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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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North Africa


M3 Lee
– USA | TANK

Matilda MK.II – UK | TANK

Sd.Kfz 10 1-Ton – GER | PERSONNEL CARRIER/PRIME MOVER

Leichter Panzerspähwagen SdKfz 222 – GER | SCOUT ARMORED CAR

BMW R75 & Sidecar – GER | MOTORCYCLE & SIDE CAR

7.5 cm Pak 40 – GER | ANTI-TANK GUN

The North African Campaign of the Second World War started June 10th, 1940, when Fascist Italy declared war on Britain and France. It lasted until May 13th, 1943, when the last Axis troops in Africa surrendered in Tunisia, including the defeated Afrika Korps sent by Hitler to prop up his faltering Italian ally.

The United States officially entered the war against Germany on December 11, 1941. Struggling against Japan while arming and training its brand new mass armies in haste, the United States began direct military assistance to Allied forces in North Africa on May 11th, 1942. Canada provided a small contingent of 348 officers and enlisted. Australians, Indians, and South Africans also fought under British command in Egypt and Libya, where Britain’s 8th Army and the ‘Desert Rats’ were led by General Montgomery. Meanwhile, Free French forces struck out for North Africa from deep inside West Africa, as the Allies sought to drive the Axis out of Africa as a preliminary to the invasion of Italy and Germany.

The training, build-up, and transport of green American forces took time. While tanks and troops were supplied to the British, large numbers of American troops did not arrive in North Africa to join in the Allied effort until the start of Operation Torch in November, 1942. With some American material assistance, including tanks and aircraft and intelligence assets, British and Commonwealth forces fought the Axis in campaigns in the Libyan and Egyptian deserts (Western Desert Campaign). Anglo-American landings in Morocco and Algeria (Operation Torch), as well as Tunisia (Tunisia Campaign) book-ended a coordinated Allied strategy of driving and squeezing the last Axis armies in North Africa from east and west, until their total defeat and surrender in Tunisia May 1943.

The battle for North Africa was primarily a struggle for control of the Suez Canal and access to oil from the Middle East and raw materials from Asia, but also an effort to drive Italy out of the war as a prelude to invasion of southern Europe and a planned bombing campaign against Germany. It was the place German and American armies first faced off against each other. After early and terrible losses to the Germans, soldiers from America joined the ongoing Allied effort in North Africa and helped turn the tide of war decisively against the Axis. Next would come landings in Sicily and southern Italy. Based in a secured North Africa, bombers and invading armies would next bring the war home to the heartlands of the fascist nations themselves.

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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.