Welcome to the National Medal of Honor Museum of Military History web site! The museum was created to educate present and future generations about the extraordinary sacrifices of those who went above and beyond the call of duty to preserve the cause of freedom. Through this web site, we hope to highlight items in our collection, stories of Medal of Honor recipients, and scholarly discourse of military history. We also provide a tool for educators to share lesson plans of America's wars. Thank you again for stopping by and we hope you enjoy your visit! Please visit us again as we are constantly updating and adding to this site.
Our museum is open 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. We are located inside the Northgate Mall in Chattanooga, TN. next to the former Piccadilly Cafeteria. Directions: From Interstate 75 in Chattanooga, TN, take Highway 153 (Exit 4) North across Chickamauga Dam. Northgate Mall is on the right about two miles north of the dam.
Museum: Many of the exhibits at the museum are new or have been refreshed. Click on the museum icon above for a short video tour of the museum. Come to the museum and take the Museum Detective Challenge.
Archives: The museum staff continues to process and research artifacts donated to the museum.
Annual Fundraiser - April 27, 2013
The National Medal of Honor Museum of Military History's annual Fund Raiser and Awards Banquet is set for Saturday, April 27, 2013, from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm. It will be held in Rooms 13 and 14 at the Chattanooga Convention Center, 1 Carter Plaza, Chattanooga, TN.
This year's event will celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the first awards of the medal to six of Andrew's Raiders for action in the Chattanooga area. Our speaker will be Lt. Gen. Charles H. Coolidge, Jr. (Ret.). General Coolidge was Vice-Commander, Headquarters Air Force Materials Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Additional banquet festivities include a brief awards ceremony and a "silent" auction. The event is open to the public.
Army Chaplain (Captain) Emil J. Kapaun
On Thursday, April 11, President Barack Obama awarded Chaplain (Captain) Emil J. Kapaun the Medal of Honor. On the night of November 1, 1950, Chinese troops attacked Fr. Kapaun’s battalion from all sides. Fr. Kapaun scrambled among foxholes, sharing a prayer with one soldier, saying a comforting word to another. He assembled many wounded in an abandoned log dugout. All the next day, he scanned the battlefield and when he spotted a wounded soldier would crawl out and drag the man back to the battalion’s position. By day’s end, the defensive perimeter was drawn so tightly that the log hut and the wounded it contained were outside of it. As evening came and another attack was imminent, the chaplain left the main force for the shelter so that he could be with the wounded. It was soon overrun, and Fr. Kapaun pleaded for the safety of the injured.
Hundreds of U.S. prisoners were marched northward over snow-covered mountains. Whenever the column paused, Fr. Kapaun hurried up and down the line encouraging the men and exhorting them not to give up. When a man had to be carried or be left to die, Fr. Kapaun, carried a makeshift stretcher. Finally, they reached their destination near the Chinese border. The poorly dressed prisoners were given so little to eat that they were starving to death. For the men to survive they would steal food from their captors. Chaplain Kapaun would sneak out of his hut in the middle of the night to steal a sack of grain, potatoes or corn. Fr. Kapaun’s practice of sharing his meager rations with others lowered his resistance to disease, and eventually led to his death.
Not since Owen Hammerberg's supreme sacrifice beneath the waves at Pearl Harbor has a Medal of Honor been awarded for non-combat service. In 1963, Congress mandated that the Navy Medal of Honor, henceforth, be restricted to Sailors, Coast Guard personnel and Marines under the same award criteria specified for Army and Air Force recipients of their respective Medals of Honor.
The submarine service came into its own during WW II. Seven submariners were awarded the Medal of Honor for their legendary exploits in the Pacific Theatre.
The National Medal of Honor Museum of Military History celebrated the 150th anniversary of Andrews Raid at its annual fundraiser held at the Chattanooga Convention Center April 28, 2012. Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, Medal Honor recipient Charles Coolidge, and Superintendent of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park Cathy Cook along with several highly decorated Veterans were among those present. Jed Mescon from WRCB TV was the Master of Ceremonies for the event. Russell Bonds of Atlanta, GA was our guest speaker. He is the award winning author of Stealing the General: The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal of Honor and War Like a Thunderbolt: The Battle and Burning of Atlanta.