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.
Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam is currently at Palm Springs Air Museum, Palm Springs California. It will be there November 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016,
Part of the Marking Tiime: Voyage to Vienam exhibit will be travelling to New York City whre it will be part of the New York Historical Society"s major Vietnam exhibit openning in 2017.