11111
open: Tue.-Sun. 10am-4pm
tel: 512-782-5659

Veteran’s Day

Again this year we will present out reenactment program- Close Assault 1944 over Veteran’s Day weekend. Showtimes are at 11 am and 2 pm each day- Saturday November 10 and Sunday November 11

World War I Gallery

Also this weekend we will open up our WWI gallery which is under construction. Although not completely finished you will be able to see a recreation of a Great War trench system, new and exciting artifacts, and hear the thunder of a WWI artillery barrage.

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Museum Store Sunday

The Texas Military Forces Museum will be one of 10 museum stores in Austin taking part in Museum Store Sunday on November 25, 2018. We will be offering 25% off everything in our gift shop on the 25th. You  can be entered in a prize drawing if you purchase items at 3 or more stores. See below for more details.

Press Release

November 1, 2018 – Austin, TX – The Austin Museum Store Collective has announced the local museums that will participate in the second annual Museum Store Sunday on Sunday, November 25.  Timed to the start of the holiday shopping season, Museum Store Sunday is a one-day event featuring special discounts, promotions, and giveaways at participating museum stores and gift shops.

More than 700 Museum Stores representing museums and cultural institutions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, ten countries, and three continents will offer sales and discounts as part of this year’s event, including these popular local destinations:

  • Blanton Museum of Art* (200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin, TX 78712)
  • Bullock Texas State History Museum* (1800 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701)
  • Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center* (4801 La Crosse Ave, Austin, TX 78739)
  • LBJ Presidential Library* (2313 Red River St, Austin, TX 78705)
  • National Museum of the Pacific War (340 E Main St, Fredericksburg, TX 78624)
  • Science Mill (101 South Lady Bird Lane, Johnson City, TX, 78636)
  • Texas Capitol Gift Shop* (1400 N. Congress Ave or 112 E. 11th Street, Austin, TX 78701)
  • Texas Historical Commission* (220 2nd Street, San Felipe, TX 77473)
  • Texas Military Forces Museum* (2200 W 35th St Building 6, Austin, TX 78703)
  • Thinkery* (1830 Simond Ave., Austin, TX 78723)

To celebrate Museum Store Sunday, several local venues will be offering 25% storewide discounts all day, with additional promotions and “flash” sales throughout. Patrons can review a complete list of sales and special offers at MuseumStoreSundayATX.com.

Visitors can also pick up a free Passport Card. Shoppers who get the passport stamped at three or more participating gift shops between now and Museum Store Sunday will be entered in a random drawing for an Austin museum prize package, valued at over $200, that includes free museum memberships and assorted merchandise.

“Museum Store Sunday gives people a chance to support local businesses, support the community through local non-profit museums, find unique holiday gifts, and enjoy an entertaining and educational experience at their favorite museums, all at the same time,” said Thinkery store manager Vanessa Smith. “We’re very pleased to partner with so many other wonderful local destinations to make this a fun and worthy option for Austin holiday shoppers and families.”

Holiday shoppers will find quality gifts filled with inspiration and educational value and, through their purchases, directly support their favorite museums.  Proceeds from purchases at museum stores support the missions and programming of those museums, and foster appreciation and knowledge of art, nature, culture, science, and history throughout our community.

Full details of the sales and discounts available locally can be found at MuseumStoreSundayATX.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/298321630764097/.  Shoppers are encouraged to share their favorite discoveries on social media using the hashtags #MuseumStoreSunday and #BeAPatron.

 

For more information, please contact Blair Newberry at (512) 721-0259 or blair@lbjfoundation.org.

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Amazon Smile

Purchase with purpose. Amazon donates to Texas Military Forces Museum when you shop for back to school supplies at Amazon Smile

Its back to school time and when you shop on Amazon for school supplies or anything else you can help out the Texas Military Forces Museum by choosing us when you shop on Amazon Smile. Just click on the link and sign with your Amazon ID. Then choose
“Texas Military Forces Museum” as your charitable organization. With any purchase your make Amazon will donate to the museum. Nothing is added to your total, the money is provided by Amazon.

So shop with a purpose and help support the Texas Military Forces Museum.

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Artifact Spotlight–Italian Coins

This small collection of coins was donated in 2001 and is part of the current museum staff’s ongoing effort to catalog previously unrecorded artifacts in the museum collection. The coins only had a donation date and that they were associated with a 36th Infantry Division soldier but they still have an interesting story to tell.

The top left coin is a 3 Grana coin dated 1810 and came from Naples, Italy.

The top right coin is a 3 Tornesi coin dated 1648 and came from the Neapolitan Republic.

The 2 bottom coins are both variations of the same Roman Republic coin and date from 200-100 BCE.

The front of the coins have Janus, the two faced god for whom January is named.

The back of the coins have a prow of a ship and this one has the visible letters ‘RD”, possibly for TVRD. The coin is a very thick bronze, 40mm. The other Roman Republic coin appears to be all copper.

The 3 older coins all have wear consistent with being buried. While we don’t know the exact story of these coins it is easy to image a 36th soldier resting in a field after the difficult landings at Salerno on September 9th 1943 and seeing something glint in the sunlight and picking up the 3 grana coin. Or during the long, wet winter of 1943/44 our soldier is digging a foxhole, trying to get a little cover from the constant artillery bombardment and finding one of the Roman coins buried in the dirt.

We don’t know why the soldier chose to keep these old coins; possibly as souvenirs to send home to a kid brother or sister or maybe his own young child, or maybe as a memento for his own collection or a sweetheart or wife back home. Did he feel a connection to those long ago Italians who had lived and maybe fought and died on the same soil? Was he injured? Did he make it back home or were these part of the effects sent back to the family of a fallen soldier. We will likely never know the answers to these questions but we can imagine the soldier and see him in films like “A Walk in the Sun” or “The Story of G.I. Joe” both of which were based on the 36th Infantry Division in WWII and we can remember his service and sacrifice told through the objects he left behind.

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Over There- 1918

To commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the 36th Infantry Divisions service in WWI we present “Over There-1918” A Living History program of the “Great War” experience of the US soldier.

On October 7, 1918, the newly created 36th Infantry Division entered combat for the first time as part of the French 4th Army, which was advancing on the left flank of the U.S. 1st Army during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.  Over the next 24 days the division would break the German lines near the village of St. Etienne and then pursue the enemy to Aisne River, where the 36th would smash a German bridgehead near Foret Farm.  On October 6-7, 2018 the Texas Military Forces Museum will commemorate the centennial of the 36th Infantry Division’s combat debut on the Western Front with a special WWI battle reenactment. This event will allow visitors to see some of the most common weapons of the First World War in action including a fully restored and operational F17 tank, a French 75 mm artillery piece, a U.S. 3-inch field gun, an MG 08 “Maxim” machine gun, an Austrian Schwarzlose machine gun and a variety of rifles and other weapons.  American, German and French troops using period equipment and wearing correct uniforms will demonstrate the tactics employed by the victorious Allied powers during the brutal final month of combat in the Great War. We invite you to join us as we recall the service and sacrifice of American doughboys in the “War to End All Wars.”

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T-Patch Etched Wine Glasses

T-Patch Etched Wine Glasses

Get your very own T-Patch etched wine glasses. These 8 ounce wine glasses feature the Distinctive Unit Insignia of the 36th Infantry Division the  “T-Patch”. The insignia was approved in January 1919 and features an arrowhead for Oklahoma and a T for Texas as the unit was originally made up of Texas and OK National Guard troops. These are limited edition and are only available for PICKUP at the museum. We will not be shipping these glasses.

Price is $10 per glass




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Giving Tuesday

Tuesday November 29th is #GivingTuesday. 

Please consider supporting the Texas Military Forces Museum on Giving Tuesday. The museum receives no money from the State of Texas other than the salary of the 3 staff members. All our operating money comes from the Texas Military Forces Historical Foundation, the 501 3C which raises money to support the museum.  Here is a link to their website where you can donate: Texas Military Forces Historical Foundation

 

You can also donate at our Facebook fundraiser: Facebook Fundraiser   This money will be doubled thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

We thank you for your support.

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Finding Clues in Old Photographs

People often do not realize how much information you can find in an old photograph. As you research your relative’s service keep this in mind.

The image above is of seated soldiers from WWII. On the front it nicely gives us a date of 9-1-43. When you look closer at the picture you see all the soldiers have patches for the Texas Defense Guard (TDG) this was a home guard ( which later became the Texas State Guard), and was comprised of men who were too old, too young for service, or for some other reason could not serve in the regular Armed Forces.
 

Looking closing at their collars and hats we see they are all wearing Marine Corps insignia (USMC). In addition behind the soldiers are 2 Marine Corps recruiting posters, which research reveals were produced in 1942/43. So this is a TDG “Marine” unit. During WWII the Defense Guard Marine unit was based in Houston, Texas.

 

Looking more closely at the individual soldiers we see that the 1st, 4th and 5th soldier from the left all have WWI victory ribbons on their uniform. The 1st soldier has a WWI victory medal with 2 bronze campaign stars and a number “2” during WWI there would have been campaign “bars” so this soldier has added WWII campaign stars to his WWI ribbon.

 
The second soldier from the left has on a cartridge belt with magazine pouch, all the other soldiers have standard belts.
 
The soldier in the center of the back row has a Medic/Red Cross patch on his lower left sleeve.
 
Many of the soldiers have visible rank patches ( mostly some grade of Sergeants)The soldier in the center front has a Lieutenant bar.
 
An finally not as useful but interesting on the side of the photograph are two motor oil cans “Conoco Motor Oil” and “Keystone”.
 

Someone did type information on the back of the photograph showing it was the 48th Bn, Marine unit from Houston with names. It must have been typed in late 1943 or after as they used the term “Texas State Guard” instead of “Texas Defense Guard”

 

So the next time you look at those old photographs get out the magnifying glass and take a real look- those small clues just might help you out in your search.

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Labor Day

The museum will be open to the public on Monday September 3rd- Labor Day.

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Souvenir Playing Cards

Souvenir Playing Cards are Here.

These custom decks feature scenes from our Living History events and the proceeds go to support the museum and its programs. Limited Edition set- Get yours today.

They can be picked up at the museum gift shop or purchased from the Texas Military Forces Historical Foundation online:


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