Museums Highlight San Antonio's Military History

By Hanson, Shannon | VFW Magazine, August 2003 | Go to article overview

Museums Highlight San Antonio's Military History


Hanson, Shannon, VFW Magazine


Two museums at an Army post just a few miles from downtown offer items of interest to everyone.

VFW visitors to San Antonio will have plenty of things to see and do in the city. For those who are interested in history, nearby Fort Sam Houston offers two museums that anyone would enjoy.

Tracing its roots back to 1876 when construction on the area first began, Fort Sam Houston today is the home of the Fifth Army and the Army Medical Command. Its many historical buildings are still in use, but a few are open to the public, including the ones that house the Fort Sam Houston Museum and the Army Medical Department Museum.

Established in 1967, the Fort Sam Houston Museum tells the story of the fort and the Army in San Antonio from 1845 to the present. Its exhibits are displayed in chronological order, highlighting various periods of development. Some of these periods include the post's military origins, the birth of military aviation, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf War.

Examples of uniforms, photographs, equipment and related memorabilia are included from each period. Some of the specific exhibits include The Buffalo Soldiers, Death and Disease on the Frontier, Border Patrol, Pershing and the Punitive Expedition and The Philippine Scouts.

An audio-visual presentation runs continuously, and a popular museum feature is "Frontier Facts and Indian Wars in Texas: 1848-88." Also available is a pamphlet describing a self-guided tour of the fort's historic sites.

For more information on the Fort Sam Houston Museum, call (210) 221-1886 or visit www.cs.amedd.army.mil/dptmsec/fshmuse.htm.

'Service Above Self'

The other museum on the post is the Army Medical Department Museum. Originated as part of the Army's Field Service School at Carlisle Barracks, Pa. …

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