Flagstaff Ariz. ó The 2nd annual Fort Tuthill Days will highlight the opening of the Fort Tuthill Military Museumís 6th season.
In addition to several new museum displays, visitors may view military re-enactor units working and training in a replica WW II encampment. Units representing the US 501st Parachute Inf. Regt., British 30 Assault, German Leibstandarte Division Recon., U.S. 408th Bomb Group ground crew, and 426 Airborne Quartermaster Company, will provide visitors a look at weapons, equipment and vehicles used by their respective units during WW II.
The quartermaster company will operate a replica field kitchen preparing authentic Army meals for the re-enactor units.
The museum offers a wealth of information on the military history of Arizonaís famous 158th Infantry Regiment, including Fort Tuthillís history as the regimentís training site prior to and after WW II. A scale model of the original facility depicting Fort Tuthill as it looked in the 1930s ó complete with troops and vehicles ó serves as the centerpiece of museum exhibits.
Displays trace the distinguished history of the 158th Infantry Regiment from its organization in 1865 as the 1st Regiment Arizona Volunteers to present day service of the 1st Battalion 158th Infantry. The story of this proud unit is illustrated with pictures, documents, three-dimensional displays and weapons.
Due to its outstanding combat record during World War II, the 158th Regimental Combat Team (Bushmasters) was selected to spearhead the invasion of Japan. An exhibit provides detailed information on the unitís proposed vital role in that invasion as well as Japanese plans for defense of their homeland.
Addressing the unitís combat record, General Douglas McArthur stated, ďNo greater fighting combat team has ever deployed for battle.Ē
Although the 158th Infantry was deactivated in 1967, its traditions and heritage are carried on by the 1st Battalion 158th Infantry. Activated in 2005, the battalion returned from a year-long Afghanistan deployment in March 2008.
Smaller units of Battalion volunteers have since served in Afghanistan and will continue to deploy in support of that effort. Displays and artifacts illustrate the battalionís service and combat experiences.
Special events planed for the summer will again feature the 108th Army Band in concert on Monday, July 5. Military re-enactors will return on the weekend of Sept. 18 and 19.
The museum is located within the Fort Tuthill County Park. Take Exit 337, 3 miles south of Flagstaff, and follow the signs. Museum hours are Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Depending on staff availability, the museum may also be open Thursdays and Fridays, noon to 4:00 p.m. Group Tours may be scheduled by appointment.
Admission is $3 for adults, and free for children 12 and under, active military, National Guard, and active reserve personnel.
For additional information, call Jim Warbasse at (602) 944-0359, Lon Wolff at (928) 284-1535, or the museum (weekends only) at (928) 226-0965.
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