The Museum opened its doors in 1985 and is located inside the famous Ecuadorian vessel known as BAE Calderon, which was built in Port Glasgow (Scotland) in 1884 for the Chilean shipping company Adam Greulich of Valparaiso, which was called “Chaihuin” and was used as a tug boat until 1886 when president Placido Caamaño acquired it for the Ecuadorian Navy that turned the vessel into a Warship
BAE (Buque Armada del Ecuador, for its Spanish acronym) Calderon, bears that name since 1950 in honor of military from Cuenca Abdon Calderon, fighter and hero of the “Battle of Pichincha”. Before, the vessel was called “Cotopaxi” and was part of several activities and campaigns of the Ecuadorian Navy; the most important was the Combat of Jambeli, which took place on July 15,1941, during the war against Peru.
After serving the Navy tirelessly for a period of 70 years, the vessel abandoned the sea in 1957 and remained anchored in the Guayas River until 1961 when it was moved to the docks of the Navy Arsenal, currently Ecuadorian Naval Shipyards. In 1972 it was transferred by pieces to the Armada Nacional Park to become a “Memorial Museum” of the Ecuadorian Navy in 1985 that shows the roots and achievements of the Navy, which shaped the destiny of our country from the sea.
The Museum has several exhibition rooms:
Popa Room: Exhibits models of the combat, the weapons that were used, the commander’s cabin, distinctions and diplomas; photographs of the officials and the crew.
Proa Room: Pays tribute to the marines that participated in the air combat of 1941 called “Aviso Atahualpa”, who also served the country bravely against the Peruvian aviation and managed to countermeasure the attacks of July 23 of the same year.
Entrepuente Room: Exhibits a model that represents the Combat of Jambeli, also photographs of the crewmembers and the weapons used by The Ecuadorian Navy.
Puente de Gobierno Room: Has an exhibition that comprises a ship rudder, a magnetic compass from radio sending and receiving stations, navigation instruments.
Kitchen Room: Shows the kitchen of the ship where the meals were prepared, the pots and pans and other cooking implements.
The Museum also exhibits a 100-year-old flag; war reports; photographs of the ship; the cabin of Commander “Rafael Moran Valverde”; a logbook; diplomas awarded to the crew by the Ecuadorian Congress in 1961; a hat called “bicornio” that was part of the uniform of the officials; and a wooden chest of 1890 that was used to keep the flag and news guide of the time, which presents what happened between Ecuador and Peru.
Among the weapons, there are tactical machine guns, bombs and projectiles from the Peruvian aviation; Ecuadorian and Peruvian projectiles used during the naval combat of Jambeli, which were rescued by sailors in the year of 1952; Mauser riffles used by the crew of the Calderon Gunboat; two bow and stern cannons of 76/4; port and starboard cannons of 47/40 mm; and two antiaircraft Breda machine guns of 20 mm.
The visitor can experience a guided tour or he can do it by himself, since the Museum provides explanatory cards for each object.