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.

The Arkansas Case

Here are some Pictures  of The Arkansas Case Dedicated to Our good Friend and Member Thurlow Miller .

.Thurlow spent five years on the USS Arkansas battleship. The ship participated in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters.

 The Museum of Military Memorabilia

We have an entire display devoted to Thurlow at the Museum of Military Memorabilia located in the Naples Airport

.Thurlow Miller, USN who spent five years on the USS Arkansas. He grew up in Michigan and tried to enlist with two buddies. They were accepted but he was rejected because his weight was too low by three pounds. He went home, ate bananas, drank milk and returned to the recruiting office. He made the weight and joined the navy. He survived the war but his two buddies did not come home. Thurlow Miller earned the French Legion of Honor for his service on Normandy and across France.

The pictures are limited to what I have  but the display is quite large  so come see it in person.   at The Museum of Military Memorabilia Naples Fl.  ( inside Naples Airport, Commercial Terminal )

The Arkansas Case

Thurlow Millers Case at Museum of Military Memorabilia Naples Airport

The Arkansas Case

Artifacts from Thurlows Collection From WW2


The Arkanasa Case

Navy Uniform Thurlow Miller

The Arkansas Case

Thurlow Miller earned the French Legion of Honor for his service on Normandy and across France.













World War II Service

At the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, Arkansas was moored at Hampton Roads, preparing to depart on a training cruise for the Naval Reserve. She departed to transport seaplane mooring and aviation equipment from Norfolk to Narragansett Bay, where the Navy planned to set up a seaplane base. While in Newport, Arkansas picked up ordnance for destroyers and brought it back to Hampton Roads.    After returning to Virginia, Arkansas was assigned to a reserve force for the Neutrality Patrols in the Atlantic, along with her sister Wyoming, the battleships New York and Texas and the carrier Ranger.     On 11 January 1940, Arkansas, New York, and Texas left for fleet maneuvers off Cuba. She underwent an overhaul at Norfolk between 18 March and 24 May. After emerging from her refit, Arkansas conducted another midshipman training cruise, along with Texas and New York, to Panama and Venezuela. In late 1940, she conducted three Naval Reserve training cruises in the Atlantic.

The Arkansas Case

Arkansas underway on 11 April 1944


Over the months that followed, the United States gradually edged toward war in the Atlantic  The ship was assigned to the escort force for the Marines deployed to occupy Iceland in July 1941, along with New York, two cruisers, and eleven destroyers. The task force deployed from NS Argentia, Newfoundland on 1 July and were back in port by the 19th  Starting on 7 August 1941, Arkansas went on a neutrality patrol in the mid-Atlantic that lasted a week   After returning to port, Arkansas traveled to the Atlantic Charter conference with President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, which took place on board HMS Prince of Wales. While there, the US Under Secretary of State, Sumner Welles, stayed aboard Arkansas     She conducted another neutrality patrol between 2 and 11 September

Arkansas was anchored in Casco Bay, Maine, on 7 December 1941, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and brought the United States into the war. A week later, she steamed to Hvalfjordur, Iceland, and returned to Boston on 24 January 1942. She conducted training maneuvers in Casco Bay to prepare her crew for convoy escort duties.  On 6 March, she arrived at Norfolk to begin overhaul. The secondary battery was reduced to six 5-inch/51 cal guns.  Work lasted until 2 July, after which time Arkansas conducted a shakedown cruise in Chesapeake Bay; she then proceeded to New York, arriving on 27 July. There, she became the flagship of Task Force 38 (TF 38), the escort for a convoy of twelve transports bound for Scotland. The convoy arrived in Greenock on 17 August, and Arkansas returned to New York on 4 September.


This slideshow however consists of pictures of the Arkansas at various points in her history.

The Museum of Military Memorabilia

Arkansas again escorted a convoy to Scotland, returning to New York by 20 October. Thereafter, convoys were sent to North Africa to support the invasion of North Africa.  Arkansas covered her first such convoy, along with eight destroyers, on 3 November.    She returned to New York on 11 December, where she went into dock for another overhaul.  On 2 January 1943, Arkansas departed New York to conduct gunnery training in Chesapeake Bay. Back in New York by 30 January, the ship’s crew prepared for a return to convoy escort duty. She escorted two convoys to Casablanca between February and April, before returning to New York for yet another period in dry-dock, which lasted until 26 May. Arkansas returned to duty as a training ship for midshipmen based at Norfolk. She resumed her convoy escort duties after four months, and on 8 October, she steamed to Bangor, Northern Ireland. She remained in Ireland through November, and departed on 1 December, bound for New York. After arriving on the 12th, Arkansas went into dock for more repairs, and then returned to Norfolk on 27 December. The ship escorted another convoy bound for Ireland on 19 January 1944 before returning to New York on 13 February. Another round of gunnery drills followed on 28 March, after which Arkansas went to Boston for more dry-dock time.

On 18 April, Arkansas departed for Ireland, where she trained for shore bombardment duties, as she had been assigned to the shore bombardment force in support of Operation Overlord, the invasion of northern France She was assigned to Group II, along with Texas and five destroyers.] On 3 June, she left her moorings, and on the morning of the 6th, took up a position about 4,000 yd (3,700 m) from Omaha Beach. At 05:52, the battleship’s guns fired in anger for the first time in her career. She bombarded German positions around Omaha Beach until 13 June, when she was moved to support ground forces in Grandcamp les Bains. On 25 June, Arkansas bombarded Cherbourg in support of the American attack on the port; German coastal guns straddled her several times, but scored no hits. Cherbourg fell to the Allies the next day, after which Arkansas returned to port, first in Weymouth, England, and then to Bangor on 30 June.

On 4 July, Arkansas departed Ireland for the Mediterranean Sea; she reached Oran, Algeria on 10 July, before proceeding on to Taranto, arriving on 21 July. There, she joined the support force for Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France. Again, the battleship provided gunfire support to the amphibious invasion along with six Allied cruisers, starting on 15 August. The bombardment lasted for two more days, after which she withdrew, first to Palermo and then to Oran. Arkansas then returned to the United States, arriving in Boston on 14 September, where she underwent another refit that lasted until early November. She then steamed to California via the Panama Canal, and spent the rest of the year conducting training maneuvers. On 20 January 1945, Arkansas departed California for Pearl Harbor, and then proceeded to Ulithi to join the fleet in preparation for the amphibious assault on Iwo Jima.  There, she was assigned to Task Force 54, which included five other battleships, four cruisers, and sixteen destroyers.

On 16 February, Arkansas was in position off Iwo Jima, and at 06:00, she opened fire on Japanese positions on the island’s west coast. The bombardment lasted until the 19th, though she remained off the island throughout the Battle of Iwo Jima, ready to provide fire support to the American marines ashore. She departed on 7 March, bound for Ulithi, and arrived on 10 March, where she rearmed and refueled in preparation for the next major operation in the Pacific War, the invasion of Okinawa. She departed Ulithi on 21 March and arrived off Okinawa four days later.when she began the bombardment along with the rest of Task Force 54.   The soldiers and marines went ashore on 1 April, and Arkansas continued to provide gunfire support over the course of 46 days throughout the Battle of Okinawa. Kamikazes repeatedly attacked the ship, though none struck her. She left the island in May, arriving in Guam on the 14th. She then proceeded to Leyte Gulf on 12 June, arriving four days later.  There, she was assigned to Task Group 95.7, along with Texas and three cruisers.   She remained in the Philippines until 20 August, when she departed for Okinawa, arriving in Buckner Bay on the 23rd, by which time Japan had surrendered, ending World War II. Over the course of the war, Arkansas earned four battle stars.


After the end of the war, Arkansas participated in Operation Magic Carpet, the repatriation of American servicemen from the Pacific. She took around 800 men back to the United States, departing on 23 September, and reaching Seattle, Washington on 15 October. She made another three Magic Carpet trips between Pearl Harbor and the continental United States to ferry more soldiers home.   

The Museum of Military Memorabilia


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