Brunswick Naval Museum, Memorial Gardens Open for Visitors
The Brunswick Naval Museum and Memorial Gardens, located in the former Navy Chapel at 179 Admiral Fitch Ave., held its grand opening on November 12th.
Senator Angus King was one of the first guests during the opening two weeks ago. Sen. King even took a turn in the pilots seat of a virtual P-3 Orion on the museum’s flight simulator, one of the highlights of the facility.
Museum volunteer Jeff Smat has done a nice job setting up the flight simulator. He has dozens of aircraft available for patrons to fly, including P-3s and P-2s. Virtual pilots can take off and land at computer-modeled former Naval Air Station Brunswick runways (now Brunswick Executive Airport). The details of the area with views of the midcoast and islands round Harpswell sound and Casco Bay are very realistic.
The museum is now open two days per week — Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Museum President John Briley said staff will open the museum for special tours and group visits with advance notice. Admission is free for the time being. Visit the Museum website for contact information and museum updates. They also maintain a Facebook page.
Currently, the museum’s offerings are limited to one room. The room includes the flight simulator station and it is packed with photos, artifacts, and other fascinating content and detailed history of NASB . It is laid out very nicely and it’s easy for a visitor to follow NASB’s history from its beginnings to end in 2011.
The Museum eventually plans to expand its exhibits as it’s able to acquire more memorabilia, including a few big-ticket items. Staff is currently working with the Navy to acquire the interior of a P-3 so that visitors will actually be able to board the plane’s cockpit and flight crew compartments and see what the interior looked like during a maritime surveillance mission. They are also hoping to acquire an F-4U Corsair fighter plane, one of the top dog-fighters during World War II. Corsairs were some of the first planes based at NASB for training of Royal Air Force pilots.
The Memorial Gardens, located in the building’s twin interior courtyards, will continue to be maintained and museum visitors are invited to tour them.