The 157th Infantry: Colorado’s Forgotten Regiment


This map from the Library of Congress shows the movements of the 45th Infantry Division in Rhineland in 1944 and 1945 near the end of the war. The 157th Regiment was part of this division.

On the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, the Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum invites you to immerse yourself in the lives and heroism of the men and women who fought for our country.

Our first Virtual Coffee & Conversation spotlights Colorado’s 157th Infantry Regiment.

Overview:

With its advent during the earliest days of the Colorado Territory, the 157th’s predecessors battled the Confederates during the battle of Glorieta Pass in New Mexico, fought in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War, and saw action in France during World War I. 

World War II, however, would be the regiment’s defining moment. Through 511 hard days of combat in the European theater, the “Thunderbirds” made four assault landings and was credited with saving the Salerno and Anzio beachheads. 

Did you know that over 3,000 Native Americans fought as part of this Division? Or that the 157th was instrumental in the liberation of the horrific Dachau concentration camp?

Learn more about this fascinating history by checking out Flint Whitlock’s Coffee & Conversation presentation from May 12, 2018 at the video below or here.

To go even deeper, you can purchase Flint Whitlock’s book about the 45th Infantry Division, The Rock of Anzio, here.

Campaigns of the 45th Infantry Division Image Source: Allied Forces. Army Group, 12Th. Engineer Section, and 1St. Headquarters United States Army. Army Group. , HQ Twelfth Army Group situation map. [England?: Twelfth Army Group, 1944] Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2004630253/>.

Museum is now open!

The Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum is excited to announce its reopening. In alignment with local public health and city guidelines, the museum will resume normal hours of operation starting June 25.

Visitors must wear masks and keep 6 feet of distance between non-family units. Museum volunteers will be taking additional precautions, including frequent cleaning and disinfecting.

Do your part to minimize the spread of COVID-19 through physically distancing yourself from others, washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, and isolating yourself if you are sick.

The museum is open on Thursdays, 10am-2pm and Saturdays, 9am-3pm. We will be closed on July 4.

Local artists and veterans collaborate on art exhibit at museum

Boulder-native sisters, Maryanna Wienbroeer Brunkhorst and Melody (Wienbroeer) Huisjen have collaborated on an art and poetry exhibit that shares experiences of USAF veteran Maryanna Brunkhorst. Through her poems and creative non-fiction writing, Maryanna explores everything from a chance encounter with a desert resident while stationed in Kuwait to the emotional impact and honor of service to our country.  These have been interpreted by Melody to inspire visual works of art laden with symbolism and created with watermedia, ink, and ephemera.

The Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum has the collection on display from January 22-April 21 for their ARTillery series, which invites veterans to creatively engage with their military history.

Learn more about the ARTillery series.

Overhead view of the teams competing in the Brain Trust

Veterans Museum Competes in Annual Trivia Contest for Local Rotary Club

On February 22, the Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum’s team participated in the Rotary Club of Broomfield Crossing’s Brain Trust Trivia Night. It was the museum’s fourth year to participate in the trivia challenge, competing under the team name of G.I. Joes and Janes. Although the museum didn’t bring home the trophy this year, their efforts helped support the Rotary Crossing and community programs funded through the Rotary’s fundraising.

Congratulations to the winning team, Emily’s Stars, who got 58 right answers out of 81 questions. Proceeds from this benefit event go to the Rotary Club of Broomfield Crossing to eventually fund grants to local non-profits. The veterans museum has been a previous recipient of grants from the Rotary. And if anyone should ask you, “Just what is a group of giraffes called?”, the answer is “a tower.”


Standing, left to right, Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum Board Directors Jim Groh, Flint Whitlock, and Cathy Walker. Seated, left to right, board directors David Jamiel and Lew Roman and museum volunteer Amy Moir.

Museum Brings History to Life for Students at Prospect Ridge Academy

Seven volunteers came together on January 23 to contribute an evening of Colorado military history for the students and families of Prospect Ridge Academy, as part of the school’s Science and Social Studies Night.  The volunteers facilitated five different interactive stations covering 170 years of military history.  Students were able to try on replica uniforms and equipment from the Mexican American War, American Civil War, WWII, Vietnam and Gulf Wars and learn about these conflicts. They also learned about the women’s role in supporting the U.S. Army on the Western American Frontier (1840s to 1890s) and played games that the Frontier soldiers’ children may have played.  Over 125 students and their parents took part in the activities.

The displays were coordinated by the Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum with the help of volunteers from the museum, American Military Living History Association (AMLHA) and the American Legion Post #58.  Both the AMLHA and the American Legion meet at the museum and assist with the educational and events held there.  The activity was well received by the staff at the Academy. The Academy’s coordinator of the Science & Social Studies Night, Sarah Shoemaker, stated that, “I was very impressed with everything that was happening around our school.  You were the hype of the school today!  Many kids were talking about the night and how much fun they had with each presenter.”

Veterans Resources

Robert Davenport, Sr. Grant created to support local veterans in need

When U.S. Army veteran and 2008 Heart of Broomfield award recipient Robert “Bob” Davenport passed away in late 2017, his family wanted to do something to honor his legacy. As a result, they partnered with the Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum to create the Robert Davenport, Sr., Veteran Fund in his memory.

Davenport’s strong ties to veterans and Broomfield inspired his family to set up the fund. Davenport joined the Army in 1952 right out of college and later served in the Judge Advocate General Reserve Corp. before retiring as a lieutenant colonel. In 1958, Davenport and his wife, Patty, moved to Broomfield, where he became an active member of the community and was one of the six founding members of the Broomfield Memorial Veterans Museum.

The purpose of the fund is intended to help address emergency financial needs of honorably discharged or retired veterans of the United States military and of their immediate families.

The Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum Directors are responsible for helping to facilitate and execute incoming grant requests on behalf of the Davenport Family. To be eligible for a grant, a veteran must be a resident in the City and County of Broomfield. Grant requests shall not exceed $1,000.00.

Grant requests must be submitted to the Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum in writing or via email. Requests may be submitted by an individual veteran seeking financial aid, a family member on behalf of a veteran, or an organization on behalf of a veteran.

To review the guidelines and access a grant application, visit the Veterans Grant page.

Support the Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum at Dancing With the Stars

Come Support the Veterans Museum at Broomfield’s Dancing With the Stars

The Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum is one of nine non-profits competing in the Broomfield Dancing With the Stars on September 26 benefiting the Broomfield Community Foundation. Former museum board director and local history teacher, Paula Coffman, will be the star dancer representing the museum.

Graphic banner for Dancing With the Broomfield Stars

Paula Coffman will honor the military, our youth, and the importance of learning from each other, through a dance created with the support of dancers DeAndre Carroll, Cory Michael Klements and Raina Manzanares.

Each non-profit will raise funds that will support the foundation and also the non-profit.

Please support the museum by purchasing a ticket, voting online or making a donation.

VOTE HERE

picture of pencil

Broomfield Students Invited to Enter Veterans Day Essay Contest

The Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum is hosting an essay contest for all students who attend Broomfield schools or who are home-schooled in Broomfield at the elementary, middle or high school level during the 2019-2020 school year.

Essay Topic:

What does Veterans Day mean to you?

Essay Guidelines:

  • Essays should be 500 words or less
  • Submit document as a PDF
  • Submit essay with the student’s name, school, teacher’s name and grade level
  • Essays should be submitted by email to educator@broomfieldveterans.org by October 7

Prizes:

  • Winners will be selected at elementary, middle and high school levels.
  • $500 will be awarded to the school of each first place winner
  • Winners will be invited to read their essay on November 11 at the museum’s Veterans Day Ceremony

If you have any questions about the contest, please contact Heather Christenbury at educator@broomfieldveterans.org or 303-460-6801.

Several board members from the museum participated in the 1940s Ball.

Museum Salutes D-Day Anniversary at Boulder 1940s Ball

On Saturday, June 15, 2019, the Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum participated in the 1940’s Ball at the Boulder Municipal Airport, hosting a booth at the event.  

“We had probably the best location,” said Flint Whitlock, museum board member and a member of the museum’s Display and Exhibits Committee. “We were right inside the main entrance, so every one of the Ball’s 4,000 attendees had to pass our booth when they came in. We had numerous people stop by our booth, look at our exhibits and find out more about us.”

Veterans Museum booth at the Boulder 1940s Ball

The theme of the museum’s booth was “Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D-Day,” and it was decorated with posters and artifacts from that period. The 1940’s Ball is a combination of a costume party, dance, air show and military display that takes attendees—many of whom dress in uniforms and clothing—on a nostalgic trip back to that era. The Glenn Miller Orchestra and a girls’ singing group provided entertainment with songs from the Swing Era, while a 1940s military encampment with uniformed reenactors, military vehicles, a faux-French village dubbed “Liberty Street,” vintage automobiles and a separate dance hall that replicated Rick’s Cafe from the 1942 film Casablanca.

“It was the first time we have participated in the 1940s Ball,” said Whitlock, “but I’m sure we’ll be back for years to come.”

Thousands showed up to the 1940s Ball in Boulder
Coffee and Conversation with Gary Kling

Museum expands with the addition of another floor

The Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum is enjoying more space since its expansion into the garden level of its building at 12 Garden Center. Thanks to generous support from the City and County of Broomfield, the veterans museum was allowed to take over the space previously occupied by Broomfield FISH. Following some renovations, the move was completed in the summer of 2018.

With the addition of another floor, the museum has added a larger meeting and presentation room, an expanded library and research room, and more space to store artifacts and museum collections. In the existing upstairs space, the museum will expand its current exhibits and bring in additional displays for visitors to enjoy.

The addition has been a long-awaited opportunity for the growing museum. In 2001, the founders of the veterans museum moved into one room in the upstairs and slowly grew its operations to fill the entire floor. The added space from the lower level will allow the museum to continue its growth and serve its mission of educating others of Colorado’s military history while connecting with veterans and sharing their stories.

This fall, the museum will host an official open house for everyone to see its newly renovated and enlarged space.