The Navy UDT-SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida is one of the best military museums we have visited. I was very impressed with the caliber of this museum. We lived in Washington DC for several years, and this museum was on par with any Smithsonian. The displays were well thought out with professional multimedia components.
The National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum is the only museum dedicated solely to preserving the history of the Navy SEALs and their predecessors, including the Underwater Demolition Teams, Naval Combat Demolition Units, Office of Strategic Services Maritime Units and Amphibious Scouts and Raiders.
Now you may be asking yourself, why Fort Pierce? Due to its WWII history, Fort Pierce is considered as the birthplace of the U. S. Navy Frogmen. From 1943 to 1946, thousands of brave volunteers were trained as members of Naval Combat Demolition Units and Underwater Demolition Teams. The World War II Frogmen have evolved into the most elite fighting force in the world, the U. S. Navy SEALs.
The museum is home to a vast array of artifacts and exhibits dedicated to the history of these elite warriors. The collection provides a window into the secret world of Naval Special Warfare. While I hope you will get the chance to go and experience the entire museum for yourself, I’ll share a few of the highlights here.
Maersk Alabama Lifeboat
The Maersk Alabama was captured by Somali pirates on April 8, 2009. When you visit the Museum, you can board the lifeboat upon which Captain Richard Phillips was held hostage for five days before being rescued on April 12, thanks to the accuracy of Navy SEAL snipers. Read the story here.
The Museum is home to a unique collection of weapons dating from the earliest days of special warfare. Navy SEALs have the reputation of using the best weapons available in the world. If they couldn’t buy it, they made it. In addition to primary weapons systems used through the decades, our collection contains many one-of-a-kind and hand made/custom configured devices that go far beyond mere firearms and knives.
Sikorsky UH-60 “Black Hawk”
On January 25, 2012, a team of United States Navy SEALs raided a compound 12 miles north of the Somali town of Adow, killing nine Somali pirates and freeing their hostages, U.S. citizen Jessica Buchanan and Danish citizen Poul Hagen Thisted. The Black Hawk on display flew Jessica & Poul out to safety!
WWII Era Beach Obstacles
On the grounds of the museum are the original training obstacles dating from the founding of the joint Army and Navy Amphibious Scout and Raider School in 1942. The training base was established on the Fort Pierce beach where the Museum now stands. These obstacles were discovered in the 1990s by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and were donated to our collection.
Navy SEAL Memorial
The National Navy SEAL Museum is home to the only memorial dedicated solely to honoring Navy SEALs and their predecessors for their sacrifice. The centerpiece of the Memorial is a bronze sculpture of a modern Navy SEAL combat swimmer. The names of all Underwater Demolition Team members who have died in the service of the country are carved into black, granite panels on the walls surrounding the sculpture and its reflecting pool. You can read the names of those honored here.
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