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National Marine Corps Museum - Quantico
National Marine Corps Museum
The Marine Museum at Quantico
The Marine Museum at Quantico, Virginia was opened to the public on November 13th 2006.
The Museum is home to a vast array of artefacts which give the visitor a real opportunity to gain a little insight into the of the life of a Marine and how the Marine Corps has served its country.
The Museum is built on a 135 acre near to the Marine base at Quantico, which is just a short drive from Washington DC.
The building is a very modern design and its form takes its inspiration from the famous photo of the Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima in World War 2.
The Museum is easy to find as it is well sign posted and can be seen from the I-95 highway. As can be seen from the map below the Museum is located very close to the highway.
Parking Admission and Opening Times
In the present climate of financial crisis it is really good to know that parking at the museum is free, and that admission into the Museum is also free.
The Museum is open every day from 9am to 5pm with the only exception being Christmas Day when it is closed.
Although entrance into the Museum is free there are two exhibits a flight simulator and a M16 A2 rifle shooting range and entrance into each of these exhibits will cost $5 each.
In the Museum, you can trace the Corps history from its beginnings in 1775 right through to the present day.
There are two restaurants in the museum and a Gift shop which is well stocked with all sorts of gifts and souvenirs that will help you to remember your visit.
I bought the magnet below which now has pride of place on my fridge door.
It is a very striking building well suited to the multi-media exhibits that allows the visitor virtually to be in the middle of everything from Boot Camp right through to active duty.
My Fridge Magnet
As you enter the museum you walk straight into the glass atrium that is the Leatherneck Gallery.
Around the walls of this gallery are portraits of individual marines and inscribed on the walls quotes associate with the Corps.
Below are a selection of photographs taken in the Leatherneck Gallery
The Leatherneck Gallery - the aircraft
Displays on the Ground in the Leatherneck Gallery
On the ground in the Leatherneck Gallery is an LVT-1 Amphibious tractor just look how lifelike these marines look in this tableau.
The Tableau is a very realistic display of an amphibious tractor being used to breech a log wall on the Pacific island of Tarawa in WW2.
An LVT-1 Amphibious tractor
A Sikorsky HRS-2 helicopter
A little further round from the amphibious tractor tableau is a Sikorsky HRS-2 helicopter that has landed and is disembarking a machine gun unit onto a Korean War position. Again, this is an extremely lifelike tableau just look at the pilot of the helicopter in the photographs below.
A Sikorsky HRS-2 helicopter
A Little Bit of Fun
If you have ever thought about what you would have looked like as a marine here in the Leatherneck gallery you have a chance to find out.
I tried the hats on but still couldn't quite pull it off, of course it does help if you are not so long in the tooth as I am, but at least I has a go.
A little bit of fun
Also located on the ground floor off the Leatherneck gallery is the big gift shop where you can purchase a wide range of marine related items.
The Making of a Marine
On entering this part of the museum, the first thing you come across is a marine bus and you can see the recruits gazing out of the windows with a mixture of excitement and fear on their faces.
A little further round there is a line of recruits at the camp barber waiting for that distinctive marine haircut. The haircut seems to be the first part of the processes of stripping away everything that has to do with their old life.
I got to stand in a booth with surround sound and have a drill sergeant shout very loudly at me, for young recruits it must be a very intimidating experience.
It was not very intimidating for me as I just stepped away when I had had enough I don’t think the recruits have that luxury.
The Making of a Marine
In the museum are a number of galleries each one highlights a particular part of the Marine Corps exploits and history.
- World War 1
- World War 2
- Vietnam War
- Korean War
- Global Expeditionary Force
- The Legacy Walk
Each of these galleries is jam packed full of interesting artefacts and information and below are some of the photographs I took on my visit.
Through the Ages
As well as the life size tableaux dotted around the museum there are a variety of miniature tableaux mostly of famous battles fought by the Marines.
In the description of the tableau of the Marines at Harpers Ferry John Brown the abolitionist is mentioned this the same John Brown who’s body lies a mouldering in hiss grave.
I was struck by how realistically the poses and the actual movement have been captured in these tableaux see what you think.
Action in Miniature
Well I hope you have enjoyed this virtual visit to the Marine Corps Museum below are just a few more images to whet your appetite for the real thing.