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Our nation has a long and proud history of Americans answering the call to serve. Today, we pause to remember the 138,000 POW’s and 83,000 MIA’s from WWII to the present day during this, America’s National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

The American Heritage Museum is humbled to have been chosen to display a somber reminder of perhaps the most well-known of all of the POW camps in Vietnam, the Hỏa Lò Prison or as it is more colloquially known as the “Hanoi Hilton.”

With great foresight and appreciation of the historic significance of these cells a donor made sure that the most important of these cells were disassembled, brick by brick, slab by slab, and preserved for posterity before the remaining parts of the prison were raised in the mid-1990s.

Today only a handful of these cells survive at the original Hanoi Hilton along with the ones that will be carefully reassembled at the American Heritage Museum in Hudson, Ma. This portion of the “Hilton” known as “Heartbreak Hotel” was the section where most of the downed flyers spent their first weeks of captivity, enduring the peak of their horrific and grueling physical and mental torture. We are solemnly committed to ensuring the personal war for survival and sacrifice of these brave men shall never be forgotten.

The AHM is honored to be able to keep their legacy alive for future generations and look forward to the future opening of this gallery that will preserve their courage, valor, and bravery.
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2 days ago  ·  

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We will never forget. ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago  ·  

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Celebrating the 75th Victory Over Japan day (VJ day). Honoring those who served and lost their lives for our freedom and liberty. We must remember. ... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago  ·  

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We have been making some interesting discoveries as we assemble the Panzer 1A. Pictures show the left rear swing arm with a bullet hole right through it. Looks like the bullet traveled through the arm and into a wheel rim. ... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago  ·  

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Restoration work is being done on the German 7.5mm IG18 artillery piece that will go into the War Clouds exhibit around the end of this week. The wooden spoke wheels indicate this cannon was pulled by a horse. ... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago  ·  

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D-Day


Cromwell I –
UK | TANK

                   LCVP “Higgins Boat” – USA | LANDING CRAFT

Churchill Crocodile – UK | FLAME THROWER TANK

QF 6-pounder – UK | ANTI-TANK GUN

Bren Gun Carrier (Universal Carrier) – UK | LIGHT PERSONNEL CARRIER

Allied plans for a cross-Channel invasion of what Hitler called his “Fortress Europe” began to ramp up in 1943. Erwin Rommel took charge of defense operations along the Atlantic coast of occupied Europe. Hitler charged Rommel with completing the so-called Atlantic Wall, a 2,400-mile fortification of bunkers, landmines, beach and water obstacles.

Code-named Operation Overlord, the Battle for Western Europe began on D-Day (June 6th, 1944).  Nearly 156,000 American, British, Canadian, Polish and Free French forces landed on five beaches (two American, two British, one Canadian) along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy region.

The invasion was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history and required extensive planning, a huge logistical effort, special feats of engineering, and probably most important, close cooperation among the armies, navies and air forces of all the participating Allied nations. The Normandy landings have been called the beginning of the end of the war in Europe. In fact, they marked the beginning of a new and far more deadly phase, lasting over 11 months.

Operation Neptune – the naval component of Operation Overlord – was organized and commanded by British Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, the same man who oversaw the 1940 evacuation of the British Expeditionary Forces from the Dunkirk beaches. Neptune would be the largest seaborne invasion in history, only exceeded by the invasion of Okinawa the following year. The invasion fleet was drawn from eight different navies and involved 196,000 naval personnel and 6,939 vessels ranging in size from Higgins boats to battleships.

By dawn on June 6, thousands of paratroopers and glider troops were already on the ground behind enemy lines, securing bridges and exit roads. The amphibious invasions began at 6:30 a.m. The British and Canadians overcame opposition to capture beaches code-named Gold, Sword, and Juno, as did the Americans at Utah Beach. U.S. forces faced the heaviest resistance and most difficult terrain under the cliffs of Omaha Beach, where there were over 2,000 American casualties. However, by day’s end, approximately 156,000 Allied troops had successfully stormed Normandy’s beaches. According to some estimates, more than 4,000 Allied troops lost their lives in the D-Day invasion, with thousands more wounded or missing. Perhaps 6,000 Germans were killed, with many more wounded or surrendering to advancing Allied forces. It took even heavier fighting, against German reinforcements and several Panzer divisions, to secure the Normandy landing sites by June 11.  By the end of August 1944, the Allies had reached the Seine River, Paris was liberated, and the German army was running for the Rhine, abandoning tanks and trucks and other equipment after its bloody defeat at Falaise. But then the Allies went ‘a bridge too far’ in the Netherlands and suffered a hard defeat, and more slogging around Metz. The armies settled into the forests and hills that straddled the Rhine, fighting a slower, more grinding kind of war into the last months of 1944. The war would not be ‘over by Christmas.’ It would continue all winter and into the late spring of 1945.

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Museum Re-Opens Wednesday, July 8th, 2020

As a part of the Reopening Massachusetts Phase III, the American Heritage Museum will be re-opening to the public on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 and will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm. All visitors will be required to wear face masks while visiting the indoor spaces per state requirements.