open: Tue.-Sun. 10am-4pm
tel: 512-782-5659

Brigadier General John C. L. Scribner Texas Military Forces Museum

The 45,000-square foot Texas Military Forces Museum explores the history of the Lone Star State’s militia and volunteer forces from 1823 (date of the first militia muster in Stephen F. Austin’s colony) to 1903 when the Congress created the National Guard. From 1903 to the present the museum tells the story of the Texas Army and Air National Guard, as well as the Texas State Guard, in both peacetime and wartime. The museum displays dozens of tanks, armored personnel carriers, self-propelled guns, trucks, jeeps, helicopters, jet fighters, observation aircraft and towed artillery pieces. Permanent exhibits utilize uniforms, weapons, equipment, personal items, film, music, photographs, battle dioramas and realistic full-scale environments to tell the story of the Texas Military Forces in the Texas Revolution, the Texas Navy, the Texas Republic, the Mexican War, the Battles along the Indian Frontier, the War between the States, the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, Peace Keeping Deployments and the Global War on Terror. Living history programs, battle reenactments and other special events take place throughout the year. Admission to the museum is always FREE.

Donations

The Texas Military Forces Museum has embarked upon an ambitious Master Plan to bring our facility into the 21st Century. Phase 1 is complete, and we have started a Capital Campaign to raise 4 million dollars to complete the remaining phases of the master plan and create a 1 million dollar operational endowment to ensure the museum’s ability to continue to operate as a state-of-the-art institution well into the future.
We accept donations of time and artifacts as well!

Research

The library and archives are open by appointment for research to all members of the public. The museum maintains an incredible archive of various materials including:carrigan
  • World War I Service cards for every Texan who served
  • Extensive research library
  • World War II card file for the 36th Infantry Division
  • Thousands of original documents from the Texas National Guard from 1910 to the present day
  • Photo archive of pictures related to the Texas Military Forces


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From our friends at the Texas Historical Commission. The WWI service card for Lt. Marius Chataignon and the WWII file card for then Lt. Colonel Chataignon are in the comments section below. For WWII he received not only a Legion of Merit, but an Italian Cross of War Merit and Bronze Star Medal. ...

Happy Birthday, Father Chat! On this #MarkerMonday, we celebrate the life of Marius Chataignon, who served his country and his fellow man as a priest and Army chaplain. Born in Cellieu, Loire, France in September 1886, he served in the French Army before immigrating to the U.S. in 1907. He went to seminaries in Baltimore, Maryland (St. Joseph’s) and La Porte, Texas (St. Mary’s), and was ordained in 1911 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Galveston, where he became assistant pastor. “Father Chat,” as he was affectionately known, served as a U.S. Army chaplain and first lieutenant during World War I, and became a liaison officer for his knowledge of the French countryside. He saw action in the Champagne and Muese-Argonne Offensives with the 36th Infantry Division. Chataignon next served in the Army Reserve, resumed his pastoral duties in Galveston and took a larger role in the community, organizing two Boy Scout troops and a children’s choir. He became pastor of Sacred Heart Church in 1924, and was instrumental in establishing Odin High School (later Kirwin High School) and became its first principal. Chataignon again served in the Army during World War II as Chief Chaplain of the II Corps of the Fifth Army in North Africa and Italy. In Sicily, he earned the nickname “Chaplain York” after 55 Italian soldiers surrendered to him. His Legion of Merit citation states that “realizing its importance as a morale factor, he saw to it that the solace of religious worship was made accessible to as many individuals as possible by arranging services for units under the most difficult battle conditions. Serving as Grave Registration Officer in addition to his other duties, he often led searching parties into mine-infested areas for the purpose of recovering bodies of men who died on the battlefield. He exerted himself to the utmost to ensure a fitting burial for the dead of both our own and enemy forces.” After the war he returned to Sacred Heart parish in Galveston, serving until his death in November 1957. Galveston’s Rosenberg Library has some of Colonel Chataignon’s military artifacts, including his bed roll, medals, and dog tags. An Official Texas Historical Marker for Chataignon was placed at the historic Sacred Heart Cathedral in 1991.

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This great picture of the French FFI came in yesterday from the family of Lt. Tintera who served with the 143rd Inf. late in the war. It was taken before he joined the 36th Infantry Division.

Text on the back says:
"FFI with Sten Guns, O3 rifles, and a B.A.R., converted German staff car. These boys were glad to see us."

Likely taken in Northern France between June 1944 and November 1944. The men look like they could have come from a movie set, there are so typically French. A great snapshot.
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The Texas Military Forces Museum updated their cover photo. ...

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This diorama in the museum represents the first mission of the Texas Air Natoinal Guard on 9-11 and includes artifacts from that mission. The rubble in the photo is from the damage done to the Pentagon that day.

MISSION NUMBER ONE
Escorting Air Force One
0930 Hours, 11 Sept 2001

When terrorists struck on the morning of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush was in Sarasota, Florida, to promote his education agenda. After learning of the attacks and holding a telephone conference with key administration leaders, the President left the school for the airport. At 9:57 a.m. Air Force One lifted off from Sarasota, reaching an altitude of 45,000 feet, it circled for 40 minutes while the President and his staff received more information and a debate ensued as to the plane’s destination.

The President wished to return immediately to Washington; but with the number of hijacked planes still aloft uncertain, the Secret Service insisted on executing Cold War-era contingency plans and flying the President to a secure location from which he could orchestrate the government’s response to an attack. The decision was made to proceed to Barksdale Air Force Base outside Bossier City, Louisiana, where Air Force One would refuel prior to flying to Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Nebraska – Headquarters of the Strategic Air Command and equipped with a secure command and control center designed to withstand an atomic blast.

At Ellington Field in Houston, Texas, the men and women of the Texas Air National Guard’s 147th Fighter Wing learned of the terrorist attacks like most of their fellow citizens – seeing it unfold on television. Assigned the mission of defending American air space, the 147th maintained two armed and fueled F-16 fighters on standby alert at all times. The pilots of those aircraft – Major Rolando Aguilar and Major Randy Roberts – were placed in their “battle stations” shortly after it became clear the nation was under attack. This meant they were sitting in their aircraft, strapped in and ready to go, but with the plane’s engines off.

After waiting in their cockpits for 90 minutes, the two fighters were ordered into the air, their Wing commander, Colonel Bob Spermo, telling them they were going to intercept a former member of the 147th. Just then Major Aguilar didn’t understand what that meant, but 15 minutes later, when he and Major Roberts spotted Air Force One flying over the Gulf of Mexico 50 miles southeast of the Louisiana coast, Aguilar understood. George W. Bush had been a pilot in the 147th during his time in the Texas Air National Guard.

Rendezvousing with Air Force One, Aguilar and Roberts escorted the President’s plane to Barksdale AFB. While Major Aguilar maintained a combat air patrol over the base, Air Force One and Major Roberts landed to refuel. Shortly after taking off from Barksdale for Offutt, two additional F-16s from the 147th arrived to join the escort mission. These fighters were flown by Major Shane Brotherton and Scott Grogg. Major Aguilar, too low on fuel to fly to Nebraska, returned to Texas, while the remaining three F-16s either swept the skies ahead of Air Force One or protected it from a chase position. At 3 p.m. the President’s plane touched down at Offutt.

President Bush was determined to get back to Washington, however, and after only an hour and a half on the ground, Air Force One took off for the capital – the fighters of the 147th escorted the Commander-in-Chief back to Washington, D.C., where Air Force One landed safely. With the President on the ground in the nation’s capital, the Texas Air National Guard had successfully completed its very first mission in the Global War on Terror. (2 photos)
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 a great shot of a tent city We’re on tumblr


Contact Us

Phone: 512-782-5659
Email: txmilmuseum@gmail.com
Mailing Address:
P.O Box 5218
Austin, Tx 78763

Come Visit

Here are detailed directions on how to get to the museum.

Living History/Reenactment

Nothing brings military history to life like hearing the sound of a machine gun, the boom of cannon, the rattle of musketry, the drone of aircraft engines or feeling the earth shake under you while a tank drives by. All of these experiences are available to visitors courtesy of the Texas Military Forces Museum Living History Detachment which conducts a series of battle reenactments, demonstrations, displays, parades and living history programs throughout the year to make history “come alive” for young and old alike.

The primary focus of the detachment is the 36th Infantry Division in World War II and the famous Texas Brigade during the War Between the States. However, the detachment also participates in World War I and Vietnam War events as well as other time periods.

The museum’s living historians travel around the country to take part in historic events, but the backbone of their schedule are three programs that take place on Camp Mabry each year: the Close Assault 1944 living history program which occurs over Memorial Day weekend and Veterans Day weekend and the annual Texas Military Forces Open House – Muster Day event during April.

To get involved with the museum’s living history program, check out the G Company brochure or The Civil War brochure.

To find out about upcoming events visit our events page.

From Our Newest Exhibit