705 - "Thunderbirds"


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January, 2006

"Born at sea, baptized in blood, your fame shall never die." -- The words of General George S. Patton to the men of the 45th Infantry Division. The 1943 invasion of Sicily was at an end, and the battle-weary, Fort Sill-trained, troopers heard, "The 45th Division is one of the best, if not the best Division in the history of American arms."
This edition of the OETA award-winning documentary series Stateline illustrates why such high praise was, and still is given the Oklahoma Army National Guard, and its Brigade and non-brigade assets, as well as the museum dedicated to preserving the work of the Thunderbirds.
That a museum designed to enhance appreciation of Oklahoma's citizen soldiers even exists is a surprise to many. So, Stateline introduces viewers to the 45th Infantry Division Museum in Oklahoma City.
Although the 45th Infantry Division was deactivated in 1968, the Oklahoma Army National Guard is still known and appreciated as "The 45th" and the Thunderbirds are found around the world.
Stateline viewers learn the gold Native American symbol, no matter where on earth it is seen, has an Oklahoman as its bearer representing all Oklahomans.
From amphibious landings on European shores and through Korea, the 45th is revered. From tornado relief back home in Oklahoma, through Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and to boots hitting the ground in hurricane devastated New Orleans - the men and women of the Oklahoma Army National Guard are there. Stateline shines its light on Oklahoma's Thunderbirds.

Related Links:
45th Infantry Division Museum

Transcript Available