The Museum's exhibits display the story of Texas Military Forces from 1823 and the first militia musters in Stephen F. Austin's Colony to the present day. The role of the Texas Military Forces in both war and peace is highlighted with a focus on four major topics
- Militia and volunteer units formed in Texas during the 19th Century, including the Texas Revolution, Mexican War, Indian Wars, War Between the States and Spanish-American War
- The Texas Army National Guard from its creation in 1903 to the present, including those periods when it was called into Federal service during World War I, World War II, and the Global War on Terror.
- The story of the Texas Air National Guard, from its origins to involvement in the Korean War, the Cold War, Operation Desert Storm and the War on Terror.
- The history of the Texas Defense Guard and the Texas State Guard
The museum has five major exhibit areas, each of which highlights different parts of the Texas Military Forces story.
Gallery 1- 1823 to Spanish American War
Items of special interest include: Replicas of the Twin Sisters cannon used at the Battle of San Jacinto; dioramas of the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto during the Texas Revolution, the Wilderness and Palmetto Ranch during the Civil War. The battle flags of the 10th Texas Cavalry (dismounted); weapons, uniforms and equipment from the Spanish-American War, the War Between the States and the Texas Revolution.
Gallery 2- Cold War to Global War on Terror
Gallery 2 is the newest exhibit gallery in the museum and was opened on September 11, 2012. The exhibit covers the story of the Texas Military Forces from the end of World War II to the present. This 2,500 square foot space details the history of the 49th Armored Division, The Texas Air National Guard in the Korean War, the history of the Texas Army National Guard Airborne units, the role of the Texas Military Forces in the Cold War and various peace keeping as well as training missions with strategic partners around the world. The heart of the exhibit is the participation of the Texas Army and Air National Guard in the Global War of Terror-including thier multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan as well as Homeland Security Missions and Disaster Reposnse Missions. Texas has the second largest National Guard force in the country and no state has sent more of its troops to Southwest Asia than Texas.
Among the artifacts on display- a portion of the Berlin Wall, and Improvised Explosive Device(IED) training aid, uniforms and equipment worn by Texas National Guard soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, the helmet worn by the first Texas Army National Guard soldier killed in combat since World War II and his shrapnel riddled Humvee window, captured enemy weapons, a 1/4 scale F-16 jet, patches worn by the Texas Air National Guard pilots who escorted Air Force One on September 11, 2001 and much more.
Lost Battalion Gallery
The Lost Battalion Gallery includes : A video documentary recounting the story of the unit, complete with first person accounts of the ordeal by those who survived; a model of the Bridge Over the River Kwai; artifacts used by the battalion members during their imprisonment; and a samurai sword surrendered by the commandant of one of the POW camps when it was liberated
Among the artifacts on display are: a Model 1901 Escort Wagon; a WWI Liberty Truck; model 1917 machine gun carts; 40mm Bofors AA gun; an M3A1 Stuart Tank; an M4A3 (105) Sherman Tank; an M4 Halftrack, a Kiowa Helicopter; a Cold War-era Mess Truck; L4 Piper Cub Observation Plane; an OH 23 "Raven" helicopter; the entire family of jeeps from World War II through the Cold War; a staff car used by the Adjutant General of Texas throughout the 1970s and 80s; Russian, Japanese, German and Italian anti-aircraft guns; an M29 Weasel; a Quad-50 AA gun; several WWII era German vehicles including a kubelwagens, a SdKfz 251 halftrack, and a "Hetzer" jagdpanzer 38.
World War II Pacific Theater Exhibit
The Texas National Guard fought in every theater of World War II. Although the role of the 36 th Infantry Division in Europe usually garners the most attention, the Texas Guard units that fought in the Pacific made equally outstanding records. The newest exhibit in the museum's Great Hall focuses on the history of the 112th Cavalry Regiment and the 124th Cavalry regiment. Serving under General Douglas MacArthur in the Southwest Pacific, the 112th fought its way from New Britain, through New Guinea into the Philippines and was among the first units to occupy Japan . The 124th served in the China-Burma-India Theater of War, making an epic march through mountainous jungles before fighting a vicious battle to drive the Japanese off the Burma Road. Dramatic photographs, displays of weapons, bugles, saddles, radios and other objects used by the two regiments from the 1930s through World War II highlight the exhibit, alongside a 75mm pack howitzer and full scale examples of the uniforms and equipment of mounted Texas Cavalrymen at the start of the war.
Air Guard Gallery
Texas Air National Guard Gallery -
On display in this gallery you will find : Radio equipment used by the TXANG from WWII to the 1980's; Flight Helmets and Flight Suits; an F-16 jet engine; models of all the aircraft flown by the Texas Air National Guard throughout its history; a corner stone from one of the first hangars belonging to the TXANG; Survival gear and weapons; artifacts related to the operations of the Texas Air Guard in the Cold War and Operation Desert Storm; a special exhibit on George W. Bush in the Texas Air Guard; WWI and WWII practice bombs .
36th Division Gallery
Among the many highlights in this gallery are: a display commemorating members of the division who earned the Medal of Honor during World War II; an exhibit telling the story of the Choctaw Code-talkers of World War I; a complete field surgeons kits used by Captain William H. Ogden while serving with the division in the First World War; uniforms and weapons used by American Doughboys during World War I; dioramas depicting the 36th Division's amphibious assault at Salerno, Italy, the battle of the Rapido River, the breakout from the Anzio beachhead at Velletri and the Invasion of Southern France; uniforms, weapons and radio equipment used by American GIs during World War II; film footage of the Battle of San Pietro; artifacts used by American POWs; special exhibits on the 111th Medical Battalion, the 111th Engineers, the 753rd Tank Battalion and the 636th Tank Destroyer Battalion; the regimental silver of the 142nd Infantry Regiment --- made out of silver objects looted by the Nazis and captured by the regiment when it overran a German supply convoy late in the war; souvenirs brought home by members of the division including a wooden Nazi eagle taken from the castle of Hermann Goring, a cap belonging to Field Marshall Erwin Rommel's found in Rommel's home when it was used as a battalion headquarters by the 141st Infantry Regiment and an award presented to Max Amin, publisher of Mein Kamp and Nazi Party member number 3, on his 50th birthday; weapons and uniforms used by the men of the 36th Infantry Division during the Cold War.
Armor Row and the Artillery Park
On Armor Row you will stand in front of: an MGR-1B Honest John tactical nuclear missile; M24 Chaffee light tank; M26 Pershing tank; M48 Patton tank; M60, M60A1 and M60A3 Patton tanks; M1 Abrams tank; M577A2 Command Post Carrier; M75, M59, M113A2 Armored Personnel Carriers; M84 Mortar Carrier; M114 Command and Reconnaissance Carrier; M901A1 Improved TOW Anti-tank Combat Vehicle; M106A1 Mortar Carrier; M981 Fire Support Team Vehicle (FIST-V); LT-LB Soviet Multi-purpose Tracked Vehicle captured in Operation Desert Storm; M578 Light Recovery Vehicle; M919 Mobile Concrete Truck; M105A2, M149A2 and XM107E1 trailers; M728 Combat Engineer Vehicle (CEV) and a D7F Bulldozer.
Along Artillery Park you'll see: an M7 Priest self-propelled gun from WWII and an M7B1 from the Korean War; a M56 "Scorpion" self-propelled gun; M42 "Duster" self-propelled AA gun; M110A2 8-inch self-propelled heavy howitzer; M108 self-propelled howitzer; M44 self-propelled howitzer; French 75mm mountain howitzer; Pak/38 German anti-tank gun; M101 105mm U.S. howitzer; WWI Field Artillery Caisson for the famous French 75; Model 1902 3-inch Field Gun (U.S.); American M5A1 3-inch anti-tank gun; Flak 38 German AA gun; German 10.5 cm light field howitzer; M1A1 4.5-inch Field Gun (U.S.) and a Soviet M1938 122mm howitzer.
Visit the parade ground to see: an F-16, F-86D "Saber" fighter jet; an F4C Phantom II fighter-bomber; an AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter; UH-1M and UH-1H Huey utility helicopters; an M2 155mm "Long Tom" gun (U.S.) from WWII and a Soviet M1946 130mm Field Gun captured in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm.
View our slide show with descriptions of many of our outdoor exhibits.
The Museum is currently undertaking a major expansion, modernization and renovation which will lead to the creation of a state-of-the-art exhibit. This ambitious master plan will vastly expand both the quality and scope of the current exhibit, making it a worthy tribute to the men and women who have worn, and who wear, the uniform of the Texas Military Forces.
Our exhibits change and are updated frequently, so visit often!
Acquisition of Artifacts - We encourage the donations of private collections by former members of the Texas Army and Air National Guard, and the Texas State Guard. Contact the Museum Registrar, Lisa Sharik, at 512-782-5394, for information.