One of the largest private military vehicle collections is in Dubois Wyoming and the collector wants to make a museum for everyone to enjoy.
This collection started with one broken tank.
U.S. military enthusiast Dan Starks said, “It had been used as a target on a military firing range and I never imagined that somebody like me could buy one of those things and so it cost fifty thousand dollars to buy this 30 ton paperweight.”
Now, with, more than 70 military vehicles ranging from World War II-era to modern day tanks, Starks said it’s time to use the collection for education.
“We have now created one of the largest private collections of US military vehicles here in the United States and we’re looking forward to sharing this with anyone interested both to preserve history and especially on an educational basis for next generations to see the tools, the equipment and the environment that our veterans have served in.”
Starks' favorite pieces are those actually used in battle.
“The German flak-88 cannon that was captured by the allies in the battle of Normandy in 1944 and then I have an actual beach obstacle from Utah beach in D-day Normandy, to think that actual beach obstacle was on the beach with the Germans firing at the Americans landing on that beach and we actually had Americans taking cover behind that beach obstacle and now here it is in Wyoming.”
If you want to see some of the tanks before the museum opens, just attend the Dubois July Fourth celebration.
Tammy Lucas, Headwaters Arts Center Manager said, “He had a lot of tanks in the Fourth of July Parade and we had a lot of people stopping on the side of the road and taking pictures, a full museum would really help to make Dubois a destination for tourism.”
“The very first time we entered and participated in the parade there was a World War Two veteran who did not expect to see any World War Two tanks, you knew it was a world war two veteran he had to be in his 90’s, he went over to his pickup truck and started honking the horn and honking the horn, he was so happy to see World War Two history rolling down the main street of Dubois.”
Starks also recently bought a complete collection of every World War II military vehicle manuals; he said he’ll make into a military research library.
All the mannequins you see are wearing authentic uniforms obtained from the Normandy tank museum in France. The tank you saw driving down the road is being driven by none other than our Landon Harrar.