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National Museum of the Pacific War
Our Bravest Heroes Still Among Us
by Carl Burnham
Situated over 9 acres in this popular small Texas town, the National Museum tells the riveting account of the Pacific War, it's hardships, and how we fought the Japanese: one island at a time.
Quinton Pyle Watched As the USS Arizona Exploded At Pearl Harbor
highlight of our tour was hearing two WWII veterans recount their
experiences in battle who were volunteering their time to help teach our
youth about this important time of our history.
I talked with Quinton Pyle, who saw up close as the USS Arizona exploded as it was hit by Japanese torpedos on that fateful day of December 7, 1941. He pointed on the Pearl Harbor photo where his ship, the USS Bagley, was nearby in the Navy Yard, and was the first ship to return fire and shoot down a Japanese plane. The crew were commended for fast thinking, especially since many of the crew had just entered service.
My. Pyle showed me his left arm where it had been injured during the Pearl
Harbor attack while cutting gromets from 5" shells (as mentioned in the
link above, although his name is misspelled). Although walking with a
cane, he appeared to be in good health when we visited with him, and remembered the fateful day
Mr. Pyle went on to serve aboard the Destroyer, including at Wake Island, Guadalcanal, Savo Island, and Saipan. I was fortunate to be able to meet and talk with him. As the WWII veterans dwindle rapidly in numbers, it is important that their stories be told.
Within the museum there are numerous accounts of the hardships borne by POWs to the Japanese, and the bravery to endure until the end of the war.
The George H. W. Bush Gallery is now open which has an indepth presentation that provides the full visual "shock and the destruction" caused by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Pete Hammersen Explaining the Hardships of Island Fighting During WWII
the Pacific Combat Zone of the Museum, WWII veteran Peter Hammersen gave
detailed accounts of what life was like on the islands fighting the
Japanese. He served in the Army in the Pacific. He made no secret that
he and other soldiers were no fans of General Douglas MacArthur, and how
he kept others from getting the share of credit for winning the war.
Before we departed, he stated, "The young people today need to know what it was like. All they have is TV, video games, and no hardships. They are not taught the full story behind WWII, and why we fought. There will come a time when we will need to fight again (a world war)." Hopefully, that will not ever happen but our military today and their families need our support now more than ever.
National Museum of the Pacific War Map
340 East Main Street
Fredericksburg, Texas 78624
Numerous exhibits include significant period artifacts and war memorabilia for
the Allies and the Japanese. A portion of the museum is housed in the
old Nimitz Hotel, which was owned by the Nimitz family, and commemorates
Admiral Chester Nimitz who served over the naval operations in the
USS Lexington CV-2
I highly recommend a visit to the museum when in the area. Plan to spend about 3 hours to have time to visit all the exhibits.
Heroes among us.
Our greatest generation was
all for one, and one for all.
Sacrifices were many.
Many did not return.
All sacrificed, overseas, and at home for the one goal.
To win the war.
There was no question.
Many went through hell, and
gave the enemy hell.
They had a job to do to save the world from evil.
They are our best.
Our WWII veterans.
- Carl Burnham
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