Eglin AFB armament museum


#1

Has anyone ever been to the Eglin AFB armament museum in Florida? My dad just got back from a trip there and said it was great. Lots of ordnance from small arms to 2,000 lb iron bombs and everything in between. He saw lots of sectioned 20mm, 30mm and 40mm cartridges displayed with their respective weapon systems.

Might be worth the trip, especially if you are into the bigger stuff.

AKMS


#2

Well, there’s this to read up on, to see if you’re REALLY interested and if it’s worth the time.
afarmamentmuseum.com/

Another superb destination in that area is the Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola. Just a few minutes drive from Eglin. Been to that one. Got to watch the Blue Angels practice. Anyway, the only reason we didn’t get to the armaments museum is ‘cause there were wimynfolk taggin’ along and they were tiiiiired of looking at such stuff. Girlz ain’t allowed on these trips!!! Except, maybe, Miss Carolyn, who’s hereabouts.
And while you’re that close, Mobile is just a ways down the road, with the U.S.S. Alabama to peruse. Along with some other really good items on display.

A 2 dayer. Minimum.


#3

The AF Armament Museum is actually at (outside) Hurlburt Field, the Special Operations part of Eglin which is an independent command.

I dont recall much about the ammo section, but they also have a huge gun collection there that is (was?) very poorly displayed with little signage to ID anything and no pattern of organization that I could figure out.

Hit Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum first, then this one if time permits. (It will keep you off the oily beaches staring at girls with skimpy bathing suits.)


#4

The Armament Museum is acutally just outside the south gate at Eglin AFB. Hurlburt AFB is about 7 miles away and is the headquarters of Air Force Special Operations Command, and has not had a role in Armament development since before I was stationed there in 1977. I had an assigment in the armament development business at Eglin main base in the late 1970s, and has a history that goes way back, including the initial demonstration of the AR-15 to Gen LeMay and it’s adoption by the USAF well before the Army got involved and created the M-16. I carried an AR-15, not an M-16 at Bien Hoa in 1966. The gunships from the AC-47 Spooky (Puff the Magic Dragon) also had their roots at Eglin AFB though much of the program management was also done at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton Ohio. One of the original gunship alternatives tested was a B-57 with a bomb bay full of 7.62mm miniguns that fired in straight and level flight instead of the orbit used by later gunships. Some of the long serving engineers and program managers like Dale Davis and Jack Robbins and Nunzio Zummo and others are at the heart and soul of much of current US small arms and aircraft ammunition and weapons. others worked many of the other weapons to include the bunker busters made from old cannon barrels and used in Desert Storm. The stories are well told by this Museum.


#5

Yes, I have visited many times. As Lew said, it is actually outside the Eglin gate (Lew, since US85 runs “east-west,” that gate is officially the West gate, right past the “West Gate Shoppette.” The old “TAC” then “ACC” gate has been renamed “Northwest” gate.) on the SOUTH side of the base towards Shalimar and Ft Walton Beach. Many aircraft are displayed outside, along with the two large bombs, including the MOAB–Massive Ordnance Airburst Bomb developed and tested there. The “gun room” has a great display of WWI, WWII and more modern guns. There are great displays identifying armament systems over the years. While it isn’t the biggest AF museum, it is very interesting, and it is free–donations appreciated.

At Hurlburt, west on 98, there are some aircraft on display associated with special operations over the years; however, it is harder to gain entrance for “non-cardholders.” Further west aboard Pensacola Naval Air Station is the National Naval Aviation Museum, well worth a visit, esp. during the times the Blue Angels are training at home base. The displays of aircraft are amazing, and the museum has some “interactive” features allowing access to cockpits, movies, etc.


#6

Taber, Thanks for the correction. They must have changed the name since I was stationed there over 30 years ago! It couldn’t be that my gray matter has gotten soft over those years, inspite of what my wife says.

Great Museum, as is the Navy aviation musuem in Pensacola. Another place that is a “must visit” if you are down in the area.

Cheers,

Lew


#7

I never knew that they had a museum there. Very cool! Eglin is one of my favorite military bases because in addition to learning that they have a armament museum, they also do a lot of wildlife conservation work believe it or not :-) I think they tested the MOAB bomb there too for the first time?