American Military Museum – South El Monte, California - Atlas Obscura
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South El Monte, California

American Military Museum

A military vehicle collection, showcasing how war transportation advanced from horse drawn artillery to self propelled cannons. 

With over 178 vehicles on display, this is the destination for military buffs, especially if tanks and trucks are your thing.

Due to liability issues, the owner will regretfully deny you permission to climb around on the armoured beasts of war, but you’ll get the distinct impression he fully sympathizes with the urge. Despite that small disappointment, you’ll still get lost imagining turrets spinning, torpedos launching, and choppers all around. The museum offers more than just vehicles, and provides many military props and uniforms for films and photo shoots.Featuring vehicles from WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and even some from Operation Desert Storm, the museum restores and maintains all sorts of tanks, jeeps, cargo trucks, motorcycles…anything on wheels or treads. The museum also has plenty of odds and ends laying around–helmets from different battles, random equipment, and a few curious objects from failed projects that never saw any action.

For a mere $5, you can easily spend hours wandering the grounds, listening to the extremely knowledgable docent, and checking out the history of military history from beginning to end.