The Air Defense Artillery Museum at Fort Sill is open to the general public four days a week.
"It's been three years since everything moved up here" from Fort Bliss, Texas, said ADA Museum Curator Jonathan Bernstein. "We've been open on a limited basis for about a year now."
Since he took the job last April, he's tried to have it open once a week.
"Being able to be open on a full-time basis and get the public out here to see this great history makes it worthwhile," he said. "We're more than happy to have as many people through as we possibly can."
It's free, it's open to school groups, and there is no age restriction. Naturally, the school kids won't be allowed to climb on the equipment. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. For the next few weeks, it's advisable to call ahead at 917-1787, to make sure your visit or tour does not conflict with some other tour. That will ensure you have the curator's full attention and can get as much out of the experience as possible. The museum also provides an educational mission for soldier students in Advanced Individual Training, Basic Officer Leader Course, Captains' Career Course and Warrant Officer Course.
The ADA Museum is being temporarily housed in Building 4908, one of the historic hangars built at Henry Post Army Airfield in 1932. When you enter Key Gate, drive west on Sheridan Road to Geronimo Road, turn left and proceed south until you reach the control tower. The museum is in the hangar immediately east of the control tower.
Artifacts have been moved out of buildings 1505 and 1506 on Bateman Road for the next six months so that heating, ventilation and air conditioning units could be installed to provide climate control. Soldiers of the 696th Forward Support Company loaded the heavy items onto Heavy Equipment Transporters and 168th Brigade Support Battalion drove them over to the airfield. They moved a total of 23 heavy pieces of equipment. Some 32 mannequins are now being moved over to represent ADA soldiers in the exhibits.
One of the newest exhibits will be a 57-mm antitank gun coming from the Army's artifact clearinghouse at Anniston, Ala. It will be used to portray action at Trois Ponts, Belgium, on Dec. 21, 1944, when the 80th Airborne Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion organic to the 82nd Airborne Division successfully held off a German armored column.
"Two ADA soldiers there, Lt. Jake Wertich and Cpl. Stokes Taylor, both earned the Distinguished Service Cross posthumously there. Their actions prevented Kampfgruppe Hansen from joining up with Kampfgruppe Piper, which was the main effort in the Battle of the Bulge. Had they linked up, they would have been able to continue the drive westward toward Antwerp, so really a pivotal moment and two key ADA heroes that we're looking to honor," Bernstein said.