The Don F. Pratt Museum was established in 1956 as a division museum for the 101st Airborne Division. The museum’s central theme is the history of the 101st Airborne Division, the “Screaming Eagles,” and it covers the period from the early 1940s to present.
Memorabilia from Brig. Gen. Don F. Pratt, along with some of the personal possessions of Generals William C. Lee, Maxwell D. Taylor, Anthony C. McAuliffe and William C. Westmoreland, are among the featured exhibits. Other exhibits include a completely restored CG-4A cargo glider—which carried glider-borne Soldiers into combat during World War II, two 17th century bronze eagles, An illuminated Dutch Manuscript recognizing the Divisions role in Liberating Holland in WW2, captured enemy weapons and equipment from Vietnam, a recruiter’s jeep from the 1970s and items which had belonged to Adolph Hitler and other high ranking Nazi officials.
Although the main museum theme focuses on the history of the 101st Airborne Division, there are also individual displays that address early developments in airborne warfare. Included in the displays are the following units: the 11th Airborne Division, the 12th Armored Division, the 14th Armored Division, the 20th Armored Division, the 173rd Airborne Brigade, the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team, the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). An outdoor park across the street from the museum displays various military aircraft and equipment used by the division.
The centerpiece of the park is the “Brass Hat”—a fully restored C-47 aircraft resembling the plane used to carry the division commander, Maj. Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, into Normandy during World War II. The museum also includes a reference library and archives, both guided and unguided tours (reservations required), daily historical films, gift shop, gallery talks, lectures and educational programs.
The museum is open Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (closed on Saturday, Sunday, Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day).
For more information or to schedule tours or briefings, call (270) 798-3215/4986. The gift shop phone number is (931) 431-2003.