Day Trip: National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia
The National Infantry Museum, located just outside Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia is the perfect place for a day trip with the family! Admission is free and if you feel led to do so, donations of $5 per person are accepted. Plan to arrive as close to opening as possible. You will need some time to fully appreciate all that there is here.
Beginning with “The Last One Hundred Yards” exhibit, you will be immersed in life-sized dioramas depicting the fight for the last hundred yards of some of the toughest battles throughout US history. This exhibit is truly captivating and is similar to something you would see at the Smithsonian.
The museum also has several galleries that chronicle the journey of our service men and women. Some of these include:
International Stage (1898 to 1920) This exhibit centers around America’s rise to power and includes such wars as the Spanish-American War and World War I. An actual porthole from the USS Maine and a recreated trench take visitors back in time.
World Power (1920 to 1949) Through the use of cutting edge technology, guests will be taken back 80 years into the past to experience the story of World War II. Jeeps, parachutes, flamethrowers are just some of the artifacts featured here. In addition, guests can marvel at Emperor Hirohito’s sword collection and view a Holocaust memorial.
Cold War (1950 to 1989) This gallery immerses guests in the war against communism. Guests can even experience what it was like to be in the Vietnam jungle. As you prepare to exit the exhibit, you hear President Ronald Reagan request that the wall be torn down and view authentic pieces of the Berlin Wall.
Outside you will find Patriot Park, one of our favorite exhibits, the World War II Company Street. According to the museum, this area was temporarily built to keep up with the demands of the military in the 1940s. These “series 700” as they were called proved to be solidly constructed that they were kept for long term use. Eventually they updated to a more modern construction and with the help of a generous donor, one of each type of building was reassembled and restored in this exhibit. It includes “barracks, mess hall, orderly room, supply room, chapel, and sleeping quarters and headquarters used by General George S. Patton prior to his deployment to North Africa.” In order to see this you will need to schedule a time at the Information Desk.
The museum has a gift shop and a theater featuring IMAX films. Check their website at the time of your trip to see what is playing. There are also some combat simulators available for an additional fee.
Take some time to travel to The National Infantry Museum in Fort Benning. You will not regret visiting this state of the art museum!by