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Airborne! — 82nd Airborne Division Museum — the “All-American”

2 February 2012

Airborne! — 82nd Airborne Division Museum — the “All-American”

35º 07′ 50″ N / 79º 01′ 18″ W

Badge of the 82nd Airborne Division, the “All-American” — photo by Joseph May

One of our country’s oldest military museums, the 82nd Airborne Division Museum was established in 1945. It also has a sizeable air park and well as numerous memorials on the grounds. Named the “All-American” when members of all 48 states in the USA comprised its original ranks in 1917 their shoulder patch reflects this fact this unit takes pride in. The 82nd Airborne has taken part in most, if not all, major actions of the U.S. Army. The museum is richly populated in artifacts like weapons, uniforms (one from Manuel Noriega), precious soil from battles, captured military matériel, portion of a WACO glider and much more.

Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar — photo by Joseph May

Fairchild C-123K Provider (note the underwing turbojet) — photo by Joseph May

Early Bell UH-1 Iroquois, better known as the Huey— photo by Joseph May

Their air park has an interesting setting with the aircraft set upon slightly elevated hill top with other military arms. These aircraft are, in order from southeast to northwest: Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar, Fairchild C-123K Provider (the version with two reciprocating engines and two underwing turbojet engines), De Havilland C-7 Caribou, Douglas C-47 Skytrain, Curtiss C-46 Commando and Lockheed C-130 Hercules.

De Havilland C-7 Caribou — photo by Joseph May

Douglas C-47 Skytrain with Normandy invasion stripes on fuselage as well as wings — photo by Joseph May

Curtiss C-46 Commando — photo by Joseph May

Lockheed C-130 Hercules located behind the museum — photo by Joseph May

Numerous memorials are on the grounds leading to the museum entrance and they signify the dedication and the costs borne by these soldiers currently as well as the previous 95 years.

 New history is also memorialized at the museum — photo by Joseph May

 Another modern memorial, one only gets their name here after volunteering at least twice and then giving their final measure — photo by Joseph May

The museum is free and entry is gained onto the base only by the security gate on the All American Highway (take care to be in the left hand most lane when approaching the gate). It is a bit tricky this next bit,  but once cleared through security (have a license/passport, insurance card as well as open the trunk, hood and all doors ) one has to cross three lanes of traffic in 0.2 miles (0.3km) to take the Gruber Rd exit west. Pay close heed to speed limits and travel 0.8 miles (1.3km) to Reilly St then turn right (north). A short way will bring you to Ardennes Rd where a left turn should be made to the west — a block later you will see the JFK Special Warfare Museum. Drive 1.7 miles (2.7km) more to the museum which will be on your right (north) side. Restrooms are there — as is water.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 2 February 2012 07:22

    Wow, reading this blog is like going home for a visit on a regular basis… 🙂
    Not just visiting North Carolina, Back home to Hickory as we visited my hometown and its new aviation museum, and Charlotte’s warbirds exhibit, and all of Joseph May’s fine photo journalism which I follow with much interest all the time. Now our great tour lands at the famous 82 airbourne… Where the C-123 and the C-47 with invasion stripes (just like Scott Glover’s whom I am currently anticipating an interview) and the Huey, as well and the Caribou all those aircraft I have flown on and bring back memories and give me cause for grand thought and always generates additional fonder for more articles than I can write (Thanks Mr. May). This is my favorite Blog (other than mine of course 🙂 Keep up the fine job you are doing Sir. Each of your entries are instructive and interesting. (JRH)

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      2 February 2012 09:14

      Thanks JR 🙂 You sussed out that I recently made a tour of those museums on a recent trip to NC, excellent! You have much in the way of experience and knowledge, I might say as well. Near future posts will be on individual aircraft at the museums recently visited so you will soon see more and varied angles of the aircraft types you flew — and I’m happy to provide them. Thanks again, Joe

  2. 12 January 2014 15:32

    A fascinating discussion is worth comment.
    I do believe that you ought to publish more on this subject, it may not be a taboo matter but typically people don’t speak about such topics.
    To the next! Many thanks!!

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