Clewiston Museum Hosts WWII Boxcar Exhibit

It is currently part of an exhibition at the Clewiston Museum. While the old paint on the wood of the boxcar is still there, the stairs taking you to the entrance are silver and shiny. The car is now empty, but we know for sure that the wooden boxcar bears many secrets of the war and the struggle of those who once lived inside it and who died or were killed over 70 years ago.

The German troops used the boxcar during the Second World War and it often carried weapons, rations or sometimes wounded or dead soldiers. People will be able to learn more about the 1920s boxcar, beginning from Feb. 11 through 21.

Until now, it was only exhibited at the Holocaust Museum of Southwest Florida, located in Naples, but the Clewiston Museum decided that children, students and the entire community would love to bring this great exhibit to them, making it possible for them to learn more about its history. Also part of the exhibition will be three speakers, who will share their stories of the Second World War and the Holocaust on Feb. 20 and Feb. 21.  Two of them will be sharing their stories to students at Clewiston’s middle and high school, while Cesare Frustaci, a Hungarian born, will tell his story on Feb. 21 at 5:30 p.m., at the Clewiston Museum.

Inside the museum, people can find photographs and documents related to the war and the local soldiers who fought for their country. Up to 300 servicemen left Clewiston to go to war and sacrifice their lives for their nation’s freedom and for the freedom of the world, the Florida News reports.

More than 1,800 British servicemen completed their flying training to become air cadets in the Clewiston area where now are located the Airglades Airport and Skydive Spaceland. The trained at Riddle Field and most of the servicemen who completed their training there, went on to fly bombers. At that time, the life expectancy was very low for these soldiers and most of the times they only survived a maximum of 10 flying missions.

For those of you interested to see the boxcar, you can find it in the Museum’s parking lot .

For those of you interested to see the boxcar, you can find it in the Museum’s parking lot . The museum is open from  9 a.m. to 4 p.m, Monday through Friday, for those who want to learn about the Clewiston community, how it engaged in the war and how it was affected by it.


Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE