A visit to the
National Military Heritage Museum
In St. Joseph, Missouri
by Timothy Dike

Situated on the banks of the Missouri river St. Joseph was known as the starting point of the Pony Express. It is also know as the place where infamous  outlaw Jesse James's life ended. St. Joe is a medium sized city but has more than it's share of museums, my favorite being the Military Museum. According to Frank Flesher, President and Director, the museum is dedicated to bringing to remembrance the sacrifice made by the men and women of our armed forces. All branches are represented as well as the civilians who help support the war effort. The exhibits range from uniforms and artifacts from all the major wars, to a model railroad exhibit designed to show St. Joe during the Second World War.

The World War One section has really been expanded to include a walk in trench to give you a feel for what the soldiers experienced. Area modelers have donated their time and skill to create a WW1 aerodrome, a tank assault on the German trenches, , and the Battle of Jutland recreated in 1/1200 scale.

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Some of the World War Two displays include a diorama by Ron Dickerson of the Japanese Task Force on it's way to attack Pearl Harbor, a diorama of the landings at Iwo Jima, Battleship comparisons, USS California, USS Missouri, USS Enterprise, and many more. Uniforms and equipment used by the soldiers are well represented by the many displays. There are a number of fine aircraft and armor diorama's, some previous contest winners, donated to the museum.

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 Ron Dickerson's Imperial Japanese Navy Task Force  Pearl Harbor bound
Some of the first class Armor and Air Diorama's
USS California USS Missouri USS Enterprise
Missouri, Vanguard, Bismark, Yamato
Iwo Jima landing Diorama World Battleship Comparison

Local Model Railroaders have captured the feel of St. Joseph during the second world war, and are working on adding a section to simulate Rosecrans Airport, an important airbase, that operated B-25's flown up from their assembly point in Kansas City.

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In addition to the scale models of the weapons of war, there is a sobering 1/9 scale replica of the Vietnam War Memorial.

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Replica of the Wall  Uniforms of the War

There are a number of 1:1 items that are available to view, from a UH-1 Huey to the good old work horse jeep. This museum should be on your "must visit" list if you are in the area, definitely a treat for young and old alike. Check their website listed below for directions and further details.


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