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South Dakota National Guard Museum.

South Dakota National Guard Museum

Field review by the editors.

Pierre, South Dakota

This free museum occupies an old National Guard storage building from 1941. A full-size tank and A7D Corsair jet are parked out front, which may say something about the easy availability of real estate in downtown Pierre.

South Dakota's totem animal.
South Dakota's totem animal.

The museum started as a collection of a field artillery historical society. Displayed munitions, weapons, vehicles, uniforms, and regalia are typical of general military museums, but there are oddball items to be discovered. Many artifacts were donated by army and air national guard veterans or their families, and some specifically relate to duties performed and wars fought by the South Dakota National Guard.

In no particular order, we noticed: an AIM-4F guided missile; a marching band tuba; a Kuwait Liberation Medal; a World War II gun manufactured by the Eureka Vacuum Cleaner Company; a "sweetheart pillow" customized for someone's mom; Operation Desert Storm bumper stickers; a display case of C Rations and MREs; model of a bridge built by combat engineers; an instructional bandage from the Spanish-American War; a 20mm Nazi anti-tank cannon; a wood cookstove described as "historic, patriotic, and magnificent;" Coke and Pepsi cans from the Desert Storm-Era Middle East; a WWII Harley-Davidson motorcycle; swords; bayonets; and a South Dakota mascot coyote stuffed in mid-howl, standing inside a glass-fronted box.

Pre-invasion Kuwait soft drinks.
Pre-invasion Kuwait soft drinks.

South Dakota National Guard Museum.

A sign warns visitors not to wear flip-flops in the ejection seat trainer, and the gift shop sells items such as the 196th Regimental Combat Team Yearbook and the revised edition of "Roundup Years: Old Muddy to Black Hills."

South Dakota National Guard Museum

301 E. Dakota Ave., Pierre, SD
Downtown, on the southeast corner of E. Dakota Ave. and S. Chapelle St.
M-F 9-4 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Governor # 4: Charles Nelson HerreidGovernor # 4: Charles Nelson Herreid, Pierre, SD - < 1 mi.
Governor # 9: Peter NorbeckGovernor # 9: Peter Norbeck, Pierre, SD - < 1 mi.
Governor # 3: Andrew E. LeeGovernor # 3: Andrew E. Lee, Pierre, SD - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Governor #24: Frank Leroy Farrar, Pierre, SD - < 1 mi.

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