
At the center of the museum sits the Officers’ Club. A partial replica of a Quonset Hut, the walls of the OC are lined with large vintage photos. John Wayne, Yvonne De Carlo, Bob Hope, Mickey Rooney, Tuskegee Airmen, Rita Hayworth and President Roosevelt are a few of the individuals that can be found alongside photos of trusty military animals and several other memorable moments depicting the ups and downs and comradery of our brave military.
The Officers’ Club – which can accommodate up to 90 people - is also available as a rental for individuals or organizations for events or private parties. Add museum access to your rental and turn your ordinary event into an extraordinary gathering.
Wall of Heroes
Across from the Officers’ Club is a very special area in the museum – The Wall of Heroes. This wall is lined with shadow boxes containing personal memorabilia from a few of our elite past military members. Those on this wall are but a small representation of the millions of brave men and women who have served in our nation’s military with dedication and honor. Each shadow box tells a story via the items on display. Some of those on the wall lived to tell their own story, while others gave the ultimate sacrifice. This wall allows visitors to reflect on the lives of those who have directly contributed to the freedom we are fortunate enough to experience to this day.
Additional Display Cases
Also outside the Officers’ Club are some additional display cases dedicated to the United States Army Air Corps of WWII. The first case features a mint condition (at the time top secret) WWII Norden Bombsight along with other instruments used by the USAAF during WWII including – to name a few - an Elgin 8-A Bomb Timer, a Radio Compass Indicator and a Firing Device (Mark-3) Control Bomb Release. The case is rounded out with simpler, yet vital items of WWII such as a lunch box and thermos and First Aid Kit. Another notable item in this case is a US Army Emergency Light which was stored in the plane of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The second case in this area memorializes the infamous Tuskegee Airmen. Had these men not fought hard against segregation and created a place for themselves, not only in the USAAF but, as pilots, the war may have had a very different outcome. These fighter escort pilots had some of the most impressive records in World War II. Inside the case is a pilot wearing his Pilot’s Coverall Summer Weight. Among the other items included in this rare look into this esteemed group are a WWII Northrop P-61 Black Widow Fighter T-67/ARC3 Radio, a Type C Emergency Vest and a Flight AN-H-15 Helmet.
The next case in this area houses a number of unique pieces of the USAAF including a flight jacket, an Aerial Camera and Type K-24 Aircraft Camera Cone (these items were used on both the B17 and B24 bombers), and a B17 Aircraft Radio Receiver BC-1333.
The last case in this area also has a number of interesting and unique items inside. Along with a number of other items, visitors will find a WWII B4 Flight Bag, an insulated flight jacket, pants and cap, Leg Mounted Transmitting Keys and an A-Bomb Release used on 500 and 1,000 lb bombs on both the B17 and B24 Bomber aircraft.
These additional exhibits nicely round out the museum’s overall presentation of our nation’s military history.
Read about the other outstanding exhibits at the Armed Forces History Museum by clicking on the links below:
- Salute to Service Exhibit
- Firearms/Ordnance and Mines/Grenades Exhibit
- World War I Trench Exhibit
- World War II Pearl Harbor Exhibit
- USMC South Pacific Exhibit
- WWII US Navy Exhibit
- WWII Normandy and French Village Exhibit
- WWII German Farmhouse Exhibit
- WWII Communications Room Exhibit
- Korean War Inchon Landing Exhibit
- Korean War MASH Unit Exhibit
- POW/MIA Exhibit
- Rosie’s Bar Exhibit
- Korean War Frozen Chosin Exhibit
- Vietnam Ho Chi Minh Trail Exhibit
- Vietnam Firebase Exhibit
- Saddam Hussein and Gulf War Exhibit
- Additional Exhibits
- Outdoor Exhibits