From eye-catching exhibits to interactive displays to special events, military museums do more than bring stories to life. They also provide insight into service members’ lives and experiences.
Remember and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, who’ve served and the current active members year-round when you spend time at any of these nine military museums in the South.
Chennault Aviation and Military Museum
From eye-catching exhibits to interactive displays to special events, military museums do more than bringing history to life. They also provide insight into service members’ lives and experiences.
Housed in one of the few remaining buildings of Selman Field Army Air Corps Navigation School, Chennault Aviation and Military Museum introduces you to Monroe and northeast Louisiana’s role in aviation and the military.
Through exhibits and objects on display, learn about the Selman Field and the start of Delta Air Lines and about the residents who served in the five branches.
The facility also honors General Claire Lee Chennault, the “Flying Tigers” commander during World War II. This group helped China in the early stages of the war. Chennault Aviation and Military Museum is home to the most extensive collection of Chennault artifacts.
National WWII Museum
New Orleans, Louisiana
Dedicated in 2000 as the D-Day Museum and later designated by Congress as America’s
National WWII Museum, the museum highlights the “American Spirit” of teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who served both on the battlefront and at the home front.
Situated on a six-acre campus, the galleries within the five pavilions keep you engaged and informed through many exhibits, interactive concepts such as the Dog Tag Experience and first-person oral histories.
African American Military History Museum
What once served as the East Sixth Street USO in the 1940s for African Americans stationed at Camp Shelby is now the African American Military History Museum.
The museum walks you through the extensive contributions of African-Americans who served in the U.S. military. The exhibits include everything from the Revolutionary War to Buffalo Soldiers to the Global War on Terror.
Mississippi Armed Forces at Camp Shelby
About 12 miles south of Hattiesburg is the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby.
Honoring Mississippi servicemen and women of all branches and others trained in the state during times of war, the exhibits and objects share their stories.
National Naval Aviation Museum
The world’s largest naval aviation museum displays over 150 restored aircraft from the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard aviation. Among the one-of-a-kind machines on view at the National Naval Aviation Museum include the NC-4 and Que Sera Sera. The West Wing highlights World War II carrier aviation. Be sure to catch the Bob Hope exhibit and much more, like the flight simulators and the chance to explore cockpit trainers.
Plan out your trip around the Blue Angels’ (based at NAS Pensacola) practice schedule.
National Infantry and Soldier Museum
Fort Benning is home to the Infantry; therefore, it makes sense the National Infantry and Soldier Museum is just outside the gates of Fort Benning’s United States Army Maneuver Center of Excellence.
At the museum, you can experience the “Last 100 Yards” from the Infantrymen’s perspective. Realistic life-size displays are infused with technology depicting significant battles in the Infantry’s history.
National Civil War Naval Museum
National Civil War Naval Museum is home to the largest display of Civil War Naval Flags. It is also the only museum in the world dedicated to educating the public on the Naval story of the Civil War.
Among its many exhibits is the cutter from the USS Hartford. This particular cutter possibly transported Admiral David Farragut, who is remembered for uttering the famous words, "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead," at the Battle of Mobile Bay.
Heritage Park Veterans Museum
Like other museums, Heritage Park Veterans Museum is filled with memorabilia, photographs, equipment and more from WWI to the present, include unique items an operable mule used during the Vietnam War and a Bensen gyrocopter.
However, what sets this museum apart from others is the personalization. Every item has a story behind it, and the veterans on staff are more than happy to share their stories and knowledge.
U.S. Army Airborne and Special Operations Museum
Fayetteville, North Carolina
From its early beginnings as the Test Platoon in 1940 to the Global War on Terrorism, learn how the American Airborne and Special Operations has changed and adapted as the world changed throughout the decades.
Through the exhibits, gain in-depth perspectives of the roles the soldiers played in wars and conflicts. There is even an exhibit on civil unrest in the 1960s detailing the Airborne's involvement.
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