May 19, 2024

Navy Museum Raising Funds for New Exhibits

Patuxent River Naval Air Museum

The Patuxent River Naval Air Museum is being featured on the Southern Maryland Gives website, as the museum is raising funds to support new, hands-on, and interactive high-tech exhibits for the new building. The Navy museum is featured here with directions on how to donate online.

The museum was conceived in 1975 by a group of military and civilian enthusiasts who were interested in preserving the history and artifacts of the development of naval aviation at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, since its founding in 1943.

In 1978, the first museum was opened in what was once a USO club, and later an enlisted men’s club. The collection of materials and documents grew, as well as attendance, and in 1992 the museum was declared by the Secretary of the Navy an official US Navy museum, one of 12 so recognized.

The original building was in the way of progress as the base and surrounding infrastructure expanded and it was razed. The museum was moved to its present location on county property and buildings adjacent to Gate One.

In 1997 with the arrival of the headquarters of the Naval Air Systems Command, the air station became the center for all of the Navy’s aviation research, development, testing, and evaluation. The mission of the museum was widened to include these disciplines and the new vision for the air station. The existing museum buildings became inadequate to house all of the artifacts as well as hands-on, interactive, static, and educational displays. A partnership of state and county governments, the US Navy, and the museum association was developed along with committees to find a new location and to develop a vision for a new, larger, and improved museum building. The result of years of planning, fundraising, and an enormous amount of volunteer work and dedication is the new state-of-the-art museum building completed in 2015.

Patuxent River Naval Air Museum

The museum will continue to function preserving and interpreting the Navy’s scientific and technological aviation heritage, but it will also function as a unique teaching museum, inspiring future K-16 generations with an interest in aeronautical science and technology.

Displays will be designed to be easily understood but intellectually challenging, as well as hands-on when appropriate and amusing when possible. The museum will present a unique facility that will reach out locally, regionally, and nationally to everyone, young and old, interested in the past, present and future of aeronautics and the fascinating evolution of naval aviation.

Southern Maryland Gives is an online fundraising platform sponsored by the Nonprofit Institute at the College of Southern Maryland and was created to foster the spirit of giving back to the community.

Southern Maryland Gives portal will easily connect those who want to donate to participating local nonprofit organizations as well as highlight several featured fundraiser projects each month that are looking for immediate support.

The one-stop giving portal allows a place to make quick, secure donations to local nonprofits working hard to improve Southern Maryland.

The museum is at 22156 Three Notch Road in Lexington Park. Call 301-863-1900.

For more information on the museum, visit its Leader member page.

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