Museum Themes

  • The Home Front:  The adaptation of American civilians to do their part while GI’s went off to war. Includes civil defense, scrap drives, US Bond drives, victory gardens, rationing. The impact on the local economy.  
  • Arsenal of Democracy:  Transition from domestic production into the manufacture of war vehicles and equipment, exemplified by The York Plan. Food for the Fighters with fruit production and canning plants in Adams County. Labor shortages and women in the workforce. 
  • The Vehicles that Won the War:  Highlight operational vehicles and equipment used on the battlefront and in supporting roles. 
  • Battle Exhibits including Authentic Helmets and Uniforms
  • Stories and Artifacts of the Region:  Nearby training and supply centers, including German POW Camp in Gettysburg, the Ritchie Boys (Camp Ritchie/Camp Sharpe), Camp Detrick (biological warfare), York Naval Ordnance Plant, Carlisle Barracks. Stories, interviews and artifacts from soldiers and citizens. 
  • Special Rotating Exhibits, Living History Events, USO Dances, Variety of Educational Programs, Vehicle and Equipment Demonstrations among other experiences. 
  • On-site Café. Be sure to stop in our café for a warm meal, sandwich, coffee, snack and beverages.

“The Commander’s Intent”

The Buck family has resided on a farm in Gettysburg for nearly 23 years. Over the years, they have hosted literally thousands of people from many parts of the world, including providing a venue for charitable events, giving tours of their collection to school groups and other organizations, and providing a gathering place for veterans’ groups, historic automobile groups and military associations. They have supplied vehicles, period attire, people and space/surroundings for filming movie footage as well as documentaries for television. They never sought out nor charged visitors – they simply shared part of their property with people pursuing worthy causes.

The Bucks came to realize that, whether viewing it for the first time, or possessing real life experiences, people have an interest in seeing World War II vehicles, uniforms, equipment and related period collections. There is a need for an educational experience that will be meaningful and lasting. A well-designed museum and education center with knowledgeable staff, enhanced displays and proper amenities could go a long way to fill that need for generations to come. And so the WWII American Experience was created.

Our intent is to tell the contextual story of the U.S. involvement in World War II through the eyes, experiences and memories of the people of Gettysburg, Adams County and the surrounding region by using the tanks, wheeled vehicles, small arms, uniforms and other items of material culture from the Buck Collection as exhibit focal points, when possible.