An event you don’t want to miss next year. Once a year, Allan Cors opens up his museum. And, it is a happening. Hundreds of military vehicles, dozens of tanks, countless small arms and many varied pieces of war equipment. Allan Cors is a fixture in the world of collectors. He began this collection with a Jeep, half track, got one tank, grew to more. Now he has a brigade or two worth of vehicles – combat, tanks, APC’s trucks, tracks, utility, artillery, you name it. The warehouses are full. Volunteers rebuild and maintain the vehicles in operational condition. Right. Each of these vehicles operate. A narrator on a loudspeaker system, reminding of us M.A.S.H. gives explanations, updates, schedule changes and special exhibitions. It is made clear from the beginning and repeated multiple times through both days of the weekend show: this living museum is not about the equipment or tactics. Those are just the medium to reinforce the message of homage to the men and women who got, kept, and keep our freedom. Everywhere you look, folks in period uniform with the correct equipment and accessories are manning the vehicles and equipment. A cavalry unit rides by on horseback. The crew of a Russian T-34 pose for photos with spectators. Young and old “soldiers” give painstakingly detailed information about the materials, battles or generals and soldiers of the time. I spend a lot of time in the WWII section of the field, my particular war history interest. Four or five M4 Shermans, a lot of Ms Stuart light tanks, and a couple M3 Grant medium tanks. I also spend time in reflection in the Cold War era section – all the vehicles I’d have fought T-55s, T-62s, a BMP next to a PT-76 and those of allies, Swedish S-Tank, Brit Centurian (actually a bit before my time). In addition to military, there is first responder representation – LEO, fire, EMS to include a large chunk of the steel girding and wall from the World trade Center. Several live demonstrations throughout the day -tracked and wheeled vehicles from several countries, a flame thrower, culminating in an ‘assault’ by platoon-sized forces. In a hanger to the side there are tables full of souvenirs, t-shirts, military surplus gear and all proceeds go back into the museum. Logistically, it is a breeze and as organizaed as the rest of the event. Local police help with traffic flow. Volunteers guide you into a parking lot filling a field, and overflowing into the acres on the other side of the hedgerow. There is a food tent, and a food truck – hotdogs, shave ice, water, sodas. Pot-o-potties off to the side behind a sample of modern vehicles compliments of USMC. Had never heard of Nokesville Virginia, just down past Manassas, before this event. It is tiny, but this museum left a big impression. The museum will move soon to a larger piece of land closer to I-95. There is more, including a great live FB post at FB WillesLeeNRA. Also some video which doesn’t translate well to the blog format, and more still photos.
- Avoid This, If Possible