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Veterans Museum and Memorial Center

The Veterans Museum and Memorial Center occupies the former chapel of the Naval Hospital on Inspiration Point in San Diego's Balboa Park. The original hospital buildings have been a familiar and nostalgic landmark to countless naval personnel and San Diegans alike since the early 1920s, although the chapel itself was not built until the World War II period. Today the Museum houses a unique collection of artifacts, memorabilia and papers as well as a library holding more than one thousand volumes. Dedicated to veterans of all conflicts, the Museum's exhibits feature World War I, World War II, Pearl Harbor, the Korean and Vietnam Conflicts, Desert Storm, Women in the Military, and paintings by local artists of military subjects.

Do not miss a living history tour by our docents who have been there! See the first American flag to fall in the Philippines. Enjoy the Museum's unique collections of memorabilia and artwork, dating from the Civil War to the present. This is the place to see and hear history.

The Veterans Museum and Memorial Center is one of the very few places you will find that covers all branches of the service and is indeed a home for all veteran groups. Take a moment to view a sampling of the Museum.


World War I

 

 

One of three dioramas on display, this one features uniforms, equipment and photographs from soldiers of the American Expeditionary Force during World War I.

 

 


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World War II

 

The Main Stage area in the Museum includes a display interpreting the surrender of the Imperial Japanese Forces at the end of World War II as it occurred aboard the battleship USS Missouri. Note also the service flags and beautiful stained glass window. This part of the Museum is popular for use during meetings, events and ceremonies at the VMC.

 

 

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Pearl Harbor

 

 

Noted maritime artist Richard de Rosset's mural depicting the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is one of five now gracing the Museum's walls. The life-rings near the center of the mural contain the actual signatures of Pearl Harbor Survivors.

 

 

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Korean War

 

 

The Korean War diorama includes communications equipment, mine-hunting gear, uniforms, maps and more, all arranged realistically to depict an American bunker in Korea as it would have appeared in the field in the early 1950s.

 

 

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Pearl Harbor

 


Still a work in progress, this mural by Richard de Rosset depicts numerous significant moments-victories, technological achievements as well as tragedies-in American military history of the 20th Century. When complete, the actual signatures of distinguished members of the San Diego Chapter, American Ex-Prisoners of War will grace a section in the lower middle of the mural.

 

 

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Omaha Beach

 

 

 

Richard de Rosset's D-Day mural, depicting events on and around Omaha Beach on 6 June 1944, is punctuated by one of the Museum's many beautiful stained-glass windows.

 

 

 

 

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Vietnam War

 

 

The Vietnam diorama contains uniforms, maps, photographs and artwork depicting scenes from the Vietnam war. Memorabilia on display in this exhibit includes an M-16 rifle, flight equipment, authentic camouflage netting, and more.

 

 


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POW's

 

 

San Diego County artist Donald Schloat, a survivor of the Bataan Death March and imprisonment by the Japanese during World War II, has used painting and sculpture to tell the horrifying story of his experiences in the Pacific Theater of Operations. The painting at the right is the most recent in a long series of depictions by Mr. Schloat that serve to bring alive the POW experience.

 

 

 

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Distinguished Flying Cross Society

 

 

The Distinguished Flying Cross Society, San Diego Lindbergh Chapter is one of several leading veterans' groups to have sponsored a display cabinet in the Museum. This case exhibits historically significant documents, photographs, flight equipment and memorabilia belonging to American aviators who made their mark over a period that extended from the 1920s through World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Cold War.

 

 


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