Thursday, May 31, 2012

45th Infantry Division Museum is a wonderful surprise

 Just down the road from the Fire Fighter Museum is the 45th Infantry Division Museum, which we saw as we drove by. Orinda and Rick were amazed at the number of great exhibits on display -- and the fact that there is no admission charge.

 Outside the museum building is a large display area showing the many different vehicles used by the 45th over the years as well as many items of Oklahoma history. Here, Rick takes a look at at WWII 6x6 truck.

Orinda was impressed with this large battle tank. We were glad that this critter was not after us!

Rick liked this WWII amphibious "DUCK" vehicle that could run on land or water. Pretty versatile. 

Inside the museum building were many unique artifacts. The building was originally built by the CCC in the early 1930's and served a number of purposes including as the 45th Division's armory. 

The division was originally activated in 1923, although earlier components could be traced through Oklahoma's history. 
An interesting historical tidbit is the 45th's insignia seen above. Yes, the swastika, originally a native american symbol, was the division's symbol before WWII. After Hitler's rise to power, the swastika insignia was replaced by the Thunderbird seen in the bottom of the picture.

 The museum also had some very interesting items that actually belonged to Adolf Hitler. Captured by the division when they took over part of Berlin, these very rare items brought back a very dark time in history. This flag was Hitler's personal standard.

 The museum also has a large indoor exhibit of vehicles, all of which are in running condition. Rick was impressed with this collection of Jeeps.

Speaking of Jeeps, Orinda and Rick are looking at the original "jeep" which was a command vehicle seen here. Developed in the 1930's this was the forerunner of the modern jeep.

We were very impressed with the 45th Infantry Museum and heartily recommend it!