The museum continues to be busy and this month is no exception. This Sunday we will host our largest event of the year, Spirit of `45 Day at the museum. There are many events throughout San Diego County to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Our event is the nationally recognized (and mandated) celebration and the first in the county this year! We are expecting 1,000 people including the VIP's we are there to celebrate...200+ World War II veterans. It will be a great day with the formal program and "Stories in the Shade."

Then, August 16-29 the museum is hosting the traveling exhibit, "Remember our Fallen from California." It is a showcase of 720 pictures of military men and women who have died from injuries sustained in combat zones since 9/11. Please join us on Wednesday, August 19 at 6:30 p.m. for the grand-opening ceremony followed by the annual members meeting.

Thank you for your continued support as we continue to make improvements at YOUR museum. As always, please email, call or stop by if you have any questions or suggestions on how we can make the museum better for veterans and their families.  
                                                                                        Captain Sheldon Margolis 
                                                                                        USN (retired) 
                                                                                        Executive Director 

What's going on at your museum?


  • Aug. 9: Spirit of `45 Ceremony and Celebration (10 a.m. to  4 p.m.)
  • Aug. 11: Free Tuesday admission to the museum for San Diego County residents. This month the museum will be showing a WWII film called, "Above and Beyond" from 11-1 p.m.
  • Aug. 11: Arts for All (2 to 4 p.m.)  and Arts for Veterans (6 to 8 p.m.)
  • Aug. 19: Grand opening of Fallen Heroes exhibit, social and annual members meeting (6:30 p.m.)
  • Aug. 15-29: "Remember Our Fallen Heroes from California" exhibit 
  • Sept. 2: 70th anniversary of the signing of the Japanese Surrender Instrument on the USS Missouri. Presentation about the signing and viewing of museum artifact from that day (6:30 p.m.)
  • Sept. 16: POW/MIA Recognition Day. Museum to host special event on Sept. 8 to recognize the day
  • Sept 19: Hispanic Heritage Month begins. Museum to host panel discussion during the month
Last month
USS Indianapolis Presentation    
Richard DeRossett in front of his painting of the torpedoing of the Indianapolis which is hanging in the museum.
Richard DeRossett, local historian and artist spoke about the history of the USS Indianapolis and the Japanese sub who sunk her.  There were 1196 U.S Navy and Marines in the crew; after almost five days in the water only 317 people survived. 

Richard painted several Indianapolis paintings that are on display in our  museum. In order to insure historical accuracy, Richard did extensive research including interviews with the Commanding Officer of Japanese submarine I-58 and many Indianapolis survivors. 
Richard has several paintings in the museum and completed five large historical murals.  Ask a docent about them on your next visit! 
This month
Spirit of '45!
This year is the 70th Anniversary of "The Greatest Generation's Greatest Day" - August 14, 1945 - the day World War II ended.  Please join us in this nationwide celebration that honors WWII veterans for their service and sacrifice and celebrates their achievements. 

Doors open at 10 a.m.
Formal program at noon
Live music and dancing at 1:00 p.m.
"Stories in the Shade" at 1:00 p.m.
Food (for purchase) and drinks from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We expect a great turn out of 1,000 people including 200 WWII veterans. The the past few years, Honor Flight San Diego has personally contacted WWII veterans to get them engaged in this event.

This event is the National Day of Remembrance mandated by Congress to occur on the second Sunday of August each year. Please join us for the celebration and the first of several ceremonies and celebrations in San Diego County for Spirit of '45!!


"Remember Our Fallen from California" Exhibit
The museum is honored to host a traveling exhibit titled, "Remember Our Fallen from California." The exhibit has 720 fallen men and women from California who died from injuries sustained in war zones since Sept. 11, 2001.

The exhibit was created in November 2010 by Bill and Evonne Williams of Omaha, Nebraska. Their eternal hope is to honor the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, to provide comfort to friends and family of the fallen, and to remind others of the tremendous cost paid by some.
The museum will host a grand-opening ceremony on Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 6:30 p.m.

The exhibit costs $1000.00 to host and the museum is looking for groups or individuals to help sponsor this exhibit. If you would like to donate specifically to this display, please call the Executive Director at (619)239-2300. 

Click here to view more info about Remember Our Fallen
Annual Members Meeting 
Wednesday, Aug. 19th at 6:30  p.m.
Following the grand-opening of the Fallen Heroes exhibit, there will be a short annual members meeting. Please join us to meet your Board of Directors and listen to the annual report to the membership. There will be catered deserts and refreshments served. 

San Diego Honor Flight - Comedy for a Cause
Aug. 15th at the San Diego Yacht Club
The museum has many community partners and one of them is Honor Flight San Diego. The organization is raising money to send veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit their memorials. The trip is at no-cost to the veteran. For some it is their first visit to the memorials and for some it is their last visit. Priority is given to WWII veterans and those who are terminally ill. Over the last f ive years, HFSD has flown 880 veterans to D.C. and the next flight is in October 2015. There are almost 300 veterans on the waiting list to go. 

HFSD is hosting a fundraiser at the San Diego Yacht Club.  On deck will be a social hour, National Anthem sung by recording artist Steve Ybarra, classic rock music by the band Indian Joe and the Chiefs , California gourmet dinner, Magic Mike (the magician) and the headliners are Veterans of Comedy. The comedy group, whose members are all military veterans, have appeared before thousands on both national and international comedy tours.

There will be a silent and live auction and opportunity drawing. Auction items include destination vacations, golf packages, golf lessons and equipment, a luxury day cruise on a private yacht, surfboard, Apple iWatch, Maui Jim sunglasses and so much. There's something for everyone!

Tickets must be purchased in advance. For more information, to purchase tickets or make a donation, click on the below link and go to events. You can also email Jeff Hall at info@honorflightsandiego.org



Harry, 4th from left, relaxes with his gunnery squad on Saipan
Stories from museum archives 
(Contributed by Rick Appleton)


Since this month we are recognizing the service of WWII veterans, we thought it would be fitting to spotlight USMC Col. Harry Dickinson.

Harry fought in five Pacific Island assaults and three wars and came home unscathed. Like so many WWII veterans, Harry grew up in a small town in rural Midwest America - for Harry it was North Dakota.  He was part of that small group of veterans of his day who fought in three wars: World War II in the Pacific, the Korean War and Vietnam.  He began as an enlisted man in the Marine Corps and received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant while training on Samoa in 1942.  After several high profile assignments, he ended his career in Vietnam as Commanding Officer of the 11th Marine Regiment.


Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Harry's unit, the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines Regiment, was deployed with old World War I light artillery pieces in the hills of Torrey Pines (now the golf course) to defend the mainland against an expected attack by the Japanese.  Of course, the attack never came, and Harry was shipped off to the Pacific to train in Samoa.  His first combat action in '42 took him to Guadalcanal where he served as an artillery forward observer using a hand drawn map of his combat area.  After further training in New Zealand, Harry's unit joined the assault on Tarawa.  Under heavy enemy fire he advanced across the island and recalled, "You learn early on that when bullets go over you, they CRACK . . . so when you were wading in or any time in combat and bullets are crackin' right over you, you know they're right on you," yet Harry survived unscathed.


Harry's good fortune in combat continued with his unit's assault on Saipan in 1944 followed shortly by the landing on Tinian.  His final battle in April of 1945 was on Okinawa in which Harry again was not injured-five island assaults without a scratch!  Harry was one very fortunate Marine.  After a short stint in Korea and his command assignments in Vietnam, Col. Harry Dickinson retired at Camp Pendleton in 1970 after 31 years of service in the United States Marine Corps.

Harry's story is available in the museum library along with so many others. The library is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.


If you would like to record your personal story to be transcribed and sent to the National Archives, call the museum at (619) 239-2300 and make an appointment with Rick and his team.

Museum News
Amazon Smile Supports the Veterans Museum with Donations
Did you know that you can support the Veterans Museum every time you shop online at Amazon.com by signing up with AmazonSmile?  It is a simple and automatic way for you to support the Veterans Museum  at no cost to you. By signing up and shopping at smile.amazon.com, you'll find the exact same low prices with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the Veterans Museum.

To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device with your existing Amazon.com account or create a new account.  You will need select the charity of you choice and we encourage you to type in and select the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center.  Amazon will remember your selection and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation to our museum.

You may also want to add a bookmark to smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.

Arts for All and Arts for Veterans
The second Tuesday of every month, Tony the Vet holds two free sessions. From 2 to 4 p.m., children and families are invited to make cards for veterans and view a free puppet show.
From 6 to 8 p.m., our museum hosts free creative art classes (literary, performing and visual arts) for veterans. These classes are facilitated by Tony LoBue, Veteran, artist, and teacher of the creative arts and will include guest artists and speakers. To register, contact Tony at (619) 806-2075 or via email at Tony@tonythevet.org  


Recent Donations to the Museum's Artifact Collection  


Red Cross Nurse
WWI Red Cross Nurse's uniform donated by Gordon Bartow.

Gordon Bartow of Rancho Santa Fe donated a WWI era Red Cross Nurse's uniform including the cap, cuffs and armband. This uniform will be on display in our Women's Military History Room.

Barbara Beeby of Carlsbad donated the last issue of Naval Hospital San Diego's newspaper, The Dry Dock, published on July 8, 1994.  At that time, all the local base newspapers were closed and consolidated into the Naval Stations' newspaper, The Compass.

Roland Champagne of San Diego donated four books on the history of WWI to the Museum's Military History library.

Jack Evans of La Mesa donated a WWII Naval Aviation Mae West Life Vest and an aviation seat cushion life raft.

Mary Jane Hinsdale of San Diego donated her father's WWII uniform, photographs and artifacts including a hand painted coconut from New Guinea dated 1944 and a hand made ashtray made from shell casings.  He served in the 865th Engineer Aviation Battalion in New Guinea and the Philippines 1943-1945

Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego donated four DVDs of untold stories of Japanese American Veterans during WWII.

Rod Melendez of San Diego donated a new book, Fashion on the Ration, about how women dealt with rationing and the shortages during WWII in Britain.

Steve Schweitzer of San Diego donated a Naval Hospital Balboa commemorative belt buckle hallmarking the end of the 1922 hospital and the commissioning of the new medical center in 1988.

1943 Navy Aviation Mae West donated by Jack Evans 

New book about coping with the rationing and shortages in WWII 

Picture book from the 865th Engineering Aviation Battalion that served in the 13th AF on New Guinea and the Philippines in WWII donated by Mary Jane Hinsdale. 


Licari Brillo Family
Jonathan Cantero
Felix Cruz
Kim Gibbs
Roy T. Mantz Family
Reynaldo Rio
Steve Schweitzer

Become a Museum Member
Current exhibits at your museum
Vietnam Remembered: A 50th Anniversary Retrospective
Presidio to Pacific Powerhouse: The Military in Balboa Park 1915 to 1945
"Hold at All Costs"  - The last battle
of the Korean War
World War I
China Burma India
World War II
B-24 Gallery
UDT-SEALS Operations Past & Present
San Diego's Medal of Honor Recipients 
Dennis Schoville Vietnam Veteran
USS Orleck (DD-886)
Adam Sustackek, U.S. Coast Guard Women's Military History
5 Murals by Richard DeRosset


Operation Solar for San Diego Troops


Willis Allen Real Estate is partnering with GRID Alternatives San Diego to launch Operation Solar for San Diego Troops in order to transition veterans to clean and renewable energy. Willis Allen Real Estate will donate time and monetary resources to help GRID Alternatives provide energy cost-savings and a source of clean local energy to local veterans' homes, and hands-on experience for veteran volunteers. Four of the projects will be in partnership with the veterans' program of Habitat for Humanity.


It will be all hands on deck, as local veterans and the homeowners themselves pull together to install solar power -empowering them with a sense of pride of living sustainably for themselves and the environment. The four-month long project kicked off Thursday, July 9 and will provide solar panels for up to 10 veteran homes. A finale event will be held in conjunction with the Veteran's Day holiday.


To get more information or get involved in Operation Solar, visit their website at:

Operation Solar for San Diego Troops


SeaWorld Waves of Honor: Free admission for veteran and three guests


SeaWorld® San Diego is honoring the men and women who have previously served as members of the U.S. armed services with a special admissions program.  Starting July 16 through Nov. 11 (Veterans Day), the park is offering complimentary admission to military veterans and up to three additional guests.


Veterans must register online at www.WavesofHonor.com in advance, and verify their proof of service through the ID.me qualification process.  SeaWorld is working with ID.me to provide an online verification of former military personnel in a secure and privacy-enhancing manner.


Once veterans and their guests have registered online, they can bring their e-tickets directly to the park's entrance turnstiles. Tickets must be obtained and redeemed by Nov. 11 (Veterans Day), 2015.


To register for your free tickets, click on the below website at:

Waves of Honor


Know someone who would like to see this email?
To donate to the museum:
The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park, 2115 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101
| (619)239-2300 | info@veteranmuseum.org | www.veteranmuseum.org