Photo Gallery Friday: Michigan’s Military and Space Heroes Museum, Frankenmuth
Michigan’s Military and Space Heroes Museum in Frankenmuth is a must-visit for anyone interested in history, military history, space flight, or Michigan history. Open since 1987, this museum hosts exhibits the largest collection of artifacts, photos, and more that detail the experiences of Michigan natives in every major foreign conflict the United States has been involve in. The museum also has exhibits highlighting the careers and contributions of our Michigan-born astronauts. Michigan’s Military and Space Heroes Museum is ranked as the #1 of 29 “things to do” in Frankenmuth on TripAdvisor.com, a sign that we clearly aren’t the only ones who enjoyed our visit and that this museum is informative and fun for all ages.
From the front entrance the museum display begin with a few featured display cases before moving chronologically through every major conflict the U.S. has been involved in. The amount of artifacts and photos here is impressive, and be prepared for a lump in your throat once you reach the hall featuring those we have lost in Iraq and Afghanistan (many who were close in age to me or younger). In the back of the building is a hall dedicated to Michigan astronauts, including those who are still part of NASA today. The museum also has a dedicated area honoring Michigan’s medal of honor recipients, the nation’s largest such display.
Some other things that we enjoyed learning about include:
Michigan’s “Polar Bears” – the North Russia Expeditionary Force fought the Bolsheviks in northern Russia after World War I, most of this contingent was from the Detroit area.
Governor William G. Milliken – before becoming our longest-serving governor, Milliken flew 50 combat missions on B-24 bombers during World War II.
Joseph T. Moceri – a Detroit Tigers prospect who played minor league baseball before joining the Army during World War II. He was killed in action in Normandy in 1944.
Wallace Triplett – a former Detroit Lions player who was drafted into service during the Korean War, and resumed his playing career after being released from active duty.
Roger B. Chaffee exhibit – honor a Grand Rapids-born astronaut who died during a fire during the Apollo I launch test. A street, planetarium, and statue all pay tribute to him here in Grand Rapids.
F-86 Saberjet – a tribute to Cecil Foster (Midland) and Ivan Kincheloe (Cassopolis), Michigan’s two Korean War “aces.”
This museum was incredibly informative and interesting, and at times very sobering. We encourage you to take the time to read each honoree’s biography in their display case – some sound like they deserve their own movie! Michigan’s Military and Space Heroes Museum is located at 1250 Weiss St., find out more details at http://www.michigansmilitarymuseum.com/.