Welcome to the official Web site of the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles (HMMV), a non-profit organization run by volunteers and funded by donations and grants.
The museum has about 100 vehicles including helicopters, tanks, halftracks, ambulances, and a jeep from every branch of the service plus displays of weapons, uniforms, engines, equipment, and more. The everyday necessities of a soldier's life, such as MREs, blend with unique vehicles like those used by the German army in World War II.
This hands-on museum invites you to see, touch, and even sit in vehicles that have been restored and, for the most part, are operational. Vehicles date from World War II but displays include items from World War I as well.
The Early Days
In 1986, armed only with a determination to preserve historic military vehicles, four Lexington men formed the Heartland Museum. Today the dozens of fully restored vehicles are dedicated in honor and memory of those who served.
The four friends began taking their restored vehicles to Veterans' Day celebrations and letting veterans ride in the vehicles, even drive them if they wished. The response was so gratifying to the quartet that they continued to comb Central Nebraska for more historic equipment.
The founders of Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles are in the photo above. Left to right: Chris Larsen, Dave Smith, Terry Lauby and Al Martin.
A Vision Unchanged
In 1991, a permanent site for the museum was obtained at exit 237 of Interstate 80. In 1998, a 16,000 square foot Visitor Center was constructed which houses many of the vehicles, such Inside Hueyas a snow tractor, a HMMWV prototype, a Huey helicopter, a jeep from each branch of the service, and World War II Germany Army vehicles; as well as archives of military vehicle manuals; displays of rations, cooking gear, canteens, medical supplies, munitions, uniforms, flags, engines, photos, weapons and much more. The vehicles are from World War II through today, but the displays include items dating from World War I. The museum is also a Library of Congress repository for interviews with area World War II veterans. The Heartland Museum's goal is, and always has been, to restore, preserve and display historic military equipment of all types, as a way to honor those who served.
Lots of Memories
Most vehicles have been acquired within a 150-mile radius of Lexington. The nucleus of the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles collection comes from the nation's heartland, Nebraska. Many pieces were used by farmers in the 1940's and early 1950's, when tractors were still in short supply. As the old standbys were retired they were parked in windbreaks, left to rust away. Heartland has given new life to these proud machines.
Acquisition of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle from the U.S. Army has expanded the Museum's scope. The Bradley was a prototype that Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles has restored to full operational capability, except armaments. With the Bradley, the collection now spans more than half a century. Other newer acquisitions include several UH 1 "Huey" Helicopters and two M-60 Tanks.