Continuing our trip into Nebraska, we stopped at the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles in Lexington.
We only stopped here initially because I’d read about the Fall of Saigon, Recreated, and just wanted to take a quick look at the statue as a roadside attraction – we didn’t plan to visit the museum. As it turns out, the statue isn’t right at the museum, and it’s difficult to see unless you are driving westbound on I-80. But since we were already there, we decided to stay and look at the exhibits.
The museum has around 100 vehicles on display. There are tanks, helicopters, trucks, and various utility vehicles, plus displays of weapons and other military equipment. As a bonus, there’s also a birdwatching station located inside the museum, where you can sit and use binoculars to watch the birds at the nearby pond.
You are allowed to get in some of the vehicles, such as a Huey Helicopter that had been shot down numerous times (5, I think) in Vietnam, and a tank. It was a really tight squeeze into the tank, and I can’t imagine having to sit inside it for any length of time, especially outdoors in the heat. Just sitting in it inside the building, it was uncomfortably hot and stuffy.
One of the vehicles I found most interesting was the German Schwimm-Wagen. According to the sign, 14,238 of these amphibious vehicles were produced between 1942 and 1944. There were only a few that survived the war, as the average life expectancy of the vehicle was only 4 weeks. It has a Volkswagen engine , and could go about 6 mph in the water.
But watch where you step!
Even though we hadn’t planned on this stop, we really liked it. There is no charge for admission, but we gladly contributed to the donations box.