National Museum of the Pacific War

National Museum of the Pacific War

pacific war title

My trip to the National Museum of the Pacific War was very surprising to me. I have never been the biggest “fan” of the Pacific Theatre of WWII. I have not spent 1/10th of the time reading about it like I have the European side of WWII. I have spent time reading over the “big” campaign dates and had so prior knowledge of what happened, and of coarse how it all began and ended. I have been to several WWII museums including Fort Knox, Bovington, Fort Eben Emal, the memorials in Washington DC to name a few.

I say all of that to give you some insight on how surprised I was at how interesting this museum was and how large and expansive this museum turned out to be. This museum was one of the most expansive and detailed displays of WWII I have ever been to or heard of.

The museum is located in the quaint little town of Fredericksburg, Texas. The museum is attached to the Admiral Nimitz Hotel museum, which is why the museum is there to begin with. Fredericksburg is the hometown of the Nimitz family (originally from Germany) and the history of the Nimitz family in Texas is an interesting story unto itself.

The National Museum of the Pacific War is divided up into a few major sections. The first outside area around the two museums has some interesting artillery pieces and naval guns as well as a really clever submarine display. Connecting the two museums is also the very intriguing Plaza of Presidents circle (I never knew so many of our presidents were in the navy), an area for personalized plaques of family members involved in the PTO (if you have or had a relative that was in the Pacific theatre of WWII you can pay to have their name and picture put on a stone plaque) and a very nice memorial from the Japanese people in the form of a Japanese Garden of Peace.


ronald reagan


The second major section is the George H. W. Bush indoor display. This inside complex is massive and takes you through the genesis of the conflict in Asia up to Pearl Harbor. You then continue through all of the major battles and turning point of the war until the dropping of the bombs and the end of the war. The display are well thought out and there are several 6 foot by 4 foot tables with LED screen that give you great animated maps of individual conflicts as well as interactive video and trivia. Over all there is a lot to read through out the museum and the knowledge that is given to someone who has not spent any significant time reading about this conflict is quite expansive.


japanese plane


The third and final section is an area that is detached from the main complex. It is about a block away and is a mixed indoor/outdoor facility called “Pacific Combat”. This section is a must see. There is a recreation hanger area for an aircraft carrier and the only Patrol Torpedo Boat-309 boat in the world. The outside area is very interesting; it includes US and Japanese vehicles and has a bunker area that they use a few times a year for recreations.



For the gamer there is a lot of equipment to see. Various Anti-aircraft, Anti-tank guns, artillery pieces, small arms, transport vehicles and tanks are in abundance to take pictures of for future reference. My personal favorite was the 20mm Bofors AA gun that my wife and I actually got to work, check out the video.


And for those of you that will have to drag your family with you, the little town of Fredericksburg is full of antique shops and many other shopping attractions for the wives and also plenty of great wine/beer places for after all the museum/shopping fun.