Exploring the Rich History of the Russell Military Museum

Welcome to our article about the fascinating history of the Russell Military Museum. If you’re a history buff or simply interested in military vehicles and equipment, you’ll want to keep reading. Located in Kenosha, Wisconsin, this museum houses an impressive collection of military artifacts from World War II to the present day. From tanks and artillery pieces to uniforms and gear, the displays at the Russell Military Museum offer a unique glimpse into the lives of soldiers throughout history. Let’s delve into the rich history of this museum and discover what sets it apart from other military museums around the world.

The Russell Military Museum

The Russell Military Museum, located in Russell, Illinois, is one of the largest military museums in the United States. It was founded by Robert M. Russell, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War who began collecting military artifacts in the 1950s. In 1987, he opened the museum to the public with the help of his son, Mark.

History of the Museum

Robert Russell’s passion for military history started during his time in the U.S. Army. He served from 1942 to 1946 in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II, where he earned the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He continued his service during the Korean War from 1950 to 1951.

After completing his military service, Russell began collecting military memorabilia. His collection grew rapidly over the years, and he eventually decided to share his passion with the public. He purchased a large parcel of land in Russell, Illinois, and built a facility to house his collection and host visitors.

The museum was originally called the “Russell Military Museum and Collection”. It was a private collection that attracted a small number of visitors. However, in 1987, Robert and Mark Russell decided to open the museum to the public. They made several renovations and expansions to the facility, and the museum became a popular destination for military enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Robert Russell continued to maintain a presence at the museum until his death in 2014. Today, the museum is run by Mark Russell and his team of dedicated staff and volunteers.

Exhibits at the Museum

The Russell Military Museum has an extensive collection of military vehicles, aircraft, artillery, uniforms, and weapons from various conflicts throughout history. Here are some of the highlights of the museum’s collection:

– The M-1 Abrams tank, one of the most advanced battle tanks in the world
– The B-25 Mitchell bomber, famously used in the Doolittle Raid during World War II
– The F-14 Tomcat fighter jet, made famous by the movie Top Gun
– The USS Daniel Webster SSBN 626, a decommissioned ballistic missile submarine that visitors can tour
– A variety of antique weapons and uniforms, including Civil War artifacts and items from both World War I and World War II

In addition to the exhibits, the museum offers guided tours with knowledgeable staff members who can provide insights into the history and significance of the artifacts on display.

Events and Activities

The Russell Military Museum hosts a variety of events and activities throughout the year. These include special exhibits, educational programs for school groups, and living history events. The museum also hosts an annual “Military Vehicle Show and Swap Meet” that draws collectors and enthusiasts from across the country.

Visitors can check the museum’s website for upcoming events and activities. The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

In conclusion, the Russell Military Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in military history and artifacts. With its extensive collection and knowledgeable staff, visitors are guaranteed a fascinating and educational experience. Whether you’re a seasoned military enthusiast or a curious newcomer, the Russell Military Museum is well worth a visit.

Visiting the Russell Military Museum

The Russell Military Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in military history. This museum boasts an impressive collection of military vehicles, weapons, and other artifacts that provide a glimpse into the history of warfare. Here’s what you need to know before planning your visit:

Location and Hours

The museum is located in Russell, Illinois, just a short drive from Chicago. The museum’s address is 43363 N. Highway 41, Russell, Illinois, 60075. The museum is open every day of the week from 10 AM to 4 PM, except for major holidays. Admission tickets for adults cost $12, and children under 12 years of age are admitted for $8. Seniors and Military personnel are admitted for a discounted price of $10.

If you’re planning to visit the museum on a weekend, be aware that the museum can get quite crowded, so it’s best to arrive early to avoid the crowds. If you’re visiting during the off-season, be sure to check the museum’s website for any changes in hours of operation or special events that may cause changes to the regular schedule.


The museum is fully accessible for visitors with disabilities. There is ample parking available in the museum’s parking lot, which can accommodate RVs and buses. There are also restrooms on site that are wheelchair-accessible. The museum exhibits are located primarily indoors, and there is a wheelchair ramp at the entrance. For those with mobility issues, the museum provides wheelchairs for use on a first-come, first-served basis. The staff members at the museum are always willing to assist with accommodations for visitors with disabilities, and they are happy to answer any questions you may have about accessibility.

Tips for Visiting

When visiting the Russell Military Museum, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make the most out of your visit. Firstly, be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes. The museum has a vast collection of exhibits that can take several hours to explore, so it’s important to wear shoes that will not cause discomfort or hinder your ability to walk around. Secondly, plan enough time to see everything. Given the size of the museum’s collection, it can take several hours to explore everything that the museum has to offer. Finally, be sure to bring your camera! The museum’s exhibits are so interesting and immersive that you’ll want to capture every detail and take it all in.

Overall, the Russell Military Museum is an amazing experience that should not be missed. From its vast collection of military vehicles to the incredible indoor exhibits, this museum provides a unique and fascinating look into the history of warfare. With its convenient location, accessible accommodations, and helpful staff, the Russell Military Museum is the perfect destination for anyone with a passion for military history. We hope to see you there soon!

Supporting the Museum

If you have visited or plan to visit the Russell Military Museum, you might want to consider supporting the museum and its mission to preserve and share the history of American military and civilian life. There are several ways to get involved.

Membership and Donations

One way to support the museum is by becoming a member or making a donation. Membership fees and donations go directly to the maintenance and preservation of the museum, as well as the development of new exhibits and educational programs. Additionally, members receive special perks such as free admission to the museum, discounts at the gift shop and on special events, and invitations to members-only events.

If you are interested in becoming a member or making a donation, you can visit the museum’s website or contact them directly for more information. You can also make a donation through their online donation portal, which is fast, secure, and tax-deductible.

Volunteering at the Museum

Another way to support the museum is by volunteering your time and skills. The Russell Military Museum always welcomes volunteers to help with various tasks such as giving tours, assisting with events and programs, helping with research and archiving, and much more. Volunteers can choose to work on a regular basis or on a one-time event basis, depending on their schedule and interests.

If you are interested in volunteering, you can contact the museum by phone or email to inquire about current volunteer opportunities. They will provide you with all the information you need to get started, including background checks, training, and schedules.

Partnerships and Collaborations

The Russell Military Museum also values partnerships and collaborations with other organizations, institutions, and individuals who share their mission and goals. They have established partnerships with local schools, historical societies, and veteran groups, as well as national organizations such as the Military Vehicle Preservation Association and the American Legion.

Through these partnerships, the museum is able to reach a wider audience, share resources and expertise, and collaborate on projects and initiatives that benefit both parties. Visitors can also get involved by attending joint events and programs, or by contributing to joint fundraising efforts.

If you are interested in partnering with the museum or collaborating on a project or event, you can contact the museum’s director or outreach coordinator to discuss possibilities.

Overall, supporting the Russell Military Museum is a meaningful and impactful way to honor and preserve the legacy of American military and civilian life. Whether you become a member, donate, volunteer, or partner with the museum, your involvement will help ensure that future generations can learn from and appreciate the sacrifices and achievements of those who served our country.

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