People relive history with Hastings Museum WWII Bus Tours

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - In honor of Veterans Day, the Hastings Museum took people on a trip back in time for their annual WWII Bus Tours.

The Hastings Museum had their annual WWII Bus Tours Sunday. People toured the former Naval Ammunition Depot in Hastings as part of the event. (Source: Kelsey Dickeson, KSNB)

A tour group boarded a bus headed toward the former Naval Ammunition Depot Sunday afternoon at the museum.

Some tour guests have their own family ties to the facility.

"My dad worked out there during the war," said Jim Perdew, tour guest.

Perdew's grandmother and grandfather also worked at the NAD early in the Korean War. His wife, Sherill Perdew, also had family at the old plant. She said her dad worked there back in the day.

"When it closed down in 1966 that sent my family then to McAlester, Oklahoma," said Sherill Perdew.

The purpose of the tour is two-fold. It's an educational experience, but also a chance to thank our veterans, and remember the people who didn't actively serve, but helped in the war effort.

"The Hastings Naval Ammunition Depot employed lots of civilians. It wasn't really a military base that you would think of with lots of enlisted people. It was predominately civilians supervised by the military," said Teresa Kreutzer-Hodson, curator of collections at the Hastings Museum.

Kreutzer-Hodson was also the tour guide for the bus ride. During the trip, she hit key areas of production at the NAD. They looked at the 40 mm and 20 mm areas, as well as the bomb and mine areas.

She also explained the social and economic impact the NAD had on Hastings both during, and after its operation.

"It's just part of our history. You would hear the stories from your parents and grandparents, but to be on site, it just makes it more real," Sherill Perdew said.

The Hastings Museum looks to expand on that history themselves. They plan on using funds from the half-cent city sales tax to expand their NAD exhibit.

The museum will have another WWII Bus Tour at 8:30 a.m. November 16. It's full right now, but you can be put on the waiting list. The next tour will be in June around Father's Day.