45th Infantry Division Museum
For military history enthusiasts, the Oklahoma City 45th Infantry Division Museum is a must-see. It is located in the Lincoln Park Armory which dates back to 1937. The museum has a large collection of uniforms and firearms that you can view on a self-guided walk. These pieces provide a history of the 45th Infantry Regiment, which was established in 1920. They also tell about many other conflicts around the world. The most striking feature is the display of dozens upon dozens military vehicles in an outdoor park measuring 15 acres.
History of the 45th ID museum
1965 Oklahoma State Legislature Act created the 45th Infantry Division museum and placed it under the control of The Adjutant General.
The present museum’s site, Lincoln Park Armory in 1974, was made available to the public and dedicated to permanent occupancy.
The Works Progress Administration built this Armory, which was completed in 1937. A brick Vehicle Storage Building was built thirty feet south of Lincoln Park Armory after World War II.
The Armory was home to many military units of Oklahoma Army National Guard over the years, including Headquarters Company and the 45th Infantry Division Headquarters. The Oklahoma National Guard Officer Candidate school was its last tenant.
The Board completed the museum in three phases under the Delegation. It was opened on September 27, 1976. The next two phases, Phases II & III, were completed in the following years.
The museum also acquired the Jordan B. Reaves American Military Weapons Collection and Bill Mauldin’s personal collection with his World War II cartoons through private donations. To house these valuable collections and put the museum together, a connecting building was built between the brick Vehicle Storage Building and the Lincoln Park Armory.
The museum’s original grounds consisted of two buildings spread over 300 feet by 300ft of ground. The museum was granted a 25-year lease by the City of Oklahoma City on adjoining ground. This gave it a total area of 15 acres. This additional ground was used to create an Outdoor Military Park, which now houses more than 60 military vehicles, big guns, and aircraft.
The Oklahoma Air National Guard is represented at the Supporting Forces Hall. Formerly flown by the Oklahoma Air National Guard, the aircraft have been displayed outside.
Colonel Dave Brown (Ret.) is the Director. Mike Gonzales, our Curator, has been with the museum more than 20 years. Leon Shackelford, the data input specialist and storage specialist, serves as the historian. Together with dedicated volunteers, they work under the supervision of the Adjutant-General of Oklahoma. The museum’s state monetary appropriations are very limited. It relies mainly on the sales of Gift Shop items and voluntary donations from our visitors, both in person or online. Museum admission is free. We appreciate donations and will keep our doors open.
Address: 2145 NE 36th Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma