US Army Quartermaster Museum Fort Lee, VA
You’d never think to create a museum devoted to, what – a quartermaster? But think again. How does an army move? Who gets the fuel to the tanks on the front lines? What about food? Supplies? Uniforms? The answer is, the Quartermaster – Quartermasters run the supply chain for the Army, and the history of that service is on display in this small but endlessly fascinating museum in Fort Lee, Virginia.
Step inside and start learning abut this little-known branch of the Army. Did you know the Quartermasters train the Army’s parachute riggers? Or that in addition to getting water and fuel out to the troops the Quartermasters are the ones who test the water for bacteria and other biology? Did you know that General Grants personal affects were carried around in an ambulance?. Did you know that Eisenhower had his own mobile living quarters that he used when he was on the road during WWII? Yes, the Quartermasters keep them both on the move. Eisenhower’s van is here. As is Grant’s personal luggage transport, the Rucker Ambulance.
Plan your visit around these unique large-scale artifacts then tour the rest of the displays and exhibits for an overview of the military as viewed behind-the-scenes. There is Huey to show how they use air assets for aerial delivery of supplies, a field kitchen complete with sandbags showing food delivery, an amphibious landing craft called a DUKW being unloaded after D-Day, an exhibit showing how the Quartermaster’s train war dogs, another on how they stabled horses during those early years. Each diorama uses realistic landscaping and mannequins plus an array of facts and figures. In the McNamara Supply Gallery, for instance, you’ll learn than by D-Day +3 days the Quartermasters had delivered ashore 750,000 food rations. In all they would deliver hundreds of thousands of tons of food, clothing, ammunition and fuel over the Normandy beaches. Yet another gallery is filled with facts and figures on the fuel pipeline they installed during Iraqi Freedom.
In a nutshell, this is a collection of beautifully rendered dioramas telling a story not well known to the general public. While you’re visiting, be sure to look closely at the faces of the mannequins. These are some of the finest examples of face and body casting anywhere, a technique few museums do as well as its done here.
Hours: Mon. – Fri.: 10am – 5pm
Sat. – 11am – 5pm
Closed: SundayVisit museum website