Come visit us at The Museum of Military Memorabilia. We have thousands of military artifacts from all branches of the Military. The Museum is located in the Naples Municipal Airport which was originally built by the Army Corps of Engineers to train pilots for the pacific theater in WWII.

What has begun as a Museum Honoring Military Aviation in WWII has evolved into so much more. You can now see historical artifacts dating back to the Revolutionary War and all the way up to the present day Iraq & Afghanistan conflicts.

2012 marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Naples Airport as a WWII Army Air Forces Training Base.

Great story from World War Two


Great story from World War Two Starting in 1941, an increasing number of British Airmen found themselves as the  involuntary guests of the Third Reich, and the Crown was casting about  for ways and means to facilitate their escape.

Great story from World War Two

Maps of POW Camps

Great story from World War Two

Counting the Days

Now  obviously, one of the most helpful aids to that end is a useful and  accurate map, one showing not only where stuff was, but also  showing the locations of ‘safe  houses’ where a POW on-the-lam  could go for food and shelter. Paper maps  had some real drawbacks — they make a lot of noise when you open and  fold them, they wear out rapidly, and if they get wet, they turn into  mush. Someone in  MI-5 (similar to America ‘s OSS ) got the idea of printing escape maps on silk.

printing escape maps on silk

It’s durable, can be scrunched-up into tiny wads, and unfolded  as many times as needed, and makes no noise  whatsoever. At that  time, there was only one manufacturer in Great Britain that had  perfected the technology of printing on silk, and that was John  Waddington, Ltd.  When approached by the government, the firm was  only too happy to do its bit for the war effort. By pure  coincidence, Waddington was also the U.K. Licensee for the popular  American board game, Monopoly.  As it happened, ‘games and  pastimes’ was a category of item qualified for insertion into ‘CARE  packages’, dispatched by the International Red Cross to prisoners of  war. Under the  strictest of secrecy, in a securely guarded and inaccessible old  workshop on the grounds of Waddington’s, a group of sworn-to-secrecy  employees began mass-producing escape maps, keyed to each region of  Germany, Italy, France or where ever Allied POW camps were located.

Great story from World War Two

   When processed, these maps could be folded into such tiny dots that they  would actually fit inside a Monopoly playing  piece. As long as  they were at it, the clever workmen at Waddington’s  also managed  to add:  1.    A playing  token, containing a small magnetic compass 2.    A two-part  metal file that could easily be screwed together 3.    Useful  amounts of genuine high-denomination German, Italian, and French  currency, hidden within the piles of Monopoly  money!

Great story from World War Two

   British and American air crews were advised, before taking off on their  first  mission, how to identify a ‘rigged’ Monopoly set — by means  of a tiny  red dot, one cleverly rigged to look like an ordinary printing glitch, located in the corner of the Free Parking  square. Of  the estimated 35,000 Allied POWS who successfully escaped, an  estimated one-third were aided in their flight by the rigged  Monopoly sets.

Great story from World War Two

   Everyone who did so was sworn to secrecy indefinitely, since the British Government might want to use this highly successful ruse in still  another, future war. The  story  wasn’t declassified until 2007, when the surviving craftsmen from Waddington’s, as well as the firm itself,  were  finally honored in  a public  ceremony. It’s always nice when you can play that ‘Get Out of Jail’ Free’   card!   I  realize  that many of you are (probably) too young to have any  personal connection to WWII (Dec. ’41 to Aug. ’45), but this is still an  interesting bit of history




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