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How "Section T" Took Down a Nazi Superweapon and Helped Win the Battle of the BulgeAs you descend the American Heritage Museum's central staircase, be sure to look up to see our "Doodlebug" - one of the several nicknames (buzzbomb, Maybug) given to the V-1 rockets launched on England after the D-Day invasion. From June 1944 to March 1945, the Germans launched 6,725 V-1 rockets at Britain from launch pads in France and the Netherlands. Of those, 2.340 hit London causing 5,475 deaths with nearly 16,000 injured. While the RAF had some early success in downing Hitler's flying bombs, the superior speed of later V-1 models required new approaches to air defense. The most effective solution came from the top secret project of US engineers and scientists led by Johns Hopkins physicist Merle Tuve who comprised what was known as "Section T" of the US Army Research Laboratory. After three years of intensive research and testing, Tuve's team developed the VT (Variable Time) Proximity Fuse, a device that alerted an artillery shell when to explode. By August 1944, Allied forces were shooting nearly half of the V-1 rockets out of the sky, and by the end of the summer, their success rate neared 100%. The last V-1 launch site in the Netherlands was overrun on March 29, 1945.Allied artillery commanders in Europe were anxious to utilize their stockpile of new shells equipped with radio proximity fuses. But the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington and Allied leadership in Europe were reluctant to use the proximity shell against German ground forces. If the Nazis recovered a dud, which they would, they could reverse-engineer the invention and use it against the Allies - and share it with the Japanese. Dr. Vannevar Bush, chairman of the National Defense Research Council, convened a panel of scientists, including Tuve, that determined it would take the Germans at least 27 months to replicate and mass-produce their own proximity shell. Eisenhower then ordered that the shells could be used starting on December 25.However, on the morning a December 16, 1944, Colonel George Axelson, the commander of the 406th Artillery Group, had a difficult decision to make. The Germans had just launched an offensive along an 80-mile front in Belgium and Luxembourg that would become known as the Battle of the Bulge. Axelson decided that the emergency trumped Ike's restrictions and ordered his gunners to use the new shell. The German attack in his sector collapsed. Beginning on December 18, the U.S. First, Third and Ninth Armies unleashed the most devastating artillery fire German troops had ever encountered. Across the Ardennes, the VT fuse became the weapon of choice, particularly at night, in the open and through fog. Shells were showered on German troops crossing critical road junctions, bridges and highways.The development of the proximity fuse was one of the best-kept secrets of WWII and is regarded by many as the third most important technological achievement after the Atomic bomb and Radar. ... See MoreSee Less

52 minutes ago  ·  

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Greetings from AHM! A reminder we will be open Monday, January 17th celebrating MLK Day. In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and upcoming Black History Month we have moved the Tuskegee PT-17 Stearman into the museum and is on display. This is the last flying Stearman that was used to train Tuskegee Airmen during WWII. Amazing history! See you soon. ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago  ·  

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Hello everyone on a snowy Friday, January 7th! The museum IS OPEN today from 10am to 5pm but we ask all visitors to exercise caution on our entrance road as we try to keep up with the snowy and slippery conditions. Remember that your car isn't an M24 Chaffee and doesn't handle as well in the snow! (video taken last year, alas we are not driving the M24 today)www.facebook.com/1823762134370546/videos/3869937883086284 ... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago  ·  

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Join Liberty Lou on a behind the scenes tour through the American Heritage Museum's maintenance shop. Learn about AHM's tank driving and ride programs. See: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwkOi6qGJEY ... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago  ·  

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October 2018

Battle for the Airfield 2018

October 6, 2018 @ 8:30 am - October 7, 2018 @ 4:30 pm
American Heritage Museum, 568 Main Street
Hudson, MA 01749 United States
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The Collings Foundation is hosting a WWII reenactment and WWII Veterans round table discussion October 6th and 7th, 2018. There will be over 300 re-enactors representing several branches of Allied and Axis military participating in an amazing re-enactment. Fully restored military equipment of all kinds will be on display and participating in a dynamic educational living history event. Some of the vintage equipment includes tanks, cannons, troop carriers, half tracks, aircraft and support supplies. Allied and Axis camps were set…

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June 2019

$15 – $25

Tanks, Wings & Wheels

June 15, 2019 @ 8:30 am - June 16, 2019 @ 4:30 pm
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July 2019

$20.00

Presentation: Restoring the Churchill Tank

July 7, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
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November 2019

Veterans Day Opening at the American Heritage Museum

November 11, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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December 2019

Book talk and signing. Blind Bombing: How Microwave Radar Brought the Allies to D-day

December 6, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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February 2020

$20

Renowned History & Aviation Artist Rob Brun – Talk and Battle of the Bulge Painting Debut

February 1, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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August 2020

August Special Event Weekend – Automobile & Aircraft Museums Open

August 15, 2020 @ 10:00 am - August 16, 2020 @ 5:00 pm
American Heritage Museum, 568 Main Street
Hudson, MA 01749 United States
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*We ask that everyone wear face masks and adhere to social distancing protocols. The American Heritage Museum will host the Tanks, Wings and Wheels weekend on August 15th and 16th. All three amazing museums will be open: The American Heritage Museum, The Historic Aviation Hangar and Classic Automobile Barn. This is a unique opportunity to see some of the world’s most rare aircraft, extraordinary American classic automobiles, historic tanks, armored vehicles, military artifacts and much more. There is over 100,000 square…

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October 2020

Military History Through The Ages – *Replaces Battle for the Airfield due to COVID-19 Event Rules*

October 10, 2020 @ 9:00 am - October 11, 2020 @ 5:00 pm
American Heritage Museum, 568 Main Street
Hudson, MA 01749 United States

The Collings Foundation and American Heritage Museum is hosting a living history exhibition - Military History Through The Ages. The weekend features multiple re-enactors with displays from the Revolutionary War up through the present day. All three Museums will be open: The Collings Foundation Automobile Collection, The Collings Foundation Hangar, and the American Heritage Museum. Fully restored military equipment of all kinds will be on display. Camps will be set up with authentic materials and appearance. Re-enactors act as docents…

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February 2021

IHI / AHM Speaker Series: “The Thorn in the Eagle’s Side: How Six American Presidents Dealt with the Challenges of Charles de Gaulle.”

February 1, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
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IHI / AHM Speaker Series: “The Coming Storm: Another Great Power War?”

February 19, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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March 2021

Free

IHI / AHM Speaker Series: “Unwearing of the Green: Republican Skeletons in Ulster Protestant Closets”

March 18, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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April 2021

$10 – $20

1812 Marine Guard Training At AHM

April 17, 2021 @ 10:00 am - April 18, 2021 @ 4:00 pm
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May 2021

$15 – $25

Tank Demo Days at AHM

May 15, 2021 @ 10:00 am - May 16, 2021 @ 5:00 pm
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1812 Marine Guard At AHM

May 22, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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June 2021

$20

1778 64th Light Infantry Co. At AHM

June 5, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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$20

Peter’s Corps – The Queen’s Loyal Rangers At AHM

June 26, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
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July 2021

$20

Speaker Series: WAR PIGEONS: Winged Couriers of the U.S. Military, 1878-1957

July 17, 2021 @ 1:00 am - 3:00 pm
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August 2021

$10 – $20

The Rifle – Book Signing and Talk by Andrew Biggio

August 1, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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$15 – $25

Military History Through The Ages

August 7, 2021 @ 9:00 am - August 8, 2021 @ 5:00 pm
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$20

IHI / AHM Speaker Series: “No Greater Love: Sacrificing to Save Enemy Lives in Wartime”

August 19, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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$10 – $20

Learn to draw a tank with artist Robert Brun

August 28, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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September 2021

Author Talk – Hotel 9/11 by Joyce Ng

September 4, 2021 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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$15 – $25

Race of the Century

September 11, 2021 @ 9:00 am - September 12, 2021 @ 5:00 pm
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October 2021

$20 – $35

Battle for the Airfield WWII Re-Enactment

October 9, 2021 @ 8:30 am - October 10, 2021 @ 5:00 pm
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Speaker Series: Plants Go to War: A Botanical History of World War II

October 22, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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Free – $20

Tank or Treat: Halloween at the American Heritage Museum

October 31, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tank or Treat: Halloween at the American Heritage Museum
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November 2021

Tri-Chamber Veterans Appreciation Event

November 12, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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$10 – $20

Speaker Series: Rustic Warrior by Dr. Steven Eames

November 19, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
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December 2021

IHI / AHM Symposium – Pearl Harbor: Inevitable or Infamy?

December 4, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
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$10 – $20

Author Talk by Kevin Hymel – Patton’s War

December 10, 2021 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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Friday, January 7 - Museum Open, but Exercise Caution Driving In

We are open today, Friday, January 7th from 10am to 5pm, but we ask visitors to drive very slow on our main entry road as the winter storm has made conditions slick. Thank you!