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

Researching WWII US Military Service

The museum staff are often asked how to find out information about a relative who served in WWII. We  have put together a slide show with some useful information and links.

 

 

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Hands on History

Come see and handle some of the most famous weapons in military history. The Texas Military Forces Museum will be opening it’s gun vault up for one night- July 15, 2017 from 6pm to 9 pm.

Climb inside a M4A3 Sherman tank, a German Hetzer, WWII and post war era jeeps, a Kiowa and Raven helicopter, US and German halftracks and M113 and more.

Weapons from the Civil War through the War on Terror will be available to touch and pick up. Including all the standard infantry weapons and anti tank weapons: items like the M1863 Springfield, Krag-Jorgenson,Japanese type 99, BAR, German MP 40, Russian AK-47’s,M1-D sniper rifle, and many, many more. Uniformed reenactors will also be available to discuss the history of each weapon.

Tickets are $5 at the door ( children under 6 are free) Early Bird admission at 5 pm is just $10 , Museum Members are FREE. Not a Member but want to join? Join the Museum Foundation– All money benefits the Texas Military Forces Museum and its programs. cash or credit card accepted

There will be a food truck onsite and souvenirs will be available for purchase
For more information 512-782-5394

Hands on History Flyer

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Memorial Day

The museum will be open to the public on Monday May 29th from 10 am to 4 pm. No special events are planned on Monday but our Close Assault event will be held on May 27-28th.

Veterans

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Guns of 1863- Civil War Reenactment

The Texas Military Forces Museum will commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the end of the Civil War with a special program -The Guns of 1863- at Camp Mabry on May 16.  Visitors will get a chance to get an up close and personal look at how soldiers on both sides lived during the war, as well as see firing demonstrations of some of the Civil War’s most famous weapons. In addition the museum’s living history volunteers will explain the uniforms and equipment used by the troops, why they carried flags into battle and the role of drums and bugles in the war.  The intricate maneuvers of infantry formations on the battlefield will also be demonstrated. Showtime is at 1 pm but the camp areas will be open to the public from 9 am to 4 pm.

Civil-War-flyer

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Close Assault 1944

Remember the true meaning of Memorial Day with this stirring look back at World War II. Close Assault 1944 honors the service and sacrifice of America’s veterans by focusing on the history of the 36th Infantry Division of the Texas Army National Guard during World War II. The free program, now in its eighth year, features members of the Texas Military Forces Living History Detachment exhibiting the uniform and equipment worn by the American GI in the European Theater of the Second World War, as well as those of his German opponent. In addition, the two-day event will provide guests the opportunity to witness firing demonstrations of the most famous U.S. and German small arms of World War II, as well as see everything from tents and radio equipment to GI baseball gloves and mess kits and operational vehicles such as an M4 Sherman Tank, M3 Halftrack and Jeeps.

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The event will take place rain or shine and bleachers will be available for seating. Souvenirs and concessions will be available. Show times are at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. both days. The 45,000 square-foot Texas Military Forces Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the weekend and on Veteran’s Day as well. Both the program and admission to the museum are free.

 

Camp Mabry is open to the public and adults will need to show a valid photo ID such as a driver’s license or a military ID to come on post.

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WWI Service Records For Texas Now Online

Many, many years ago the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints came to the museum and made copies of our WWI service cards. They have finally put the cards up on their Family Search website in a FREE, Searchable database!

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A link to the cards is below. You do have to sign up for a free account to see the images but all they ask for is name, email, and birthdate. Without signing in you can still see name, dates and some other information but not unit information.

https://familysearch.org/search/collection/2202707

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Winter 2014/2015 Newsletter

The latest edition of the museum newsletter is now available to read: Winter 2014/2015 Newsletter  

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Camp Mabry Open House/Muster Day

Muster Day traces it’s roots back to when Texas was still a republic. In the early days, on an annual basis, the troops were ‘mustered’ or called to report.  Over the years, the mustering of the troops became obsolete. However, the Texas Military Forces Museum as part of the Texas Military Forces  yearly Open House at Camp Mabry, holds a Muster Day where reenactors of all periods from the Texas Revolution  through current times can display their historical uniforms, weapons and equipment and show them to the general public. In addition there is a large WWII battle reenactment each day at 2 pm. These battles feature  200 Allied and German soldiers recreating a WWII battle using original equipment, tanks, and weapons from the time period. This includes a fly over by AT-6 Texans as part of the battle. The museum will be open each day from 9 am to 5 pm.

Gates open at 8 am each day and close at 5 pm. As well as the museum events, there will be displays by the Texas Military Forces, helicopter demos, First Reponders, children’s activites, Vietnam Wall Memorial, and much, much more.

musterday schedule

mabry12 (2) mabry_memorial_16 Muster WWII_4

 

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Thank You

Thank you to everyone who came out and supported our 2015 Sweetheart Dinner and Dance. It was a great success. Thank you to everyone who donated an item for the silent auction:
Austin Catering
Belinda’s Hair Studio at Gallery of Salons
Bill and Tracie McMeans
Bill Harris
Bob and Jean Gates
Chez Zee
Great Hall Games
Joan Hunt
John Eli
Jordana at Vanity Salon
King’s Hobby Shop
Lisa Sharik and Kevin Stork
Mike Hall
Northwest Vet Hospital
Red’s Indoor Range South location
Starbucks
Tad Duart
Texas Hill Country Olive Company
Texas Hill Vineyards
The Quonset Hut
Tim Weitz
William Chris Vineyard

And a big thank you to our 2 corporate sponsors Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and DPR Construction. We hope to see you all next year.

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What is that?

The latest addition to the museum’s outdoor exhibit of armored vehicles has been turning heads and provoking puzzled expressions. “What is that thing?” is a common refrain. And for good reason! The vehicle in question is one of the rarest of World War II tanks – an Australian designed and produced Sentinel AC1 (Australian Cruiser tank Mark I). This is the only tank designed, developed and produced in Australia during World War II and one of only four known to exist.

Work on the Sentinel began during the dark days of November, 1940, when Hitler ruled most of the European continent and the British Empire with its commonwealths stood alone against the Nazis. The English 8th Army was in the midst of dramatic see-saw contest with the German Afrika Korps in Libya and American Lend-Lease supplies were only just beginning to flow to the embattled Allies. With the war in Europe going badly, an ever-more aggressive Japan was in the process of overrunning most of China and war in the Pacific loomed. Fearful of the possibility of a Japanese invasion, the Australians decided to develop their own tank. The result was the Sentinel.

There were several variants of the tank. The AC1 on display at the museum has a 2-pounder main gun, which was common on the Cruiser class of tanks used in the British Army. Secondary armament consisted of two .303 Vickers water-cooled machine guns (hence the oddly shaped gun mantlets in the bow and turret – each designed to encompass the water jacket of a Vickers). With 2.6 inches of armor on the front hull and the turret the Sentinel weighed 12 tons. It was powered by three Cadillac V8 330 horsepower engines that could move the tank at a top speed of 30 miles per hour. The tank had a five man.

The Sentinel was produced by the New South Wales Railway Company. This meant that the Australians slowed production of badly needed locomotives ¬in order to develop the capacity to build the Sentinel. They also experimented with diverse configurations of the vehicle by installing different guns and engines, but in the end only the AC1 was produced. By June of 1943, 65 Sentinels had rolled off the assembly line. However, by that juncture the European War had escalated into a World War with the German invasion of Russia and the Japanese attack on American, British and Australian territories in the Pacific.

With the U.S. in the war and American industry producing tanks, warships, aircraft, munitions and thousands of other items at a breath-taking rate, the need for Australia to build its own tanks disappeared. Indeed, America was making so many Sherman tanks it was able to supply not only its own needs but those of the Western Allies as well. In short, it became easier, quicker and cheaper for Australia to equip its troops with the Sherman than it would be to give them the Sentinel. So the New South Wales Railway Company was told to go back to building locomotives (themselves a vital wartime necessity) and the AC1 passed into obscurity. No Sentinel ever saw combat or deployed outside of Australia.

The Sentinel on display at the museum was purchased from a private collection by Wargaming, Austin which is part of the company that produces the popular World of Tanks and World of Warplanes multi-player online games. They placed the vehicle on loan to the TXMF Museum in October 2014 for an initial period of six months with the option to renew the loan as many times as they liked. We hope and expect that the Sentinel will be with us for quite awhile. But if you want to make sure you get an up close look at this unique and remarkable piece of history, come visit us before it goes away!
Sentenil 2  (2)

Sentinel 1 (2)

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