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What is the Missiles and More Museum?

Ben Steelman

The Missiles and More Museum at 720 Channel Blvd., Topsail Beach [Map this], is where the action was. Here, in 1947 and 1948, more than 200 experimental two-stage rockets were assembled for launch off the island as part of “Operation Bumblebee,” a top-secret program of the U.S. Navy and Johns Hopkins University. The 18-month program contributed to the development of U.S missile technology and the evolution of the supersonic jet engine.

Today, the museum contains artifacts relating to Operation Bumblebee, including an actual missile that washed ashore on a nearby beach in 1994. The museum also offers material on other aspects of local history, including Camp Davis, the massive World War II anti-aircraft training base operated by the U.S. Army in nearby Holly Ridge, as well as the U.S. Army’s wartime presence in nearby Hampstead.

The Topsail Missiles and More Museum, 720 Channel Blvd., Topsail Beach [Map this], will reopen April 6, 2009. Its hours will be 2-4 p.m. Monday-Friday until Memorial Day weekend. It will then be open 2-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday until Labor Day weekend. After Labor Day, its hours will revert to 2-4 p.m. Monday-Friday until it closes for the season in mid-October. Admission is free. For information, call the museum at (910) 328-8663

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