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News from the Virginia War Museum

By: David Bennett, Curator

For years, the exhibits at the Virginia War Museum had not changed and they were in need of different artifacts as well as modernization. Beginning in 2008, the Museum began changing out artifacts and modernizing displays. Some of the most significant changes have occurred in the last eight months with updates to three World War II displays, two new World War II displays, a new Central America display, and a temporary display on the Newport News World War I Port of Embarkation.

Some of the most recent updates are to the World War II naval warfare exhibit. The updates include new displays pertaining to surface and submarine warfare as well as an improved Battle of the Atlantic display. The surface warfare display features a detailed model of the USS San Francisco, a 5-inch projectile as well as uniforms, headgear, and small handheld equipment used aboard surface vessels. Currently under construction is a display featuring the effective ranges of naval guns. The submarine warfare exhibit primarily features uniforms from the U.S. Submarine Service. The Battle of the Atlantic exhibit is still under construction. By the time it is done, it will feature photos, a map, a diorama of a German U-boat attacking a convoy, and artifacts related to the U.S. Navy and Merchant Marine in the Atlantic. 













Last year, the Museum's staff and volunteers updated cases pertaining to the United States Army and Marine Corps in the Pacific. Some of the more noteworthy objects now on display are the M1941 Johnson Light Machine Gun, the M1941 Johnson Rifle, and a United States Marine Corps tunic worn by a U.S. Army soldier. The tunic has three holes caused by one bullet (two across the front torso and one through the edge of a sleeve). Miraculously, the soldier wearing the tunic was not injured. The Museum also added an exhibit on U.S. military operations in Central America during the 1980's complete with infantry uniforms of that time period. The temporary exhibit on the World War I Port of Embarkation includes photos and maps of the port and the military camps.

The hard work continues as the Museum's staff and volunteers are currently researching, writing, and collecting artifacts for a temporary exhibit on Vietnam, 1968-1969. Everyone here at the Museum is looking forward to the exhibit and we appreciate the support that we are receiving from American Legion Post 25 as well as other posts in the region.

To contribute to the exhibit on Vietnam, 1968-1969, please go HERE.