The Ship

The big troop transport, the General Nelson M. Walker, was nestled between more than a dozen other ships in Virginia’s James River Reserve fleet. That was in 1997 and the visit, to film troop compartments and other interior details, was designed to accurately create a set for the film The Thin Red Line.

Neither visitor realized that a major discovery aboard the dank, rusty ship would be made that cold, early February, morning.  Besides making an important artifact discovery, a concept to create a traveling, national exhibit to honor the service of military veterans started to be developed.

The traveling exhibit would happen only after initial artifacts could be recovered for permanent collections of major museums, before the ship was removed from the fleet and towed to a wind-swept Brownsville, Texas shoreline, where it would be scrapped. There, the traveling exhibit artifact recovery work would begin.

Exhibit Schedules

    Part of the Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam is currently at the New York Historical Society in Manhatten through April 22, 2018. Information about the full Vietnam exhibit is available here

    Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam will be open at the USS Kidd Memorial in Baton Rouge, LA, from October 27, 2017 through February 28, 2018.