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US Army Ordnance Museum, Aberdeen Proving Ground


gwb123
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Now and then we have inquires about the former US Army Ordnance Museum that used to be at Aberdeen Proving Grounds.

 

I was fortunate enough to visit there when I was a teenager.  Somehow I convinced my parents that it would make a great family outing, and they brought my sister and brother along as well.

 

For a young model maker, it was literally a "field of dreams".  

 

I did my best to photograph everything that was there.  However, the flaw in what I thought was going to be a once in a life time trip was I only brought a limited amount of film.  

 

My other disappointment was the field behind the museum had very little US hardware.  Only later did I learn about the Mile of Tanks coming in through one of Aberdeen's main gates.

 

 

Panzer III.jpg

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Looking back, the tanks were already well on their way to being damaged by outdoor storage.

 

The collection has been dispersed, some of it at Ft. Lee, some to Ft. Benning, and some to Fort Bliss.  In some ways none of these will live up to the variety that was once at APG.

 

I've looked in recent years for photos on line that could better represent the past collection, and just happened across these slide shows on Youtube.

 

Since these photos were taken by a steadier hand with a better camera, I will yield this thread to them.

 

If anyone has any photos they would like to add, feel free!

 

 

 

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The irony of my story with Aberdeen is the US Army in its infinite wisdom took me with a political science degree and commissioned me as a Vehicle Maintenance Officer!  I spent at least 6 months there.  Oddly, I only returned to the Museum once or twice, and didn't take a single photo!  I suppose I was just too cool for school at that point, and was more focused on learning the ins and outs of US vehicles.  Opportunity lost, forever.  Lesson learned... never pass up the chance to explore what is right in front of you!

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What a unique collection! Thanks for sharing the pictures and slideshows, amazing.

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I visited APG around 2007, it was a unique experience viewing some very rare and famous AFVs and hearing explosions all day. The mile of tanks had been moved for restoration and because rumour had it someone crashed into one of the tanks !

 

has anyone got photos of the inside displays? The machine guns, rifles and of course Jack Attwater had to be seen to be believed. 

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When I was taking my course there, we not only heard explosions, but a whole range of strange and bizarre sounds.  It really made you wonder what they were working on "behind the fence".

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Just thinking about the rusting hulks I saw when I took my British buddy there back in the early 2000's makes me nauseated.  Terrible.  I just about cried.  Now that most of the AFV's have been moved, I hope that they got the attention they truly deserved.  I know of a few that did.

 

-Ski

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  • 4 weeks later...

Most of the collection was moved to Ft. Lee, VA. The rest was dispersed, mostly to Anniston Army Depot, AL and Ft. Benning, GA. The vehicles the went to Ft. Lee are now hosed in a large facility, the Ordnance Training Support Facility, which is not open to the public. Some items still remain outside exposed to the elements, including the first and only foreign tank to be captured on American soil (a Japanese Type 95 that was captured in the Aleutian Islands, attached picture). The only preservation done to any vehicle has been a new external paint job. No major restoration has occurred on any vehicle in the collection.

Japanese Tanks.jpg

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 have been trying to figure out what happened to the vehicles from the former Ordnance Museum at Aberdeen Proving Grounds.  Since they reassembled it as a military training facility on Fort Lee, there have been few pictures of the collection.  But here is a web post from the civilian contractor that built the new facility.  Other parts of the collection were absorbed by the National Armor and Cavalry Museum at Fort Benning (which also inherited the collection from the former Patton Museum at Fort Knox).  Other items are at Anniston Depot awaiting conservation.

 

https://www.sbballard.com/mission-essential-and-complete-the-u-s-army-ordnance-training-support-facility-fort-lee-virginia/?fbclid=IwAR3tBVxdf06XoJPzqwpGqNaKpeGWLgC_Sm4huL2UlxCXM45iA8a53c5EKTg

 

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Swag:  Thank you for the added photos.  They really add to the story and clear up what some the items are included in the new collection. 

 

I think we all look forward to the day this facility is open to the public, even if it is on a limited basise.

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They anticipate the possibility of being open to the public in the future, but as of right now they can not. It will take a change of law in order for them to open.

 

Some more photos for y'all to enjoy...

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After what I saw at Aberdeen years ago, this is an awesome result.  Instead of rusting hulks on concrete blocks, these vehicles are looking like they are getting the care they truly deserve!

 

-Ski

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They really aren't getting the care they deserve, but they did at least get a climate controlled roof over their heads. It's a step in the right direction. The rusting hulks are still there, just hidden under a nice paint job.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was just struck by the irony of that photo of the brochure with the happy family hopping and skipping as they view the museum with that huge bomb standing on its nose in the background.

 

I am curious what happened to the Ordnance Museum Foundation.  It appears to have gone dormant after the museum moved.

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The old Ordnance Museum Foundation rebranded as the "Aberdeen Military Museum Foundation" in 2011. Sadly, they had no interest in the collection once it moved to Fort Lee, and nothing ever came of their idea for an Aberdeen Military Museum. There is an erstwhile foundation at Fort Lee, but I havent seen much activity out of them.

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On 2/20/2021 at 9:34 PM, NeilB said:

The old Ordnance Museum Foundation rebranded as the "Aberdeen Military Museum Foundation" in 2011. Sadly, they had no interest in the collection once it moved to Fort Lee, and nothing ever came of their idea for an Aberdeen Military Museum. There is an erstwhile foundation at Fort Lee, but I havent seen much activity out of them.

Apparently the erstwhile Fort Lee-based foundation has dissolved as well...

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  • 10 months later...
On 1/6/2022 at 11:58 AM, Custermen said:

What happened to "Anzio Annie"??

Where was it moved?  

 

AnzioAnnie.jpg.98e887960b84832c7a59b74daf75b9dd.jpg

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Both Anzio Annie and the Atomic Cannon are at Fort Lee in the new facility.   Click on the link in post #9 above and then watch the attached video and you will see both of them.

 

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