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AAF closing??

Old 06-30-2023, 04:23 PM
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Default AAF closing??

Sad to hear this, I saw the post of the AAF Facebook page that they'll be closing. I've never had the opportunity to visit the AAF.
It brings up feelings of loss from when Littlefield's collection was scattered to the wind in practical terms...

The post was dated today and Dan said they've been in the process for a week...

Sad.

Jerry
Old 06-30-2023, 04:32 PM
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It is sad. It seems they have deleted the post. I saw it also, but when I went to read the comments the post was gone. There was no mention of the fate of the battlefield.
Old 06-30-2023, 04:44 PM
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It seems to me the post I read is still there. This link won't do anyone any good though unless you have an ID for FB:

jerry

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Old 07-02-2023, 06:36 AM
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I wonder if they'll have a clearance sale at the store or sell off any of the battlefield items? I sent them a message and asked about the battlefield, we'll see if I hear back.
Old 07-02-2023, 03:18 PM
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There was a new video from Dan yesterday. For some reason the posting on FB is only shared with some people or may have been removed as I can see it on my phone right now, but I can't see it on my home PC. The latest post I saw now says, "Saying goodbye to these beautiful restorations. On a side note never drove on to a trailer like that." Video is posted showing a military spotlight, a US half-track, and a Grayhound being hauled off on a flatbed semi-trailer.
Old 07-02-2023, 03:21 PM
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The main site has the notice on side column FB feed and the video of first pieces to leave

https://www.aaftankmuseum.com/
Old 07-06-2023, 04:58 PM
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Well this is sad news
Old 07-06-2023, 08:01 PM
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Yes, it is unfortunately true. They are selling their collection to other museums and returning others back to the Army (or perhaps Marines). They have said that when the museum shuts down, the rc tank battlefield goes as well. Besides the 2 remaining battle days this year, they have no commitment for next year’s schedule, there may be none at all.
Old 07-06-2023, 08:15 PM
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I know the building had to have $10K worth of roof fixes a few years ago. I believe the roof on the building is still in need of some pretty extensive repairs.
Old 07-07-2023, 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Tanque
I've never had the opportunity to visit the AAF. It brings up feelings of loss from when Littlefield's collection was scattered to the wind in practical terms...

Jerry

Didn't most of the Littlefield collection go to the American heritage museum?

https://www.americanheritagemuseum.org/

A visit there is definitely on the bucket list, we'll see if I make it, but I believe they have the bulk of the Littlefield collection, and if you use the link I posted it says right on the first page that they feature the Littlefield tanks, and I'll bet they make up most of the museum. If I ever make it there I'll take lots of photos, and if anyone else gets there first I hope you'll do the same.
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Old 07-07-2023, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Crius
Didn't most of the Littlefield collection go to the American heritage museum?

https://www.americanheritagemuseum.org/

A visit there is definitely on the bucket list, we'll see if I make it, but I believe they have the bulk of the Littlefield collection, and if you use the link I posted it says right on the first page that they feature the Littlefield tanks, and I'll bet they make up most of the museum. If I ever make it there I'll take lots of photos, and if anyone else gets there first I hope you'll do the same.
Definitely worth a visit, I've been there twice so far. I plan on updating my website with several pictures but just can't get motivated to work on it, too much other fun stuff to do. Last October there was a WWII re-enactment I attended with over 350 re-enactors; they did a battle for the airfield were there were several tanks and vehicles running, even spotter airplanes:

https://www.americanheritagemuseum.o...-october-2023/

You can drive a tank there also, I believe they have a Sherman and a Chaffee for choices.
Old 07-07-2023, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Crius
Didn't most of the Littlefield collection go to the American heritage museum?

https://www.americanheritagemuseum.org/

A visit there is definitely on the bucket list, we'll see if I make it, but I believe they have the bulk of the Littlefield collection, and if you use the link I posted it says right on the first page that they feature the Littlefield tanks, and I'll bet they make up most of the museum. If I ever make it there I'll take lots of photos, and if anyone else gets there first I hope you'll do the same.
They had the entire collection Littlefield assembled. They sold much of it off at an auction on Littlefield's property. I'd gotten the auction info but didn't have the heart to go over there to see it split up. Collings was handed the entire collection as a tax-free charitable donation but ended up selling better than 2/3 of it ostensibly to 'fund' the display of the choicest elements of what they kept. I have to say I understand that they did do those pieces justice from what I've read and seen but still the original fact remains that that family didn't feel strongly enough about maintaining their father's work and legacy to basically do the same thing Collings did, just locally. I was told that
the decision to donate the collection 'would have been what Jacques wanted' but in the 30+ years I knew him I never ever even heard
a hint at that desire and like few others I knew him just before he began that collection and he attributed me as having gotten him started. It's why when he began using a guestbook he asked me to be one of the first, if not the first one to sign it. (when Littlefield's was closing down I only ever asked for the guestbook but was told it went 'missing' - I suspect there may have been signatures people wanted). I'm sure you all can surmise I wasn't a fan of what happened to his collection, practical considerations aside, and I never will. It may have been the best outcome but through the view from my position I'll never see it. I am aware of a bit more behind this but I've already said enough.

From what I see it isn't just building a museum, that's not enough; especially when its existence relies on one person. If that person
passes or the ability to maintain the museum is compromised through the lack of a proper legal entity to protect and maintain it
the museum is not long for this world. I've seen it several times now and know enough that they are transitory at best unless they're government supported. Even that isn't an iron clad guarantee...The lack of a properly formed and funded umbrella legal entity over Littlefield's collection is as much to blame for its demise as his passing.

Jerry
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Old 07-07-2023, 03:06 PM
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I remember the auction, specifically the PzIV and the Famo, and I've seen the episode of strange inheritances. Like a lot of people, I didn't know anything about the collection until after he had passed. Whenever there's that kind of money involved bad things are going to happen somewhere along the line. I really hope the museum does well and prospers but I won't be at all surprised if it fails, as much as it pains me to say that.

The museum is a long way for you to travel, Jerry. I think if I lived where you do, at least once I would want to go there by train. We took the train from Detroit to LA when I was just a kid in the 60s, and that trip is some of my clearest childhood memories. There's just something about a train trip. I've taken a few since, but none that long.
Old 07-07-2023, 03:32 PM
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That episode was such a false presentation of the truth from what I have been told from people that were his friends and told me the dirty details.
now sadly the only west coast armor museum is gone back east.
Old 07-07-2023, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by RichJohnson
That episode was such a false presentation of the truth from what I have been told from people that were his friends and told me the dirty details.
now sadly the only west coast armor museum is gone back east.
I've heard of that series however I don't recall ever watching any episode. Did they do one specifically on Littlefield's collection as a 'strange' inheritance?
Old 07-07-2023, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Tanque
I've heard of that series however I don't recall ever watching any episode. Did they do one specifically on Littlefield's collection as a 'strange' inheritance?
Actually I asked and answered my own question after a search session.

I will not say another word. Ever.

Jerry
Old 07-07-2023, 10:06 PM
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From what I know, AAF was started by William Gasser, and his two sons have carried on their father's legacy as long as they could. That's already one generation better than Littlefield managed, and I'm grateful to have enjoyed the collection a few times.
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Old 07-08-2023, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Tanque
Actually I asked and answered my own question after a search session.

I will not say another word. Ever.

Jerry
There's a channel I get from the internet on my smart TV called Tubi that has the entire series. I re-watched the Littlefield episode last night, it's called "Tanks a Lot". Good show, but I can't say how accurate they are. I'm still hoping someone that knows will watch it and let us know how much they got right. When it comes to TV it's all about money and they'll distort the truth if it raises the bottom line. TV is why they say, "Never believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see."

Also, I heard back from AAF and she said right now they have no plans to tear down the battlefield. I asked to be informed if they decide to sell any or all of the battlefield, and I also asked to be informed if any of the AAF vehicles end up somewhere that I might be able to visit one day, and I also asked if any AAF stuff would be going to the Littlefield collection. Now we wait and see.
Old 07-08-2023, 01:08 AM
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It's also sad that the children of Littlefield knew how much the collection meant to him and yet meant nothing to them. I think if he thought his children would maintain it, he would've kept it in the family.
Old 07-08-2023, 05:24 AM
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That's too bad it's closing. I visited the museum for the first time in 2003 while vacationing in the area. In 2004 I attended a battle day weekend and had a great time. Met a lot of good people and have followed posts on this forum since. I lived in Connecticut at the time and the drive was about 14 hours, I'm in New Hampshire now so it's even farther. The main reason I haven't visited or attended a battle day since. I wish the best to all the staff and volunteers in their future endeavors.
That's me in the Panzer IV on my 2003 visit, man was that fighting compartment small!

Last edited by Tankhobby; 07-08-2023 at 05:28 AM.

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