Home Arts & Leisure Danbury’s U.S. Military Museum shuts down after 22 years

Danbury’s U.S. Military Museum shuts down after 22 years

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The U.S. Military Museum in Danbury has closed after 22 years. The Museum of American Armor in Old Bethpage, Long Island, has been gifted the museum’s collection of 10,000 artifacts.

U.S. Military Museum danbury
An M-47 medium tank that was on display at the Danbury museum.

Originally called the Military Museum of Southern New England, the U.S. Military Museum focused on 20th century combat, with a collection that encompassed an M18 Hellcat tank destroyer, plus uniforms, military equipment, armored vehicles, uniforms and photographs.

“The strength of our exhibits and the underlying mission have never wavered,” said Al Barto, secretary of the U.S. Military Museum. “From its first day to its last, this museum has been about paying tribute to the American G.I. and our defense of freedom. This is a difficult decision for us, but it was made with considerable care to ensure that the legacy of the U.S. Military Museum lives on by gifting our assets to the Museum of American Armor on Long Island.”

The U.S. Military Museum at 125 Park Ave. was founded by John Valluzzo, who served in the U.S. Army during the late 1950s and self-funded the museum from his real estate business.

In May 2013, Valluzzo was shot and killed by police who responded to a domestic dispute call at his Ridgefield home involving Valluzzo and his girlfriend. Police stated the 75-year-old Valluzzo was armed with a handgun. A subsequent investigation determined Valluzzo’s gun was unloaded, but a state attorney’s report cleared police officer Jorge Romero, who fired the fatal shots, of wrongdoing.

Valluzzo’s ex-wife Cynthia Kasper filed a lawsuit in the fall of 2015 to evict the museum from its Danbury location, but the museum was able to remain open until last month.

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Phil Hall's writing for Westfair Communications has earned multiple awards from the Connecticut Press Club and the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists. He is a former United Nations-based reporter for Fairchild Broadcast News and the author of 10 books (including the 2020 release "Moby Dick: The Radio Play" and the upcoming "Jesus Christ Movie Star," both published by BearManor Media). He is also the host of the SoundCloud podcast "The Online Movie Show," co-host of the WAPJ-FM talk show "Nutmeg Chatter" and a writer with credits in The New York Times, New York Daily News, Hartford Courant, Wired, The Hill's Congress Blog, Profit Confidential, The MReport and StockNews.com. Outside of journalism, he is also a horror movie actor - usually playing the creepy villain who gets badly killed at the end of each film.

1 COMMENT

  1. If you have donated any items to this museum and are currently looking to find out what happened to them now that it’s closed, contact the CT Dept of Consumer Protection Charity Unit at 860-713-6180 and report your concern.

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