Huey Helicopter

Museum Highlights

East Texas Salute 2017:

Honoring World War II and Korean War Veterans


The American Freedom Museum, Texas Veteran’s Classic Car Show and the American Veteran’s Traveling Tribute (AVTT), will host their annual East Texas Salute Honoring World War II and Korean War Veterans from all over East Texas, on Saturday, May 13th, from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The event will be held on the grounds of the American Freedom Museum, located at 1051 North Houston Street (Old Jacksonville Highway), in Bullard, Texas. The Museum is located on the campus of The Brook Hill School.

This year’s event is as an expression of heartfelt gratitude to our aging veterans. To the men and women who fought and won the Second World War and to those who fought in Korea to preserve that victory. These men and women fought in a different time allowing us the freedoms that our current military are fighting to preserve. We will spend the day honoring this special group of veterans and letting them know that their service for our country is appreciated and that many people here in East Texas are proud of them and want to shake their hands and thank them for their service.

The media and public from all over East Texas are invited to this admission free historical, patriotic and educational event and ceremony. The salute and activities will run from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 13th. The American Freedom Museum, Traveling Vietnam Wall and Texas Veterans Classic Car Show (with over 175 classic cars), will be available for viewing, free of charge, beginning at 9:00 a.m. We will begin the morning with a parade of military vehicles down Old Jacksonville Highway carrying some of our veterans followed by a brief ceremony and jet fly over honoring the World War II and Korean War veterans. There will also be a complimentary lunch served to all in attendance and many other activities throughout the day.

The public event and ceremony on Saturday, May 13th, will be an admission free event featuring:

  • Parade of World War II military vehicles carrying some of our WW II and Korean War veterans down Old Jacksonville Highway to the Museum, led by the Patriot Guard Riders and a military helicopter 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.)
  • East Texas Men in Harmony (9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.)
  • Ceremony, recognition of World War II and Korean War Veterans, entertainment: Huge American Flag display, jet flyover, military vehicle presentation, General Patton’s grandson, Pat Waters, Patton Impersonator, World War II Aircraft Flyover (9:40 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)
  • Complimentary Lunch Served Immediately Following the Ceremony
  • Veteran’s Swing Band and Andrew Sister’s (11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)
  • World War II Reenactment and Flyover (1:00 p.m.)
  • Award Ceremony for Texas Veteran’s Classic Car Show (2:30 p.m.)
  • American Freedom Museum (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
  • Texas Veterans Classic Car Show (8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
  • The Traveling Vietnam Wall (8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
  • Military, SWAT and First Responders Vehicles (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
  • Helicopters (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
  • Texas Military Personnel (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
  • Children’s Activities (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
  • Exhibitors and Vendors (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)

The American Freedom Museum’s mission is to Honor American veterans and military personnel for the sacrifices they have made to ensure the many freedoms we enjoy each day, to Educate this and future generations about our rich American heritage, and to Inspire others to achieve greatness in their lives as the men and women throughout our nation’s history have done. The “East Texas Salute” provides the opportunity for the citizens and students of East Texas to show their appreciation for the sacrifices of our military men and women, to acknowledge their courage and to show them the honor and support they have earned. Please join us as we honor and pay tribute to these great American heroes who sacrificed their lives protecting our God-given freedoms.

(Holiday Inn Tyler South Broadway is offering a $70.00 rate per room per night! Ask for the Texas Veterans Classic Car Show/East Texas Salute group block code D91. You can make your reservations by calling 903-561-5800.)


Jan Hommel – American Freedom Museum Director
(903) 894-5252 (office)
(903) 570-3449 (cellular)

Mike Balfay
Texas Veterans Classic Car Show
(903) 894-1041

Don Allen – AVTT Coordinator, LTC USA Retired
(507) 380-2465



Today in History: January 20, 2017
Donald John Trump
Inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States

45th President:

  • Born: 6/14/1946
  • Birthplace: Queens, New York
  • Religion: Protestant
  • Education: Graduated from University of Pennsylvania (1968)
  • Occupation: Businessman, Real Estate Developer
  • Political Party: Republican
  • Other Government Positions: None

Donald John Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in Queens, New York, and was the fourth of five children of Frederick C. and Mary MacLeod Trump. Trump's older brother, Fred, Jr., died in 1981 from alcoholism, which Trump says led him to abstain from alcohol and cigarettes. His father was a builder and real estate developer who specialized in constructing and operating middle-income apartments in New York City. Donald was an energetic, assertive child, and his parents sent him to the New York Military Academy at age thirteen, hoping the discipline of the school would channel his energy in a constructive manner.

Trump did well at the academy both socially and academically, rising to become a star athlete and student leader by the time he graduated in 1964. He then entered Fordham University and two years later transferred to the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated in 1968 with a degree in economics.

Trump followed his father into a career in real estate development, bringing his ambitions to the family business. As a student, Trump worked with his father during the summer and then after graduation from college joined his father's company, Elizabeth Trump & Son. In 1971, Donald Trump was given control of the company, which he later renamed the Trump Organization. He also moved his residence to Manhattan where he began to make important connections with influential people. Convinced of the city's economic opportunity, Trump soon became involved in large building projects in Manhattan using attractive architectural design that would offer opportunities for earning high profits.

During his business career, Trump built, renovated, and managed numerous office towers, hotels, casinos, and golf courses. He owned the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants from 1996 to 2015, and has lent the use of his name in the branding of various products. From 2004 to 2015, he hosted The Apprentice, a reality television show on NBC.[update]

On October 7, 1999, Trump announced the formation of an exploratory committee to determine whether or not to seek the Reform Party's nomination for the presidential race of 2000. However, after a poor showing during the California primary, Trump withdrew his candidacy. It would not quell his political aspirations, however. He considered running as a Republican for the 2012 election but, ultimately, decided against it.

On June 16, 2015, Trump made his White House ambitions official when he announced his run for president on the Republican ticket for the 2016 election, joining a crowded field of seventeen major candidates. "I am officially running for president of the United States," Trump said during his announcement at Trump Tower in New York City, "and we are going to make our country great again." “Make America great again” would soon become the slogan of the campaign.

After defeating his Republican - primary opponents, he was formally nominated at the Republican Convention in Cleveland along with Mike Pence, Governor of Indiana, as his running mate. In one of the longest acceptance speeches in recent history, Trump outlined the issues he would tackle as president including violence in America, the economy, immigration, trade, terrorism, and the appointment of Supreme Court Justices. His campaign received unprecedented media coverage and international attention.

one of the most contentious presidential campaigns in U.S. history and in a stunning victory that defied polls and the media, Trump won the majority of electoral college votes over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and was elected the forty-fifth president of the United States on November 8, 2016. Trump's surprising rise to the office of president was considered a resounding rejection of globalist and establishment politics by blue-collar and working class Americans. At age seventy, he is the oldest and wealthiest person to assume the presidency, the first without prior military or governmental service, and the fifth with less than a plurality of the national popular vote.

Trump's platform emphasized renegotiating existing trade agreements, enforcing immigration laws and border security, strengthening energy independence, reforming veterans' affairs, repealing the Affordable Care Act, abolishing Common Core education standards, investing in infrastructure, simplifying the Internal Revenue Code while reducing taxes across the board, and imposing tariffs on imports by companies offshoring jobs. He advocates a largely non-interventionist approach to foreign policy while increasing military spending, "extreme vetting" of immigrants to preempt domestic Islamic terrorism, and aggressive military action against ISIS. His positions have been described by scholars and commentators as populist, protectionist, and nationalist.

Trump married his wife Melania after his divorces from Ivana Zelnickova and Marla Maples. The children from his first marriage with Ivana are Donald, Jr.; Ivanka; and Eric. He has a daughter Tiffany with Marla and a son Barron with his wife Melania.


We would like to simply say “Thank you". Thank you for stepping forward when others stepped back. Thank you for placing yourself between us and danger. Thank you for delaying plans for your life so that we could go on with ours. Thank you for being a conscience to our nation. Thank you for serving as heroic examples of who we are as Americans and what we can dream to be. It is because of your bravery and courage that we all possess the wonderful gift of freedom. So on this Veterans Day, and every day, we want you to know that we are truly grateful for your service and we thank you for the sacrifices that you have made and continue to make for our country! God bless you and God bless America!






Memorial Day Weekend Hours:
Saturday, May 28th – 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Monday, May 30th – 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for those who gave their lives in service of the United States of America, is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery each year with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. Traditionally, the President or Vice President lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and about 5,000 people attend the ceremony annually.
General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former Union sailors and soldiers, was the first to proclaim and designate “Decoration Day” for May 30, 1868. “Decoration Day” was created to recognize and honor the sacrifices of Civil War Soldiers who had died in battle. The early traditions included decorating graves of soldiers who died in defense of their country with flowers, wreaths and flags. The first large observance was held that year at the Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. The ceremonies centered around the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Many Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. During that first ceremony, General James Garfield, former Union General and sitting Ohio Congressman, addressed the audience and over 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

“We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.”
- James A. Garfield
May 30, 1868 Arlington National Cemetery
In 1873, the state of New York officially recognized “Decoration Day” as a legal holiday. By the late 1800’s it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South honored their dead on separate days until after World War I. After World War I, the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War, to honoring those who died fighting in all of America’s wars. It then became Memorial Day, a national holiday throughout most of the United States. Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966. Memorial Day is now observed in almost every state on the last Monday in May with the Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971.
Between the American Revolution in 1775 and today, over 1,289,593 military men and women paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives as they served in the United States military. Join us this weekend at the American Freedom Museum as we remember the men and women who have died while serving our country and fighting for our freedoms.




East Texas Salute 2016:
Honoring the Patriot Guard Riders and Welcome Home Soldiers Groups
The American Freedom Museum will host its annual East Texas Salute honoring the Patriot Guard Riders and Welcome Home Soldiers groups from all over East Texas, on Saturday, May 14th, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The event will be held on the grounds of the American Freedom Museum and The Brook Hill School.
The men and women of the Patriot Guard Riders and Welcome Home Soldiers organizations honor and pay tribute to our fallen heroes, active duty military men and women, their families and their communities. The Patriot Guard Riders mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family, to shield the mourning family and their friends from any interruptions by any outside groups, and to pay respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security, including fallen military men and women, First responders, veterans and honorably discharged veterans. The Welcome Home Soldiers mission is to join together to give our East Texas area soldiers the hero’s welcome they deserve when they return to their communities, letting every military man and woman they welcome home know that their service for our country is appreciated and that many people here at home are proud of them and want to shake their hands and thank them for their service.
The salute and activities will run from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 14th. The American Freedom Museum, Traveling Vietnam Wall and Texas Veterans Classic Car Show (with over 130 classic cars), will be available for viewing, free of charge, beginning at 9:00 a.m. There will be a brief ceremony and World War II aircraft flyover at 11:00 a.m., honoring the Patriot Guard Riders and Welcome Home Soldiers, followed by a complimentary lunch served to all in attendance.
This admission free event, on Saturday, May 14th, will feature:
American Freedom Museum and Traveling Vietnam Wall, open from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Texas Veterans Classic Car Show, open from 9:00a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Patriotic Choir Concert by The Brook Hill High School Choir at 9:30 a.m.
Patriot Guard Riders arrival at 10:00 a.m.
East Texas Men in Harmony performing at 10:30 a.m.
World War II Aircraft flyover at 11:00 a.m.
Brief Recognition Ceremony of the Patriot Guard Riders and Welcome Home Soldiers groups at 11:00 a.m.
Complimentary lunch served immediately following the ceremony at 12:00 p.m.
Military and First Responders vehicles and aircrafts, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Texas Military Personnel, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Children’s activities, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Exhibitors and vendors, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Also, as part of The East Texas Salute 2016, the AVTT Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall will be displayed on the grounds of the American Freedom Museum on Friday, May 13th and Saturday May 14th. The 80% Replica Wall and Museum will be open on Friday, May 13th, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., exclusively and free of charge for school field trips and self-guided Museum tours. Participating schools will be met by a Vietnam Veteran for a short briefing on the wall and what it means, and then students will be allowed to visit and touch the wall. Afterwards, students and teachers will have the opportunity to tour the American Freedom Museum on their own.
The American Freedom Museum’s mission is to Honor American veterans and military personnel for the sacrifices they have made to ensure the many freedoms we enjoy each day, to Educate this and future generations about our rich American heritage, and to Inspire others to achieve greatness in their lives as the men and women throughout our nation’s history have done.  One of the Museum’s goals each year is to provide opportunities and events for the citizens and students of East Texas to show their appreciation for the sacrifices of our military men and women, to acknowledge their courage and to show them the honor and support they have earned.
We are very excited about this annual event and hope that you and your family will be able to join us as we honor and thank the Patriot Guard Riders and Welcome Home Soldiers for all they do for our American heroes.
For more information please feel free to contact American Freedom Museum Director, Jan Hommel, at (903) 894-5252 or by email at



If it has been more than a than a few weeks since you stopped by the American Freedom Museum, you have missed one of our newest additions. Is that a helicopter I hear? The Museum has recently added a sound box to the outdoor helicopter exhibit. The box was designed by Don Allen (COO and owner of AVTT) and Kevin Weatherly (CEO) of the American Veteran’s Traveling Tribute in Flint, Texas. The “sound box” captures one of the most memorable sounds of the 1960’s, the iconic sound of the Huey Helicopter and the Vietnam War.

The classic example of the “helicopter sound” is that produced by the Bell UH-1 Iroquois (‘Huey”) helicopters used in the Vietnam War. The twin blades of the main rotor moved at speeds very close to the speed of sound, producing a loud “thump-thump” sound that has become iconic for helicopters in general and for the Vietnam War. Most other helicopters don’t produce quite as distinctive or loud a thump-thump sound as the UH-1. Helicopters generate their lift through the spinning of rotor blades. The spinning blades generate aerodynamic pressures and forces that create acoustic waves. These acoustic waves are what we call noise as we hear them while standing on the ground.

The most widely used military helicopter, the Bell UH-1 series Iroquois, better known as the “Huey”, began arriving in Vietnam in 1963. Before the end of the conflict, more than 5,000 of these versatile aircraft were introduced into Southeast Asia. “Hueys” were used for Medevac, command and control, and air assault; to transport personnel and material; and as gunships. Considered to be the most widely used helicopter in the world, with more than 9,000 produced from the 1950’s to the present, the Huey is flown today by about 40 countries.

We invite you to stop by and experience our new exhibit!






By receiving this award and designation as a “Purple Heart Museum”, we pledge to pay tribute to Purple Heart recipients who were wounded or killed in combat while defending the freedoms that make this nation so great. The Museum has a proud tradition of supporting and honoring our Nation’s veterans, active duty military, Guards, Reserves, and their families. We are committed to providing opportunities for citizens in the East Texas area to show their appreciation for the sacrifices of our military men and women, to acknowledge their courage, and to show them the honor and support they have earned. We are also committed to teaching students and working with schools and other organizations to help promote U.S. history.

The American Freedom Museum will be added to the Purple Heart Trail, which is a symbolic and honorary syatem of roads, highways. bridges, monuments and landmarks throughout all 50 states to commemorate and honor all men and women who have been wounded or killed in combat. The trail starts at Mt. Vernon, Virginia and includes a portion of the trail in all 50 states across America.


The Waco Invasion Glider

During World War II, America produced the most formidable glider force in the world. More than 14,000 CG-4A’s were built by 20 companies. A typical function of the glider was to transport its heavily armed troops behind enemy lines where they could disrupt the advance of the enemy’s reserve troops by destroying railroads, bridges and other communications. Towed at the end of a 300 foot nylon rope by bombers or transport aircraft, the glider would be released once it was over the target destination. Once on the ground, equipment such as a jeep or light howitzer were pulled out by lifting up the entire nose section (including the pilots’ compartment). A maximum of thirteen soldiers would exit by doors located on the side.

The CG-4A was constructed of steel tubing fuselage and wooden wings, both fabric covered. Because of its flimsy construction and small landing zones, a large percentage ended in crashes, leading to the nickname “flying coffin.”

Wingspan……….83 feet, 8 inches
Length………….48 feet, 4 inches
Height………….12 feet, 7 inches
Empty weight….3,700 pounds
Loaded weight....7,500 pounds
Safe tow speed…150 miles per hour
Glide speed….....65 miles per hour


This uniform belonged to a Major in the Union infantry. He is wearing the famous "Hardee hat," also known as the Model 1858 Dress hat, the regulation dress hat for enlisted men in the Union army. The most prominent wearers of the hat during the war were the soldiers of the "Iron Brigade." U.S. Army regulations specified that the hat should be adorned with a brass hat device and a wool hat cord denoting the branch of service of the wearer: sky blue for infantry, scarlet for artillery, and yellow for calvary.

George Washington
1st United States President

Born: February 22, 1732
Birthplace: Westmoreland County, Virginia
Religion: Episcopalian
Education: No formal education
Occupation: Planter, Soldier
Political Party: FederalistOther Government Positions: Member of Virginia House of Burgesses, 1759 – 74,member of Continental Congress, 1774 – 75, and Chairman of the Constitutional Convention, 1787 – 88

George Washington was born on February 22, 1732, in Westmoreland County, Virginia. While in his teens, he trained as a surveyor, and at the age of 20 he was appointed adjutant in the Virginia militia. For the next three years, he fought in the wars against the French and Indians, serving as General Edward Braddock’s aide in the disastrous campaign against Ft. Duquesne. In 1759, he resigned from the militia, married Martha Dandridge Custis, a widow with children, and settled down as a gentleman farmer at Mount Vernon, Virginia.

“To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” George Washington

As a militiaman, Washington had been exposed to the arrogance of the British officers, and his experience as a planter with British commercial restrictions increased his anti-British sentiment. He opposed the Stamp Act of 1765 and after 1770 became increasingly prominent in organizing resistance. A delegate to the Continental Congress, Washington was selected as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and took command at Cambridge, Massachusetts, on July 3, 1775.

“Do not let anyone claim to be a true American if they ever attempt to remove religion from politics.” George Washington

Inadequately supported and sometimes covertly sabotaged by the Congress, in charge of troops who were inexperienced, badly equipped, and impatient of discipline, Washington conducted the war on the policy of avoiding major engagements with the British and wearing them down by harassing tactics. Hi able generalship, along with the French alliance and the growing weariness within Britain, brought the war to a conclusion with the surrender of Cornwallis following the siege at Yorktown, Virginia, on October 19, 1781.

“…reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle…” George Washington

The chaotic years under the Articles of Confederation led Washington to return to public life in the hope of promoting the formation of a strong central government. He presided over the Constitutional Convention and yielded to the universal demand that he serve as first president. He was inaugurated on April 30, 1789, in New York, the first national capital. In office, he sought to unite the nation and establish the authority of the new government at home and abroad. Greatly distressed by the emergence of the Hamilton – Jefferson rivalry, Washington worked to maintain neutrality but actually sympathized more with Hamilton than the Federalists. He was unanimously reelected in 1792. His Farewell Address on September 17, 1796, (published but never delivered) rebuked party divisiveness and warned against “permanent alliances” with foreign powers.

He died at Mount Vernon on December 14, 1799.

Spanish - American War 1898
Uniform & Bugle of Frederick Walters, Jr.


Frederick Walters, Jr. was a musician with Company G of the 71st New York Volunteer Infantry.
He was wounded in action on July 1, 1898 at San Juan Hill, Cuba.
Shot in the left hip as he sounded a charge, he was removed to a field hospital for the remainder of the battle.

(This uniform was previously on display at Theodore Roosevelt's home, Sagamore Hill, in New York.)




The American Freedom Museum will hold the Grand Opening and Dedication of its new outdoor “Huey Helicopter” exhibit, on Saturday, November 8th, at 10:00 a.m. The event will be held at the American Freedom Museum, located at 1051 North Houston Street (Old Jacksonville Highway), in Bullard, Texas. The Museum is on the campus of The Brook Hill School.

The event and day of “Honoring Heroes” will begin at 10:00 a.m. with the helicopter dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony. Come celebrate and honor the sacrifices and service of our veterans and military men and women as we say “thank you” for serving as heroic examples. Join us for patriotic music by the Cadet Singers, helicopter dedication and address given by Brigadier General James L. Anderson from the Vietnam War, playing of TAPS, firing of our 1861 Parrot Rifle Cannon, ribbon cutting, military vehicle display, food, and much more!

The dedication ceremony is free of charge. The Museum will be open for touring from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. with adult admission $6.00, student admission $5.00 and veterans will be admitted for free. The Brook Hill student orchestra will be playing in the Museum lobby in the afternoon, and Snow Coney Island will be providing food from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. with all proceeds going to the American Freedom Museum.

Brigadier General James L. Anderson served active duty in the United States Army for 41 years. Graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1956, he became an Army Ranger and was later an instructor at Ranger School. He served two tours in Vietnam earning many combat medals including two Purple Hearts, two bronze Stars for Valor, a Silver Star, the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, twelve Air Medals, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. For a limited time, the lobby of the Museum will host a temporary exhibit displaying General Anderson’s uniform from Vietnam, a North Vietnamese Army SKS semi-automatic carbine, the Award of the Silver Star, Bronze Star and the Medal of Honor for Vietnam Merit.

The American Freedom Museum was founded by Mr. Stephen Dement and opened its doors in May of 2010. The heart of the Museum includes fifteen separate galleries tracking the actions of our military in the quest for liberty. Each gallery chronicles the causes of the conflict and focuses on major events and results of America’s fight for freedom. Over 600 artifacts bring history to life as the story of each era is told.

The Museum’s mission is to HONOR American veterans and military personnel for the sacrifices they have made to ensure our freedoms, to EDUCATE this and future generations about our rich heritage, and to INSPIRE others to achieve greatness.

Over the last 2 years the Museum has established itself as a comprehensive teaching Museum that offers in-depth age and grade specific tours and experiences for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. These Museum labs engage and challenge students to have a greater awareness and understanding of our rich American heritage. Any teacher can find their area of study in action throughout history and will find real life application of the skills their students are learning from the basics to higher level academics in reading, writing, literature, math, science, history, geography, psychology, sociology, speech, debate, Spanish, the arts and athletics.



Contact: Jan Hommel, American Freedom Museum Director
       or 903-894-5252



1861 Parrot Rifle Cannon

This cannon is an original 1861 model 10 – pound Parrott rifle manufactured at West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, New York. Made of cast iron, it was wrapped at the breech with a reinforcing band of wrought iron. The cannon was inspected by Robert P. Parrott, the manufacturer as well as the ordinance officer for the U.S Government. With a Foundry number of “178”, it was inspected on January 8, 1862 with the barrel having a weight of 895 pounds. It has the capability of accurately firing a 10 - pound projectile a distance of almost a mile and a half (2,500 yards). Only about sixty of this particular model are still in existence today, with 13 of them being located at Gettysburg



M29 Cargo Carrier “Weasel”

The M29 Weasel was a World War II tracked vehicle designed specifically for operation in rough terrain. Introduced in 1942 when the First Special Services Force needed transportation into Norway to knock out strategic plants that were supplying Germany, The vehicle nee3ded to move quickly and easily through the winter snows. It also needed to be air transportable and be able to withstand the effects of being dropped by parachute. Specifically designed for quick assaults, it would also be able to carry arms, explosives, and minimal resupply stocks.

The task of building the Weasel was undertaken by the Studebaker Company. Studebaker was given 180 days to produce a war ready vehicle. In less than 60 days, they were testing a prototype, which emerged as the M29 Cargo Carrier. It was used in Europe, the Pacific and Alaska during WW II, and by the end of the war, over 15,000 had been built.

The M29 Cargo Carrier “Weasel” could be used as command, radio, ambulance, signal line lying, and light cargo vehicle. It proved most useful on difficult terrain (snow, swamps, sand, and deep mud). Although the Weasel was never used for its original intention in Norway, they were very successful in supplying frontline troops over difficult ground when wheeled vehicles were immobilized. They were used at the beaches on D-Day and in subsequent campaigns.

Designed to carry a crew of four, the Weasel weighed 3,800 pounds and was powered by a 70 horsepower engine. It had an operational range of 165 miles and could cruise at 36 mph with fuel consumption of 5 miles per gallon. It could cross a ditch 3 feet wide and could climb a vertical wall 2 feet high.

Bell Helicopter UH - 1D (Huey)


The Vietnam War was the first airmobile war – one in which helicopters flew patrols, attacked enemy positions, delivered supplies, carried troops into combat, and retrieved the wounded and dead. Air mobility, a new tactic of ground warfare, enabled troops to be lifted into widely dispersed locations to engage the enemy, then extracted and redeployed.

The U.S. Army’s first operational turboshaft – powered helicopter was the Bell UH-1, the most successful rotorcraft in history. “UH” stood for “utility, helicopter” and the designation quickly led to the nickname that would be famous: “Huey”. Thousands of these helicopters carried troops into battle, seven to twelve infantrymen at a time. The choppers could fly low and slow, dodge enemy fire, hover just above ground level at the outskirts of hamlets or fields of head-high elephant grass, or drop into newly cut jungle clearings – landing zones – barely larger than the sweep of their rotors. Because of their mobility, the average infantryman in Vietnam saw about 240 days of combat in one year, compared to the average infantryman in the South Pacific during World War II who saw about 40 days of combat in four years.

The transports were nicknamed “slicks” because they were unarmed except for an M60 machine gun in the doorway. Often they were accompanied by Huey gunships armed with external machine guns and rocket and grenade launchers that covered landing troops.

Rapid combat-casualty evacuations flown by daring “Dustoff” crews – pilots, medics, and crew chiefs – extracted nearly 400,000 wounded from battle zones during the course of the war. Crews commonly put themselves at great risk, flying in and out of intense fighting. Often targeted by enemy snipers, they worked frantically to save lives and prepare casualties for evacuation to surgical hospitals. They repeatedly witnessed the horrible realities of war. During a mission, the air would be permeated with what one soldier described as “the sickeningly sweet redolence of fresh blood.”

Medics in the field were the first to treat the wounded. But helicopters made it possible for the wounded to be on a surgeon’s table in a hospital within an hour. Once there, doctors – and more than 10,000 nurses – saved 97% of those still alive when they arrived at hospital helipads.

The helicopter pictured above is a U.S. Army Helicopter UH – 1D with the 48th Assault Helicopter Company:Tail Number 65 – 09857

This particular helicopter was purchased by the Army in May 1966. It was piloted by members of the 48th Assault Helicopter Company, including Lt. Jim Sanford who currently resides in Savannah, Georgia.

Combat Incident Report: On September 22, 1966, during a resupply mission to a forward area and while on take-off from the landing zone at about 50 feet in the air, this helicopter took four hits from automatic weapons fire in the engine compartment. It continued flight and accomplished all mission objectives. One of these hits can be seen highlighted with yellow paint in the upper left corner above the rear right side seat.

Helicopter Specifications:

  • Rotor width: 48 feet
  • Fuselage Length: 41 feet, 1 inch
  • Height: 14 feet, 6 inches
  • Empty weight: 5,210 pounds
  • Max loaded weight: 9,500 pounds
  • Max speed: 125 mph
  • Service ceiling: 12,600 feet
  • Range: 320 miles



This cast iron cannon featured in the War of 1812 gallery has a colorful history. Manufactured between 1710 - 1730 by British cannon maker "W. J. Hall", the gun was used by American Revolutionary forces in North Carolina against the British.

Following the war, it was taken to Tennessee and used by that state's militia. With the outbreak of hostilities in the War of 1812, that cannon was taken by Andrew Jackson and his forces "down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico" where it was used by them against the British again at the famous Battle of New Orleans in 1815.

The cannon is mounted on a cypress new Orleans made naval carriage and contains all original iron work, including the cast iron wheels. (Overall size: 3 inch bore, 5 feet long, 400 pounds)

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