to know your VMMV staff & vehicles
this section we will introduce you to the people and armor of the
Virginia Museum of Military Vehicles. We will chat with the VMMV
staff, so that you can get to know the people who "keep 'em
running" and work so hard behind the scenes. And also provide
a behind-the-scenes look into the history of individual vehicles
in the VMMV collection. In this, our ninth newsletter, we highlight
one of the events that makes us proud to work and volunteer at VMMV-our
participation in the 171st Reunion of the 2d Cavalry Regiment.
The day dawned
cloudy and chilly, but the staff and volunteers of VMMV turned out
in droves on Saturday, 10 November to honor our nation's veterans
and showcase the VMMV collection to the vets of the 2d Calvary Regt.
The 2d Cav. is a storied unit, formed in 1836 as the 2d Regiment
of Dragoons and served in the Seminole War, Civil War, WWI and with
Patton's Third Army during WWII. It helped screen the Austria-Czech
border during the Cold War and then served in Operation Desert Storm.
It currently has a Stryker Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq.
As the 2d
Cav. veterans arrived in the morning, VMMV personnel put the finishing
touches on the vehicle and small arms display. As folks wandered
amongst the static vehicles, or shouldered an M1 Garand for the
first time in 70 years, quiet conversation filled the air as the
memories came flooding back.
VMMV President Allan Cors began the formal presentation by citing
the Pledge of Allegiance and Star Spangled Banner, the grey clouds
parted and blue sky lent a wonderful backdrop to the VMMV display.
Mr. Cors thanked all the veterans present and past, noting his personal
thanks and that of the VMMV staff and volunteers for their service
to our country. He then highlighted the big plans we have for the
future with the "National Museum of Americans at War"-to
honor the ordinary Americans who did extraordinary things on the
battlefield and the homefront in our nation's time of crises.
As the vets
eyes swung out over the VMMV battle area, the rumble of a nine cylinder
radial engine began to fill the air-and from around the corner came
an M4A1 Sherman into view to begin VMMV's live vehicle display.
The Sherman and crew took a lap around the field and then paused
for pictures. As the M4A1 departed, an M5A1 Stuart took its place.
This was a particularly meaningful vehicle for the 2d Cav. veterans
as it was a mainstay of their unit during WWII. The Stuart's twin
Cadillac engines helped to speed it into the scene at VMMV. As the
dust cloud settled, an M24 Chaffee from VMMV's collection showed
off its stuff. The Chaffee was the replacement for the M5A1 and
had its combat debut with the 2d Cav.
moved on to the Regiment's Vietnam legacy and brought out an M-113
APC. The M-113's paint gleamed in the sun as the spotless vehicle
roared around. Then, in a nod to the foes faced by the 2d Cav, VMMV
fired up our T-72. As clouds of diesel smoke bellowed from its exhaust,
the T-72's slim profile dashed across the arena. As the once Warsaw
Pact enemy tank moved off, VMMV closed its live vehicle display.
But the display
of horsepower did not end there. After a wonderful display of Civil
War weapons by 2d Cav re-enactors, a bugle call echoed across the
land, and suddenly the riders of A and H Companies, 2d Calvary,
astride their beautiful horses galloped onto the scene. The unit
appeared from behind the trees and thundered up to the appreciative
audience. Under the command of its officer, the unit executed a
series of precise maneuvers exactly as its predecessors did on the
battlefields of the Civil War. In response to a unique series of
bugle calls, the riders broke into column, line and back into column-before
executing a cavalry charge!!! It has been nearly 150 years since
of the grass of VMMV has seen such pounding by hooves and horseflesh.
their horsemanship display, A & H Companies dismounted and demonstrated
an impressive command of period skirmish tactics. After remounting
and forming up in front, the riders were led thru a complete series
of Civil War saber thrusts and cuts. As the sabers slashed the air,
you could hear the last echoes of the bugle die away in the distance...concluding
the reunion. Applause filled the air and the 2d Cav. folks took
one last walk amongst the VMMV displays before leaving.
It was truly
a special honor for VMMV to honor our nation's Veterans on this
day with the men and women of the 2d Calvary Regiment!
VMMV Steps out for a week on the Town!!!!
VMMV dressed up one of our HMMWVs for her three night debut at the
2007 Association of the United States Army (AUSA) show in downtown
Washington DC. Wearing her makeup in the form of a fresh coat of
desert tan paint applied by chief makeup artist Marc Sehring, our
HMMWV was sporting an ATK lightweight 25mm Bushmaster Chain Gun
as an accessory. With a rate of fire of 250 rounds per minute, dual
ammunition feed allowing selection amongst a variety of 25mm rounds
such as Programmable Airburst, Shotgun, and Armor Piercing, our
HMMWV was certainly dressed to kill!
paint job and sporting a remote controlled chain gun.
lightweight 25mm Bushmaster Chain Gun
good in a nice setting
VMMV's staff and volunteers are more used to mechanic's coveralls,
we put on our tophat and tails to escort our girl to her debutante
ball. We spent quite a bit of time painting, polishing and shining
up the HMMWV until her tires literally gleamed and we wanted to
show her off. As you can see, from the accompanying pictures, we
drew quite a crowd at AUSA. As the show ended, we had to return
her Chain Gun jewelry and bring her back to VMMV where perhaps you
can see the belle of the ball at our next Open House.
The lexicon of armored vehicles is filling with a bewildering amount
of acronyms. And at VMMV we have a few of our own. Here we will
have the VMMV word of the day so you may better understand the conversations
you might overhear at the museum.
In this case, we don't mean a local gathering spot in which VMMV
staff and volunteers gather to savor an adult beverage after a long
day of work. No, we mean tanker bar-as in a pry bar that is on steroids!!!
A tanker bar is a 5 to 6 foot long steel pry bar that tapers to
a chisel point at one end used wherever a tank crewman needs a little
extra leverage and a standard 3 foot pry bar just won't cut it.
Remember, everything is bigger on a tank!!!
Have a great
New Year from all the staff and volunteers of VMMV!