Special Exhibit for May 3-June 4: The Philippines Campaign
Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum in Carrabelle is presenting a special exhibit on the Philippines campaign. This exhibit will open Tuesday, May 3 and will be
on display at the museum until Saturday, June 4. The museum is open every Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm. There is no charge for admission, but donations are gladly accepted.
The campaign in the Pacific required that the Allies take back the island nation of the Philippines, which fell into Japanese hands after a long and brutal effort that began hours after Pearl Harbor and ended with the surrender of the US-Philippine forces in May of 1942, and the subsequent march of prisoners from Bataan.
The invasion of the Philippines began at Leyte, on the 20th October of 1944, and resulted in a naval battle that was a disaster for the Japanese. Campaigns at critical locations throughout the Philippines culminated in a final but costly victory when Japanese control ended in mid-1945.
This exhibit will chronicle the major battles and participants of the Philippines campaign, from the loss to the Japanese in 1942 to the final mopping up of residual forces in 1945.
Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum is located in Carrabelle, directly across from Carrabelle Public Beach Park at 1873 Hwy 98 West. For more information, contact the museum at (850) 697-8575 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Funded in part by the Franklin County Tourist Development Council.
Special Exhibit for June 7-July 2: Commemorating D-Day
Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum in Carrabelle is presenting a special exhibit Commemorating D-Day. This exhibit will open Tuesday, June 7 and will be on display at the museum until Saturday, July 2. The museum is open every Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm. There is no charge for admission, but donations are gladly accepted.
When Camp Gordon Johnston opened in 1942 in Carrabelle, FL, its main purpose was to train entire infantry divisions, including the U. S. Army’s 4th Infantry Division, and their support units in amphibious warfare. This training and the men who trained here would be put to the test on the heavily fortified beaches of Normandy, France on D-Day, June 6, 1944. The first amphibian infantry assault teams to arrive on French soil were from the 4th Infantry Division at Utah Beach. The D-Day invasion was the largest seaborne invasion in history and included over 100,000 Allied troops.
This D-Day exhibit will include the personal papers and other items from the family of Capt. John E. Mellen, who commanded the 818th Amphibious Truck Company and was with them from their training at Camp Gordon Johnston through the end of the war and beyond. The 818th trained at Camp Gordon Johnston late 1943-early 1944. The 818th deployed to England to prepare for the invasion of Normandy and was attached to the 1st Engineer’s Special Brigade and landed on Utah Beach, June 6, 1944. For this they received a Meritorious Unit Citation and Croix de Guerre with palm. Five members of the 818th received Bronze Stars for their actions on that day.
The Carrabelle Beach Assault video will be shown throughout the day running every 10 minutes. This Army training short film shows the D-Day training as it happened on Carrabelle Beach during March of 1943. There are several well-recognized photos of the Carrabelle Beach assaults taken from this video footage, which was filmed by the U.S. Signal Corps. The amphibious training conducted at this site was to be the last training before shipping out to England.
Also during this exhibit, there will be other displays to honor D-Day, including an interview of a 28th Infantry Division veteran that trained at the Camp, the three WWII military vehicles and the replica Higgins Boat on display.
Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum is located at 1873 Hwy 98 West, directly across from the very beach where the beach assault training occurred in 1942-1943. Carrabelle Beach was the site of many practice beach assault landings. For more information, contact Camp Gordon Johnston Museum at (850) 697-8575 or email@example.com. Funded in part by the Franklin County Tourist Development Council.
Smithsonian Museum Day, Saturday, September 18
Carrabelle’s three museums will open their doors free of charge on Saturday September 18, 2021 as part of Smithsonian magazine’s 17th annual Museum Day, a national celebration of boundless curiosity. This national celebration honors museums that follow the example of the Smithsonian. In honor of this day, Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum, Carrabelle History Museum, and Crooked River Lighthouse Museum will have special activities and exhibits.
Museum Day goes beyond getting visitors through museum doors—it acts as a springboard to empower and help advance the hopes and ambitions of the public. It represents a national commitment to access, equity and inclusion. With many public spaces being shut down for a year or more, Museum Day 2021 celebrates the reopening of museums after long closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s theme, Experience America, represents the return to, and resurgence of, our country’s diverse cultural experiences, in the safest possible way. While admission will be free of charge, the museums will have safety precautions in place for this year’s event so guests can safely and comfortably enjoy their experience.
INFORMATION ON THE MUSEUMS
Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum
Honors the military men and women as well as civilian personnel who trained and worked in Carrabelle and Franklin County during 1942 through 1946. The museum houses numerous displays of military artifacts, photos and memorabilia of many types. Plus the newly constructor Motor Pool building now displays the museum’s military vehicles – WWII DUKW, German Lieferwagen, and WWII Jeep. Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum is located at 1873 Highway 98 West, directly across from Carrabelle Beach where military troops practiced D-Day beach assaults. Saturday hours 11 am – 5 pm.
Carrabelle History Museum
Features local artifacts and exhibits including Carrabelle’s Native American people, the Steamship “Tarpon”, the original “World’s Smallest Police Station”, Carrabelle industry and culture (seafood, lumber and more) and families from the pioneer days to the present. Plus come see the tribute to some of our local military heroes from WW1 thru Vietnam and the high school exhibit full of throw-back nostalgia. Carrabelle History Museum is located at 106 SE Avenue B, Carrabelle, FL. Saturday hours 10 am – 5 pm.
Crooked River Lighthouse
The history and the science of the lighthouse are displayed through interesting exhibits, including a historical setting of the early 1900’s, examples of beacons, the methods of constructing a skeletal tower lighthouse, plus the original 1895 Fresnel lens! Also on display are the original Keeper’s House clock, a barometer, an antique glass fire grenade, and more. Crooked River Lighthouse is located at 1975 Hwy 98 West, Carrabelle. Saturday hours 9 am – 5 pm.
For more information, please visit Smithsonianmag.com/MuseumDay.
Inaugural Camp Gordon Johnston Benefit Golf Tournament Honors Pearl Harbor Day
Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum and St. James Bay Golf Club hosted an Inaugural Camp Gordon Johnston Benefit Golf Tournament on the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. This tournament was held on Pearl Harbor Day to honor the brave men and women who responded to our country’s need and served in the armed forces at home and abroad on Saturday, December 7, 2019 at St. James Bay Golf Club in Carrabelle, FL. The Camp Gordon Johnston Museum displayed vehicles and artifacts on site during the tournament. There was be a buffet at the Crooked River Grill in the St. James Bay Clubhouse following the tournament.
All proceeds are earmarked to help fund a new building to house Camp Gordon Johnston’s three historical military vehicles, including the famous WWII DUKW. These historical military vehicles are still operable and because of the lack of space onsite at the museum, currently they must be kept at a separate location.
Sidney A. Winchester Building Dedication at Camp Gordon Johnston Museum
The Camp Gordon Johnston Association and WWII Museum was honored 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. We were joined by U.S. Congressman Neal Dunn, M.D. (FL-02) who made two very special presentations during the ceremony. Congressman Dunn presented a container of sand from Utah Beach, Normandy, France to the Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum and then presented an American Flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C. to Sidney Winchester’s wife, Bobbye, who accepted the flag on behalf of the Museum in honor of Sidney’s service both as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne and as a charter member and champion of the Camp Gordon Johnston Association. The sand from Utah Beach and the flag will be on display at the Museum. Also on this day, Camp Gordon Johnston Museum celebrated Smithsonian magazine’s 15th annual Museum Day. This national celebration honors museums that follow the example of the Smithsonian with free admission.