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A Visit to the Arizona Military Museum

Updated on January 5, 2011

My Wife Went to the Mall and I Went to the Museum

March 12, 2010

I first heard about the Arizona Military Museum a couple of years ago shortly after I had published my Hub on Mathew Juan, who was the first Arizonan and eighth Native American killed in combat during World War I.

I was told that they might have information that I was looking for in my continuing research on Mathew Juan. However, the museum is only open from 1 - 4 on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and from mid-2008 until sometime in the Fall of 2009 the museum was closed for repairs.

My wife and I had some business in Phoenix a couple of weekends ago and, when we finished our business I dropped my wife off at the giant Arizona Mills shopping mall while I went and spent from a few minutes after 1:00 to about fifteen minutes before closing visiting the museum.

Hub 29 for 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge

My assistant, Chika, and I trying to write and publish 30 Hubs in 30 Days
My assistant, Chika, and I trying to write and publish 30 Hubs in 30 Days

Meeting Some Interesting People

Not that it takes very long to visit the displays as it is just a small two story building.  However, the volunteer on duty that day was a retired history teacher who is so passionate about history that he literally lives it - he is very active in historical re-enactment groups and seemed to have a half dozen or more characters that he regularly impersonates at re-enactments.  They are not famous characters but foot soldier types from the Spanish Conquest to the Civil War whose names have survived.

I also met some retired veterans, one of whom was an 18 year old Navy corpsman who was on duty working in a Navy hospital at Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941 when it was attacked.

I also got to meet and listen to the gentleman who built the diorama for the Papago Park POW camp that I wrote about in my Hub, Arizona's Great World War II Prisoner of War Escape.

Entrence to Arizona Military Museum

The Arizona Military Museum located on the grounds of the Papago Park Military Reservation which now houses the headquarters of the Arizona Army National Guard. Papago Park used to be a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp and was the location of the Papago Park World War II POW Prison Compound.

The museum is operated by the Arizona National Guard Historical Society which is a private, non-profit corporation the purpose of which is described in the By-Laws as To enhance the appreciation of the military history of Arizona and the contributions of the Militia of Arizona and the Arizona National Guard to the State of Arizona and to the Nation…

Like most non-profit organizations, the Arizona Military Museum is heavily dependent upon volunteers.

The museum itself is relatively small but still growing and adding to its collections and displays which cover Arizona's military history from the arrival of the first Spanish Conquistadors to Arizonan participation in the current War on Terror and the combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In addition to help from volunteers, most of whom are veterans of the armed forces, the museum also receives many of the items in its displays as donations from people who wish to donate these to assist the museum in its efforts to preserve and share Arizona's military history.

Entrance to Arizona Military Complex - Arizona Military Museum Building is in Courtyard

U.S. Army Soldier with Uniform and Weapons from that Era

World War I Rifles and Campaign Decorations

World War II Poster Promoting Women Ordinance Workers
World War II Poster Promoting Women Ordinance Workers
U.S. Army Air Corps Fighter Pilot
U.S. Army Air Corps Fighter Pilot

Arizona Air National Guard Fighter Pilot - Circa 1961 Berlin Crisis

Vietnam War

Vientam War Base Camp Machine Gun Post -Typical Perimiter Security for Base Camp
Vientam War Base Camp Machine Gun Post -Typical Perimiter Security for Base Camp
"Huey" Helicopter
"Huey" Helicopter

Soviet ZPU-4 Anti-Aircraft Artilliary

POW Display Section with Papago Park POW Camp Display in Background

Views of the Papago Park Military Reservation Outside Museum

Main Entrance
Main Entrance

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