Using state-of-the-art technology the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is bringing the history of the Vietnam War to life in a new two and one-half acre Vietnam Experience Exhibit. It features more than a dozen components that simulate life during wartime in a "Brown Water Navy" support base and a U.S. Marine Corps artillery fire base during the Tet Offensive and the Battle of Khe Sanh in 1968. The primary mission of the "Brown Water Navy" was to block the movement of insurgents and their supplies into South Vietnam.
This immersive exhibit incorporates various facilities such as a fire control bunker and mess hall with various Vietnam-era artifacts including a rare MK1 River Patrol Boat (PBR) dedicated to Medal of Honor recipient James Elliot Williams (see Medal of Honor Museum). It also includes a 105 Howitzer gun, Wilys M725 ambulance, and three different Vietnam-era helicopters: CH-46 Sea Knight, UH-1M Huey and UH-34 Sea Horse. In addition to the artifacts, guests can climb onto an observation tower and hear the sounds of jet aircraft and helicopters flying over their heads. Holograms bring Marine officers to life in an exciting 3-D production.
The Vietnam Experience Exhibit also serves as a place for the two million Vietnam veterans in the United States to reflect and reconnect with their experiences during their years of serice.
The Vietnam Experience is a permanent two and one-half acre exhibit and is included in the normal museum admission price. Construction of the exhibit was made possible by contributions from Charleston County Council, Bennett Hospitality and the Charleston Harbor Benefactors Society.