The main exhibit hall is a three-story structure that covers 33,000 square feet of space. Here they feature over 6,000 artifacts, photos, and documents. The exhibits are arranged chronologically, beginning with the causes of the war and ending with its aftermath. All exhibits have a strong emphasis on the Pacific theater. Visitors can explore a variety of interactive exhibits, including a submarine periscope, a replica cockpit of a P-51 Mustang, and a simulated kamikaze attack.
George H. W. Bush Gallery:
One of the most prominent exhibits is the George H.W. Bush Gallery. This gallery is dedicated to the life and service of the 41st President of the United States. The exhibit features a variety of artifacts from his time in the Navy during World War II, including his Avenger torpedo bomber and personal diaries. Visitors can also learn about Bush’s postwar career and his role in shaping the United States’ foreign policy.
Pacific Combat Zone:
Another highlight of the museum is the Pacific Combat Zone. This is an outdoor exhibit that features several restored military vehicles and a replica of a Pacific battlefield. Visitors can watch reenactments of battles and see how soldiers lived and fought during the war. The exhibit includes a restored PT boat, similar to the one commanded by John F. Kennedy during the war.
Research and Educational Programs:
The research center and library are open to the public. Both offer access to a wealth of information about World War II in the Pacific. The center has an extensive collection of oral histories, manuscripts, and photographs. It also contains a large library of books and journals on the subject. Researchers can also access the museum’s archives, which contain documents and artifacts related to the war.
In addition to the exhibits and research facilities, the museum offers a variety of educational programs and events. The museum hosts an annual symposium on the Pacific War. It also hosts lectures, films, and workshops throughout the year. Lastly, the museum has a teacher resource center, which provides lesson plans and other resources for educators.
Overall, the National Museum of the Pacific War is a comprehensive and engaging museum that offers visitors a chance to learn about one of the most significant events in world history. With its extensive exhibits, research facilities, and educational programs, the museum is a must-see destination for anyone interested in the history of World War II and its impact on the Pacific theater.
Be sure to check out our EXPLORE page for more ideas of places to go and things to see here in Fredericksburg and the surrounding area.