Puget Sound Military Museums
The Fort Lewis Military Museum collects and exhibits the history of Fort Lewis, Washington and the units of the United States Army which served there and tells of the presence of the United States Army in the Pacific Northwest from the 1803 Lewis & Clark Expedition to present.
It included four major galleries including large collections of World War I uniforms, weapons and equipment from Camp Lewis' beginnings in 1917. It also includes an outdoor military vehicle display of tanks and trucks.
The museum is located in what used to be the Fort Lewis Inn, which was originally constructed in 1918 by the Salvation Army and named the Red Shield Inn. It was used as a lodge and social center for soldiers and visitors to the area and was situated in a recreation area known as Green Park.
In 1973, the Fort Lewis Inn became the home of the Fort Lewis Military Museum. Access is available from Exit 120 on I-5, just South of Tacoma, and is open for visitors Wednesdays thru Sundays, 12:00 noon to 4:00 PM, but is closed on federal holidays.
The history of McChord Air Force Base, and the Air Force units stationed at McChord over the years, can be seen at the McChord Air Force Base Air Museum just off Exit 125 and I-5, just south of Tacoma.
McChord Air Force Base's contribution to the overall history of airpower has had national significance, including an attempted nonstop trans-Pacific flight from the old Tacoma Field in 1929. (In 1938, Pierce County residents donated Tacoma Field to the military.) Also, Jimmy Doolittle came to McChord to train crews for a secret mission to Tokyo. Global airlifts have taken place from McChord Air Force Base since postwar 1940.
Vintage aircraft and memorabilia from the 1930s through the 1980s include restoration projects, a Douglas B-18A Bolo bomber, a Skytrain "Gooney Bird" transport, a Douglas F-15A Eagle, and a Douglas C-124C Globemaster II transport and a flight simulator.
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