A Visit to the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, NC

Fayetteville, NC – On the second day of my South Carolina/North Carolina road trip, I visited the US Army Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, NC near Fort Bragg. It is part of the US Army Museum System like the National Infantry Museum in Columbus, GA near Fort Benning. The Airborne and Special Operations Museum tells the story of US Army Airborne forces from their inception prior to World War II, how Special Forces developed out of the relationship between Airborne forces and the OSS during World War II, and the missions and operations of both Airborne and Special Operations units through the present day. The museum’s current special exhibit focuses on Airborne and Special Operations during Operation Just Cause in Panama during December 1989 and January 1990.

The US Army and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, NC
The Iron Mike statue in front of the Airborne and Special Operations Museum honors the Army’s Airborne Troopers
The Airborne and Special Operations Museum also features a memorial for Special Forces K-9s killed in the line of duty
This Airborne and Special Operations Exhibit depicts fighting on Hill 420 in South Korea during the Korean War. On 31 May 1951, Cpl Rodolfo Hernandez of the 187th Airborne RCT, his M-1 Garand jammed, engaged attacking enemy soldiers with his bayonet, killing six of them before passing out from his wounds. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions on Hill 420.
This Airborne and Special Operations Museum exhibit depicts the 173rd Airborne Brigade in the Battle for Dak To during the Vietnam War in November/December 1967.
This rotor hub is the largest piece of unearthed wreckage of SUPER 61, one of the MH-60s shot down over Mogadishu on 3 October 1993, killing its pilots Cliff Wolcott and Donovan Briley. The wreckage was recovered by a private company in 2012 and repatriated to the United States. The rotor hub is currently on display at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, NC

If you’re interested in military history, this really is a museum you should visit. It’s well kept and informative and they rotate special exhibits in addition to the regular exhibits. The museum volunteers, who are military veterans, are quite knowledgeable and readily share information and their experiences. Airborne units and Special Forces aren’t really one of my areas of expertise, so I learned a lot about their development here following on from a couple of visits to the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning.



Categories: Airborne and Special Operations Museum, Fayetteville NC, History, Military History, Photos, US Army

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