The Texas Military Forces Museum
Texas Military Forces Museum is a museum that showcases American and Texas military history. It has more than 15,000 square feet of space with 3 rooms of exhibits containing weapons, uniforms, flags, and other memorabilia from the Civil War to Vietnam. This Greater Austin, Texas museum also houses a theater where visitors can watch videos about various wars in which Texans served.
What's the history of the museum?
The museum has a long and proud history. The origin of the Texas Military Forces Museum dates back to 1891 when Governor James Stephen Hogg ordered that captured Mexican military arms be displayed at Camp Howze in Gainesville, TX. Over time additional weapons were added as well as uniforms and other artifacts until they became known as the “Mexican Museum.” Governor Pat Neff continued the tradition of preserving military history by adding additional arms and weapons to the museum. In 1922, Camp Howze has renamed Fort Sam Houston in honor of Texas’ “First Citizen” Samuel Hamilton Walker.
The Mexican Museum became known as the “Samuel M. Whiting Memorial Museum,” which remains part of the current collection. In 1981, the museum was named to honor Brigadier General Earl Rudder and in 1989 it became a part of The Texas Military Forces Museum System through House Bill #424 by Governor William P. Clements Jr.
What to see and expect inside the museum?
Museum exhibits begin with a chronological look at the history of the military force in Texas. Beginning with those forces that fought against Mexico and moving through to those who died fighting for freedom during World War II, visitors learn about their equipment as well as how they were used. In addition to these displays are tanks, helicopters, planes, and other vehicles that were used during the Vietnam War.
Weapons on exhibit include pistols, rifles, and cannons. As well as the display of guns is a section on swords and knives that were used throughout history by both military forces and civilians alike. Each weapon tells part of Texas’ story through not only its past but also how it was made.
The museum has a collection of tanks, helicopters, and planes used during the Vietnam War in addition to weapons like pistols, rifles, and swords on display inside the museum.
How to visit?
The museum can be found inside Austin’s Camp Mabry and is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM. you can also visit their website at http://www.texasmilitaryforcesmuseum.org/ to know more information about schedules and special exhibits.