Visit to the

National Museum of the Marine Corps and Heritage Center

by   Al Simms ('60) of VA on 07/04/07

To all:

Attached you will find a selection of 28 photos from the 162 photos that I took on a visit to the new USMC museum at Quantico, VA yesterday, the fourth of July.

In the usual tradition of the USMC, the museum is absolutely spotless, inside and out, even though it has already had nearly 1/2 million visitors. It is a place worth visiting. Their website is The National Museum of the Marine Corps and Heritage Center:

In a 5 hour visit we hit the high spots and really focused on very little. We will go back several more times I think. The amount of history there is astounding and I think that all of you would enjoy visiting it if you are ever near there. Plan for as much time as you can.

The photos and the above linked website tell most of the story, but just a few comments on our visit.

You enter first a huge entrance hall that is many stories high with a number of real airplanes hanging above you. It is quite well done and tells the story of the corps and also of our military in general. The exhibits contain real equipment, human dummies - many of which look very real, thousands of photos and a great deal of text. The exhibits are not just glass cases, although certainly there are some but many are built in the way that they were in real life - sandbags with holes in them and dirt leaking out, etc, etc.

After looking around the main hall and perhaps going to the top of a several story high observation area - stairs (or elevator if you are lazy) - then you will want to enter the exhibit areas which surround the big hall - check out the website above for a map, more pictures and descriptions of what is there and what is still under development. I will give you my impressions of a couple of areas below.

In the Korea area is a room that depicts the Chosin Reservoir battle. The temperature is in the low 60s to simulate the bitter conditions that were there and there is an audio track and flashing lights in strategic places to simulate the battle. Simulated snow too.

In the Vietnam area there is a room that depicts the Khe Sahn Battle. Temp is in the 80s and the humidity is high. It actually would have been a nice day in Nam but for those of you who were never there it gives you a little bit of an idea of conditions there. They did not do the smell of the place which if they had would have been a mixture of diesel fuel, rotting jungle vegetation, gunpowder and other unpleasant things - I guess that they decided that would be "over the top" for many people. Like the Korea exhibit this one also has an audio and light show that is very well done, although not as loud as the real thing.

There are two restaurants in the museum - The Mess Hall and The Tun Tavern. We ate lunch in the Tavern - Food was very good and not too expensive.

Hope you enjoy the photos. The filename of each photo will tell you what you are seeing.

Al Simms
SP5 Radar Mechanic, 1/14th Arty, 198th LIB, Americal Division, US Army, 1967-68

- Al Simms ('60) of VA - 07/06/07
Thank you so very much, Al!

Entrance Flags Museum Museum Entrance
Great Hall Panoramic Landing Landing WW I
WW I - Rat-a-tat-tat! Boot Camp Hair Cut All the Same - the Bare Necessities
Rifle Range WW II - Listening to Radio Reports of the Attack on Pearl Harbor WW II - Pearl Harbor WW II Field Kit
WW II Tank WW II - The Flag which was raised over Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima Korea - Brrr! Korea - Battle
Korea - Bunker Vietnam - Hue Vietnam - Hue Vietnam - Khe Sahn
Vietnam - Howitzer Vietnam - UH1 Gunship Museum Pub The End - Al Simms and Iron Mike
WOWZERONI-RINI! Thanks again, Al - for everything!

Hi, Carol:

Here is an image of the granite monument to be dedicated next month
at the Marine Corps Heritage Center in Quantico, VA.

Hope it adds to your page.

TYPHOON Regards,
Joe Madagan ('57) of FL
Sea Duty Memorial
- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 07/19/07
Oh, WOW! Thanks, Joe!

I did not walk up to it but I am pretty sure that it (the new granite monument) is on the hill to the left of the museum as you face the front. Next time we go I will walk up there to see it. It looked like they were working on several things in that area but we were played out when we came out of the museum and went straight to the car.....
- Al Simms ('60) of VA - 07/19/07
Thanks, Al!
The vendor was putting the monument in place about a week ago. Of course, it is very heavy and required some careful rigging to set it in place. You describe the location very well. It is in a garden.

One of our (Marines - Together We Served) members, Ed Harrell, will be there to speak. He is a survivor of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. He spent five days and nights in the ocean before being rescued. The plane that rescued them, was not searching for them, and the pilots account will bring tears to one's eyes. Surely the hand of God was showing mercy on those Marines and Sailors.

Two other speakers who are members, survived attacks by Japanese Kamikaze planes, five of them against the USS Intrepid and three against the USS Nashville. After the first such attack, General MacArthur's Flag was moved temporarily from the Nashville.
All the funds for his monument were contributed by our members, no corporate contributions, which is why I believe the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation accepted our memorial monument.

One funny story, an old Marine from Georgia who was a gunner on a BoFor in USS Franklin was blown over board by the explosion of a 500 pound bomb. After two days in the drink, he was rescued. He was court-martialed for abandoning ship, against the skipper's orders not to abandon the Franklin. It took HQMC to persuade the Navy not to pursue this court-martial.
Sea Duty was not as cushy as it may have appeared.
- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 07/19/07
Thanks, Joe!

Hi, Carol:
This photo image turned out much nicer than my eye had envisioned
at the time it was taken at the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
I thought you might like to add it to your website page for the
The image is placed on the main rotunda wall to honor the Drill
Instructors who change civilians to United States Marines.

TYPHOON Regards,
Joe Madagan ('57) of FL

November 18, 2007
- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 02/08/08
Oh, WOW! Thanks, Joe!



The United States Marine Corps Hymn

Words: L.Z. Phillips (?) (1919)
Music: Jacques Offenbach from Genevieve de Brabant (1868)

From the Halls of Montezuma
To the Shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom 
And to keep our honor clean; 
We are proud to claim the title 
of United States Marine. 

Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in ev'ry clime and place
Where we could take a gun;
In the snow of far-off Northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes; 
You will find us always on the job--
The United States Marines. 

Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve 
In many a strife we've fought for life 
And never lost our nerve;
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes; 
They will find the streets are guarded 
By United States Marines. 

(This page was created at last on 07/19/07.)

"Marine Corps Hymn" lyrics courtesy of

"Marine Corps Hymn" midi courtesy of

"The Few. The Proud" logo courtesy of Joe Madagan of FL - 06/10/04
Thanks, Joe!

Marine Corps logo also courtesy of Joe Madagan of FL - 06/12/04
Thanks again, Joe!

Famous Airmen
Famous Coast Guardsmen and Famous Merchant Marines
Famous Marines
Famous Marines - Part Two
Famous Sailors
Famous Soldiers
Return to Newport News High School


Famous Marines

"Once a Marine, Always a Marine"


If you have images or stories pertaining to the United States Marine Corps
which you would like to be included on these pages,
please submit it to the Web Mistress for consideration:

Carol Buckley Harty of NC:

Thank you.