A Look Inside A Hidden Gem of Texas

A Look Inside A Hidden Gem of Texas

A Look Inside A Hidden Gem of Texas

Friday, May 30, 2014

Restored truck at the Pacific War Museum in Fredericksburg, TX

One of the first things I did after moving to Fredericksburg, Texas was visit the National Museum of the Pacific War.  It was on the day we closed the sale of our home.  We had to wait a couple of hours for the paperwork to clear, so I suggested to my wife that we check out the museum




Well, that turned out to be a big mistake of sorts – because there is simply no way to take in all the museum has to offer in only a couple of hours!   So our first visit consisted of a brisk walk through many of the exhibits in the Admiral Nimitz Museum and the George H.W. Bush Gallery.  While we certainly enjoyed what we saw, we left feeling as though we’d barely scratched the surface, and it whetted my appetite to learn more about this facility! 


Nimitz Museum, now the The National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, TexasWe spent much of the time during that first visit in the Nimitz Museum, housed in the old Nimitz Hotel building.  Several years ago as a young Navy officer, I’d read E.B. Potter’s biography of Admiral Nimitz, so it was very interesting to review his life and career in the setting in which he was born and raised. 




Our limited amount of time meant we had to do a rather quick tour of the Bush Gallery, where I was impressed by the museum’s presentation of the Pacific theater of World War II.  Encompassing the years leading up to the war through the Japanese surrender and immediate post-war period, the gallery’s nearly 40 separate exhibits cover every aspect of the war in the Pacific, as well as the home front’s contributions to victory.  I knew I’d have to return, to spend much more time reviewing these exhibits in detail.    


I have gone back to the museum several times since that first visit, not just as a guest, but now as a museum volunteer.  While I’ve spent more time in the Bush Gallery, I’ve also visited the Nimitz Education and Research Center and have met a number of museum staff members and other volunteers.  I still have not visited the Pacific Combat Zone, just a few blocks from the main museum campus, where on certain weekends they perform a battle reenactment --you’ll hear about it when I do.


As amazing and interesting as the  museum’s exhibits are, there’s an equally interesting range of activities going on behind the scenes, from collecting, cataloging and preserving donated artifacts, continuously updating archives, recording oral history interviews with veterans,  and planning special events and activities.  As I start my journey of discovery here at the museum, I hope you’ll join me for a closer look behind the scenes at the collection and the special events at the National Museum of the Pacific War.


“The National Museum of the Pacific War staff is excited to have Joel on the team as one of our bloggers. I hope you enjoy discovering right alongside Joel some of the great things our museum has to offer, as well as some things the general public doesn’t get to see. Along with Joe, you will also receive posts from our Education Director and other key staff and local historians. We will also host posts about fun things for you to do around Fredericksburg when visiting our great little town. To experience the museum for yourself, visit us in Fredericksburg, Texas"    

Experience the human story of WWII in the Pacific Theater told through 55,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, over 900 artifacts, and audio/visual displays.

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