Pages Menu

Categories Menu

Posted on Aug 17, 2010 in War College

Arizona Military Museum: More Than Cowboys in the Military History of the South West

By Peter Suciu


Picture 2 of 20

Outside the museum, and open to private tours, is a collection of vintage war machines, including this T-55 Soviet-designed tank, which was captured in Iraq.

The history of Arizona isn’t limited to cowboys and outlaws, and while this might be the most memorable part of the state’s history, it is one that has actually had a long and colorful military saga as well. Much of this historic past can be viewed in the excellent Arizona Military Museum, which is operated by the Arizona National Guard Historical Society, a private non-profit corporation.

The museum, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2006, is housed in an adobe building constructed in 1936 as part of a Depression-era public works project, and which later served as a National Guard arsenal. During the Second World War it was used as a maintenance shop for the nearby German POW camp, a model of which can be viewed at the museum.

The museum is closed during the summer months, but is open on weekends the rest of the year with free admission. The official site:


The president of the museum, Col. (ret) Joseph Abodeely, led the first Air Cavalry platoon to reach the firebase at Khe Sanh during the Vietnam War. To read an interview with Joseph Abodeely about Khe Sanh, the Arizona Military Museum and more, click the link.