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Posted on Jan 13, 2007 in History News

S.C. Military Museum Grand Opening Gala

Jim H. Moreno

Story & Photos by: Maj. Y. Scott Bell, S.C. National Guard Command Historian

The S.C. Military Museum is scheduled to have a Grand Opening Gala on February 6, 2007 beginning at 7 p.m. at the museum location behind the Bluff Road National Guard Armory at 1225 Bluff Road in Columbia, S.C.

The event is sponsored by the S.C. Military Museum’s History Foundation Board and will mark the official opening of the museum to the general public.

“A lot of people outside of our Guard family here in South Carolina don’t realize the incredible military history of our S.C. Army and Air National Guard. For example, few realize that the 263rd Air Defense Artillery had its genesis in the Beaufort Volunteer Artillery, organized prior to the American Revolution,” said Buddy Sturgis, who serves as the director and curator of the museum.


“We hope our S.C. Military Museum will be one of the places teachers from around the State will want to visit when they bring their students to Columbia to learn more about South Carolina’s military history,” said Sturgis.

The unique mission of the SC Military Museum is to identify, collect, research and preserve historically significant properties and maintain them as usable resources for scholars and other interested individuals.

The South Carolina Military Museum will instill and maintain visitor’s interest, savor our military heritage, further community relations and enhance esprit de corps among the men and women serving in the South Carolina National Guard and civilian work force. It will also provide educational services to include programs, classes, exhibits, audiovisual and publications for the military and civilian population.

For further information on the S.C. Military Museum or to schedule a tour, please visit our Museum website at:, or contact the Museum at (803) 806-4440.

Maj. Gen. Stan Spears, Mr. John Green and Buddy Sturgis pose with S.C. Representative Dan Cooper as he presents Mr. Green of the S.C. Military History Foundation Board with a $100,000 Museum Foundation Grant to help preserve the history of the S.C. National Guard.

Danny Sightler, a retired Command Master Chief for the S.C. Air National Guard’s 169th Fighter Wing prepares Staff Sgt. Jerome Lemon’s place on the Wall of Honor at the S.C. Military Museum. Lemon was the first S.C. Army Guard soldier to be killed in action in the Global War on Terrorism on October 27, 2004.

Bill Cliett and Bill Maddox retired Master Chiefs from the S.C. Air National Guard cut some framing for the 169th Fighter Wing display.

Work on the Air National Guard wing of the S.C. Military Museum nearing completion.

The S.C. Military Museum is home to some very unique artifacts including items donated by Capt. Peter Mason, who Ian Fleming based his James Bond novels on.

The museum’s master modeler retired Master Sgt. Bill Campbell hard at work on an Army National Guard helicopter.

Buddy Sturgis, the museum’s curator holds a photograph taken of the 2nd S.C. Infantry when the Palmetto Regiment was sent to El-Paso, Texas by President Wilson in 1916 following Pacho Villa’s invasion of our southern border with Mexico.

The Carbine Williams display of the S.C. Military Museum nears completion.

Joy Maples, a longtime volunteer at the museum shows Representative Cooper the awards his father earned in World War II while serving with the S.C. Army National Guard.


  1. Dear Mr. Sturgis,
    Hello! My name is Linda Day. My father, Belvin Ware is a WWII veteran who resides at Richard Campbell Veteran’s Home in Anderson, SC. I would like to inform you that I have a journal handed down to me that was formerly owned by my grandfather. The journal consists of my grandfather documenting day by day events while escorting my father on the train across the country to war.
    My dad remembers the journey like it was yesterday. I would love to share this journal as a part of WWII history for the museum. It is so very touching and inspirational! I think you will enjoy the journal. Daddy is very coherent to what’s going on and can really tell some war stories as he was a POW with the Germans. He is a very intelligent gentleman! I am so proud of him!
    Let me know if this may be something you’re interested in for the museum. I would love for everyone to know exactly what my Daddy experienced in WWII.
    Thank you so much for your time!
    Linda W. Day

    • Linda,
      yes, it would be interesting in a museum, but how fascinating to read. Publish it on the kindle!