The Korean War Exhibits at the Armed Forces History Museum include a number of impressive dioramas. In addition, a Bulldog Tank, a Patton Tank, WC 51 Weapons Carrier and a 40 mm Anti-Aircraft gun and a number of other vehicles can also be viewed in this area of the museum.
Lieutenant Baldomero Lopez
The museum considers it an honor to have memorabilia donated by the family of Tampa Bay’s own hero of the Korean War Lieutenant Baldomero Lopez, who was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart for sacrificing his own life in order to save countless members of his platoon. His actions took place as he climbed the wall of the Inchon Landing. The diorama at the museum is a replica of the infamous photo that was captured just moments before his death. As visitors read about this display, an oral history telling Lt. Lopez’s story can be heard. The display, its items and its story evoke a heart wrenching response that is quickly replaced with pride as visitors reflect on the selfless act of this brave hero. Among some of Lt. Lopez’s items is a letter sent to his mother from Douglas Mac Arthur.
A field hospital MASH Unit, quite common during the Korean War, is also part of this exhibit. This particular diorama houses a number of authentic medical instruments used during this era. A partial replica of a MASH tent is on display showing a surgeon and his assistant tending to one of the wounded. Newly included in the tent is an authentic portable field X-Ray machine, first used in WWII. A fully refurbished 1951 M43 Dodge MASH Ambulance is also part of this diorama accurately depicting the transport of the wounded from the battlefield to the surgical tent. In addition, the museum has a case which displays a number of medical instruments used during this era. A Bell Helicopter also used to transport wounded during this era can be viewed as part of the museums additional 15,000 sq. ft. of outdoor space.
The third diorama in the Korean War Exhibit is an amazing depiction of the infamous Frozen Chosin. Visitors can almost feel the bitter cold as well as the despair of these valiant young men who successfully fought, without giving up, under extremely adverse conditions. One young soldier is inside a tent warming up dinner while two others are attempting to defeat the chill and set up field communications. One last soldier in this diorama rests as comfortably as he can against a rock, weapon in hand, ready to fight if called upon. An oral history is also part of this exhibit detailing the accounts of this harrowing battle.
The Armed Forces History Museum is proud to have an area inside the Korean War Exhibit dedicated to the POW/MIAs. Bill Allen, an ex-POW (31 months) of the Korean War has a display with a number of personal items from the war. Most Tuesdays, Bill is on hand to speak with visitors and educate them on the ‘real-life’ of a POW. Speaking with Bill is, in fact, a life-changing experience.
Jodie from Miami, FL recently visited and wrote - This is the best museum I’ve ever been to! I almost cried. Thank you for all you do. Meeting Bill Allen was an experience! Thanks again!
He has written a book titled “My Old Box of Memories”, which is available for purchase at the museum, with all proceeds being donated to charities. The book is a very personal recount of his tumultuous life as a POW.
In this area is also a White Table of Remembrance, representing those who are (have been) POWs and those brave young soldiers still missing in action. Each item on the table is symbolic to the absence of those who once fought alongside our esteemed veteran’s and active duty members.
What Korean War area would be complete without a Rose’s Bar. Though mainly known due to the popular television series M*A*S*H, Rose’s Bar (yes though often referred to as Rosie’s Bar, the proper name was Rose’s Bar) was, in fact, a favorite watering hole for the soldiers in Korean. The AFHM honors this with its own rendition, which is often used as an actual bar during rentals and special events.
The Armed Forces History Museum hopes at best that its Korean War exhibits will assist visitors in ‘remembering’ this often ‘Forgotten War’.
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