Salerno Italy, September 9, 1943- Operation AVALANCHE-The first Allied landing on the continent of Europe with the 36th Infantry Division, British 8th Army and later 45th Infantry Division. Over the objections of his naval task force commander, Fifth Army commander, Lt. General Mark Clark vetoed a pre-invasion bombardment in favor of a surprise landing. Unfortunately the Germans were well aware where the 36th Infantry Division was landing. Landing craft carrying the first waves of he 141st Infantry Regiment and the 142nd Infantry Regiment were 300 yards offshore at 3:15 am when German shells began falling. Landing craft took direct hits spilling men into the seal. Disabled boats created a logjam. Machine gun fire greeted the men who made it to the beach. At 5:30 am much needed artillery was landed, the 155th Field Artillery and Cannon Company,143rd Infantry Regiment repulsed an armored attack. Over the next 6 days, the German commander Kesselring brought in reinforcements and almost pushed the American and British troops back. But Allied air superiority, superb Naval gunnery, and the tenacious infantry finally drove the Germans back. Salerno was secured.This painting titled “Tip of the Avalanche” by Keith Rocco is part of the National Guard Heritage Painting series. The original hung in the museum for several years before being returned to the National Guard 2 years ago

Salerno Italy, September 9, 1943- Operation AVALANCHE-The first Allied landing on the continent of Europe with the 36th Infantry Division, British 8th Army and later 45th Infantry Division. Over the objections of his naval task force commander, Fifth Army commander, Lt. General Mark Clark vetoed a pre-invasion bombardment in favor of a surprise landing. Unfortunately the Germans were well aware where the 36th Infantry Division was landing. Landing craft carrying the first waves of he 141st Infantry Regiment and the 142nd Infantry Regiment were 300 yards offshore at 3:15 am when German shells began falling. Landing craft took direct hits spilling men into the seal. Disabled boats created a logjam. Machine gun fire greeted the men who made it to the beach. At 5:30 am much needed artillery was landed, the 155th Field Artillery and Cannon Company,143rd Infantry Regiment repulsed an armored attack. Over the next 6 days, the German commander Kesselring brought in reinforcements and almost pushed the American and British troops back. But Allied air superiority, superb Naval gunnery, and the tenacious infantry finally drove the Germans back. Salerno was secured.
This painting titled “Tip of the Avalanche” by Keith Rocco is part of the National Guard Heritage Painting series. The original hung in the museum for several years before being returned to the National Guard 2 years ago

Two early aviation photos from the Texas Air National Guard files. The first shows a group likely from the 36th Division Aviation in the 1940’s They appear to have 30 caliber machine guns meant for use in air craft and a fair amount of ammo!

The second photograph taken 1921-1929 shows on the left: Lt. Edward V Harbeck
Center: Major Bernard Law who served as CO of the 111th Observation Squadron
on the Right: Oscar Holcome during his first term as Mayor of Houston.

One of the exhiibts you can see here at the museum is the Joseph A. Massaro Insignia Collection. Massaro a career officer, collected over 11,000 Distinctive Unit insignias during his lifetime. They were put on loan to the museum after his death. You can find this impressive display in the “Massaro Room”.

Pictures from our Hands on History event-August 16, 2014

Victory over Japan Day- September 2, 1945
While the Japanese surrender was announced on August 14, 1945, it wasn’t until September 2nd that the representatives from Japan and the Allied Nations met to formally sign the Japanese Instrument of Surrender. That day, sixty-nine years ago, officially brought an end to World War II. This picture of the signing, taken on the deck of the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, Japan, shows General MacArthur signing with General Wainwright, who surrendered the Philippines, and British Lt. General Percival, who surrendered Singapore, standing behind him.
The other picture shows Brig. General Cunningham, Commander of the 112th Regimental Combat Team and Occupation Force Commander, conferring with Japanese surrender envoys aboard the fleet flagship, seated left to rights are BG Cunningham, Baron Miyashi and several other Japanese officers from the Tateyemke beach garrison. Taken September 3, 1945. The 112th was one of two former Texas National Guard Cavalry units which served in the Pacific theater.

The kids are heading back to school this week both younger students and those bound for college. On that topic- Here are 2 more pictures from the scrapbook which came in last week. One shows a college “dorm room” from 1916 from Texas A & M C otherwise known as Texas Agricultural and  Mechanical College which is just known today as Texas A&M. Take a look at the items displayed on the walls, flags, 1916 pin ups and a shoe! Not sure what the shoe is about.

 I believe the other picture is of the cadets at Texas A&MC but I am not sure. It could also be from a military prep school before he entered Texas A&MC. 


Long out of print, From Texas to Rome is the diary of Major General Fred Walker, commander of the 36th Division from Sept 1940 to July 1944. The Texas Military Forces museum has teamed up with Savas Beatie publisher to offer an ebook version for sale, with 45 percent of the proceeds going to the museum foundation. This is a must read… Well-written, compelling, insightful…. You can’t understand the history of the division or the Texas Military Forces without reading this book. You can order at the link below.

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=ynAbBAAAQBAJ&rdid=book-ynAbBAAAQBAJ&rdot=1&source=gbs_vpt_read&pcampaignid=books_booksearch_viewport

A couple of great pictures from a recently donated scrapbook. They show a train with 36th Infantry Division soldiers on their way home after WWI. Date is likely May/June 1919. Note the T-Patch drawing on the rail car.

Hands on History event is tonight! You can pick up and handle original weapons from the Texas Revolution through a modern M4. Cost is $5 a person for anyone 6 and older. We hope to see you this evening. 
512-782-5659 for more information

Hands on History event is tonight! You can pick up and handle original weapons from the Texas Revolution through a modern M4. Cost is $5 a person for anyone 6 and older. We hope to see you this evening. 

512-782-5659 for more information

We are getting ready to catalog a photographic collection of over 100 pictures taken by Arthur Patterson, with Company L, 141st Inf. The pictures date from WWI. Here is a small sample of the collection

1. a great shot of a tent city 

2. Tom Miller Dam here in Austin, know as Austin Dam at the time

3. a mobile wine distillery in France

4. Co. L headquarters somewhere in France note the “t-patch”


5. One of the football games played by the 36th in France


6. a group of soldiers, mostly French at a shooting/rifle match