Museum of Military Memorabilia Naples

Museum of Military Memorabilia Things To Do

On the heels of the sweltering, downtown Bonita Springs July 4th parade I thought it would be in everyone’s best interest to be taken on an air conditioned adventure this month. What immediately sprang to mind was the Museum of Military Memorabilia which is located at the Naples Municipal Airport in Naples, Florida. Years ago I saw a presentation for this museum and had yet to make it to take a tour.

Museum of Military Memorabilia Naples Photo AlbumThe museum is easy to get to and it’s open to the general pubic at no charge, but donations are greatly appreciated. This is an inexpensive outing. Parking is even free!

The collection is placed in display cases in the concourse and also in a dedicated room. That is also where you can locate a museum docent. On the day of my visit the docent was Kathy Macumber, a southwest Florida resident who authored the book “The Forgotten Generation of WWII” which is still available in eBook on Amazon.

At my request, Kathy gladly showed me her favorite items on display and it helped me sort through this vast collection of memorabilia. How ever would I know that what looked like a grass hula skirt was relevant to the war because it was made of shredded parachute cord? Other favorites included items known as “trench art” which were trinkets or useful items such as ash trays or salt and pepper shakers made while passing the time in the trench and putting to use spent shell casings and metal fragments.

Standard military equipment including, uniforms, weapons, badges and medals are arranged throughout the exhibit. There are several display cases arranged by specific war such as Desert Storm, the Vietnam War and the Korean War in addition to World War I & II displays. Plus, there are great time-specific pieces on display such as newspapers and magazines. Even more special are the letters and diaries documenting the life and times of those from the period.

The museum has acquired many of their ten-thousand plus items by donation and they are always accepting more to help rotate the inventory on display. Kathy told me that the white nurse uniform was sealed in a trunk since WWII and the whole trunk was donated by the family of the service member. She also added that the service member was still able to fit into the uniform. Many donations are from veterans or family members who would like to have the items properly preserved, cared for and displayed for future generations to appreciate.

If you’d like to learn a little about American history and the brave men and women who fought for our freedoms visit the museum at the Naples Municipal Airport. While you’re walking the concourse remember that before private planes whizzed in and out of there it was a WWII Army Air Forces Training Base called the Naples Army Airfield.

To learn more about the museum, visit their website and be sure to sign up for their electronic newsletter so you will know about upcoming special events and feature displays for holidays and remembrances.

Happy trails … and air conditioned museums.


Special to Southwest Spotlight