Artifacts in Collingsworth County Museum’s military collection include a World War I uniform and uniforms and other items from World War II, Korea, Viet Nam and Iraq. A dress uniform of Col. Wood Coleman (World War II) and the camouflage of Col. Ty Bonner (Gulf War) are uniforms of the two highest ranking officers from Collingsworth County to date.
Women of Collingsworth County also served in World War II.
Lt. Joan Jones Coleman, a registered dietitian, was officer is charge of the cafeteria department of the Naval Supply Office and Depot in Philadelphia that served more than 5,500 civilian and enlisted personnel and dinning accommodation for 470 officers, 4 mobile canteens to serve the 14 outlying buildings on the station, and 4 canteens for dispensing refreshments.
Annie Ellis Bowen served in the U.S. Marine Women’s Corp and Della Faye Coleman O’Neil and Dela B. Burt Ford served in the U.S. Women’s Army Auxiliary Corp during WWII.
Major John S. Coleman, Jr., an Air Force officer assigned to the Philippines to train air corps regiments for infantry combat, was among those who fought on Bataan. His book, Bataan and Beyond, details the combat for Bataan, the horrors of the march, and the desperate conditions that were his lot as a POW for three and a half years.
The Canadian Royal Air Force uniform of Sgt. Pilot R. L. Templeton who was the surviving brother of three who served in the RAF during World War II is another treasured item.
The Dress Blue, the Dress Green, and the khaki uniforms of Chief Warrant Officer 2 John E. Devoss are in the military collection. Devoss served as aircraft commander with the 119th Assault Helicopter Company out of Pleiku, Vietnam, and with the Sixth Aviation Platoon in Korea, which became the 239th Assault Helicopter Company. He also spent a year as an instructor pilot.
The dress uniform and other gear of Command Sergeant Major John M. Morgan III, a member of the Texas National Guard for 36 years is exhibited. Morgan served two tours of duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III. In 2005 he served as the CSM for 2-142 Infantry during deployment and again as CMS of the 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 36th Division in 2008.
Souvenirs of war came back home with many of the servicemen and women of Collingsworth County and are now part of our treasured collection.