World at War Gallery | National Infantry Museum, Fort Benning/Columbus, GA Georgia





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Published on Nov 2, 2010

Approximately 850 American World War II veterans die every day, which is one reason it is so important to learn of their history and sacrifice.

The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center tells the story in the gallery "World at War: 1932-1945"

While people often don't remember the dates and names of an event, they do remember an anecdote, so the gallery is filled with soldiers' stories. Those stories ignite interest in students and memories in veterans.

Depending on where they served, the veterans who visit the gallery will either gravitate to the section on Europe or on the Pacific. Among the fascinating artifacts from the European theater are: an actual shoulder board of Mussolini, an M1 helmet developed at Fort Benning , a flag from D day and a mess kit. In the Pacific area are a parachute used during the attack on Corregidor, a Japanese cold weather uniform and a flame thrower used to drive the enemy out of the forest. One of the largest artifacts is a full-scale Jeep.

There are a series of uniforms including those of a soviet private, British WWII battle dress as well as German and Italian uniforms. Several dioramas depict significant battles while the stories of those conflicts are relayed through individual soldier's possessions.

Americans are souvenir collectors and so another favorite area is the war trophy display. It includes the diamond and gold Field Marshall baton of Goering and Japanese emperors' swords.

Particularly touching is watching visitors react to a display of patches from all the divisions that fought in war. Vets and their children will recognize a shoulder patch from a division and then can go to a computer and pull up the battles in which that division fought.

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