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New Museum soon! — Miami Military Museum & Veterans Memorial

30 October 2013

New Museum! — Miami Military Museum & Veterans Memorial

25° 36′ 58″ N / 80° 23′ 58″ W

Miami Military Museum & Veterans Memorial — photo by Joseph May

Miami Military Museum & Veterans Memorial (although originally named South Florida Military Museum) under renovation — photo by Joseph May

The Miami Military Museum & Veterans Memorial, in Miami FL,  will be not only new but impressive in size as well as open to the public soon. It neighbors the Gold Coast Railroad Museum — which hosts a small exhibition space devoted to Naval Air Station (NAS) Richmond. It is also on the same property as ZooMiami so a family day can easily be enjoyed with this three fold opportunity in a single trip — history with an emphasis on lighter-than-air flight, trains and a zoo!

From this article written by Cara Boruch-Dolan of Miami Today on 9 September 2010 we learn that NAS Richmond was built in 1942 to counter the U-boat attacks during World War II and lasted until shortly before the war’s end when it burned to the ground in an accidental fire. Quite a fire it was since it destroyed many, very many, aircraft which ironically had been moved into the hangar to protect then from a hurricane. We also learn that Richard Heisenbottle, president of RJ Heisenbottle Architects, is the restoration architect.

The three extremely large wooden hangars were the heart of NAS Richmond, which was one of a handful of lighter-than-air installations around the continental United States by the U.S. Navy during World War II. One of these hangars was addressed on the post on NAS Tillamook and with several photos. Lighter-than-air flight had commercially ceased with the Hindenberg (LZ 129) disaster in May 1935 — and the U.S. Navy had ceased airship operations after the losses of the ZR-1 USS Shenandoah (1925), ZRS-4 USS Akron (1933) and ZRS-5 USS Macon (1935) — but the U.S. Navy remained heavily invested in lighter-than-air flight with dirigibles until shortly after the end of World War II. Lighter-than-air flight was never more prevalent than during World War II, as these craft had unique abilities with their long patrol flights (measured in days) as well as long loiter time to sit atop the position of a suspected U-boat hiding submerged beneath the waves until forced to surface.

The massive building, which will house the museum, was the former headquarters building for NAS Richmond and massive it is at two stories tall and about 140 feet long. The entire historic building was moved by rail to its present location a short time ago and was used, after its naval service, in succession by the other armed services as well as by the CIA during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It has a lot of history to tell — and soon it will 🙂

Miami Military Museum & Veterans Memorial — photo by Joseph May

Miami Military Museum & Veterans Memorial will be large and impressive with what will be within — photo by Joseph May

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