The US Navy Has An Awesome Collection Of Historical Artifacts

Collection of Curator Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command.Satellite Tracking Station circa 1950’s has a model of the Earth and a Morse code key. The toy is part of the Treasure Island Museum Collection which is part of the Navy’s historical collection. The Treasure Island Museum is closed.

The US Naval History and Heritage Command announced Tuesday that it completed the transfer of massive amount of historical artifacts from the Washington Navy Yard to their new home in Richmond, Virginia.

The transfer is part of an ongoing project to move more than 300,000 artifacts — from Operation Iraqi Freedom to the Revolutionary War — to the Richmond headquarters, the Navy said. Among other items, the collection includes weapons obtained from enemy soldiers, gifts from foreign countries, flags, plaques, and toys.

“We have literally tons of material, some of which is priceless, and nearly all of it irreplaceable. But the work is well worth it if it means in the long run our Sailors and our citizens can better appreciate what the Navy has meant to our country since its inception,” head curator Karen France said in a statement.

Hundreds of photos from the collection can be found on the Naval History & Heritage Command’s Flickr page. We highlighted some of the more interesting items below:

Civil War amputation instrument case:

The original donor of this sword said it “was captured by Beale English in hand-to-hand combat with a Berber at Tripoli. The enemy was killed and the sword taken as a trophy.” 

The sword and scabbard were recently treated by a conservator.A label attached to the scabbard reads, ‘ This Dimeter (sic) was captured by Beale English in man to man combat with a Turk in one of the battles mentioned in Byron’s Don Juan. He killed the Turk and took the (…..) as a trophy.’

The 34 star flag was used from 1861 until 1863. This flag was used by in the Mississippi River campaign during the Civil War:

This IBM Thinkpad computer was recovered from the Pentagon following the September 11th 2001 terrorist attack:

Sensor that was deployed from aircraft during the Vietnam War. Its antenna would pick up and relay troop movements:

Safe conduct pass, issued by American forces and air dropped in Vietnam to encourage defection of North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces: 

This sword was presented to Lt. Stevens by the city of Charleston in recognition of his service during the War of 1812’s Battle of Lake Eerie:

An August Sauter pharmacy scale with original wood box:

Camera developed by Eastman Kodak in1941 and manufactured until 1948. It was used extensively by the United States Navy during World War II:

The US Navy provided medical assistance and supplies to Japan in 1923 after a major earthquake. In appreciation of the Navy’s assistance the International Banking Corporation presented this ship model to Admiral Thomas Washington:

Assault rifle built by Tabuk in Iraq to the specifications of Mikhail Kalashnikov’s AK-47. The rifle is gold plated and was seized during Operation Iraqi Freedom:

This German, Mauser Model 712 was recovered by Lt John Millard Weeks, US Gunnery Officer, USS Ellyson DD-454, following the Allied invasion of Normandy June 1944, in an abandoned german defensive bunker:

This 48-star flag was made from a white bedsheet with coloured pencils by prisoners in Japan. It flew in 1945:


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