The location of the museum should not be a surprise. The Naples Airport was built in 1942 by the Army Corp of Engineers. It was used as a pilot and aerial gunrunner training center. At the peak of the World War II, the airport was home to more than 75 fighter and bomber aircrafts as well as the pilots and aerial gunners who trained at the base.
The museum was founded in 2006 by a group of veterans as a mobile display museum. In 2011, the Naples Airport Authority offered a space at the current North Road Terminal to the group and the museum began to attract attention. ROTC, school groups and even bus tours have shown interest and paid visits. Artifact donations and visitations snowballed in the past 10 years.
Unfortunately, the museum had to place large quantity (70%) of the artifacts into storage facilities because the closing of one of the two galleries in December 2020. In order to properly preserve the freedom and liberty of American history, a larger and more inclusive home is very much needed.
A new and modern building would fulfill the vision of the museum: to provide interactive history lessons to the younger generations and create an eternal legacy to those who sacrificed and some who unselfishly gave their all. With more funding, the museum would like to offer scholarships to military families and create more internship opportunities for high school and college students.
The museum is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. It is free of admission and operated 100% by volunteers. Current donations received are just enough to cover storage rentals, insurance and necessary office expenses like printing and potages.
If you would like to support our vision and preserve history, you can make donations through DoFundMe or at the museum site. If you would like to create your legacy by fortifying the museum’s future, you can make major financial contributions to the Naples Museum of Military History through Planned Giving* while making economic and tax benefit to your family’s estate.
* For more information, visit the museum website www.naplesmuseummilitaryhistory.org