Monday, January 30, 2012

National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History represents New Mexico’s unique role in World War II in its history exhibits. The following describes how the world’s first atomic weapons came to be designed, built, and tested in New Mexico, and the Museum’s displays about the development of Fat Man and Little Boy.

It is hard to imagine a time in our past when the entire planet was locked into a struggle between powers, but it was during WWII.  Visitors to the Museum will uncover the world issues in Europe as well as in Japan that lead the United States into the war following Pearl Harbor

The dawn of the Atomic Age began with the testing of the world’s first atomic bomb in the remote New Mexico desert. The “Manhattan Project” and “Trinity and Its Legacy” exhibits show visitors how much influence over the modern world this test created.

Imagine the pressure and sense of importance felt by the project scientists as they prepared to test the “Gadget” at the secret site in New Mexico. This exhibit features a re-creation of the Trinity Tower used in the test, a replica of the Gadget device itself, and two unique automobiles that played a role in the actual test.

Two automobiles are also on view: a replica of the 1942 Plymouth Special Deluxe that carried the plutonium core to the Trinity Site, and the 1942 Packard custom limousine that carried senior scientists from Los Alamos to Trinity and other New Mexico locations.

Then visitors will see actual casings of Fat Man and Little Boy (the most photographed items in the Museum), while reading about the decision to drop the only two atomic bombs ever used during a war.

While the atomic bomb brought the war to a close, the after-effects of the bomb were felt for years in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Visitors can view the cities before, during, and after the bombs were dropped. The exhibit features a unique photographic collection of still and motion picture images that were taken soon after the bombing. The exhibit also features images that portray the people affected, as well as the cities today and the commitment to peace and conflict resolution that came after the war.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Slice of World War II in New Mexico

Brought to you by:
Santa Fe Steam Locomotive # 2926
Through the Auspicious of
The New Mexico Steam Locomotive and Railroad Historical Society

Since our Interstate highway system that allows for long distance trucking did not exists in 1940 and air cargo was in it’s infancy, railroads were the only way that troops, equipment, food stuffs and raw material could move rapidly and efficiently around our nation.

Over the years of the war, railroads moved 783 Billion Freight miles and 93 Billion Passenger miles. That movement included 43 million members of the military on 114,000 troop trains.

We have available video presentations of the US Office of War Information movies “Troop Train” and “Loaded for War” and documentation of #2926’s steam locomotive restoration.

In addition to #2926 we have on exhibit a Centennial Grant exhibit on the role of railroads in the growth and development of New Mexico

Santa Fe #2926 exists because of the US War Production Board would not grant the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway’s request for additional new Diesel Locomotives. Therefore Santa Fe #2926 was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Eddystone PA and delivered to the Santa Fe in May 1944.

Santa Fe #2926 was immediately put in fast freight service between Kansas City MO and Clovis NM, a one way distance of 637 miles. It is estimated that she covered 18,435 miles each month. Her 22 months of war service covered 405,570 miles.

Her post war service in crack passenger and fast freight service allowed her to accumulate an estimated 1,600,000 miles of operations prior to her being donated to the city of Albuquerque for exhibit in Coronado Park.

The New Mexico National Guard Bataan Memorial Museum

 When war broke out in Asia and Europe in 1939, New Mexico’s contribution to the upcoming war effort was unclear.  However, by early 1941, all New Mexico National Guard units had been ordered to active Federal duty. 

Bataan Death March Phoo
The 200th Coast Artillery served in the Philippines and was the first to fire on the Japanese as they attacked Clark Field on the 8th of December, 1941.  The 515th Coast Artillery Regiment was created later that same day and would be sent to Manila to defend it.  Some of these soldiers would suffer the infamous Bataan Death march.  Many suffered unbelievable atrocities in the Japanese hellships and in Japanese run prison camps until the end of the war.  A small group of these soldiers would fight as guerillas with the Filipinos. 

Burial Detail at O'Donnell
Two other well known New Mexico National Guard units did not serve in the Philippines.  These units served in the European Theater of Operations.  The 104th Antitank Battalion, later re-designated the 804th Tank Destroyer Battalion, served with the 34th Division and was unofficially the first unit to enter Rome.    The 120th Combat Engineer Battalion served with the 45th Division and was part of the landing forces during the assault into Sicily. 

Surrender of American Troops on Corregido
The New Mexico National Guard Bataan Memorial Museum features artifacts, images, press clippings, weapons and uniforms carried or worn by Guardsmen dating back to the 19th century.  The Museum honors the history of the New Mexico National Guard and places specific importance on the infamous Bataan Death March.   It is located near Museum Hill in Santa Fe and is maintained by the New Mexico National Guard.
The New Mexico National Guard Bataan Memorial Museum offers visitors a look into the proud military history of the New Mexico National Guard.   Come by and visit, admission is free. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Location of The New Mexico Steam Locomotive and Railroad Historical Society

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Address: 1833 8th St. NW 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Phone: 505-246-2926

Location of The New Mexico National Guard Bataan Memorial Military Museum

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Address: 616 Central Avenue SW
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Phone: 505-474-1670

Location of The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

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Address: 601 Eubank Blvd SE
Albuquerque, NM 87123
Phone: (505) 245-2137

Location of The Holocaust and Intolerance Museum of New Mexico

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Address: 616 Central Avenue SW
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Phone: 505-247-0606