A Visit to the U. S. Army Field Artillery Museum, Ft. Sill, Oklahoma

James N.

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#21
DSC06511.JPG

The Cold War era missiles and anti-aircraft gun above are a new addition to the outdoor exhibits since my last visit.

Great Thread. Thanks for all the GREAT photos. Been in that museum many times when I was stationed there. Ft Sill has is a special place for me as my Dad did his Officer Advanced course there. He went on to command the 750th FA in Germany where I was born in Ansbach.
@James N.

Spectacular photo tour !

Thanks for bringing us along.
My pleasure! I ran out of time, else I would've included more, such as a bit of the outside exhibits; and having mentioned them, here they are!

Old West Trip, Nov. 2010 035.jpg


There is a secondary exhibit building we failed to see containing a ground-to-air museum that was formerly at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas, which moved to Ft. Sill in 2010; unfortunately we ran out of time so confined ourselves to the main museum and the area around it which is called the Cannon Walk and has field artillery pieces from World War I through Desert Storm, many of them war trophies.

Old West Trip, Nov. 2010 034.jpg


My favorite piece among the trophy guns is the WWII German 88 captured in North Africa. Conceived as an anti-aircraft gun it was widely used, particularly in North Africa, as an anti-tank gun. It is shown here with its "limbers" (wheel units) attached in towing mode.

Old West Trip, Nov. 2010 033.jpg

Old West Trip, Nov. 2010 037.jpg


These photos date from my previous visit; since then many more specimens have been added to the grounds like the Soviet anti-aircraft gun below.
Italian gun.jpg

Howitzer.jpg


The self-propelled howitzer above is self-evident; less so, the Bradley AFV below, but it served as an artillery spotting vehicle during Desert Storm so is included for that reason.

Bradley AFV.jpg
 

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unionblue

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#22
@James N. ,

Another great series of photos!

Thanks for sharing them with us here at the forum.

I have an artillery story for you.

I'm told that during a class at the Ft. Sill school of artillery in the 1980s, the instructor was showing an old WWII training film on the 75mm field howitzer so that he could show basic crew functions on the gun as each person performed his assigned tasks on the gun. During the film, one of the gun crew ran behind the gun well to the rear and threw both of his arms out to his sides with his fists clenched. One of the privates in the class asked the instructor why that member of the crew performed that action.

The instructor was mystified and could not answer the student as he had no answer why the man did what he did, right before the gun was fired. Fortunately for all, an old man, a janitor for that particular classroom/building, was mopping the floor just outside the open classroom door. He called out to the instructor and said he knew the answer to the students question.

The instructor knew the old man was a retired WWII vet and asked the man to explain for him and the class. The man said he was on a gun crew for the 75mm during WWII and during his training he had to do the same task as the man in the film had and he asked why too.

He was told that it was a hold-over from earlier times in the US Army artillery, when one man was detailed to run back and hold the horses that pulled the gun so they wouldn't 'spook' and run off when the gun was fired. The Army just kept training the same task after horses were long gone because "It had always been done that way before." :smile:

Unionblue

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James N.

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#23
Old West Trip, Nov. 2010 007.jpg


@James N. ,

Another great series of photos!
Thanks for sharing them with us here at the forum.

I have an artillery story for you.

I'm told that during a class at the Ft. Sill school of artillery in the 1980s, the instructor was showing an old WWII training film on the 75mm field howitzer so that he could show basic crew functions on the gun as each person performed his assigned tasks on the gun. During the film, one of the gun crew ran behind the gun well to the rear and threw both of his arms out to his sides with his fists clenched. One of the privates in the class asked the instructor why that member of the crew performed that action.

The instructor was mystified and could not answer the student as he had no answer why the man did what he did, right before the gun was fired. Fortunately for all, an old man, a janitor for that particular classroom/building, was mopping the floor just outside the open classroom door. He called out to the instructor and said he knew the answer to the students question.

The instructor knew the old man was a retired WWII vet and asked the man to explain for him and the class. The man said he was on a gun crew for the 75mm during WWII and during his training he had to do the same task as the man in the film had and he asked why too.

He was told that it was a hold-over from earlier times in the US Army artillery, when one man was detailed to run back and hold the horses that pulled the gun so they wouldn't 'spook' and run off when the gun was fired. The Army just kept training the same task after horses were long gone because "It had always been done that way before." :smile:

Unionblue

Sincerely,
Unionblue
That certainly sounds like The Army Way all right! And your story reminds me of another oddity I witnessed several years ago in 2010 during a visit here, as recorded in these two photos. I didn't talk with any of the recruits or their "instructor" but it looks like an example of a then and now demonstration! (And this was taking place right in front of the museum.)

Old West Trip, Nov. 2010 008.jpg
 

unionblue

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#24
View attachment 215376


That certainly sounds like The Army Way all right! And your story reminds me of another oddity I witnessed several years ago in 2010 during a visit here, as recorded in these two photos. I didn't talk with any of the recruits or their "instructor" but it looks like an example of a then and now demonstration! (And this was taking place right in front of the museum.)

View attachment 215377
@James N. ,

More details on the above two photos, please!

And, the phrase I dreaded most as an instructor and a new First Sergeant was the following: "But we've never done it that way before!" or the second most dreaded, "We didn't do it that way at (insert last post/installation here)!"

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 
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#26
Glad to hear both that you weren't imagining it and that I didn't miss it!
I guess bad information on artifacts comes after everyone every once in a while. I'm just glad I wasn't completely wrong, I had the right State, the right area of it, just the wrong US military museum. I reckon I just had idiot attack.

But hey that one gun you found is a completely new one on me, so this case of mistaken museum on my part isn't completely a loss to me.
 

James N.

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#27
@James N. ,

More details on the above two photos, please!

And, the phrase I dreaded most as an instructor and a new First Sergeant was the following: "But we've never done it that way before!" or the second most dreaded, "We didn't do it that way at (insert last post/installation here)!"

Sincerely,
Unionblue
Unfortunately, there really aren't any - Mike (@mkyzzzrdet ) and I arrived bright and early on a trip we were making to various Indian Wars sites in North Texas and Western Oklahoma and saw THIS going on, whatever it was! I believe the soldiers were new recruits at the still-very-much-active post and were being "indoctrinated" into the history and traditions of the Army, the post itself, the artillery branch, or all of the above. Whether the sergeant was an actual active-duty instructor or a reenactor or living history person I have no idea. I DO however know (because I asked) that the Army still maintains at the post a demonstration team and gun crew for a French 75 representing the WWI era. I've seen it perform once back around the 1980's or 90's during a previous visit when reenactor artillery was welcome to participate in competition shooting on the artillery range - I can still remember as gunner sighting in my friend's replica 10-pounder Parrott on old AFV bodies at a range estimated to be two miles away!
 

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