Brevard Veterans History Museum set to reopen with restored WWII Jeep on display

The Carolinas Veterans History Museum reopens for 2022 on March 2, and new this year is an exhibit featuring a WWII Willys Jeep.

The exhibit places the restored 1943 Jeep in front of an Army Post Office (APO) somewhere in the European theater, along with a vintage WWII Harley Davidson motorcycle. The exhibit was a major undertaking this offseason as the Jeep had to be carefully disassembled to fit through the museum gates and then reassembled in its permanent location.

“It really is an amazing exhibit,” said museum curator Emmett Casciato. “The APO has lockers where soldiers put their letters. We have 100 sandbags in the exhibit to give it an authentic look, and we put an old Nazi flag on the floor with German weapons on it, as if captured in battle.

Opened in 2016 in downtown Brevard, the museum tells the stories of our nation’s modern wars through the eyes of military veterans. Visitors go from room to room, encounter battlefield artifacts donated by veterans, and learn first-hand stories about the brave men and women who served.

The trip encompasses conflicts from World War I to Afghanistan, including the Cold War and the War on Terror. On display are one-of-a-kind artifacts, uniforms and weapons, as well as original journals, vintage photographs, video documentaries and more.

The museum’s mission is to honor all veterans, past and present. It is run by a volunteer board made up mostly of veterans and the children of those who served. Three museum volunteers have published books highlighting the stories of military heroes.

“Many of our fathers fought in World War II,” Casciato said. “My grandfather took part in the invasion of southern France in 1944, a few months after D-Day. Each of our artifacts has a story behind it.

The role of women in the military is showcased throughout the museum, from a display of women’s WWII uniforms and memorabilia to combat fatigues worn in Afghanistan by Abby Casciato Moore, Emmett’s daughter.

The Carolinas Veterans History Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday at 21 East Main Street, next to the Transylvania County Courthouse. Free entry. The museum is grateful to Lake Toxaway Charities for their donation to make the new Jeep exhibit possible.

For more information, go to www.TheVeteransMuseum.org or call (828) 884-2141.


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