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Perspectives in Military History Lecture Series




In the Waves: My Quest to Solve the Mystery of a Civil War Submarine




Dr. Rachel Lance


Assistant Consulting Professor


Duke University Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Environmental Physiology




On July 1, 2020, at 6:30 PM EDT, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania will welcome Dr. Ravel Lance, a biomedical engineer with expertise in the effects of explosions on humans, to live-stream a lecture via ZOOM to answer one of American history’s most haunting questions, “What sank the H.L. Hunley?” Dr. Lance’s lecture, based on her new book, In the Waves: My Quest to Solve the Mystery of a Civil War Submarine, examines how and why the Confederate submarine Hunley, after completing its deadly mission, sank from history until the year 2000 when it was extracted from the depths of the Charleston harbor, its crew of eight men still seated peacefully at their posts.


To view the ZOOM lecture on July 1st, register in advance at  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the lecture.  To submit questions, use the Q&A icon on the ZOOM website.


 The night of February 17, 1864, the Hunley, a hand-propelled submarine carrying a 135 lb. keg of gunpowder on the end of a 16 ft. wooden pole, rammed the make-shift mine into the side of the Union warship, the USS Housatonic. The massive explosion sank the warship, making the Hunley the first submarine successfully used in combat. The Hunley then immediately and mysteriously disappeared.  In her book, Dr. Lance’s dogged and cutting edge research into the aftereffects of the explosion not only offers the explanation for why the submarine sank, but it also helps to provide critical information on the effects of explosions on today’s combat service members. 


Dr. Lance is an author and Assistant Consulting Professor at Duke University, where she conducts research out of their Hyperbaric Medicine facility, with a focus on military diving projects. Before earning her PhD, Dr. Lance worked as an engineer for the United States Navy, and helped to build specialized underwater equipment used by navy divers, SEALs, and Marine Force Recon personnel.  Her trailblazing research into predicting the risks of injury and fatality from underwater explosions has received numerous international citations.


DATE: Wednesday, July 1, 2020


TIME: Live Stream begins at 6:30PM EDT


Register in advance at


 After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the lecture.




For updates and any last-minute changes, please check: or call the Information Desk: 717-245-3972.


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Four Pennsylvania students have been honored with the selection of their film, created for the National History Day in Pennsylvania (NHD in PA) program, for inclusion in an online showcase through the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and the Smithsonian Learning Lab.

The film, Diverse City: Residential Integration in Philadelphia's West Mount Airy was created by Lily Cohen, Margaux Engel, Emmett Gordon, and Isabella Greene, all from Central High School in Philadelphia. 

To qualify for the selection, the film had to pass through several levels of competition from the NHD Philly Regional Contest to the NHD in PA State Contest, where the students were selected to represent Pennsylvania as part of the NHD in PA delegation to the National Contest.

The film was selected by NMAAHC staff and will premier tomorrow, Wednesday, June 17, as a special collection of the Smithsonian Learning Lab, along with 34 others selected as part of the nationwide NHD competition.

“What these students have achieved is remarkable,” said NHD in PA State Coordinator Jeff Hawks.  “Over 6,000 students compete in NHD in PA, and only the top 1% make it to the National Contest.  There, they compete against the best of the best from all over the country.  To be singled out for this honor from among the hundreds of films submitted to the National Contest is a testament to the students’ hard work, the dedication of their teacher, and the quality of the NHD in PA program.

NHD in PA is the statewide component of an international program designed to improve the quality of history education in schools.  Students select a topic related to the annual theme, research and analyze primary and secondary sources, develop a thesis, and create projects to showcase their findings.  The program is sponsored by the Army Heritage Center Foundation, the non-profit friends group for the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, as part of the Foundation’s mission to enhance history education.

“This is an incredible honor for these students and their Breaking Barriers in History film to have been selected by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, a barrier-breaking institution in its own right,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “Months and years from now, they will think back fondly on this week when their documentary was viewed and experienced by people around the world visiting the Smithsonian Learning Lab and the documentary showcase.”

The 35 student films will be available to stream online for one week via the Smithsonian Learning Lab at, from tomorrow, Wednesday, June 17 through next Wednesday, June 24. 

The Smithsonian Learning Lab is a free, interactive platform for discovering millions of authentic digital resources from across the Smithsonian’s museums, research centers, libraries, archives, and more.

For more information, and to learn more about how your students can participate in the NHD in PA program, contact Jeff Hawks at the Army Heritage Center Foundation at 717-258-1102 or

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Dear friends,

Amidst the disruption and uncertainty related to coronavirus (COVID-19), we at the Army Heritage Center Foundation (AHCF) are taking extraordinary measures to keep our staff and their families healthy. Following directions from the Pennsylvania Governor's office and the recommendations of the CDC, our offices are now closed. I am pleased to tell you that our team is working from home, which allows us to practice social distancing and helps ensure our families are safe while continuing support for our mission.


We are pleased to provide resources to our friends and members that we hope will bring a respite from some of the daily worries and concerns. In the links below, you can access soldiers' stories and lectures that will be both informative and heart-warming. We hope you are able to find time to enjoy the resources. We are working on additional programs such as webinars and tele-lectures. If you are interested in receiving information or an invitation, please email your name and return email address to  or go to our website, and add your name to the drop box that appears after about 10 seconds.



Foundation Soldiers Stories:

USAHEC Lectures:

USAHEC: Educators Toolbox:

Special Studies by the USAHEC Historical Services Division:


Most importantly, please know that our thoughts and prayers are with each of you. Because of the support from friends like you, we will remain at the forefront of honoring our soldiers past and present and providing national resources even during the most challenging times. Please know how grateful we are for your generosity.  


Thank you. Please be safe.




Mike Perry

Executive Director


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Thanks to a large-scale digitization project now underway, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center will make its important, immense historical collection available instantly and easily to Army leaders, educators, veterans, students, and researchers anywhere in the world.  

In the first year of the multi-year USAHEC project, newly digitized material is putting at anyone’s fingertips the historical materials that enhance understanding of the past and guide thinking about current and future national security issues. USAHEC will select material for digitization that will enable historically informed thinking about modernization, nuclear weapons, homeland security experiences, recruiting, social change, among others. Now available -- 

  • The papers of Army Gen. Donn A. Starry, who wrote about his experience as senior USA observer to the 1973 Arab-Israeli War battlefield, and as the commander of US Army Training and Doctrine command as it led the 1980s modernization projects that resulted in AirLand Battle doctrine and the ‘Big Five’ weapons systems. 
  • The papers and battle recollections of Gen. Paul L. Freeman, Jr., who commanded the 23rd Infantry Regiment in Chipyong-Ni, Feb 1951, at a turning point in the Korean War.  During his years as CINC USARER and CG of the Continental Army Command, Freeman contributed a senior officer debriefing transcript in which he recounted the lessons and experiences of his career.
  • In addition to archival material, 100 percent of our artifact collection can be searched online, including items such as Brigadier General Benjamin O. Davis, Sr.’s the Distinguished Service Medal. The United States was a segregated nation during World War II. Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., the Regular Army's first African American general officer, was the senior leader dealing with issues pertaining to African American Soldiers. General Davis was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal in 1945 for his contributions. His Distinguished Service Medal serves as a representation of how a good leader, despite the limitations of segregation in the Army and the Nation, can rise above the political and cultural turmoil to do his duty for the Army. His work is directly linked to President Harry S. Truman's Executive Order 9981 of 26 July 1948 that desegregated the American military. 

“This is one of the largest single undertakings to digitize historical materials ever attempted,” said USAHEC Director Geoffrey Mangelsdorf.  “Over the next five years, new material will be uploaded daily into the online search interface system.  This will be a radical change in how military leaders, military students, and scholars can leverage our extraordinary collection.  General officer papers, battlefield reports, Soldiers’ journals and letters, and 33 million images will be accessible anywhere, anytime.” 

U.S. Army Soldiers’ personal historical materials, such as diaries, letters, artifacts and audiovisual items, are among the truly unique elements of the USAHEC collection. For 52 years, USAHEC has collected and preserved the personal historical materials of Soldiers from five-star General Omar N. Bradley to the most junior Soldiers.  When digitization makes these accessible anywhere, anytime, their thoughts, observations, and emotions will inform both the Army and the public. 

Access the keyword searchable online system, by visiting  and clicking on “Explore.” Users can type into the search bar, browse new and notable collections, or take advantage of the Search Tips provided in the menu bar.

 USAHEC is the U.S. Army’s preeminent archive, academic library, museum and research complex with extensive historical resources for Soldiers, researchers and visitors. As an organization deeply involved with both the Army and the public, USAHEC is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the men and women who have served their nation as Soldiers and to educating the military and the public on the important role of the Army in U.S. history.

Visit the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center’s archives and public museum at 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle, PA 17013.




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Ernie Gross was 15 when he was deported from his native Romania to Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi extermination camp in Poland where over 1.1 million people were murdered.  On February 3, he will share his story with local teachers and students at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle.  

In line for selection, where Jews were either chosen for slave labor or sent directly to the gas chambers, a Polish inmate saved his life.  “He asked me how old I was and I said 15.  He said by the time I got to the end of the line I’d better be 17 if I wanted to live.”  When he got there, Ernie lied about his age and was spared from death.

Ernie endured a year in the camps, marching barefoot in the snow, carrying heavy bags of cement, surviving on starvation rations.  As the Allies closed in on Auschwitz, Ernie and more than 56,000 prisoners were marched west, away from the advancing Soviets.  They marched without adequate food or clothing in sub-zero temperatures.  Somewhere between 9,000 and 15,000 prisoners died or were shot for falling behind on the way.

Ernie persevered and reached Dachau in Bavaria, Germany.  There, he survived additional months of starvation and brutality.  He had reached the end of his endurance when he was rescued by the arrival of the U.S. Army on April 29, 1945.

In the years that followed, Ernie regained his hope through acts of generosity.  

The event is sponsored by the Army Heritage Center Foundation with the support of the Stabler Foundation.  “The Soldiers who liberated the camps are important witnesses to the atrocities of the Holocaust,” says Foundation Education Director Jeff Hawks.  “This program is part of our efforts to share the stories of survivors and liberators with a broad audience of students, teachers, and the general public.”

For more information, contact the Army Heritage Center Foundation at 717-258-1102 or


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Have you ever wondered how reenactors and living historians started their hobby?  Do you have questions about the day-to-day lives of Soldiers throughout history?  If you are interested in the stories of Soldiers, join the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center for the 9th Annual Reenactor Recruitment Day! Experience military reenacting and living history up close and personal on Saturday, February 8, 2020 from 10:00AM to 4:00PM in USAHEC's Visitor and Education Center.

This free event is open to the public and will feature dozens of different living history organizations including over three hundred reenactors from all periods of U.S. Army and world military history.  This year, USAHEC will feature musical performances along with historical fiction author meet-and-greet booths. Reenactor Recruitment Day is not only a great outing for kids and history aficionados alike, it also serves as an opportunity for reenactors to meet with members of other living history organizations and discuss aspects of historical presentation/interpretation.

Reenactor Recruitment Day features hundreds of living historians representing Soldiers and other service members.  From pikemen and swordsmen of the 16th century, through Civil War cavalry, to Desert Storm medics, just about every Army time period is represented. The event will also include allied and adversary units. Reenactors will be in period dress and have table displays where they will be available to answer any questions, talk about their equipment and materials, discuss their upcoming activities, and highlight the importance of reenacting as a way to keep history alive. Come to USAHEC to experience history, live!

The 9th Annual Reenactor Recruitment Day is free and open to the public, including children of all ages. There will also be a huge used book sale in two locations this year: In front of the store all weekend and a special collection located in the Café area Friday and Saturday only. Hours for the book sale are Friday, Feb. 7th 12pm -4:30 pm; Saturday, Feb. 8th 10am-4:30pm; Sunday, Feb. 9th -12pm–4:30pm.


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In December 2018, the Nation finally recognized the contributions of our Chinese-American Veterans of World War II. Congress passed and the President signed the Chinese-American World War II Veteran Congressional Gold Medal Act honoring the approximately 20,000 Chinese-Americans, or about 22% of their adult male population, that willingly served during the war.  Of those, over 90% served in the Army. The Army Heritage Center Foundation will honor and recognize their service at its 12th Annual Membership and Recognition Dinner on November 2, 2019.  Come honor their service as Harry Jung, a WWII Infantryman and a representative of the Chinese-American Soldiers of WWII, receives the Foundation’s Living Legend Award.


  • Living Legend Award: Chinese-American World War II Veterans, represented by Mr. Harry Jung, Sergeant, 414th Infantry Regiment
  • Boots on the Ground Award: American Overseas Memorial Day Association

The Foundation has also selected the American Overseas Memorial Day Association to receive the Boots on the Ground Award.  Since 1920, the Association has ensured that those who sacrificed their lives for our Nation, and are buried in our overseas cemeteries, are honored on special occasions and most importantly on Memorial Day.  Each year, the Association facilitates and supports ceremonies honoring the memory of those who gave their lives in World War I and II.

The Dinner

This annual dinner will be held at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, allowing the Foundation to better showcase the Center’s assets to its guests, to honor Veterans past and present, and those who support Soldiers, the Army Heritage Center Foundation, and the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in “Telling the Army Story . . . one Soldier at a time.®”   

Included in the evening’s activities is a silent auction that includes unique items and gift certificates to regional attractions, restaurants, wineries, and golf courses, among others.

Dinner sponsorship opportunities are available. For additional details about the dinner and silent auction, or to order tickets, please contact the Foundation at (717) 258-1102,, or visit

About the Foundation and the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center

The Military Heritage Foundation, doing business as the Army Heritage Center Foundation, is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) that, through donated support, is funding the construction of the public components of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) — the Visitor and Education Center (VEC) and the Army Heritage Center.  As the phased construction program is completed, the Foundation transfers these facilities to the Army to operate, staff, and maintain, as part of USAHEC. The Foundation will then focus on “margin of excellence support” to meet the needs of educational programs and other activities at USAHEC where federal funds are inadequate or unavailable. 

The Foundation completed Phase One of the Visitor and Education Center in 2010.   This project provided the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center campus its first major gallery and multipurpose rooms to host educational programs and special events. In 2012, the Foundation funded infrastructure improvements to include parking and storm water management systems to support future construction.  The Foundation completed a 7,500 expansion of the Visitor and Education Center in September 2016 that added an additional gallery, a multipurpose room to meet growing demand for program space, and enhanced seating in the former cafeteria area.

The Foundation will continue to seek grants and donations to complete the Visitor and Education Center, the Army Heritage Center, and to create an endowment to sustain and enhance educational programs. The Foundation’s education program includes management of the National History Day in Pennsylvania competition and workshops and seminars that complement USAHEC’s programs and exhibits. 

The Foundation also supports and enhances USAHEC’s public outreach by supporting marketing initiatives and serving as a public advocate of the Center’s mission and programs. 

USAHEC is dedicated to honoring the men and women who have served this nation as Soldiers and preserving their legacy through the acquisition of their letters, diaries, photos, and artifacts that document their service.  USAHEC also educates a broad audience on the heritage of the Army by making its collections available to the public in the Ridgway Hall research room, through exhibits on the USAHEC campus, and through special programs.   A Smithsonian Affiliate, USAHEC is a component of the U.S. Army War College.  Since 2004, when the facility opened to the public, almost 2 million have visited.  Learn more about USAHEC at


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Posted by on in News and Events

Perspectives in Military History General of the Army Omar N. Bradley Memorial Lecture

The British Are Coming: The Revolution Trilogy, Part I

Mr. Rick Atkinson Pulitzer Prize Winner and New York Times Bestselling Author

In mid-January 1777, Lord Cornwallis of the invincible British Army retreated from the New Jersey countryside after two years of epic struggle against up-start American rebels. From the bloodshed on Lexington Common to the defeats at Trenton and Princeton, the American Revolution raged throughout the new United States.

On Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 7:15PM, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center will welcome Historian and Pulitzer Prize Winner Mr. Rick Atkinson to present the General of the Army Omar Nelson Bradley Memorial Lecture. He will discuss the first book in his upcoming Revolution Trilogy, entitled The British Are Coming. Atkinson combines personal stories, with the savage narrative of the first twenty-one brutal months of the Revolutionary War to give a new perspective on the fight for independence. In his new book, Atkinson describes the events and personal stories of the men and women fighting for control of the North American continent. He combines in-depth research on the politics of British sovereignty from the British Royal Archives, with the hard-scrabble personal accounts of American fighters, from the lowest private to the most powerful generals. This first installment of a new trilogy on the American Revolution covers the causes of the war from the initial fighting at Lexington and Concord, General George Washington’s defeats near Boston and New York City, the triumph and tragedy of the campaigns in Canada, and concludes with Washington’s victories at the Battles of Trenton and Princeton.

Mr. Atkinson received his Masters of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Chicago and worked as an editor and correspondent for the Washington Post for twenty-five years. Atkinson earned the Pulitzer Prize for History in 2003 for An Army at Dawn, his first book in The Liberation Trilogy. He followed with two New York Times Best Sellers, The Day of Battle and The Guns at Last Light. Atkinson received the Pulitzer Prize in 1982 for National Reporting, and has published numerous award-winning books spanning topics such as West Point and the war in Iraq.

DATE: Wednesday, September 18, 2019

TIME: Doors open at 6:30 PM and the talk begins at 7:15 PM

PLACE: USAHEC, Visitor and Education Center, Multipurpose Room

For updates and any last-minute changes in event meeting times and places, please check, our Facebook Page, or call the Information Desk at 717-245-3972.

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The Army Heritage Center Foundation and Humana MarketPOINT are partnering on September 19 to provide veterans from our community the opportunity to share their stories with middle school students.  The “Walk with a Vet” program, now in its third year, gives the students the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the veterans’ contributions in an informal, non-classroom setting. 

The Walk with a Vet program, made possible by a $5,000 sponsorship from Humana, also provides an opportunity for local middle school students to view the exhibits at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center.  The veterans and students will tour the Center in small groups and get to know each other over the course of the day.  This format encourages interaction between the groups and teaches students about the various aspects of the veterans’ service to the nation and the importance of preserving the veterans’ stories.   

The event will also mark National POW/MIA Day and will conclude with a brief program and ceremony to mark this special day of remembrance.  Mr. Bill Dangro, a veteran of the Korean War who spent nearly 3 years as a prisoner of North Korea, will speak to the students about his experiences.

“Humana has a tremendous commitment to veterans and students,” says Army Heritage Center Foundation Education Director Jeff Hawks. “This program was their idea.  They approached the Foundation looking for a way to bring students and veterans together, and this program is the result.  We are thrilled to have a community partner like Humana.”

Veterans interested in participating, or anyone seeking information, should contact Jeff Hawks at the Army Heritage Center Foundation at 717-258-1102 or

The Army Heritage Center Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Carlisle, PA.  The Foundation is the “friends group” for the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, a museum, research center, and educational complex dedicated to honoring the American Soldier. 

Humana MarketPOINT is one of the largest private insurance companies that provide, along with other products, Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.  Humana works to improve healthcare and make it more accessible to members to make a positive impact on the communities Humana serves.

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On June 25, the Army Heritage Center Foundation and Starbucks hosted 18 Veterans and their escorts on an Honor Bus that traveled from the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle to Arlington National Cemetery.

The trip, funded by the Starbucks Foundation and organized by the Army Heritage Center Foundation, brought local veterans together with volunteers from Starbucks locations in the mid-state to travel to Arlington to pay their respects to our nation’s honored dead.  Along the way, veterans and escorts got to know each other and share stories of service and sacrifice.

Starbucks employees volunteered their time to serve as escorts to provide assistance and companionship for the veterans and to experience the Cemetery with some of the men and women from their own community who served. 


Vietnam Veteran and Bronze Star Awardee David Calhoun with two members of the U.S. Army’s 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), who guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  (Photo Courtesy of Army Heritage Center Foundation)


Vietnam Veteran Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Phyllis Cogan with her escort, Starbucks Barista Amin Sou



Korean War Veteran Harold Showalter sitting on the Korean War Memorial contemplative bench.  June 25 marked the 69th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War.

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Between 1944 and 1945, Sergeant Frederick Counsel served his country with a brush rather than a rifle. One of his beautiful watercolors showcases a woman napping in vibrant green grass, as a G.I. in uniform fishes next to her in a bright blue stream. Another painting illustrates a sea of green uniforms marching through stunning colorful landscapes.


Fast forward to 1950, and the scenes are much drearier. The Korean War is depicted through black and white photographs of Soldiers bundled up from head to toe on a frozen tundra. Photo after photo shows the bleak, everyday life of combat among heavy equipment, firepower, and lots of snow.


Visitors can compare and contrast the two conflicts on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 at Noon, with a double exhibit opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new art exhibit The Making of an American Army: The WWII Artwork of Frederick Counsel, and another brand new exhibit “Where the Hell is Korea?” – Warfare in the Land of Sorrow.


The Making of an American Army is a G.I. view of Army life, as depicted in thirty original paintings by Sergeant Fred Counsel, Soldier-artist. Through watercolors, Counsel traced his career around several Army Air Force Training Centers during World War II. Familiar scenes of Mess Halls and Barracks, along with fellow Soldiers, served as his subjects.  All of the works are rendered in a free-flowing style with controlled, expressive colors. His work tells the story of when all America stood together, trained together, and served the country.


Five years after the end of World War II, on June 25, 1950, the North Korean People’s Army attacked south across the three year-old Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea. “Where the Hell is Korea?” – Warfare in the Land of Sorrow, showcases a variety of U.S. Army Soldiers, who served in each of the phases of the Korean War. Using original artifacts and archival materials from the collection, as well as unique immersive vignettes, the exhibit highlights the ground-level realities of one of America’s “forgotten wars.”



Light refreshments will be provided immediately following the ribbon cutting ceremony. Visitors will have a chance to view the new exhibits and talk to the curators and exhibit teams who made it all possible. As always, USAHEC admission and parking are free and handicapped accessible. For more information, please visit or call 717-245-3972. 

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Operation Overlord (D-Day) is known as a pivotal offensive of World War II. During this year’s Army Heritage Days event, on May 18 and 19, 2019, from 9am to 5pm, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) will commemorate D-Day’s 75th anniversary year with several themed events and lectures.

Our first lecture of the weekend takes place on Saturday, May 18th at noon and transports visitors to June 1944 with, “D-Day Journal: The Untold Story of a U.S. Ranger on Omaha Beach." By using his father’s journal, Mr. John V.O. Kennard will present D-Day from the view of 22-year-old, Lieutenant Frank L. Kennard. The lecture follows the first person perspective from the 2nd Ranger Battalion and also features data from oral histories of four other men. Despite losing most of his equipment, and half his men, Lt. Kennard and the remaining Soldiers made their objective at Pointe du Hoc and achieved their mission to take out the big German guns overlooking the Normandy beaches on that famous day.

Author John Kennard was a commissioned Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Armor Corps. He served in Germany until he was promoted to Captain and deployed to Vietnam in 1970. His own military experience enhances his ability to re-tell his father’s story using Lt. Kennard’s personal letters and journal which recounts his experience not just on the day of the battle, but the training before and the thoughts after.

The second lecture, presented by Mr. Martin K.A. Morgan on Sunday, May 19th at 1:00PM, “The Americans on D-Day: A Photographic History of the Normandy Invasion,” takes attendees back in time using some of the most compelling and dramatic photographs captured during first day and week of France’s liberation. “From Omaha Beach to Utah, from Sainte-Mère-Église to Pointe du Hoc, The Americans on D-Day is a striking visual record of the epic air, sea, and land battle that was the Normandy invasion.” Mr. Martin is a renowned museum professional and author who has appeared on the Smithsonian Channel, The Military Channel, National Geographic Channel, and the list goes on. With his experience and credentials he tells an enthralling story using the imagery of WWII.

Visitors can further immerse themselves in WWII history as it comes to life with a D-Day Airborne Soldier program followed by a WWII Aircraft flyover on Saturday and Sunday at 10:30AM and 2:00PM. There will also be an increase of WWII re-enactors outfitted in period gear, giving visitors an idea of the weapons and materials a Soldier would have carried during the war and the vehicles they would have used.

As always, Army Heritage Days will cover more than World War II, and will include portrayals from the Colonial Era to U.S. Army Current Operations by re-enactors stationed along the Army Heritage Trail. For a full schedule and more information, please visit or call 717-245-3972. Make sure to follow #CountdowntoAHD on our social media pages as more events are announced.

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The Korean War, often referred to as the “Forgotten War” is being remembered at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) with a new special exhibit.  On Armed Forces Day, May 18, 2019, and in anticipation of the 70th commemoration of the start of the Korean War in June 2020, the Center will open a new exhibit - “Where the Hell is Korea?” – Warfare in the land of Sorrow.

Jack Leighow, the Director of the Army Heritage Museum at USAHEC explains why this exhibit was needed.  “The Korean War is often overshadowed by the sheer magnitude of World War II and by the media coverage and social upheaval associated with the Vietnam War.  This exhibit seeks to illuminate this conflict and once again demonstrate the adaptability, toughness, and dedication of the Soldiers of the United States Army through the eyes of the Soldiers themselves".

This was and still is a difficult war for many Americans to understand.  Korea, far away and a minor theater during WWII, was unknown to many in the country.  However, when North Korean communist forces crossed the demarcation line between the two Koreas in June 1950, our Nation was pulled into a conflict that today still lacks a final signed peace treaty and remains an international concern.  More than 1.8 million U.S. Service Members served in the theater of war from 1950 to July 1953 and more than 36,000 died.  Another 103,000 were wounded.  United Nation participants from 15 other nations suffered more than 3,000 killed and almost 12,000 wounded.  Korean, North and South, and Chinese military casualties exceeded 1.2 million and civilian casualties exceeded 1.6 million. Seventy years later, the war still has lasting and dividing effects regionally and internationally.

Two years in planning, the exhibit attempts to promote a better understanding of the war through graphic presentation of the war’s phases and through the stories of the Soldiers who fought and those that supported Soldiers on the front lines.  In total, more than 12 Soldiers’ personal stories are highlighted in the exhibit.

They include Corporal Jack Zimmermann, a Holocaust survivor, who as a boy, served as a runner with the Polish Resistance.  Emigrating from Poland to the U.S. after World War II, Zimmermann enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1949.  His armor unit, the 6th Battalion, reached Pusan on July 30, 1950 and joined the 24th Infantry Division.  After the Inchon landing, his unit advances to the Yalu and subsequently retreats after the Chinese People’s Liberation Army intervened. 

Another is Captain Anna Mae McCabe Hays who served as a nurse in the 4th Field Hospital.  In the year after the September 1950 Inchon landing, she and the members of her unit cared for more than 25,000 patients in a small 400-bed hospital, with only thirty-one nurses, several doctors, and support personnel.  After the war, she would serve as the personal nurse of President Eisenhower when he was recovering from his heart attack, and in 1970, she became the first female to attain the rank of general officer in the Army.

The exhibit also highlights often overlooked aspects of the war and particular units – the Eighth Army’s partisan forces.  These forces and their mission in the Korean War remained unnoticed for almost 40 years and were only made public in 1990.  A forerunner to today’s Special Operations units, our partisan elements operated clandestinely in territory held by North Korean and Chinese Communist Forces.  Composite units of U.S. and Korean Soldiers, these partisan forces conducted both land and amphibious operations that sought to disrupt enemy operations, damage and destroy infrastructure, and report on troop movements and preparations.  

In addition to showcasing the stories of individual Soldiers, the exhibit highlights the war graphically and through photographic images.  Included are maps that highlight decisive phases of the war and a photo of Chaplain Burgess Riddle of the 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, as he is holding his unit’s Thanksgiving service along the Yalu River in 1950, while his assistant plays a field pump organ.   On the other end of the spectrum, several display panels showcase the transportation and distribution of beer to the troops from the United States to Soldiers in the field. 

The tools of the Soldiers, both allied and enemy, are also on display.  The U.S. Soldier’s clothing, accouterments, and weapons, - to include the M1 Garand, the 75 mm, and the M3 Grease Gun - are contained in the exhibit.  So too are those of the Chinese and North Korean Soldiers.  A North Korean Flag, a Soviet revolver, and a Japanese light machine gun are displayed.  Several unique items are also presented.  These include a portable pump organ used by chaplains in the field, the shoulder patch of the United Nations Partisan Forces Korea, and a bugle used by the Chinese Volunteers to coordinate troop movements during an attack.

The exhibit will continue to be on display, in the Soldier Experience Gallery beginning May 18, 2019.  The staff of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center hopes that you come to visit this often overlooked conflict. The Center also has other exhibits, including the Soldier Experience Gallery and the Army Heritage Trail, a mile long outdoor interactive trail with historical macro exhibits from the French and Indian War through Current Operations. Additional exhibits currently focus on World War I, World War II artwork, and Reserve Forces. The Center is open to the public Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and offers free admission and parking. To learn more about USAHEC and all that it has to offer, please go to


Author:  Mike Perry, Army Heritage Center Foundation

Tagged in: Korean War
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The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) is excited to announce this year’s theme for our 2019 Army Heritage Days program, “Remembering D-Day,” commemorating the 75th anniversary of one of the most famous campaigns of WWII. USAHEC is highlighting the anniversary with two D-Day focused lectures, displays, WWII aircraft flyover, and special programs throughout the two day event, as well as an increase in equipment and reenactors on the Army Heritage Trail. As always, Army Heritage Days, will encompass the history of the Army and the development of the American Soldier from pre-French and Indian War to current operations. Events will run both May 18th and 19th, 2019 from 9am to 5pm each day.

New to Army Heritage Days this year will be a WWII aircraft flyover scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. See and hear the C-47 transport which dropped paratroopers and supplies on the French countryside and towed gliders into the sky above Normandy. Also featured will be the workhorse fighter of WWII, the P51 Mustang. Of course, we will be bringing back old favorites such as the Veterans Meet and Greet, lectures by notable historians, the kid’s passport program, and informational programs by the reenactors on the Army Heritage Trail. As always, the event will also feature a used book sale in the Museum Store.

Event admission and parking are free and open to the public. USAHEC will release more information as the schedule is confirmed. For the most up to date information, please follow #CountdowntoAHD on USAHEC’s social media pages or visit For further questions, please contact 717-245-3972.

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Carlisle’s Walmart is teaming up with the Army Heritage Center Foundation to honor and thank local veterans through a $1,000 grant to the Foundation’s Veterans’ Cafe program.


The Veterans’ Cafe provides free veteran breakfasts and other events throughout the region.  Veterans of all eras and services are invited to attend, along with their friends and family.


“These events bring veterans together to share their stories of service,” says Foundation Education Director Jeff Hawks.  “The Foundation manages the Veterans’ Cafe, but the program is possible because of community partners like Walmart.”  Other sponsors for the Veterans’ Cafe include Hoffman Funeral Home, Humana, Inc., and United Concordia.


Hawks describes the veterans who have shared their stories: “We’ve had D-Day veterans, Vietnam veterans, and veterans who never left the States and didn’t think they had a story to tell until they started telling it.  Every veteran did his or her part; every veteran has a story to tell.”


Veterans’ Cafe events include Pinning Ceremonies for Vietnam era veterans.  As part of the Department of Defense’s 50th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War, the Foundation distributes official commemorative pins.  “Many of the men and women who served during the Vietnam era never got the thanks they deserved,” says Hawks, “I am honored to have the privilege of presenting them with this small token of appreciation from a grateful nation.”


The next Veterans’ Cafe event will take place on February 22 at Frederick House in Carlisle.  The event will mark the anniversary of Operation Desert Storm with a presentation by COL (Ret.) Frank Hancock, followed by a Vietnam Veteran pinning ceremony.  For more information or to RSVP, please contact the Army Heritage Center Foundation at 717-258-1102 or email


The Army Heritage Center Foundation is the non-profit friends group for the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle. 


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There is an old saying, “Don’t change something if it works…,” so Reenactor Recruitment Day is back at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) for the 8th year running with hundreds of opportunities for visitors to interact with history! Experience military reenacting and living history up close and personal on Saturday, February 9, 2019 from 10:00AM to 4:00PM in USAHEC's Visitor and Education Center. This free event is open to the public and is an annual favorite. The event will feature dozens of different living history organizations including over three hundred reenactors from all periods of U.S. Army and world military history. At 11:30 AM, the Army Heritage Center Foundation will sponsor a special lecture from military fiction author Chris Formant as he speaks about his new book, Saving Washington: The Forgotten Story of the Maryland 400 and the Battle of Brooklyn. Reenactor Recruitment Day is not only a great outing for kids and history aficionados alike, it also serves as an opportunity for reenactors to meet with members of other living history organizations and to discuss living history with professional historians.

Reenactor Recruitment Day features hundreds of living historians representing Soldiers and other service members from pikemen and swordsmen of the 16th century, to Civil War cavalry, to Desert Storm medics. The event will also include adversary units, allied units, and American forces from every era. Reenactors will be in period dress and have table displays where they will be available to answer any questions, talk about their equipment and materials, discuss their upcoming activities, and highlight the importance of reenacting as a way to keep history alive. Come to the USAHEC to experience history, live!

At 11:30AM, on February 9, 2019, the Army Heritage Center Foundation will present a lecture and discussion from historical fiction author Chris Formant. Mr. Formant’s latest novel, Saving Washington: The Forgotten Story of the Maryland 400 and the Battle of Brooklyn, has been labeled as a #1 new release for biographical fiction by and follows the story of two young Soldiers who enlist to fight the British threat to their homes and families. Mr. Formant is a former top executive of a multi-billion dollar technology company who now turns extensive research into easily accessible historical fiction.

The 8th Annual Reenactor Recruitment Day is free and open to the public, including children of all ages. Our exhibit galleries, including The Soldier Experience, “Goodbye Broadway, Hello France,” and “A Call to Arms: The Story of the U.S. Army Reserves,” will be open, as will the Museum Store and an extended book sale. For more information, including directions and the event flyer, please visit the USAHEC website at For questions, please call 717-245-3972.

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Strategic and Organizational Issues of the Early American Revolutionary War

By LTC Derek W. Beck, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army War College


The early days of the American Revolution were wrought with bloodshed and a confusing mixture of political doubt and military uncertainty. The powder keg of rebellion wreaked havoc on the ability of political and military leaders of the young revolution to concentrate on the strategic and operational imperatives of creating a successful break from their mother country. On Thursday, February 7, 2019, at 7:15 PM, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, PA will host author LTC Derek Beck as he speaks about his two books, Igniting the American Revolution:1773-1775 and The War Before Independence: 1775-1776. LTC Beck will look at the first years of the American Revolution from a strategic perspective, with special emphasis on organizing and equipping the young Continental Army amidst the tribulations American political and military leaders faced.

LTC Derek Beck’s first book, Igniting the American Revolution: 1773-1775, covers the period from the Boston Tea Party to the first running battle which began at Lexington and Concord in April 1775. His second book, which is a sequel to the first and entitled The War Before Independence: 1775-1776, resumes the story with the Battle of Bunker Hill through to Washington’s battle to retake Boston. In this talk, LTC Beck will summarize the timeline of events while highlighting some of the strategic issues faced by military commanders on both sides of the fight. He will also discuss the organizational and logistical issues the new Continental Army faced.

LTC Derek W. Beck is a historian, filmmaker, and an officer in the US Air Force Reserve. He is a current US Army War College resident student. His recent assignments include serving as a senior operations officer at the Joint Space Operations Center, Vandenberg AFB, California, and most recently at the Air Force Central Command Headquarters, Shaw AFB, South Carolina, where he supported operations in the Middle East. Derek’s two books are on the American Revolution: Igniting the American Revolution: 1773-1775 (Sourcebooks, 2015) and its sequel The War Before Independence: 1775-1776 (Sourcebooks, 2016). LTC Beck holds a master’s degree in engineering and management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


DATE: Thursday, February 7, 2019

TIME: Doors open at 6:30 PM and the talk begins at 7:15 PM

PLACE: USAHEC, Visitor and Education Center, Multipurpose Room

For updates and any last-minute changes in lecture meeting times and places,

please check or call the Information Desk at 717-245-3972.

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An Evening With General David Petraeus, USA Retired

 December 13, 2018

West Shore Country Club, Camp Hill, PA

Cocktails at 6:00 p.m.

Dinner and Program at 7:00 p.m.

Reservations required  by November 28, 2018

  • Tickets: $125 per person


 Purchase Tickets Now


 To purchase tickets by mail, please send payment with attendees names (and dietary restrictions if applicable) to:


Army Heritage Center Foundation

P.O. Box 839, Carlisle, PA 17013


For more information, please contact Amanda Neal

Phone: (717) 258-1102 or


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