A look at Heroes Hall and Medal of Honor Museum at the OC Fair

The Heroes Hall Veterans Museum at the Orange County Fair features a wide range of artificats used by American service members in various wars. Courtesy photo

Military exhibition
opens after four
years of construction

All museums are not just a collection of paintings, statues, artistic objects, etc.

The “HEROES HALL and MEDAL of HONOR COURTYARD” at the Orange County Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, California opened on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017.  This wonder-filled Museum is finally open after four years of planning and construction,

The HEROES HALL is a barracks.  To quote Mr. David Whiting, a staff columnist of the O C Register: “Yet, this little two-story structure in some ways stands higher than the tallest building in the world.”  It features some of the men and women Veterans stories of the diversity of situations while in the military services.

The HEROES HALL will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with free admission and parking.

Their Grand Opening commemorated the 75th anniversary of the opening of the former Santa Ana Army Air Base.  Also featured are enviable, bronze plaques that honor many Orange County Veterans who received distinguished military honors, and many local Veterans who had served in World Wars I and II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars.


“At the center of the courtyard is a 36,000 pound, 50 foot wide cement star that is based on the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. military honor awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.”

Veterans’stories will be told through year-round permanent and rotating exhibits.  Some of the exhibits will change semi-annually.

I received a flier in my email; also a report from the editor of the weekly Seal Beach Sun, and I read about this museum in the Orange County Register.

I have not yet personally visited this museum but I plan on doing so, as soon as I am really physically able to. (I’m 93,) I want to see numerous items on display like the mud-caked boots my buddies and I wore in N. Africa and a few European countries while we fought to win WW2.

THIS MUSEUM displays some of the tremendous range of miscellaneous weapons and other relics used by the American Armed Forces in present and previous wars.  Viewing these relics will help all visitors see and better understand the drudgery and dangers of wars.

Even more importantly, viewers will better appreciate the courage, determination, and dedication to duty, millions of men and women who gave so much of their time, effort, lives, and limbs to keep the freedom and liberty we have in the USA, and to bravely assist in freeing other nations.

Not all military personnel fought in actual battles but the news articles I read reminds me of the superior participation of the Army Engineers who built a pontoon bridge over the Rhine River, and their numerous projects, etc. that helped our combat troops advance and defeat our enemies.

Hundreds of women pilots flew brand-new airplanes from factory areas to combat areas so the men pilots could fly the fighter planes to fight, strafe, and bomb enemy targets.  The bombers sought larger targets like the Ploesti oil fields.  They reduced so much of the petrol the German aviators needed for their planes.  Thousands of their planes were grounded.  Most of their aviators became foot-soldiers (infantry) in the German armies.

Additionally, not enough has been said about the cooks who (even under the severest war-time conditions) prepared the meals for the warriors… and the truck drivers who brought in our ammunition and food.

We should never forget that so many lives and limbs were saved by the caring expertise rendered by the doctors, nurses, and field medics.

So much more should also be known by the public about our non-combatants.

Although I enjoy reading about American History, and seldom visit “art museums,” I am very interested and eager to go visit the HEROES HALL and MEDAL of HONOR Courtyard as soon as I can.  I’d strongly suggest everyone should also visit THIS great new museum.

Bill Thomas of Rossmoor is a Veteran of World War II,? and Past Commander of VFW Post 4048,? and American Legion Post 857.?Contact Bill at vvbthomasvets@gmail.com.

A look at Heroes Hall and Medal of Honor Museum at the OC Fair