Airborne! — 82nd Airborne Division Museum — the “All-American”
35º 07′ 50″ N / 79º 01′ 18″ W
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.
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.
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.
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.