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Articles tagged with: WWII

Merci Train 40 & 8 Boxcar

Merci Train 40 & 8 Boxcar

The Merci Train, also known as the French Gratitude Train or the Forty and Eight, was the French response to the U.S. friendship train. Composed of 49 cars and filled with "gifts of gratitude", the Merci Train arrived in New York City on February 3, 1949 and was divided amongst the 48 states with the remaining car to be shared by the District of Columbia and Hawaii. The Veterans Memorial Museum is privileged to house Alabama’s Forty and Eight Car.

M24 Chaffee: Light Tank

M24 Chaffee: Light Tank

The M24 Tank was used in WW II, Korea and the Vietnam War.

The Light Battalions of US Armored Divisions were initially filled with M3A1 and M5 Stuart tanks, however, on the battlefields of North Africa it was realized that these were disastrously under armored and gunned, and a replacement, or the abandonment of light tank doctrine, was desperately needed.

M42B1 Sherman Flamethrower Tank

M42B1 Sherman Flamethrower Tank

The Veterans Memorial Museum's M42B1 Sherman tank was originally one of the first M4A1 tanks built by Pressed Steel Car Company. It's hull is of the cast rather than welded type.

1944 Harley Davidson WLA

1944 Harley Davidson WLA

The Harley-Davidson WLA was the primary motorcycle used by the US Army during World War II and many went to Russia under Lend Lease. Russia and former Soviet Block countries are the primary source of surviving examples today.

Eight Airforce Briefing Room

Eight Airforce Briefing Room

The U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum's Eighth Air Force Briefing Room is a scaled replica of the briefing room of the 385th Bomb Group, USAAF in Great Ashfield, England during 1943-45. It was built from memory by Bill Varnedoe, a Lieutenant and B-17 Navigator with the 385th Bomb Group from 1944-45. Mr. Varnedoe was aided in construction by Harold McMurran, himself an Army veteran of the Normandy D-Day invasion.

Indian 741 Scout

Indian 741 Scout

Indian Motorcycles were produced from 1901 to 1953. The model 741 was the main military offering during WWII. The military model was derived from the civilian Scout model. Approximately 35,000 were built during the war for the US Army - half the numbers of the Harley Davidson WLA. Several thousand more were built for allies. The Indian was lighter and less powerful than the Harley and thus didn't have the same versatility. Nevertheless, it served well as a courier vehicle.

USS Banner APA-60 Display

USS Banner APA-60 Display

USS Banner loaded cargo and passengers and got underway from the west coast 30 October 1944, putting into Milne Bay, New Guinea, 17 November. Until 30 December 1944 she carried passengers and cargo between Humboldt Bay, Hollandia, and Cape Sansapor, New Guinea. On the 30th she departed Cape Sansapor in company with TG 78.5 enroute to Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippine Islands.

M4A3 Sherman Medium Tank

M4A3 Sherman Medium Tank

The M4A3 Sherman Medium Tank has a welded hull and a cast turret which mountes a 75 mm gun.  The tank is powered by a V-type Ford GAA liquid cooled 8 cylinder gasoline engine of 500 Hp.  The tank had a manual, non-synchronized transmission with 5 forward  speeds, yielding a road speed of about 35 mph.

1942 Chevrolet G-506 Truck

1942 Chevrolet G-506 Truck

Meet "Daisy". Daisy is a 1942 Chevrolet G-506 1-1/2 ton 4x4 truck. Motor Sergeant Dave and volunteers Larry G. and Randy went to Killen, Alabama and brought back the latest addition to the museum's motor pool. Daisy was donated to the Museum by the McGee family. The truck has quite a history. It was purchased at a surplus sale in 1946 at Brookley Field in Mobile, Alabama by WWII veteran Almon McGee.  After many years being used on the family farm in 2006 the McGee’s decided to restore the truck.  It is on display now at the Museum

1943 M5A1 Stuart Tank

1943 M5A1 Stuart Tank

The Veterans Memorial Museum’s Stuart M5A1 Light Tank (Serial Number 5188) was manufactured by Cadillac Motor Car Division of General Motors Corporation and delivered to the U.S. Army Ordnance Department on 11-4-1943.

1941 Bantam Reconnaissance Car (BRC)

1941 Bantam Reconnaissance Car (BRC)

On 11 July, 1940, the US Army Quartermaster Corps requested bids from 135 companies to build 70 "light reconaissance and command cars". Only two submitted bids by the target date of 23 July, 1940, The American Bantam Car Company and Willys-Overland. Only Bantam delivered their first vehicle by the contract deadline of 23 September, 1940.

1941 Ford GP

1941 Ford GP

Although the Ford Pygmy placed third in the Army tests, an order was placed for 1,500 of a developed version. Approximately 3,650 of this configuration were eventually produced by Ford Motor Company. Most went to Great Britain and Russia under Lend-Lease.

1941 Willys MA

1941 Willys MA

Willys was successful in the competition for the 1/4 ton reconnaissance car contract by using the most powerful engine of any entrant in their pilot vehicle, "The Quad". This made their design overweight but gave a large performance increase. The Army raised the weight limit and Willys cut their weight down to meet the new Army specification. This resulted in a contract for 1,500 vehicles identified as the model MA.

1941 Willys MB Slat Grill

1941 Willys MB Slat Grill

Compared to its competitors, the Willys MA had a more powerful engine, and lower unit cost. These factors were among the reasons Willys was chosen as the company that would produce the 1/4 ton 4x4 truck. The better features of all the pre-production and prototype vehicles were incorporated into the Willys MB.

GMC CCKW

GMC CCKW

Most commonly known as the "deuce and a half" or "Jimmy" the 2 1/2 ton 6x6 U.S. Army cargo truck was arguably one of the more important pieces of equipment during World War II.

M3A1 Half Track

M3A1 Half Track

One of the many iconic vehicles in our collection at the U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum is our M3A1 half track.

M8 Armored Car

M8 Armored Car

The U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum's M8 Armored Car is one of about 8,500 produced by Ford Motor Company in St Paul, MN. It is equipped with a rear mounted Hercules 6 cylinder engine.

Ford Pygmy

Ford Pygmy

Without question, the crown jewel of museum's collection is the Ford Pygmy, the oldest known surviving example of the vehicles that became the jeep. Ford was one of three companies competing to fulfill the Army’s requirement for a 1/4 ton Reconnaissance Car.

M3 Stuart

M3 Stuart

The Stuart was designated as the M3 Light Tank and supplied to the British prior to the United States entering World War II. The M3’s were also the first tanks crewed by Americans to see tank to tank battle in World War II.

`African American Military Heritage Display

`African American Military Heritage Display

The Military history of African Americans spans from the arrival of the first black slaves during the colonial history of the United States to the present day. There has been no war fought by or within the United States in which African Americans did not participate, including the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, the World Wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as other minor conflicts.

The Purple Heart Display

The Purple Heart Display

The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the armed forces of the U.S. who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action. The original Purple Heart, designated as the Badge of Military Merit, was established by George Washington – then the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. 

Prisoners of War Display

Prisoners of War Display

A Prisoner of War (POW, PoW, PW, P/W, WP, PsW, enemy prisoner of war (EPW) or "missing-captured") is a person, whether combatant or non-combatant, who is held in custody by a belligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict. The earliest recorded usage of the phrase is dated 1660.

U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum
2060A Airport Road • Huntsville AL 35801
(256) 883-3737
info@memorialmuseum.org