Hampton Roads Naval Museum

Hampton Roads Naval Museum The Hampton Roads Naval Museum is an official U.S. Navy Museum, which interprets the history of the U.S. Navy in and around Hampton Roads, Virginia from the Revolutionary War to the present day for servicemembers and the general public.

Visiting the museum is free, simply take the stairs or elevator to see us on the second deck of the Nauticus building in Downtown Norfolk. Our museum is an official museum of the U.S. Navy, and we interpret the history of the U.S. We perform this mission through collection, research, preservation, interpretation of historic artifacts and educational programs. Through this mission the U.S. Navy's p

Visiting the museum is free, simply take the stairs or elevator to see us on the second deck of the Nauticus building in Downtown Norfolk. Our museum is an official museum of the U.S. Navy, and we interpret the history of the U.S. We perform this mission through collection, research, preservation, interpretation of historic artifacts and educational programs. Through this mission the U.S. Navy's p

Operating as usual

During the Second World War, active duty military, merchants, and women poured into the City of Norfolk to try and earn ...
10/07/2021
Vice City: Norfolk in the Second World War

During the Second World War, active duty military, merchants, and women poured into the City of Norfolk to try and earn a living in the city’s growing economy. For some women, this meant turning to prostitution. Pressured by the federal government to curtail all manner of vice, including the rise in prostitution, local law enforcement struggled to deal with this particular consequence of the wartime boom. Learn about the City of Norfolk's challenges controlling vice in this week's blog post.

The artifact, history, and event blog for the United States Navy's Hampton Roads Naval Museum. Located in Norfolk, Virginia.

On October 6, 1884, the Naval War College is established at Newport, Rhode Island when Secretary of the Navy William E. ...
10/06/2021

On October 6, 1884, the Naval War College is established at Newport, Rhode Island when Secretary of the Navy William E. Chandler signs General Order 325. Since its inception and first graduating class of 9 students in 1885, more than 50,000 students have graduated and more than 300 of today’s active-duty Admirals, Generals and Senior Executive Service leaders are alumni.

The grounds are also home to the Naval War College Museum , which is one of ten official museums within the Naval History & Heritage Command Happy Birthday NWC!

Photos from Naval History & Heritage Command's post
10/05/2021

Photos from Naval History & Heritage Command's post

Throwback Tuesday! USS Katahadin was an experimental design from the post-Civil War period. It was designed to be a stee...
10/05/2021

Throwback Tuesday! USS Katahadin was an experimental design from the post-Civil War period. It was designed to be a steel armored ram and was commissioned in 1897. Living conditions aboard Katahadin were not ideal, and design problems resulted in issues reaching anticipated speed of 17 knots.

Katahadin was assigned to the North Atlantic Squadron during the Spanish-American War, where it patrolled several ports including Norfolk. The ram was eventually sunk during gunnery experiments in the Chesapeake Bay in 1909.

Last week marked the day that USS Forrestal (CVA 59) was commissioned 66 years ago on October 1, 1955. The aircraft carr...
10/05/2021
Thirty Years Ago: A Ghost in the Working Party?

Last week marked the day that USS Forrestal (CVA 59) was commissioned 66 years ago on October 1, 1955. The aircraft carrier was built nearby at Newport News Shipbuilding. The carrier suffered a series of fires and explosions that claimed the lives of over 130 of her crew and injured over 150 in July 1967 while operating in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War.

An archived blog post sheds some light on a grim reminder of Forrestal’s history, and one that is applicable as we head towards Halloween. Specifically, the blog post notes the curious presence of an apparition during a working party. Read more about the encounter here:

The artifact, history, and event blog for the United States Navy's Hampton Roads Naval Museum. Located in Norfolk, Virginia.

Three years ago, on October 1, 2018, the US Navy officially disestablished their Combat Camera Units. Prior to their dis...
10/04/2021

Three years ago, on October 1, 2018, the US Navy officially disestablished their Combat Camera Units. Prior to their disestablishment, the US Navy touted two units based at San Diego, California (home to Fleet Combat Camera) and here in Norfolk, Virginia (home to Expeditionary Combat Camera).

The Navy established Combat Photographic Units in 1942; and since then, Combat Camera units have documented the Navy's story for over 60 years. We pulled some images from archives to showcase their work and roles since WWII.

On October 2, 1799, The Washington Navy Yard is established under the direction of Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Stodde...
10/04/2021

On October 2, 1799, The Washington Navy Yard is established under the direction of Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Stoddert and supervision of Commodore Thomas Tingey.

The land was purchased on July 23, 1799 and was officially transferred to the US Navy on October 2, 1799. It is the oldest shore installation within the US Navy and today serves as the headquarters for the Naval District Washington (NDW) It is also home to our command, Naval History & Heritage Command and the National Museum of the United States Navy .

66 years ago, on October 1, 1955, USS Forrestal (CVA 59) is commissioned. The aircraft carrier was built nearby at Newpo...
10/01/2021

66 years ago, on October 1, 1955, USS Forrestal (CVA 59) is commissioned. The aircraft carrier was built nearby at Newport News Shipbuilding, just north of our museum.

Forrestal was the first postwar carrier to be built for the U.S. Navy and was constructed with an angled flight deck to allow for simultaneous launch and recovery of aircraft. Forrestal bears the namesake of the first Secretary of Defense, James V. Forrestal and was decommissioned in 1993.

It’s been a while since we did a throwback Thursday post! Here are some photos from the last week of September 2019, whe...
09/30/2021

It’s been a while since we did a throwback Thursday post! Here are some photos from the last week of September 2019, when then U.S. Secretary of Defense, Mark T. Esper visited our museum.

He arrived at our museum following a physical training session with Sailors in Norfolk that morning aboard the Battleship Wisconsin. During his visit to the area, he also met with family members and visited local Navy activities, including our museum. He had the opportunity to tour our exhibit “The Ten Thousand Day War at Sea: The U.S. Navy in Vietnam, 1950-1975,” which was nearing completion at the time.

Shared from Navy Medicine as part of National Hispanic Heritage Month.
09/29/2021

Shared from Navy Medicine as part of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

CAPT Haydee Javier Kimmich was a Navy orthopedic hand surgeon originally from Puerto Rico. In 1967, as a civilian physician, Dr. Kimmich volunteered to go to Vietnam as part of the American Medical Association’s “Project Vietnam Volunteer Program.” While in theater, Kimmich served civilian populations at the Khanh Hoa Province and Darlac Province Hospitals. After a prestigious civilian career Kimmich decided to join the military. She served three years in the Air Force before transferring to the U.S. Navy Reserve. In 1980 she earned the distinction as the first Hispanic female physician in the Navy to attain the rank of Captain. Prior to retiring, CAPT Kimmich served as the Chief of Orthopedics at what was the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) Bethesda. #MedicalCorpsAnniversary #HispanicHeritageMonth

Warship Wednesday! 51 years ago on September 29, 1968, recommissioned Iowa-Class Battleship USS New Jersey (BB-62) arriv...
09/29/2021

Warship Wednesday! 51 years ago on September 29, 1968, recommissioned Iowa-Class Battleship USS New Jersey (BB-62) arrived off the coast of South Vietnam for service during the Vietnam War.

Over the course of the deployment, New Jersey would expend over 3,600 16-inch rounds and nearly 11,000 5-inch rounds at enemy targets. At the time, New Jersey was the only battleship in commission in the U.S. Navy. New Jersey concluded its last naval gunfire support mission on April 1, 1969.

Naval Gunfire Support is one of the elements featured in our new exhibit, “The Ten-Thousand Day War at Sea: The US Navy in Vietnam, 1950-1975.” You can explore the online exhibit here:
http://ow.ly/fI9o50GiKSq

On September 29, 1904, USS Connecticut (BB-18) is launched as the lead ship in a class of battleships intended to show a...
09/28/2021

On September 29, 1904, USS Connecticut (BB-18) is launched as the lead ship in a class of battleships intended to show an era of American naval dominance in the early 20th Century.

Connecticut was the 4th warship to be named for the State of Connecticut and was commissioned on September 29, 1906. From 1907 to 1909, Connecticut was part of a fleet of warships that departed Hampton Roads on a round the world cruise in what is remembered as The Great White Fleet.

Our volunteers had the opportunity to view some of the artifacts at our Museum Annex at Building H-9 and our artifact st...
09/28/2021

Our volunteers had the opportunity to view some of the artifacts at our Museum Annex at Building H-9 and our artifact storage facility onboard Naval Station Norfolk this morning. During the tour, volunteers learned about the artifacts related to the history of the naval station and surrounding Hampton Roads region. They also had the opportunity to tour McClure Field, the nation’s second oldest brick baseball stadium, which is located across from our museum annex building. Check out some of the photos from this morning’s trip here!

To inquire about volunteer opportunities at our museum, contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Darcy Sink at [email protected] or call (757) 322-2992.

September 23, 1944, 77 years ago this week, was the day USS West Virginia (BB-48) sailed into Pearl Harbor and rejoined ...
09/28/2021

September 23, 1944, 77 years ago this week, was the day USS West Virginia (BB-48) sailed into Pearl Harbor and rejoined the Pacific Fleet. The day marked the end of salvage and reconstruction efforts of the warships that were damaged as a result of the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

At the time of the attacks, West Virginia was just shy of reaching the 18-year service mark in her Navy career. The battleship was commissioned in December 1923 and was built nearby at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock. Posted here are some photos of the wheel from West Virginia, which was formerly on display in our WWII gallery.

Saturday, September 25th is National Public Lands Day. The day was established in 1994 and held annually on the fourth S...
09/25/2021
Local History Spotlight: USS Missouri Gun Barrel

Saturday, September 25th is National Public Lands Day. The day was established in 1994 and held annually on the fourth Saturday in September. It also celebrates the connection between people and green space in their community, inspires environmental stewardship, and encourages the use of open space for education and recreation.

In line with National Public Lands Day, our local spotlight video features Museum Educator Zach Smyers as he takes a closer look at the USS Missouri (BB - 63) gun barrel at the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge, along with Fisherman Island National Wildlife Refuge, is found on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The grounds of the refuge were formerly Fort John Custis, which was a coastal defense artillery base during WWII.

After the war, it housed a radar station as part of the Cape Charles Air Force Station. The vast expanse of land was eventually handed over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after the base was decommissioned.

In this week's local history spotlight, HRNM Educator Zach Smyers visits a gun barrel from USS Missouri. This particular barrel is located on the Eastern Sho...

Fun Fact Friday! Some of our staff members grew up in the 1990s and can remember watching "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire"...
09/24/2021

Fun Fact Friday! Some of our staff members grew up in the 1990s and can remember watching "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire" on cable TV before there was on-demand streaming services. Uncle Philip Banks, portrayed by actor James Larue Avery was a sailor in the U.S. Navy.

He was born in Pughsville, Virginia, which is now modern-day Suffolk in 1945. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy after high school and would serve during the Vietnam War from 1968-1969. His acting career started after his enlistment ended in the U.S. Navy.

09/24/2021

#OTD in 1944, USS West Virginia (BB 48) reaches Pearl Harbor and rejoins the Pacific Fleet, marking the end of the salvage and reconstruction of 18 ships damaged Dec. 7, 1941.

This photo from 1941 shows Sailors in a motor launch rescue a survivor from the water alongside the sunken USS West Virginia (BB-48) during or shortly after the Japanese air raid on Pearl Harbor. USS Tennessee (BB-43) is inboard of the sunken battleship. Note extensive distortion of West Virginia's lower midships superstructure, caused by torpedoes that exploded below that location.

In this week’s blog post, get a close-up look at one of the artifacts in our collection. This artifact, a journal from a...
09/23/2021
A Recruit's First Year, 1910-1911: The J.T. Van Zile Journal

In this week’s blog post, get a close-up look at one of the artifacts in our collection. This artifact, a journal from a Sailor who trained at Norfolk Navy Yard in Portsmouth, VA, gives readers an understanding of what Sailor life was like prior to the First World War. Check it out today!

The artifact, history, and event blog for the United States Navy's Hampton Roads Naval Museum. Located in Norfolk, Virginia.

09/22/2021

#OTD in 1989, following Hurricane Hugo, Sailors and Marines provide assistance to Charleston, S.C. through Oct. 10.

(While this photo is from 2019, it gives a glimpse into the destruction and magnitude of the storm)

"At night we have General Quarters as soon as a Steamer or large vessel come in sight, so we very seldom get more than 2...
09/21/2021
A Few Words from a USS Cumberland Marine, 1861

"At night we have General Quarters as soon as a Steamer or large vessel come in sight, so we very seldom get more than 2 or 3 hours in our hammocks at one time, getting but little sleep we are in danger of falling asleep on Post,” writes Charles H. Bunker, a member of the sloop-of-war USS Cumberland's 53-man Marine Corps detachment from 1860-62. Bunker wrote the entry in his diary on April 30, 1861.

Its fitting, since tomorrow, September 22, 2021, marks National Diary Day. Before blogs, there were diaries (or journals). The day encourages people of all ages to put their thoughts on paper or type them to chronicle their personal histories.

Read more diary entries authored by Charles H. Bunker in our blog post here.

The artifact, history, and event blog for the United States Navy's Hampton Roads Naval Museum. Located in Norfolk, Virginia.

Our gallery is closed this week as contractors work to replace the flooring at the entrance to our museum. Before we clo...
09/21/2021

Our gallery is closed this week as contractors work to replace the flooring at the entrance to our museum. Before we closed down, we were able to tag along this weekend to catch some of our dedicated volunteers welcoming and orienting visitors to our gallery and providing some meaningful interpretation. Check out some of the photos posted here!

Our gallery will re-open for visitors this weekend. In the meantime, you can check out some of the volunteer opportunities at our museum by clicking or swiping over to our website, www.hrnm.navy.mil. Additionally, you can inquire about volunteer opportunities by contacting Darcy Sink, our Volunteer Coordinator via email at [email protected] or by calling (757) 322-2992.

09/20/2021

#OTD in 1918, Lt. David S. Ingalls, U.S. Naval Reserve Force (Naval Aviator No. 85), shot down six German aircraft in six weeks, becoming the U.S. Navy’s first ace—and only ace of World War I—on 20 September when he shot down a German Fokker D.VIII fighter.

Flying a Sopwith Camel, and assigned to Royal Air Force No. 213 Squadron, Ingalls sighted a two-seat German Rumpler reconnaissance aircraft over Nieuport, Belgium, and, in conjunction with another Sopwith Camel, shot it down. Ingalls would be awarded the Distinguished Service Medal—at that time a higher award than a Navy Cross—a British Distinguished Flying Cross, and a French Legion of Honor. Ingalls would shoot down a total of five German aircraft and a balloon during the war.

Our museum hosted a retirement ceremony this afternoon, amid some weather, for MMCS(SW/EXW/OIC) Gary Greenawalt aboard t...
09/19/2021

Our museum hosted a retirement ceremony this afternoon, amid some weather, for MMCS(SW/EXW/OIC) Gary Greenawalt aboard the Battleship Wisconsin. The ceremony was attended by members of his family and guests. Some of the photos from the ceremony are posted here.

Our museum hosts military ceremonies for area commands free of charge aboard the Battleship Wisconsin. To inquire, contact our Military Ceremonies Coordinator, Tom Dandes at [email protected] or call (757) 322-3106.

09/19/2021

Ahoy! Today is #TalkLikeAPirateDay!

Who could pull off a swashbucklin' pirate look better than Chesty Puller himself? Hope you have your sea legs ready for this picture!

📸Lewis Puller, Neptunus Rex Ceremony, 1942
Aboard the USS Fuller on the way to Guadalcanal, Lewis "Chesty" Puller fulfills his duties as Davy Jones during a Neptunus Rex ceremony. (Collections OFFICIAL USMC PHOTOGRAPH)

Earlier this week, on September 17, 2021 marked National POW/MIA Recognition Day, honoring those who were Prisoners of w...
09/19/2021
Prisoners of War

Earlier this week, on September 17, 2021 marked National POW/MIA Recognition Day, honoring those who were Prisoners of war and those who are still missing in action.

During the Vietnam War, U.S. Navy personnel (mostly aviators shot down over North Vietnam) accounted for 154 of the 600 Americans taken prisoner during the war. A section of our exhibit, “The Ten Thousand-Day War at Sea: The U.S. Navy in Vietnam, 1950-1975” depicts and interprets the conditions endured by Sailors while in captivity.

You can visit in person or explore the online exhibit here:

Prisoners of War Navy personnel (mostly aviators shot down over North Vietnam) accounted for 154 of the 600 Americans taken prisoner during the war. American POWs experienced torture, harsh interrogation, insufficient food, and poor or non-existent medical care while in captivity. While some prisone...

One of the worst tragedies to befall NAS Norfolk in its long history occurred on September 17, 1943, when 24 aerial dept...
09/18/2021
Seventy-Five Years Ago: Tragedy on the Tow Way

One of the worst tragedies to befall NAS Norfolk in its long history occurred on September 17, 1943, when 24 aerial depth bombs being transported across the station exploded. The explosions claimed the lives of 24 service members instantly, including the first female sailor killed in the line of duty during WWII.

Our museum maintains dozens of photographs taken that day and in the days following, as hundreds of sailors, Navy civilians and even the business community gave their support to rescue the wounded, recover the fallen and resume the grueling operational tempo. Many of these photos are featured in our blog post here:

The artifact, history, and event blog for the United States Navy's Hampton Roads Naval Museum. Located in Norfolk, Virginia.

Address

1 Waterside Dr, Ste 248
Norfolk, VA
23510

HRT to downtown Norfolk or take the Norfolk Tide to City Hall Avenue. This page is intended to provide updated information and discussion on the U.S. Navy. Please visit our official homepage at< http://www.history.navy.mil/> While this is an open forum, it's also a family friendly one, so please keep your comments and wall posts clean. In addition to keeping it family friendly, we ask that you follow our posting guidelines here. Comments and posts that do not follow these guidelines will be removed: -We do not allow graphic, obscene, explicit or racial comments or submissions nor do we allow comments that are abusive, hateful or intended to defame anyone or any organization. -We do not allow solicitations or advertisements. This includes promotion or endorsement of any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency. Similarly, we do not allow attempts to defame or defraud any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency. -We do not allow comments that suggest or encourage illegal activity. -You participate at your own risk, taking personal responsibility for your comments, your username and any information provided. - For Official Use Only (FOUO), classified, pre-decisional, proprietary or business-sensitive information should never be discussed here. Don't post personnel lists, rosters, organization charts or directories. This is a violation of privacy. The appearance of external links on this site does not constitute official endorsement on behalf of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense. You are encouraged to quote, republish or share any content on this page on your own blog, Web site or other communication/publication. If you do so, please credit the command or the person who authored the content as a courtesy (photo or article byline can be U.S. Navy or MC2 Joe Smith, for example). Thank you for your interest in and support of the men and women of the U.S. Navy. For more information, please visit the DoD Social Media http://www.ourmilitary.mil/user_agreement.shtml

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10am - 5pm
Wednesday 10am - 5pm
Thursday 10am - 5pm
Friday 10am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 12pm - 5pm

Telephone

(757) 322-2987

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Comments

H.L. Hunley: Civil War submarine's commander was a sharp-dressed man. Experts are piecing together a report on what crew wore when they made history.
Excited to be donating a whole bunch of Navy memorabilia to the Hampton Roads Museum from my father-in-law's estate. He served in the Navy during WWII.
Ahoy, Mates ! Where do I sign up ? What a wonderful fleet to choose from.
Thanks for playing 'Guess the Mystery Artifact' from a Civil War blockade runner! Johnny, what do we have for our lucky winner?
I recently saw a picture of a large model of the USS Norfolk DL1 in a museum setting. I served on the Norfolk and wondering if that was a model in your museum. Would appreciate your feedback. Would like to see that model sometime. Thanks.
I have acquired this interesting piece recently and want to know if it's rare or any details anyone knows. I only know I've only heard of 2 existing.
https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy8zNzE2NmIyNC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw== https://open.spotify.com/show/78YzQozLRfdLF57jU4w2oM https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/us-naval-history-podcast/id1532555765 A great little chronological podcast about US Naval History beginning at the Revolution and going through the present day. Available on all platforms for those you you other naval history nerds out there.
New US Navy archival complex in DC will ensure artifacts from CSS Alabama, other Civil War ships will survive for a long time.
Rare ironclad fantail and engines of another vessel were in shed ravaged by fire at National Civil War Naval Museum in Ga.
Submarine H.L. Hunley fascination: Social media post about past conservation of bandana quickly goes viral.
Curved timber found decades ago on North Carolina beach may have belonged to a Civil War blockade runner.
No meow in the mix: USS Monitor conservators don't find bones of black cat inside turret guns.