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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A progress report on the restoration of the VH 34 helicopter transfered to the museum earlier this year. This is the helicopter which served as Army One for JFK for a time and later was used for LBJ after he returned to Texas. The restoration will be mostly exterior but they are redoing the seats to their original look. (4 photos) ...

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Continuing the story of the "Lost Battalion"- 1st Bn, 141st Infantry. Here are the reports for October 30, 1944, noting how bad the situation is for the soldiers. Finally at 1610 a patrol from the 442nd RCT makes contact with the weary soldiers and reportably the first thing Mutt Sakumoto, the first Japanese American to reach the trapped soldiers says is " Do you guys need any cigarettes?" ...

The 1st Bn, 141st Infantry had been cut off since Oct. 26, 1944. The messages for Oct. 30th indicate that the extent of their situation is just becoming known

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Early afternoon on Oct. 29th 1944-
at 1415 the soldiers of the cut off 1st Bn, 141st Infantry Regiment are asking for Halazone tablets and the 131st F.A. is preparing to fire shells loaded with the tablets to the stranded troops. Halazone tablets were used to purify water to make it safe to drink. The "Lost Battalion" soldiers did not have a good, clean source of water in the area.
At 1451 the 1st Bn soldiers are asked to send out a patrol to try and meet up with the 442nd RCT
at 1515 the 13st Field Artillery reports they received a message from the 1st Bn, that they received 3000 round of ammo for the M1 Garand, and 800 round for the M1 Carbine and that the men are in too poor a condition to mount a large patrol.
At 1645 the Lt. Blonder, the Forward Artillery Observer manning the radio for the "Lost Bn" group radios that a contact patrol was sent out but that "point 10" was mined. The Commanding General of the 36th Infantry Division (General Dahlquist) then radios in asking if point 10 is defended as well as mined. (2 photos)
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It is now mid morning on October 29, 1944. at 10:00 the G4 asks the Executive Officer (ExO) of the 141st if there was any message from the 1st Bn, 141st about the supply drop that morning. The ExO replies that they had received a message but that supplies were not mentioned.

At 10:20 the Commanding Officer of the 141st, sends a message to the cut off soldiers telling them that "Friends are on their way" and to "bury the dead and mark well" and that aircraft were due at 1015 to drop more suppies.

at 11:05 15 planes try and drop supplies to the Lost Battalion. They radio back that some supplies were received but that they need 610 batteries.

at 11:18 the S2 tells the 131st Field Artillery, who had been doing the mortar drops, that 610 batteries had been included in the supplies provided to them. The 131st replies that they will relay that message to the Lost Bn.

An interesting note -right below this at 11:25. The 442nd RCT, the Nesei Regiment which would eventually break through to the Lost Bn, notes that they have only advanced 500 yards since the day before. (2 photos)
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This week is the 70th Anniversary of the "Lost Battalion" episode-comprised mostly of 1st Bn, 141st Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division, they had been surrounded by German forces and cut off from the rest of the 36th. By today, October 29th, they had been cut off for 5 days. This page from the 141st journal has a radio message at 0750 stating that the 131st Field Artillery have begun shooting medical supplies to the Lost Bn. These supplies where put in mortar shells and fired towards the cut off troops. The area was very heavily wooded and the shells often fell short or landed in the German area. at 0915 they received a message from Lt. Erwin Blonder the Forward Observer assigned to the unit who manned the radio during the entire time they were cut off. He notes that they are currenlty "all okay" and asking about their friends. This is a request to know how close the reinforcements were. We will post some further radio messages throughtout today. ...

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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