World War II USMC South Pacific Exhibit
The USMC South Pacific Exhibit begins with a full-sized, fully-operational 1942 Stuart Tank just outside its entrance. Once inside, you hear the voice of Iwo Jima survivor John Residence as he recounts his experience on the island. As an 18 year old Marine, John describes being injured on the island but refusing to be evacuated. Instead, John chose to remain with his unit and continue to fight for an additional 36 days. John’s heroic measure earned him the Purple Heart. John lives locally and is periodically on hand to speak with visitors.
The USMC South Pacific Exhibit also has a number of cases displaying quite a few amazing pieces, including WWII USMC WR winter service and utility uniform, a Readers Digest from that time period, and a USMC Raider Flag. Also, volcanic rock from Mount Suribachi, and even a pack of Chesterfield cigarettes can be found on display. Also in the South Pacific Exhibit is a full-size diorama featuring a young marine in the middle of a sandbag area, complete with black sand and mortar shells, steadying himself behind an authentic Howitzer. The infamous photograph portraying the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi is one of the many photographs that line the USMC South Pacific room. Visitors leave the WWII USMC South Pacific Exhibit with a much better sense of the difficulties these young soldiers faced and the determination with which they faced it.