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The FM-2 Wildcat now has wings!! Amazing job by the Air Zoo restoration team - we can’t wait to see it on display here at the American Heritage Museum in July! ... See MoreSee Less
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Great aviator Dick Rutan has passed away - Lt. Col. (Ret.) Richard Glenn Rutan flew west on Friday, May 3, 2024 at 7:08 PM PDT The last time Dick Rutan flew towards the western horizon was on December 14, 1986 when he and copilot Jeana Yeager set the last great aviation record by flying around the world, nonstop and unrefueled, in nine days, three minutes and 44 seconds in an aircraft called 'Voyager,' designed by his younger brother, legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan.A highly decorated Vietnam veteran, Dick Rutan flew 325 combat missions and was awarded the Silver Star, the Purple Heart, the Air Medal with three silver oak leaf clusters, the Collier Trophy and was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross – twice. During his time in the skies over Vietnam, Dick was a member of an elite group of Fast Forward Air Controllers, often loitering over enemy anti-aircraft positions for six hours or more in a single sortie. These extremely hazardous missions had the call sign 'Misty'; Dick Rutan was, and will forever be, Misty Four-Zero. He spent his last day in the company of friends and family, including his brother, Burt, and passed away peacefully at Kootenai Health Hospital in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, in the company of his loving wife of 25 years, Kris Rutan. He is survived by daughters Holly Hogan and Jill Hoffman, and his four grandchildren, Jack, Sean, Noelle, and Haley.For more information about his incredible flight around the world see: nationalaviation.org/most-incredible-flight-ever-rutan-model-76-voyager/ ... See MoreSee Less
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Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day - The Holocaust stands as one of the darkest chapters in human history, and it is crucial to remember this atrocity for several compelling reasons. First and foremost, the Holocaust serves as a stark reminder of the extreme consequences of hatred, discrimination, and prejudice. The systematic genocide orchestrated by the Nazi regime resulted in the mass murder of six million Jews, along with millions of others who were targeted based on their ethnicity, political beliefs, disabilities, and sexual orientation. By remembering the Holocaust, we are reminded of the devastating impact of unchecked bigotry and intolerance, compelling us to actively work towards a world that embraces diversity and promotes inclusivity.It is crucial to remember and understand this horrific event so to prevent its repetition. Historical artifacts play a vital role in educating people about the Holocaust, and among them, this Deutsche Reichsbahn rail car holds profound significance in offering insights into this tragic period. By preserving this artifact and examining the rail car's historical importance, we can gain a deeper understanding of the Holocaust and its lasting impact on humanity.During World War II, Nazi Germany's national railway system, the Deutsche Reichsbahn, played a critical role in orchestrating the Holocaust. What was once a mere utilitarian means of transportation became a haunting symbol of suffering. Transformed into vessels of misery, these rail cars carried millions of innocent victims to a horrible destination from which many would never return. A logistical transportation infrastructure that enabled the state-sponsored persecution, mass deportation, and murder of millions by Nazi Germany.At the American Heritage Museum, the display of this original WWII cattle car acts as a powerful symbol, connecting visitors to the reality of the Holocaust as inflicted by Nazi Germany and other Axis collaborators. Standing in front of this relic, one can imagine the unimaginable: the cramped conditions endured for days, the fear, the uncertainty, and the sheer terror that innocent men, women, and children endured as they were transported to their tragic fate. It is a tangible representation of the suffering and dehumanization inflicted upon millions, allowing visitors to establish a personal and emotional connection with the victims. The international community must remain vigilant against the rise of extremism and totalitarian ideologies that threaten the fundamental rights and dignity of individuals. Education about the Holocaust and the tools used to execute this genocide serves as a powerful tool to cultivate empathy, tolerance, and understanding, fostering a global consciousness that rejects discrimination and upholds the principles of justice and equality.For more information see: www.americanheritagemuseum.org/exhibits/world-war-ii/holocaust-liberation/encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/introduction-to-the-holocaust ... See MoreSee Less
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Couple more shots of the M24 Chaffee maintenance and restoration. Will be ready to go for the WWII Tank Demonstration weekend on May 25th and 26th. For more information regarding this M24 tank see: www.americanheritagemuseum.org/tank-driving-experiences-and-tank-rides/m24-chaffee-wwii-tank-driv... ... See MoreSee Less
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Defense of the Reich


8.8 cm Flak 36
– GER | ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUN

Sd.Kfz. 8 12 TON – GER | PERSONNEL CARRIER/PRIME MOVER

Kommandogerrat 38 – GER | FIRE CONTROL COMPUTER

Flak Battery Generator – GER | ANTI-AIRCRAFT BATTERY SUPPORT

Flak Battery Searchlight – GER | ANTI-AIRCRAFT BATTERY SUPPORT

V-1 (“JB-2 Loon” – Suspended) – GER | GUIDED MISSILE

The Defense of the Reich (also known in German as Reichsverteidigung) was the name given to the strategic defensive aerial campaign fought by the Luftwaffe air arm of the combined Wehrmacht armed forces of Nazi Germany over German-occupied Europe and Nazi Germany during World War II. Its aim was to prevent the destruction of German civilians, military, and civil industries by the Western Allied bombing campaigns. The day and night air battles over Germany during the war involved thousands of aircraft and aerial engagements to counter the Allied strategic bombing campaign. The Luftwaffe fighter force defended the airspace over German-occupied territory against attack, first by RAF Bomber Command and then against the United States Army Air Forces.

The constant night bombing by the RAF and daylight attacks by the USAAF added to the destruction of a major part of the German’s industries and cities, which caused the economy to collapse in the winter of 1944–45. It also pulled nearly two million Germans into defense of the homeland and diverted critical, dual-purpose 88 mm guns from an anti-tank role in the east against the advancing Red Army to an antiaircraft role inside Germany itself. By this time, the Allied armies had reached the German border and the strategic campaign became fused with the tactical battles over the front, while also completing a deliberate and methodical Allied campaign of punishment of all of Germany by destruction of German cities and civilian morale. The air campaign continued until April 1945, when the last strategic bombing missions were flown, ending just before the surrender of Germany on May 8th.

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WWII TANK DEMONSTRATION WEEKEND SATURDAY & SUNDAY

If you are visiting the museum this Saturday (5/25) and Sunday (5/26), please purchase Event Tickets at the link below. General Admission tickets to just the museum are not available this weekend - only event tickets are available.