The Camp Gordon Johnston Association was pleased to dedicate our museum building on September 21, 2019 to the late Sidney A. Winchester, a Carrabelle native, U. S. Army veteran and key supporter of Camp Gordon Johnston Museum.
Sidney Winchester proudly served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne. He was a charter member of the Camp Gordon Johnston Association, was on board from its inception, and continued to serve as director and as President repeatedly over the next 20 years. He was the energy behind the annual Camp Gordon Johnston reunion parade. He was also instrumental in acquiring the WWII DUKW and Lieferwagen as well as raising money for the Museum. Even after his cancer diagnosis, he continued to work on behalf of the museum.
During this ceremony, the Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum and the family of the late Sidney Winchester received a special honor. U.S. Congressman Neal Dunn, M.D. (FL-02) participated in the dedication ceremony and made two special presentations.
During the Congressional Legislative Delegation visit in June 2019 to Normandy, France for the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings, Congressman Dunn presented a container of sand from Carrabelle Beach to the Utah Beach D-Day Museum located at Utah Beach, Normandy, France. At the Dedication Ceremony, Congressman Neal Dunn presented a container of sand from Utah Beach to the Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum.
Carrabelle Beach is the location where the 4th Infantry Division conducted practice amphibious assaults in 1943 as part of their training at Camp Gordon Johnston. The 4th Infantry Division subsequently made some of the first amphibious assaults of D-Day at Utah Beach in June 1944.
Following this first honor, Congressman Dunn then presented an American flag that had been flown over the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. to the Camp Gordon Johnston Museum. Sidney Winchester’s wife, Bobbye, and her family accepted the flag from Congressman Dunn on behalf of the museum in honor of Sidney’s service both to his country and to the Camp Gordon Johnston Association. The Utah Beach sand and the flag will be displayed at the museum.
Click Here to Watch a Video of the Dedication Ceremony and Congressman Dunn’s Presentations. Thanks to Mayor Brenda La Paz for this video.
Please contact us at 850-697-8575 or email@example.com with any questions about this event.
Smithsonian Day 2019
Back by popular demand all three of Carrabelle’s wonderful museums opened their doors free of charge on Saturday, September 21, 2019, 10 am – 5 pm as part of Smithsonian magazine’s 15th annual Museum Day. This national celebration honors museums that follow the example of the Smithsonian with free admission. In salute to this day, Carrabelle History Museum, Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum, and Crooked River Lighthouse Museum held special activities and exhibits.
Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum was proud to be celebrating the Smithsonian’s Museum Day for the 13th year in a row. The museum had the privilege of dedicating its new building to Sidney Winchester, a Carrabelle native, U. S. Army veteran and key supporter of Camp Gordon Johnston Museum. Sidney Winchester proudly served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne. He was a charter member of the Camp Gordon Johnston Association, was on board from its inception, and continued to serve as director and as President repeatedly over the next 20 years. Sid was the energy behind the CGJ reunion parade. He was also instrumental in acquiring the DUKW and Lieferwagen as well as raising money for the Museum. Even after his cancer diagnosis, he continued to work on behalf of the museum.
In addition, Camp Gordon Johnston Museum has an exciting new display of a half-scale model of a Higgins Boat (LCVP). The “Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel” (LCVP) or Higgins Boat was used extensively in amphibious landings in World War II by the American military, including D-Day and in the Pacific Theatre at the Battles of Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, and elsewhere. The museum is excited to have this half-scale model Higgins Boat on display with a platform that will allow “half scale soldiers” to try it out. Also, in keeping with this year’s theme, “Year of Music”, Camp Gordon Johnston Museum played WWII era music throughout the day as well as a short film highlighting the beach assault training that took place in 1943 on Carrabelle Beach.
Funding in part by the Franklin County Tourist Development Council.
Smithsonian Day 2019, Camp Gordon Johnston, Carrabelle, FL
Annual Camp Gordon Johnston Days 2019
The Camp Gordon Johnston Association and WWII Museum celebrated the 24th Annual Camp Gordon Johnston Reunion Days on March 8-10, 2019 in Carrabelle, FL. A weekend of meaningful events was planned especially to honor our country’s remaining WWII veterans as well as recognize and salute all veterans from WWII to present. All veterans, their family and friends as well as the general public were invited to Carrabelle for the celebrations.
On Friday, March 8, 2019, from 1:30 to 4:30 pm, Camp Gordon Johnston hosted the Veteran Welcome at the Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum, 1873 HWY 98 West, Carrabelle. All WWII to present day veterans were invited to be greeted at the museum and meet other veterans and visitors. Interviews may be taped for those with stories connected to CGJ Veterans’ Training and War time experiences.
Continuing on Friday at 6 pm, the Camp Gordon Johnston American Legion Post 82 located in Lanark Village warmly invited all WWII veterans, WWII widows/widowers, non-WWII veterans (with proof of service), active duty military, and members of Post 82 to a Low Country Boil in their honor. This event was not open to the general public. For more information, call 850-697-9998.
On Saturday, March 9, 2019, kicking off at 10:45 am, the Annual Camp Gordon Johnston Reunion Days Parade paid tribute to all veterans of all branches of service. The 2019 community parade included CGJ Museum vehicles (WWII DUKW, Willis Jeep, and German Lieferwagen), more recent military vehicles, JROTC units, color guards, veteran organizations and auxiliary units, and of course, many civic and community floats, decorated golf carts, gorgeous antique cars, and beauty queens of all ages. In addition, the Military Vehicle Preservation Association – First Florida Chapter brought their amazing restored vintage military vehicles to carry veterans in the parade.
Military related groups, community organizations, school groups, and individuals are always encouraged to help honor all veterans, past and present, by participating in the parade.
Following the parade, CGJ Museum’s historical vehicles, the DUKW, Willis Jeep, and German Lieferwagen, were on display at the museum. Everyone was invited to see these vehicles up close and personal.
The Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum was open to all visitors on Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm. Guests were encouraged to come and hear the amazing stories of the region’s WWII heroes and see the remarkable collection of WWII artifacts and memorabilia
Saturday evening the Camp Gordon Johnston Reunion festivities continued with a special event – the Camp Gordon Johnston Reunion Dinner Dance – at 6 pm at the Franklin County Senior Center in Carrabelle. Guests enjoyed a 1940’s era dinner and music with actual WWII heroes as well as veterans from more recent times! These men and women have served their country faithfully and honorably, willing to give the “last full measure”. It is a privilege and a delight to thank and honor them at this special event each year.
Sunday, March 10, CGJ Museum hosted our first Dice Run fundraiser to support the museum. During this fun event, participants drove to checkpoints, rolling dice at each stop. At the end of the day, participants with the highest and lowest combined rolls won prizes. All types of vehicles (motorcycles, cars, classic cars and trucks) were welcome to participate.
Click here to see news coverage from WTXL Channel 27 of the 2018 Camp Gordon Johnston Reunion Days event.
Annual Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day
2018 Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day was a big success!
Our recent Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day and Ribbon Cutting & Reopening of Camp Gordon Johnston Museum was a big success. This event was held on Saturday, September 22, 2018 and almost 200 visited Camp Gordon Johnston Museum that day!
On that day, all three of Carrabelle’s wonderful museums opened their doors free of charge on Saturday September 22, 2018 as part of Smithsonian magazine’s 14th annual Museum Day. This national celebration honors museums that follow the example of the Smithsonian with free admission. In salute to this day, Carrabelle History Museum, Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum, and Crooked River Lighthouse Museum had extended hours and special activities and exhibits including WWII military vehicles, a newly expanded Native Peoples exhibit and 103 foot tower climbs.
For many this was their first time visiting the new location and new museum facility. Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum is now located at Carrabelle Beach, where military troops practiced beach assaults for D-Day and other campaigns. The museum also showed an exciting short film of the actual 1943 beach assault training that has only recently been discovered. This wonderful short film can be see daily in the museum. WWII military vehicles were also on display and military veterans were on hand.