Saturday, February 23, 2019

Coming Soon, The American Heritage Museum

Screen capture from the video
So the other day there was some chatter regarding a couple of museums here in New England which Your Humble Scribe was blissfully unaware of, which has been remedied by a couple of our faithful readers. (I was going to say "Chanters" but that makes us all sound rather like a cult doesn't it? Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

After apologizing for posting so much about tanks lately, and being told, in no uncertain terms two things: 1) It's my blog I can post whatever I want, which is true but I like it if folks actually read the stuff, and 2) Hey, no problem we like tanks as well.

Alrighty then.

I was going to post an idea Pogue suggested (aerial tank killers of World War II, specifically the Ju-87 Stuka) but a post like that takes rather a lot of research. Which I started to do at lunch at the place of gainful employment but when I realized the scope of the task at hand, I decided to postpone that idea for later. After all, my employer doesn't pay me to blog. No sir, no ma'am, put that down and get back to work Sarge.

So, Beans and I had chattered a bit about good tank / bad tank and "Gee, aren't those armored cars really, really cool." Drjim and RHT447 both brought up the Sheridan, which set Our Beans off again, apparently he likes his fighting vehicles speedy with a nice punch. So I contemplated doing a post on crappy tanks. Which would not have included the Sherman for reasons which will become clear someday. (Yesterday I posted a photo of Ike strolling by a smashed up Panther, while there are lots of photos of smashed up Shermans, they were on the winning side and oh my gosh there were a crap ton of them.)

So while I was researching other topics for a post, I ran into our old friend Major Nicholas Moran, aka The Chieftain over at the Tube of You. Lo and behold he was touring the still in work American Heritage Museum back in October of last year. I watched the video (a bit longish but hey, it was Friday night and at 65 I don't go out as much as I did, say 20 years ago) and the entrance to the museum caught my eye. If you look at the opening photo (a screen capture) you'll note that one of my favorite officers, the late Brigadier General Robin Olds is featured prominently. (How could you not notice that mustache?)

So I watched the whole thing. You will get that opportunity in a moment as well, hey, it's Saturday, kick back, have some coffee and watch the whole thing. It's easier than reading innit?

Rest assured, that when the museum opens in the spring I shall drag The Missus Herself, no doubt somewhat reluctantly, up to the Bay State for to visit the American Heritage Museum and take tons of pictures, many of which will no doubt be posted in these spaces.

I mean what's not to like? Tanks, aircraft, cars, cannon, and they even have a former Iraqi Scud missile on its launcher. (Which sat in U.S. customs for a while as the bureaucrats heads' exploded over "What to do, what to do?")

The Missus Herself, trooper that she is, has schlepped over any number of battlefields and military museums in our time together and hasn't complained nary at all. Far less than when she takes me shopping, I'm a world class foot dragger in that department. (Not to mention world class complainer.) She has a very Field Marshal Montgomery approach to shopping, deliberate and methodical. What some might call slow. I'm more of a dash in, get what I need then dash out again. Sort of like the Long Range Desert Patrol but without the training and the cool jeeps.

Anyhoo, here it is, courtesy of Major Moran, an Unofficial High Speed Tour of the American Heritage Museum.



For those who wondered, the Battle for the Airfield which the Collings Foundation holds each year is apparently in October. An event I need to see, perhaps next year.

I also need to get over to the air museum in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, seems they have a Phantom. So many things to do, so little time to do them. I know Beans, I know, I should just retire, and I will, within the next 18 months or so.

(Filthy lucre, keeps bringing me back!)



44 comments:

  1. That shakes the sleep out of the eyes, an excellent choice Sarge. Something about those lumps of metal that's fascinating. His efforts are really informative and fun to watch. You're lucky to be close to this museum (relatively).

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    1. He explains things well and has a great sense of humor.

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  2. "Chanters" eh?? I don't mind that a bit, but I draw that line at smacking my noggin with a wooden anything. Or wearing tater sacks. Or down in the basement with a tuna-necked neighbor, "...incubus... succubus.... Ray, when they get in here pal, it's all over. Unconscious chanting??!?!"

    I saw where the Japanese AF retired their RF-4's. Saw some really cool pics, too.

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. No noggin smacking, no tater sacks, no down in the basement stuff. Though we might deploy the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch for festive occasions.

      Yup, the Japanese are going all in on the F-35. For me the jury is still out on that one, but recent use makes the thing look pretty damned capable. (Still pretty damned expensive.)

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    2. I'm a little leery of pinning so much on stealth, what if that's negated? Then how does the F35 fare then? Maybe there are some ....I don't know..... Air Force types around..... somewhere.... that can enlighten me...... :)

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    3. Apparently the electronics suite makes this bird a deadly killer. Stealth is so you can stay hidden as long as possible. Some folks have mentioned an EMP negating all of the high tech wizardry in the F-35. Others, who have more of a scientific background, say that EMP has been over-hyped by science fiction types and in reality wouldn't have that much of an impact on the F-35.

      I remain guardedly optimistic that at least one of the expensive triumvirate of new weapons might work out. LCS is a failure. Zumwalt, while not a complete failure (it can still theoretically shoot missiles and ASROCs), is still far too expensive for what capability it may or may not provide.

      We shall see.

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    4. I know this was simulated combat, and the real thing can be just a tad more complicated and unpredictable, but it was an interesting take on the F-35 - https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/youre-dead-f-35-crushing-enemy-fighter-jets-air-war-simulations-45182

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    5. It's exactly those sorts of reports which makes me optimistic. If half of the reports can be believed, the thing is damned near a mini-death star, without the weaknesses.

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    6. Well, both the Japanese and the Israelis have fully bought into the F-35. Both militaries are extremely skeptical of sales claims and put their prospective stuff through massive testing. So, yeah, looks like the F-35 isn't a polished turd after all. Which is good. Now if the Israelis share some of their software patches with us, that would be totally cool.

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  3. "Chanters?" Afraid of something like this happening? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ0KqQTbI0g

    /
    L.J.

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  4. The line about armored cars made me think of one of my favorite AFVs from the old Panzerblitz game: the German "Puma". Road speed of 60 mph and armed with the long 75mm gun - talk about fast, with a punch!

    I was also fond of the SU-152, but for sonwhat different reasons.

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    1. The Puma was excellent in that game.

      As was the SU-152, though like you say, for different reasons.

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  5. Hey AFSarge;

    LOL, yes the spousal units are tolerant of us dragging then around the battlefields and such. Back in 1998 I drug the spousal unit from Myrtle beach to Patriots point to go on the U.S.S Yorktown and she went along with it, I knew that she was a keeper. I will check out that museum this spring/summer because I do fly for free with my employer :) Keep on posting tanks, tanks, tanks...

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    1. That's a great area, spent a long weekend there when The Nuke graduated from, well, Nuke School. We took the ferry out to Fort Sumter, I wanted to do Patriot's Point as well but was outvoted.

      We went shopping instead.

      Sigh...

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    2. I need to get down to Patriots' Point as well - only about 4 hours from my house - and there is a great BBQ place just on the city side of the bridge called Lewis BBQ (the restaurant is called that, not the bridge) which has brisket that is quite acceptable to this Texan.

      And since we are on the subject of SC museums, there are two in the Columbia area -
      there is the SC Military Museum in Columbia. I've heard it is nice, and it's on my list of places to visit next time I'm there.

      https://www.scmilitarymuseum.com/

      There is also a great little museum in Camden, SC, just a little east of Columbia, that has an outstanding gun collection on display. Ross Beard had one of about every M1 Carbine type made, including some given to him by Marshall "Carbine" Williams (Beard was Marsh's biographer), and also displaying a couple of guns once owned by Melvin Purvis, who was from Florence. I have been to this one and want to go back!

      https://www.classicallycarolina.com/what-do/museums/camden-archives-museum

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    3. Lots and lots of museums out there, I need to get back down South Carolina way, the food alone in the area is worth a visit!

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  6. Thanks for the post, Sarge. As one who was entirely focused on the air (head in the clouds) I had no idea about the variety, etc. of these marvelous machines. Curiously, I can remember VJ day, not so much VE. My dad was a block warden in Glendale CA and we had a big (three feet in diameter maybe) metal gong in the front yard at the curb. All the kids in the neighborhood were briefed to NEVER TOUCH this thing. Not a toy! One day, and only one day, were we allowed to "gong it" as much as we wanted. We celebrated the end of WWII. Bless those brave men's memories. Men who had the cajones to get into those metal behemoths and shut the hatch tight. And see what they could find. Fascinating! Thanks!

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    1. Little Rhody has a state holiday on VJ Day. Not VE day, go figure.

      Cool about the gong.

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  7. Contrary old codger that I am, have a different view of tanks, or more to the point, tank drivers. Germany, circa 1960's, our floating bridge had sections of treadway that would get bent if a tracked vehicle locked a tread while maneuvering. After an exercise we would spend hours with crowbars taking out the kinks. Hence the briefing to the Calvary boys,

    "If you lock your tracks on the bridge, you will put in kinks we need to straighten with crowbars." Sly grins by the tankers followed.

    "Remember, a______s, we are the folks that provide safety boats when you have fording exercises".

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    1. Tank drivers can be jerks. It's all that steel they're motoring around in, gives them an attitude.

      Nice pointing out the safety boats.

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  8. Speed does matter, so does being able to put rounds on target. Two things the Sherman did very well. And the Sherm's gun wasn't too bad either, causing a lot of spalling in kraut armor, which is never a good thing. So, yes, a post on crappy tanks would be good.

    Sounds like the museum will be a winner. Not EH or SA&SM, but more like the D-Day museum in New Orleans (which I have seen, have you??? Look Murphy up when you go.)

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    1. One of these days I will get down to New Orleans, if only to make my buddy Murph happy. (There's also the battlefield, I can always make time for those.)

      The stabilizer on the Sherman's gun (which wasn't that bad) was special. As you say speed and the ability to put rounds on target are critical. Not to mention mechanical reliability, the Sherman was all that.

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    2. As to speed of rounds on target, the same that holds for 'social use' of the pistol is true for tanks - first one to get rounds on target usually prevails, with the emphasis on getting rounds on target. ('You can't miss fast enough to win') Sometimes it requires a bit of subterfuge to accomplish that feat. In reading more about the "duel at the cathedral" in Cologne I commented about the other day, I found out that the Panther crew had the Pershing in their sights first, but hesitated to fire since they had not seen one before and it resembled one of their Panzers. That hesitation allowed the Pershing's Mr. Smoyer to fire first. Hesitation is bad when it comes to killing, to summarize a John Wayne vignette from, maybe, True Grit?

      Finally, I remember reading Bill Mauldin as a kid (dad had a book of Willie and Joe cartoons from Stars and Stripes during WWII called Up Front - I'll have to see if I still have it somewhere) and never forgot the cartoon shown in the link to the Weaponsman blog (RIP Kevin, gone way too soon), which is a nice post about tank turrets.

      http://weaponsman.com/?p=19716

      or you can go here to see some more of Willie and Joe, with a couple relating to tanks on pages 10 and 15

      https://books.google.com/books?id=s4a1jAstmLoC&pg=PA2&source=kp_read_button#v=onepage&q&f=false

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    3. Getting rounds on target first is pretty danged important. Even if you don't kill the target, you have probably rattled the crew. I didn't know that about the Cologne Panther crew, seeing something new causes you to hesitate. Having the right intel is critical as well.

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    4. “first one to get rounds on target usually prevails”

      The Chieftain had a funny line about that, something to the effect of “yes, because when you shoot first, you’re calm and collected - meanwhile the other guy is experiencing a ‘significant emotional event.’”

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  9. "I'm more of a dash in, get what I need then dash out again." You are a buyer, not a shopper. Shopping involves time, buying is done quickly; as in dashing in and out.

    As to the museum(s), unfortunately I will not be traveling for some while yet and this ( and other fine museums ) are in the eastern parts of our land.

    As to tanks drivers/crew, I have personal experience with their alleged sense of humor.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

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    1. Hahaha! "Alleged sense of humor," I so get that.

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    2. Sarge is a hunter, not a gatherer.

      One of the many reasons I truly love Mrs. Andrew is that she is also a hunter, stalking her prey when we go shopping and once she bags her prey, we're out of there.

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  10. Re: the pending museum, my ship will have its annual reunion for 2020 in Boston, for to visit Battleship Cove. The USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr (DD850) is 98% identical to ours (DD715), and has parts from our ship on it. Perhaps I should mention the new museum to the organizers of that year's event. (As in, I'll probably make myself obnoxious about mentioning it repeatedly.)

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    1. You should! I've been on the "Joey P," a lovely ship she is.

      Keep me posted on the reunion, I'd very much like to meet you in person. I mean seeing as how you'll be coming all the way from Alaska!

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    2. Rev.Paul-The folks at Battleship Cove were very supportive of the Navy.
      The water end piston in Main Control's fire and bilge pump aboard the William R. Rush (DD-714) is from the the J.P. Kennedy when she was in Battleship Cove. This happened between summer of '76 and summer of '78.
      The part was listed in the Navy Supply System as "Obsolete without replacement," and if the Battleship Cove folks had not helped us, we would have been up the well known fecal waterway sans a means of propulsion.
      We transferred the Rush to the ROK Navy in '78 and she stayed on active duty with the ROK Navy until 1999.
      After that she became a museum ship for the ROK Navy until she was scrapped in 2016.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_William_R._Rush_(DD-714)#ROKS_Kang_Won_(DD-922)
      A good career for a ship that was commissioned in September of 1945.

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    3. A lot of those old ships were built really well. 1945 to 2016? Damned fine career!

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  11. My brother and his family live in Hudson, which is literally the town next door to Stow. So there’s really no excuse not to visit the museum the next time I go to see them.

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  12. There is something in the air about tanks today - I was at an NRA dinner tonight and talking to a fellow that owns a local indoor shooting range. Out of the blue he mentions something about a tank museum in Danville, VA, about an hour and a half north of Raleigh. I kind of heard that Twilight Zone theme when he mentioned that, since I had not heard of the museum. He said it is really nice, even has a WWI French tank and a gazillion other things like machine guns in a 330,000 sq. ft. building - here is a general list of their exhibits - https://www.aaftankmuseum.com/exhibits I am so there as soon as I can get up that way on a Saturday! If you want, Sarge, I can send you pictures.

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  13. Hey, Sarge - just found this old post from Kevin that is a tidbit about the genesis of the American Heritage Museum - thought you'd be interested -

    http://weaponsman.com/?p=12147

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    1. Wow, thanks Tom! So this has been in the works for a while, I knew about Mr. Littlefield, I knew that the Collings Foundation had picked up some of the collection.

      Good back story, thanks!

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)