Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sweetwater County World War One Memorial, Bunning Park, Rock Springs Wyoming

This is the World War One monument in Rock Springs Wyoming. Dedicated to the Sweetwater County fallen in the war, it is located in Bunning Park, which was dedicated by a mayor of the city for which the park is named.  Perhaps somewhat ironically, Peter  Bunning was German by birth and had served in the German army before immigrating to Denmark, and then on to the United States, where he became a highly successful Sweetwater County businessman.

The doughboy statue itself is of a design that was widely manufactured following the First World War for memorials.

It can't help be noted that there are a surprisingly large number of names on this memorial, given the short amount of time that the United States had troops in action during the Great War, and given that Sweetwater County's population would not have been large.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Parting of the Ways

These monuments, within about 100 yards of each other, commemorate the Oregon Trail and the Parting of the Ways, that spot where the Oregon and California Trails diverged.  Unfortunately, as the informational sign makes clear, the monument is in the wrong place.  The actual Parting of the Ways is about ten miles to the west.

Wyoming Veterans Museum, Natrona County International Airport

This is the Wyoming Veterans Museum in Natrona County, which is located in the former Enlisted Mens Club of the U.S. Army Air Corps base which is now the Natrona County International Airport.

When this museum first opened, I frankly didn't care for it much as it had poor organization and some errors, and some of the displays didn't have a direct bearing on Wyoming, which a museum of this type should.  However, the current director was hired, and it really began to rapidly improve.  It's been a good museum for several years.

I hadn't been in it for awhile, and when I recently went in it, I was quite impressed.  My former complaints about it are no longer valid at all.  Its now a nice, relevant, museum.

These photographs do not depict all the displays, and I was really remiss in regards to that. The museum covers the World War One to the second Gulf War.  I hope that, in the future, something might be added on the Spanish American War and Philippine Insurrection, but I have no complaints about the museum at all.

Wyoming Veterans Memorial Museum, located in what was originally the Enlisted Mans Club on the Casper Air Base during World War Two.

Olin Francis Jacquot World War One Collection.

Case in which this display is housed, dedicated to World War Two servicemen who trained at the Casper Army Air Field during World War Two.

Casper Army Air Field

.50 BMG cartridges. These can be found all over western Natrona County, left over from WWII. Air crews routinely dumped them out of aircraft.
World War One

Cotton summer uniform of WWI vintage.

Christmas card.

Trench knives.
World War Two.

Utility jacket of a "China Marine."

Enlisted dress uniform, USMC.

Dress uniform, United States Army Air Corps.

 Display of items from Donald G. Smith, who served in World War One as a bayonet instructor, and in World War Two as a chaplain..

 Display of items from Jim Hawkins, who started off in the 115th Cavalry Regiment and ultimatley retired from the Army Reserve as an officer in the 1970s.

 Note the spats.

Marine Corps uniforms.

 US World War One and interwar type helmet, as painted for Civil Defense use in World War Two.

 US M1 helmets and British helmet.
East German, Cold War Era.

Special Display, items brought back by U.S. GI's from World War Two. Axis items.

German Items:

 German Army MP gorget, a device worn by MPs in German armed forces, leading to their nickhame of "chain dogs." This one is marked "Feldgendarmerie", or "field police."

 SS gorget, for "patrol service."  Off to right is a glass item depicting Hitler.

 German Automobile Club badge from Nazi era.

The large item is a Wound Badge, and the small one an Armored Assault badge.

German Youth Day pin, 1935.

 Nazi armbands.

 Captured Nazi flag, details of capture written on flag.

 Hat device, Nazi era German veterans' organization.

Infantry assault badge.

Edelweiss insignia, German mountain unit (Gebergsjaeger).

Collar device, Gebergsjaeger.


German Nazi era veterans' organization peak cap.

 Civil German helmet (Stahlhelm) for civilian policing unit.  This is a different model of helmet from that worn by German military units, although the designs were obviously very close.
 German M1935 Stahlhelm, according to the data on display this camouflage pattern was associated with desert use.

 Luftwaffe M1935 Stahlhelm.

 German army M1935 Stahlhelm.

 M1918 pattern of Stahlhelm which, according to the information on display, had a latter pattern of interior webbing indicating post World War One use.
 M1935 and M1918 Stahlhelms, demonstrating webbing in reflection.

 Nazi era military and civil daggers and knives.


 German Army tunic and Navy submariners deck clothing.

 German Kreigsmarine (Naval) sumbariner's deck coat.

 German Heer (Army) tunic.  This one would appear to be prewar or very early war to me, and does not appear to me.

 Epaulet of German army tunic.

 Button of German navy deck coat.

 German Army boots (jackboots)

Italian Items:

Japanese Items:

Japanese Able Seaman insignia, Japanese Imperial Navy.

Imperial Japanese Army helmet.


U.S. firearms from World War Two, top to bottom.  M1 Garand, scabbard for M1 Garand, M1 Carbine and M1903 Springfield.

German double barreled flare pistol.

Japanese Type 26 Pistol.

German P08.

Spanish pistol, likely in German use prior to capture.

German P38

Edged Weapons:

Top to bottom, Japanese Katana (Samurai sword), Prussian cavalry officers saber, Prussian 1889 infantry officers saber.

Prussian Cavalry Officers Saber.

Prussian cavalry officers saber, Prussian 1889 Infantry Officers Saber, Prussian deegan.

Hilt of Prussian infantry officers saber, 1889.
Enlisted Mens Club Murals



M114 Armored Personnel Carrier, which was recently added to be on display at the museum.



Updated Vietnam War display:

 New Punitive Expedition case:

East German police display:

New photographs of Japanese swords:

Updated Air Base display: