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First Florida Chapter MVPA 

Supply Line November 2002

MVPA's 10,000th Member - A Museum in the Making

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This article was written by club members Dick and Diane Deren #301 and published in the National MVPA Supply Line, November of 2002.

The MVPAs 10,000th member is John J. Piazza, Sr. and his Armed Forces Military Museum located in Largo, Florida.  John has been interested in military vehicles, equipment and memorabilia for over forty years, having attended military school and serving in the US Marine Corps.  He started his collection small with just a few shell casings and grenades, but it now ranges upward and includes tanks, trucks and missiles. Some of the items, such as a mortar, date back to the Spanish American War.  John, who manages to run a chain of retirement communities in his spare time, has a goal of displaying his collection in a permanent location in Pinellas County, Florida with free admission to all.  

At the present time items are stored in a warehouse and towed/ trailered/ trucked to schools, local exhibitions, veterans' events and parades. A 48 foot long trailer houses some of John's smaller memorabilia like insignia, bayonets, head gear, grenades, bombs, shells and gas masks, and this trailer is towed to various events where it is open to the public.

His collection of military equipment ranges from an M4lAl Walker Bulldog, an M-8 Armored Car, a 40mm Anti Aircraft Gun, a 75 mm Pack Howitzer to a 106 mm Recoilless Rifle mounted on an M38A1 jeep, but it doesn't stop there.  It also includes Sparrow, Falcon, Copperhead and various other missiles, all suitably “demilled”.

We welcome John Piazza to join us in our quest to preserve our nation’s military heritage.  John is a wonderful addition to our membership.  Welcome and keep up the good work.

If you would like to visit the Museum online, please go to http://www.armedforcesmuseum.com