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Museum Of The Pacific War, Fbg, Tx - My Weekend


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#1 dalbert

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 11:05 PM

I thought I would share some pictures from a 3-day weekend my family and I just returned from. We spent 3 days seeing the sights around Kerrville and Fredericksburg, Texas. For those of you who don't know, Fredericksburg is home to the Admiral Chester Nimitz Museum, and the George Bush Gallery of the National Museum of the Pacific War. Admiral Nimitz was from Fredericksburg, and his family operated a hotel there for many years that eventually became a museum in his honor. It later developed into the great museum that it now is with the addition of the George Bush wing about 5 years ago. If you have never been to Fredericksburg, it is a very fun German town with lots of history, and plenty of things to do. I've seen a lot of changes there over the years, and always love to go back there.

Here is a picture of part of the front of the George Bush wing:

user posted image

So that I can stay as "on topic" as possible, here is a picture of the only Thompson on exhibit at the museum. I believe there may have been another in the Nimitz part of the museum, but it is under renovation at the moment. The M1 in this picture is part of a Saipan exhibit, along with a Japanese Type 97 grenade, and a pair of children's slippers found on the beach where the invasion took place.

user posted image

I'm not going to post every picture as an active picture in this thread, but if you would like to continue on, I have provided links to see many more interesting weapons and artifacts from the museum.

This picture is of a gun sight from the #3 gun on the USS Ward. This sight was on the gun that fired the first shot of World War II on December 7, 1941, when a Japanese submarine was spotted off the coast of Oahu, and fired upon.

http://www.sturmgewe...ard_Gunsite.JPG

This photo contains a flight jacket and M1911 pistol from one of the pilots that participated in the Doolittle B-25 raid on Tokyo. I was very honored and privileged to have met General Doolittle in 1982, along with over 100 other Medal of Honor recipients who were alive at that time. As a Boy Scout in Honolulu, Hawaii, our scoutmaster's wife was head of the Chamber of Commerce, and arranged for our troop to greet incoming Medal of Honor recipients who were attending their convention that takes place every 2 years. Our job was to meet them at their planes at the airport, get their bags collected, and make sure they got to their transportation to Waikiki. I also met Pappy Boyington and Joe Foss, and many others who left quite an impression on me.

http://www.sturmgewe..._Raid_Items.JPG

Here is a picture of a piece of the life raft that George Bush Sr. used after being shot down in 1944.

http://www.sturmgewe...h_Life_Raft.JPG

A portrait of George Bush Sr. that hangs in the entryway to the museum:

http://www.sturmgewe...sh_Portrait.JPG

Admiral Nimitz apparently used to like to take out his frustrations by shooting "hundreds" of rounds in evening target practice with this suppressed .22 pistol that is on display. It looks like a High Standard of some sort, but it has an exposed hammer. I have not tried to identify the exact model, but someone here may be familiar with it. The pith helmet and radio also belonged to Admiral Nimitz.

http://www.sturmgewe...mitz_Pistol.JPG

Several other small arms on display:

http://www.sturmgewe.../Nimitz/BAR.jpg

http://www.sturmgewe...Nimitz/DP28.JPG

http://www.sturmgewe...Type_11_LMG.jpg

http://www.sturmgewe...hnson_Rifle.jpg

http://www.sturmgewe...3_Greasegun.JPG

http://www.sturmgewe...tz/Owen_SMG.jpg

http://www.sturmgewe...panese_M100.JPG

Bazooka and Flamethrower:

http://www.sturmgewe...ker_Busters.JPG

I found these two paper items on display to be very interesting. The magazine in the background shows a picture of a girlfriend back home who is writing her sweetheart to thank him for the Japanese skull he sent her as a token of his affection. In front of the magazine is a "Japanese Hunting License." It states the following:

"Japanese Hunting License, Good from 7 December 1941 Until Their Rising Sun Goes Down

This certifies that ________ , private first class, U.S. Marine Corps, having this date qualified as Marksman with the M-1 Rifle, is hereby authorized to observe open season on all Japanese wherever contacted, be it on land, sea, or in the air. The use of additional G.I. or personal weapons is permitted. Fists or feet are not barred during this hunting season. This license carries no bag limit, and may be used to good advantage during the blackout hours.

Hot Lead Leaves Them Dead"

http://www.sturmgewe...ing_License.JPG

This Japanese 20MM gun landed at the feet of a sailor, wounding his leg, and sent him to the hospital for several months. This all happened as the kamikaze plane that contained the weapon hit a U.S. ship.

http://www.sturmgewe...mikaze_20MM.JPG

A new addition to the museum is a Japanese dual purpose 3-inch Naval gun, and an M-3 Stuart tank from U.S. lend-lease to the Australian Army. The cannon on display is apparently the cannon that fired upon the Stuart tank in New Guinea, killing 2 crew members, and wounding another.

M-3 Stuart Tank:

http://www.sturmgewe...z/M3_Stuart.JPG

Caption from Stuart Tank:

http://www.sturmgewe...art_Caption.JPG

Japanese 3" Dual Purpose Naval Gun:

http://www.sturmgewe...nese_Cannon.JPG

A British 5-lb gun, and a U.S. 75MM gun:

http://www.sturmgewe..._US_Cannons.JPG

The museum boasts a Japanese Midget Submarine, a B-25, and a Hellcat that was recovered from the bottom of a lake in Michigan, I believe, and is now on display as part of an island aircraft maintenance display. Here are some shots I took. They were a little dark due to the nighttime themes in the museum, so I had to brighten them up slightly in Photoshop.

http://www.sturmgewe.../Nimitz/B25.JPG

http://www.sturmgewe...Maintenance.jpg

http://www.sturmgewe...aintenance2.jpg

The museum has one of the first U.S. guided missiles, which was radar guided, and used successfully in World War II against a Japanese ship. They were launched from the wings of B-25's, I believe. Here is a picture of it:

http://www.sturmgewe...ded_Missile.JPG

This is a hatch from a very successful torpedo tube that received credit for sinking 8 1/2 Japanese merchant vessels, and 1 Japanese military vessel.

http://www.sturmgewe...rpedo_Hatch.JPG

The museum has another section about 2 blocks away that is called the "Pacific Combat Zone." This is an area where re-enactments are held, and some more displays have been put together.

http://www.sturmgewe...Combat_Zone.JPG

It has one of 6 remaining PT boats on display. PT-309 has 2 sets of dual mounted .50 caliber aircraft MG's, a 20MM Oerlikon, and a 40MM Bofors cannon mounted on the rear. It also has torpedoes and depth charges. Here are some pictures:

http://www.sturmgewe...itz/PT309-1.JPG

http://www.sturmgewe...itz/PT309-2.JPG

This rare Japanese tank was rescued from a U.S. Military target range. It has been restored, and you can see a few holes it it from target practice.

http://www.sturmgewe...panese_Tank.JPG

http://www.sturmgewe...anese_Tank2.JPG

Japanese 105MM Howitzer:

http://www.sturmgewe...anese_105mm.JPG

LST Landing Craft:

http://www.sturmgewe.../Nimitz/LST.JPG

U.S. M2 105MM Howitzer:

http://www.sturmgewe...tz/M2_105mm.JPG

This part of the museum also has a Grumman Avenger, which was the type of plane that George Bush Sr. flew in combat.

http://www.sturmgewe...itz/Avenger.JPG

I hope you enjoy the pictures. The trip is certainly worth it to anyone within range of the museum, and might even entice someone to make a road trip to Texas. Re-enactments are often scheduled at the Pacific Combat Zone. This coming weekend, the museum features an "Island Assault" on a "Japanese" pillbox with a flamethrower.

Flags at entrance:

http://www.sturmgewe...imitz/Flags.JPG

If people like this post, I may do a "Thompson Tour of Texas," and post as many pictures of Thompsons on display around here that I can find. I went to the Museum of Texas Military Forces recently, but forgot to put the card back in my digital camera, so I'll have to go back. I might also go to the Texas Ranger Museum in Waco, where there is supposed to be a 1921 Thompson on display.

Enjoy!

David Albert
dalbert@sturmgewehr.com
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#2 TNKen

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 07:13 AM

Nice post.

The Nimitz pistol looks like a High Standard OSS suppressed .22. Very rare desirable pistol, of course. The base gun is a High Standard HD military version. And yes, it has an exposed hammer, I just received an HD from my uncle's estate. John Tibbits currently makes an OSS reproduction.

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#3 John Jr

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 08:00 AM

Great Post!

I didn't know that was in TX. I will have to take a vacation down to see that.

Thanks!
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#4 Tman

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 11:45 AM

David,
Glad you liked the museum. Too bad you won't be there this weekend when we are doing the Island Assault program at the PCZ. We will be doing a weapons demo to include 1903, M1, BAR, 1928A1 (mine), Type 99 Nambu, M3 Stuart w/ 37mm, M2-2 Flamethrower and a 37mm anti-tank gun. Lots of pyro, too.

I have been volunteering at the Nimitz since 1998 and have helped the museum acquire many orphaned machineguns that would have been melted down otherwise (3 MP44's, MP40, Beretta 38/44, 08 Maxim, Hochkiss, Chauchat) You think they have an impressive amount of MG's on display, you should see the vault!! Lots more goodies that are waiting for the next expansion to be completed.

Our next live show will be July 2-3 and then in Sept. 3-4. Come on down and if you do, be sure to look for me.

Also, if you want a sneak peek, go to Staticline Productions and click on the short film 'The Bunker'.
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#5 dalbert

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 02:36 PM

Tman,

Thanks for your reply, and your acquisition of the artifacts for the museum. Maybe I'll have to head back out there this weekend to see the re-enactment. Will you be the one firing the 1928A1?

David
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#6 TSMGguy

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 07:18 PM

Nice post indeed. Thanks!

I'll be driving through Fredricksburg next week on the way home with my new (old) 1943 Willys MB, which I'll pick up and flat bed home from College Station, TX.

I passed through Fredricksburg in March, and saw the signs to the museum, but didn't stop as I had no idea that it is so extensive and interesting. If you're there again, I have to also recommend stopping by Cimmeron Arms, importers of high quality Uberti reproduction old west arms. I showed up at their front door unannounced, and was given the cook's tour. They were in the process of uncrating another large shipment, and it was fascinating to watch.

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#7 John Jr

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 07:54 AM

WWII Reenactment video from TMan.

COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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#8 Tman

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 03:23 PM

About a year ago, I assisted the curator with setting up a display of some of Nimitz's things on the USS Nimitz in San Diego. The HD pistol was one of the items we took out to the ship. The ship was at sea off the coast of Baja California so we had to fly out in a COD (Carrier Onboard Delivery) aircraft. Made a trap, stayed 2 nights and got a cat shot back to San Diego. Very, very cool.
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#9 Motorcar

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 12:05 PM

I know this is an old thread but there is so much good info here I didn't want to start a new one, just add to it. I went by the museum with my son the other day, it had been a number of years since I was there. Wow, have they changed things around. We spent about 3 hours in the Bush wing and didn't read all of the displays. One item that I didn't remember was a 1928 Colt overstamp...yes I thought what?! There it is, serial number in the 13,500 range, Colt Thompson Model 1921 overstamp 1928....and she is pretty! I hope the picture attaches here, it's not that good a photo with my antique cell phone but here goes. Museum of the Pacific War, best kept secret in the Texas hill country.

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#10 emmagee1917

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 01:11 PM

Neat , don't recall this thread.
The pistol does indeed look to be a High Standard HD USA that was converted to the MS version. I have one with a modern suppressor design so it doesn't have to be sent back and rebuilt every 100 rds.
The " LST " is a LVT-4 Marine Corp landing tractor , nicknamed the " Alligator " .
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#11 dalbert

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 06:17 PM

Wow! That's reviving an old thread. But I guess it's still a good one... :D

That Navy overstamp wasn't there 7 years ago when I visited and posted this thread. Fredericksburg is one of my favorites towns on Earth...I need to get back there next time I'm back to Austin for a visit.

David Albert
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#12 giantpanda4

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 06:19 PM

A good thread to bring back up, for sure!

I do believe there is another 1928 Thompson there that they have not got on display at the time of this thread starting. Probably more than that too!

I will be there this Novenber to see it. Can't wait...
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#13 loosecanon

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 06:41 PM

Can you imagine the stink that would get raised if the girl with skull picture were printed today.Not exactly PC.
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#14 Motorcar

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 11:32 AM

I went back again the other day and this time got the serial number off the Colt US Navy '28 overstamp, it is 13570. The list in Tracie's U-T book shows delivered to Folsom State Prison, California. On the front pistol grip the marking "SMG 4" is lightly stamped. There must be a story how it ended up at the Museum of the Pacific War. Did Gordon's last effort have any update on this one?


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#15 anticus

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 01:21 PM

Wonderful images, Dave ! But the plane recovered from the lake in the maintenance shots is an F4F Wildcat, the early war predecessor to the F6F Hellcat. Both were Grumman designs.

The tip off is the position of the landing gear. The Wildcat's extends from the fuselage (as shown). The Hellcat's extends from the wings.


Edited by anticus, 16 September 2015 - 07:25 AM.

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#16 dalbert

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 06:34 PM

Wonderful images, Dave ! But the plane recovered from the lake in the maintenance shots is an F4F Wildcat, the early war predecessor to the F6F Hellcat. Both were Grumman designs.

the tip off is the position of the landing gear. The Wildcat's extends from the fuselage (as shown). The Hellcat's extends from the wings.

 

anticus,

 

I stand corrected on the aircraft ID...10 years+ after my initial post!

 

I need to get back to Fredericksburg...It's may favorite town in TX.  Living 70 miles away from it for 21 years, I grew quite fond of regular visits.  I believe the trip I documented with this post was the last time I was there.  It's a bit more of a trek now from Ohio, and when we visit Austin, our time is consumed quickly visiting family and friends...

 

David Albert

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#17 21NAVY

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 08:20 PM

Dave-

 

I just missed you.  Had one of the fire planes there from Aug. 12th to Sept 11th.  Stayed at the 40's themed Hangar Hotel,  Flew 105 hours on fires in the Hill Country.  Saved some homes, and hay and outbuildings.  Came back to PHX on the 12th.  Went to the Museum there twice to get it all in.  Ate lots of good food.

 

The 28 Overstamp there I thoink was a  J. Curtis Earl Gun from PHX that transferred to an individual in TX and was donated.  It's displayed showing the left side because someone marred up the right side trying to get the internals out of the gun.

 

My favorite place in Texas too.

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