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Barney the Bear and visitor.

Barney the Bear

Field review by the editors.

Fort Liberty, North Carolina

Died 1972

Pet Cemetery.

Barney was a small Malayan Sun bear, the mascot of Company Alpha, 5th Special Forces Group, Airborne, Ben Hoi, South Vietnam. Discovered by the soldiers as an orphan cub, he would be put in a knapsack when the company parachuted on missions.

Sgt. Jerald Hilleson was especially fond of Barney. When the sergeant's tour of duty ended, he decided to take the bear with him, and managed to ship him home in a 727.

Barney lived at Fort Liberty (then named Fort Bragg) for two years before dying of pneumonia. Sgt. Hilleson, ever the pal, decided to have him stuffed. The taxidermist didn't do a very good job, and when Barney was donated to the fort's Special Warfare Museum, people soon complained of the horrible smell. Still, Barney was a base legend, so the Museum couldn't just throw him away. Instead, they sealed him inside a Plexiglas box, where his lumpy, half-hairless form is still an object of conversation.

Also see: Pet Vets | Roadside Pet Cemetery

Barney the Bear

JFK Special Warfare Museum

1400 Marion St., Fort Liberty, NC
JFK Special Warfare Museum. NOTE: Photo ID required to access Fort Liberty. I-95 exit 46 (Elizabethtown/Fayetteville) toward Fayetteville. Continue to exit 100 (Mountain Rd.) Turn left onto Mountain Rd. and continue to Eastern Blvd/Business 301. The Cumberland County Convention Center will be on the right. Turn right and immediately get into the left lane. Turn left at the first stop light onto Owen Drive, which will become the All-American Expressway. Drive to the sixth exit (Gruber Rd.) Turn left. Continue to Reilly St. Turn right. At the next light (Ardennes St.), turn left and then turn left again at Marion St. Park at the rear of the museum.
T-Su 10 am - 4 pm (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Eiffel TowerEiffel Tower, Fayetteville, NC - 8 mi.
U.S. Arsenal Ghost TowerU.S. Arsenal Ghost Tower, Fayetteville, NC - 8 mi.
Special Forces K9 Dog MemorialSpecial Forces K9 Dog Memorial, Fayetteville, NC - 8 mi.
In the region:
Ben Harris Sculptures, Fuquay Varina, NC - 32 mi.

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