Victor Valley Museum has reopened as of March 24, 2021. The featured exhibit is “Military in the Mojave” with artifacts and stories of the role that local residents played during wartime, including Air Force Capt. Joseph C. McConnell, Jr. and Purple Heart recipient Army Lt. Manuel Rodriguez. Former Apple Valley resident Capt. McConnell, Jr. is the all-time No. 1 Jet Ace in American history, and was based at George Air Force Base. He flew F-86 Sabres in the Korean War and shot down 16 enemy MiG-15 fighter jets between January and May 1953. Capt. McConnell’s story was immortalized in the 1955 motion picture, “The McConnell Story,” starring Alan Ladd and June Allyson.
Lt. Manuel P. Rodriguez, an Oro Grande native, fought in World War II. In January 1942, he was killed in action during the Pacific Battle of Bataan in the Philippines. Lt. Rodriguez received the Purple Heart, American Defense Service Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Philippine Defense Ribbon, Philippine Presidential Unit Citation Badge and Marksmanship Badge.
Victor Valley Museum is located at 11873 Apple Valley Rd in Apple Valley. While in the red tier, a 25% capacity guideline will be followed, including temporarily modified hours from 11am until 4pm, Wednesday-Saturday.