Located in Largo, Florida, the Armed Forces History Museum is a journey back in time, through the world of war. Housed within a 50,000-square-foot facility, visitors can view authentic war equipment, memorabilia and artifacts used between the early 20th century and today. The main building is 35,000 square feet, and the remaining 15,000 square feet make up an outdoor exhibit space.
Visitors can learn about the sacrifices members of the armed forces made in order to preserve freedom for the United States. The award-winning museum features animated dioramas, displays, equipment, and rotating exhibits from World War I, World War II (including the D-Day Landings and Pearl Harbor), the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Audio and visual effects, along with smoke simulators, give visitors a peek into these important periods.
Military vehicles on display include a Sherman tank, a WWII reconnaissance vehicle called the M8 Greyhound, a Ford XM151 experimental utility truck, and a DUKW amphibious landing craft. Other exhibits of note include the only known full-service uniform from Saddam Hussein in the United States and artifacts from the German Third Reich. Outside, there is a landscaped memorial walk and garden.
One of the most unique exhibits is the Virtual Voyager motion simulator. Much like technology utilized in theme park simulators, the seven-passenger “ride” combines video animation with movement and takes riders through experiences like “Seahawk (Iwo Jima recon), “Desert Storm Strike” (seek-and-destroy mission over Iraq), and “Barnstormers,” where you are a 1920s-era stunt pilot.
The Armed Forces History Museum in Largo is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 4pm and Sunday from noon until 4pm. The museum is closed on Mondays and holidays like New Year’s, Easter, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.