• Welcome to the New York State Military Museum

    Welcome to the New York State Military Museum

    The mission of the museum and research center is to preserve, interpret and disseminate the story, history and records of New York State’s military forces and veterans.

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  • Sherman Tank Returns!

    Sherman Tank Returns!

    Our Sherman Tank returns to the NYS Military Museum from Fort Drum after a year long restoration, to it's permanent exhibit spot.

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  • CIVIL WAR PAINTINGS | Coming Soon

    CIVIL WAR PAINTINGS | Coming Soon

    This exhibit will highlight some of the finest Civil War artwork from the collection of the Military Museum on a rotating basis. Click for more details...

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  • A CALL NOT UNHEEDED

    A CALL NOT UNHEEDED

    The exhibit features a dazzling array of militia and National Guard distinctive unit dress uniforms, ballot boxes and decorative bronze trophies that interpret the social organization of the National Guard, original artifacts from the USS Maine, and a carronade captured during the 1857 Dead Rabbits Riot in New York City.

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  • Battleground for Freedom

    Battleground for Freedom

    No less than 120 military engagements occurred on New York soil, more than in any other state, ranging in scale and significance from the decisive Battle of Saratoga to numerous bitter skirmishes and ruthless raids that raged throughout the frontier settlements...

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  • Some Great Past Exhibits

    Some Great Past Exhibits

Welcome to the New York State Military Museum

The mission of Friends is to be a support to the museum, to aid in fund raising for exhibits and displays, as well as assisting in drawing attention to the museum through programs, lectures and events. As the board of trustees, we are the elected board which helps direct the membership to facilitate the support mission of the non profit group.

 

Ever Upward: The History of the New York Air National Guard

Now on display.

Since its humble beginnings in 1908, the New York Air National Guard (NYANG) has evolved from an informal group of amateur aerial enthusiasts to today’s professionally trained and equipped Air Reserve Component of the United States Air Force.

The New York Air National Guard is a key participant in our country’s national defense and international wartime operations as well as a valuable asset to aid all New Yorkers during natural disasters and civil disturbances.

Displaying rare images and artifacts from the Military Museum’s collection, "Ever Upward" will present New York’s early air units and aerial pioneers, the creation of the Air National Guard, service during the Cold War and the Global War on Terror, in-state aid during national disasters, and international missions to the earth’s remote Polar Regions.

 

  • Deep Freeze 109th
    Ski-equipped LC-130 from the 109th Airlift Wing, New York Air National Guard, landing at Shackleton Glacier, Antarctica, November 2007.
  • F 16 Fighter
    F-16 Fighting Falcon, 174th Fighter Wing, New York Air National Guard, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan, 2003.
  • Havens Dallas
    Pilot Beckwith Havens aboard a biplane, Texas State Fair, Dallas, Texas, October 1911. Within a year Havens would bring his aerial expertise to the New York to become the first pilot in the entire National Guard.
  • West Point returns bell taken from Philippines church 100 years ago

    By Wyatt Olson

    A massive bell that hung at a chapel at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point for decades was rung one last time Friday before being sent back to its home: the Philippines.

    After a ceremony and Mass at West Point’s Most Holy Trinity Catholic Chapel, attended by the Philippine consulate general, the bell was crated up and readied for return to Saints Peter and Paul Church in Bauang, La Union, Philippines.

    The bell was removed from the church in 1901 during the Philippine-American War that lasted from 1899 to 1902. Bells were routinely taken as souvenirs, but at times they were removed for a military purpose – to prevent them from being melted down to make weapons.

    At some point, the bell fell into the hands of Lt. Col. Thomas Barry, who’d been deployed to the Philippines in 1900-01. The West Point class of 1877 graduate, who eventually became its 27th superintendent, gave the bell to his alma mater in 1915. There, it was stored in a church belfry for 44 years before being rediscovered during an expansion in 1959.

    It was then hung outside the chapel, with a placard that read in part: "Symbol of peace that even the ravages of war could not destroy."

    The bell likely would have remained shrouded in obscurity if not for two U.S. Navy veterans who have spent the past few years in a quest to return several bells to the Philippines.

    Dan McKinnon, who lives in Virginia, and Dennis Wright, president of a company developing a portion of the former Clark Air Base north of Manila, met while they were in the Navy. Five years ago, the veterans began working to ensure that the Clark Veterans Cemetery, which had fallen into disrepair, would be maintained by the U.S. federal government.

    With the success of that effort, their interest turned to attempting to repatriate the famed bells of Balangiga, three bells taken by the U.S. Army from the church in the town of that same name. More than 40 U.S. soldiers were killed during a surprise attack there in 1901, to which the Army responded with a bloody reprisal. That history is still being debated, but what’s known is that two of the bells are now at F. E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyo., and a third is at Camp Red Cloud in South Korea.

    While researching the two bells during a visit to Wyoming, McKinnon learned that another Philippine bell hung at West Point.

     

    "I started talking to West Point all last year," McKinnon said. An inscription on the bells suggested it was from a church Bauang.

    Intrigued with that information, Wright enlisted the help of two professors from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila to research the subject. Consultation with the church records found that the description of the bell matched the one at West Point.

    "We said, maybe that bell should go home," McKinnon said.

    The pastor of Saints Peter and Paul Church sent a letter to the Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen, West Point’s superintendent, asking for the return of the bell, which had been presented to church sometime between 1877 and 1887, according to its records.

    A couple months later, the pastor received a letter back from Caslen, who concluded, "While we have been honored to guard and display this bell for the past several decades, we would be glad to return the bell to its rightful home."

    "It’s a no-brainer," McKinnon said. "Now it’s going home. It was that simple."

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    Twitter: @WyattWOlson

  • Spring 2016 Newsletter

  • New Exhibit at the New York State Military Museum tells the Story of the New York Air National Guard

    November 21, 2015

    F-51H Mustang fighters from the 136th Fighter Squadron, 107th Fighter Group, New York Air National Guard, on alert, 1953 (Gil Cohen, Runway Alert, National Guard Heritage Painting.)

    F-51H Mustang fighters from the 136th Fighter Squadron, 107th Fighter Group, New York Air National Guard, on alert, 1953 (Gil Cohen, Runway Alert, National Guard Heritage Painting.) – Photo via Wikipedia.

    Story by Eric Durr

    The 100-year-old history of the Air National Guard in New York is the subject of a new exhibit at the New York State Military Museum here.The exhibit —“ Ever Upward: The History of the New York Air National Guard” — uses photographs and artifacts — like an Iraq anti-aircraft gun from the Persian Gulf War — to tell the story of the 5,600 – member New York Air National Guard.With five wings and the air defense sector charged with monitoring the airspace over the entire United States east of the Mississippi, the New York Air National Guard is the largest in the nation.The museum, which is run by the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs, tells the story of New York’s military history, but also acts as a repository for the historical items and records belonging to the New York National Guard. The staff decided to prepare an exhibit about the New York Air National Guard, because “New York has such a rich tradition for the Air Guard,” said Courtney Burns, the museum director.“The New York National Guard had the earliest aviation component in the National Guard,” he added.

    The New York National Guard acquired its first aircraft in 1911, when New Yorker Glen Curtiss loaned one of the airplanes manufactured at his Hammondsport, New York, plant in the Finger Lakes to the New York National Guard. Pilot Beckwith Havens also came with the plane.He joined the New York National Guard Signal Corps 1st Company and flew his plane during exercises in Connecticut in 1912.Haven’s one-man show then became the Aviation Detachment of the 1st Battalion Signal Corps, New York National Guard, in 1915. Then in November 1915 that unit , based in Mineola, New York, became the 1st Aero Company, New York National Guard.The 1st Aero Company went on to make the first mass long distance flight in U.S. military history when 10 aircraft flew to Princeton, New Jersey from Mineola and then returned the next day on Nov. 18 and 19, 1916.The first licensed pilot in the U.S. military, Frederick Humphrys, flew with the New York National Guard, and the first woman to join the Air National Guard, Capt. Norma Parsons, served in the New York Air National Guard’s 106th Field Hospital.The oldest unit in the Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard’s 102nd Rescue Squadron, part of the 106th Rescue Wing, was originally organized as the 102nd Aero Squadron in 1917 and the reconstituted as the 102nd Observation Squadron of the New York National Guard in 1920.

    Douglas O-38 102d Observation Squadron, New York National Guard and based at Miller Field, New Dorp, Staten Island, New York City, 1933. The squadron provided divisional aviation for the 27th Division, New York National Guard. Note squadron emblem on side of fuselage. (Photo via Wikipedia)

    Douglas O-38 102d Observation Squadron, New York National Guard and based at Miller Field, New Dorp, Staten Island, New York City, 1933. The squadron provided divisional aviation for the 27th Division, New York National Guard. Note squadron emblem on side of fuselage. (Photo via Wikipedia)

    Discovering this history as he created the exhibit was exciting, said Christopher Morton, the museum’s curator.“These guys helped establish the Air National Guard and helped put it on a firm footing, “he said.Airmen flew as part of the Army until 1947 when Congress created the United States Air Force and the Air National Guard was created along with it. One of the first Air National Guard units was the 138th Fighter Squadron which was federally recognized at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in 1947. In 1953 the 138th Fighter Interceptor Squadron became the first Air National Guard unit to go on alert as part of the air defense of the United States.Today the 138th Attack Squadron is part of the 174th Attack Wing which operates the MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft.

    The flying jacket and helmet used by Maj. Gen. John Fenimore, a commander of the 109th Airlift Wing, which flies missions to Antarctica, and later the adjutant general of New York from1995 to 2001, is among the exhibits in "Ever Upward: The History of the New York Air National Guard" show which opened at the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Friday, Nov. 20. The exhibit includes photographs and artifacts to tell the story of the 5,600-member New York Air National Guard, the largest in the United States. The museum is managed by the New York State Divison of Military and Naval Affairs. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Major Corine Lombardo/Released)

    The flying jacket and helmet used by Maj. Gen. John Fenimore, a commander of the 109th Airlift Wing, which flies missions to Antarctica, and later the adjutant general of New York from1995 to 2001, is among the exhibits in “Ever Upward: The History of the New York Air National Guard” show which opened at the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Friday, Nov. 20. The exhibit includes photographs and artifacts to tell the story of the 5,600-member New York Air National Guard, the largest in the United States. The museum is managed by the New York State Divison of Military and Naval Affairs. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Major Corine Lombardo/Released)

    This history is told in a collection of photographs, documentation and artifacts which include flying jackets, helmets, and other items used by Air Guard members, Morton said. The exhibit also discusses the role of New York’s 109th Airlift Wing in conducting missions in the Arctic and Antarctic, the combat missions conducted by the 174th Fighter Wing in the Persian Gulf War, and missions being conducted by the New York Air Guard today.It takes several months to create a museum exhibit, which includes conducting research, identifying photographs and artifacts which tell the story, and then constructing the exhibit, Morton said.

    The Air Guard exhibit will be on display in the museum’s temporary display space for about a year, Morton said.The New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center is housed in the historic New York State Armory in Saratoga Springs and is a component of the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs. The mission of the museum and research center is to preserve, interpret and disseminate the story, history and records of New York State’s military forces and veterans. The collection is divided into the museum and the library/archives holdings.The museum has permanent exhibits telling the story of New York’s men and women in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Revolutionary War and as members of the state militia in the 19th Century. The museum holds more than 10,000 artifacts dating from the Revolutionary War to the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    **This work, New exhibit at the New York State Military Museum tells the story of the New York Air National Guard, by Eric Durr, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

  • Heavy History: Restored ‘Sherman’ tank returns to Military Museum

    September 15, 2015 | Saratoga Springs | Published by Paul Post, The Saratogian

    SARATOGA SPRINGS >> The biggest, heaviest armament in the New York State Military Museum’s collection rolled into place Tuesday with the arrival of a newly-restored World War II-era “Sherman” tank.

    The 30-ton weapon is on permanent display after being worked on by soldiers at Fort Drum.

    This particular M4A3 tank’s history isn’t known, but ones like it were used in Italy and Central Europe including some of World War II’s most decisive engagements including D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge.

    “It’s awesome that it’s sitting here and I had something to do with it,” said National Guardsman Jonathan Bishop, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The tank was previously located in Carthage, Jefferson County, before coming to the military museum where it sat outside in storage for nearly a decade. Two years ago, it was taken to Fort Drum where soldiers painstakingly restored it to its original condition.

  • RMS LUSITANIA | Prelude to America’s Entry into World War I

    Historical Articles | by G. William Glidden, MAJOR ( R ) NYARNG

    RMS Lusitania was a British Ocean Liner launched by the Cunard Line in 1906. The ocean liner became a victim of World War I when she was torpedoed and sank by a German U-Boat on the afternoon of 7 May 1915. One thousand, one-hundred and ninety-eight passengers and crew (1,198) lost their lives One hundred twenty-eight (128) Americans were among the dead. The majority aboard were British and Canadian citizens for a total of 1265 passengers and 694 crew members, a total of 1,959.

Museum Hours

Tuesday - Saturday | 10:00 am - 4:00 pm (Closed Sunday & Monday)

Research Center Hours

Appointments are required.
Tuesday – Friday | 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

The museum is closed on
all New York State & Federal Holidays.

61 Lake Avenue
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
(518) 581-5100

Museum Store
(518) 226-0490

Due to staffing concerns the museum
can no longer accept telephone inquiries.

 


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