Galveston Naval Museum (GNM), home of the World War II fighting vessels USS Stewart and USS Cavalla, will have an all-new Women of World War II exhibit opening to the public on Sunday, March 19, 2023.
A private unveiling reception will be held at the museum on Saturday, March 18 at 6pm that will also feature the debut of an all-new image and rebranding campaign. Together, these new and exciting changes seek not only to propel the museum’s longstanding mission, but to also celebrate the recent resurgence and forward vision of this once-forgotten institution.
The Women of World War II exhibit, debuting in March in honor of International Women’s Month, is a moving and inspirational tribute that examines the history of World War II through the eyes of the fearless women who broke through societal barriers and in turn, wielded an enormous contribution to Allied victory.
“My grandmother was a Rosie, and both of my grandfathers served overseas during World War II, so the museum and particularly this aspect of history have always resonated with me,” says Kimber Fountain, board member and curator of the exhibit.
“My hope in illuminating these stories is to celebrate an often-forgotten piece of World War II history and to inspire visitors with these stories of enormous bravery and sacrifice, especially by people whose abilities were so underestimated at the time.”
Featured stories and photographs span the globe and highlight nearly every capacity in which women served, both civilian and military, from “The Rosies” who worked in munitions and industrial factories across the United States, to the women who served as covert agents, war correspondents, and informants in war-torn Europe.
Other highlights include courageous nurses and an array of other servicewomen, local Galveston women who served the war effort, as well as shipbuilders who helped construct the museum’s own USS Stewart.
Women of World War II is the first exhibit of its kind at Galveston Naval Museum and serves as a remarkable illustration of the renewed, far-reaching vision of the museum’s current Board of Directors.
This vision is further demonstrated in GNM’s new look which will debut on March 18 with the exhibit. Chairman and CEO Brian Abugel has sought to develop an image of the museum befitting its unique place in the ship museum community and to reflect the honor of a site dedicated to the memory of servicemen and women.
“Our goal with the new imagery is to inspire our patrons to reflect not only on what was, but what can be,” Abugel notes. “We wish to leave our visitors with a profound sense of the determination, resolve, and ‘can do’ attitude required to win the Second World War.”
The new logo was created by artist and graphic designer, Chad LeBlanc, and inspired by the unique juxtaposition of the USS Cavalla and USS Stewart berthed next to each other at the museum, which together tell both sides of a compelling story - the hunter and the protector.
Cavalla is known as the “Avenger of Pearl Harbor” by sinking the Japanese Carrier Shokaku, that launched planes against Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and Stewart represents a class of ship whose job it was to protect convoys and troop carriers, once battling the largest battleship ever built in the Battle of Samar.
Galveston Naval Museum is located at Seawolf Park on Pelican Island at 100 Seawolf Park Blvd., Galveston, TX 77554, open seven days a week from 9am-5pm. For more information visit www.GalvestonNavalMuseum.com.