March 28, 2016

Stars on Their Shoulders: Military Uniforms of the 20th Century

The Chisholm Trail Museum in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, is currently hosting a special exhibition titled “Stars on Their Shoulders: Military Uniforms of the 20th Century.”  The exhibition highlights the evolution of United States military general’s uniforms throughout the 20th century and showcases the Akers Collection, the largest privately owned collection of military general’s uniforms in the state of Oklahoma.

“Stars on Their Shoulders: Military Uniforms of the 20th Century,” features fourteen original military uniforms all previously worn by generals of the United States Army and Air Force. Three of the original uniforms on display belonged to general officers from Oklahoma.  One of those men is Otwa T. Autry, a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.  Another featured uniform belonged to Alden K. Sibley, who served as military aide to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937.  Through photographs and original uniforms, the exhibit will reveal the evolutionary history of United States military uniforms from the turn of the century, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War era, and ending with the Persian Gulf War era.

The exhibition has been featured by several local media outlets:

“Stars on Their Shoulders: Military Uniforms of the 20th Century,” runs through May at the Chisholm Trail Museum; located at 605 Zellers Ave. in Kingfisher, Oklahoma.  For more information, visit

March 1, 2016

Major General S.T. Ayers

Major General S.T. Ayers
Flight Cap & CWU-36/P Flight Jacket

General Ayers enlisted in the Army Air Force in 1943. After being discharged in 1945, he joined the Arkansas National Guard and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1950. Ayers then graduated from Oklahoma A&M in 1951 with a degree in geology. He was assigned to the 937th Military Airlift Group in 1953. When the 507th Tactical Fighter Group was activated in 1972, replacing the 937th Military Airlift Group at Tinker Air Force Base, Ayers remained. In 1973 Ayers was selected as mobilization assistant at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center and a year later was designated mobilization assistant for logistics operations at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He reached the rank of Major General in the Air Force Reserve in 1982. Ayers became mobilization assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics and Engineering at the Pentagon before his retirement in 1983. A resident of Oklahoma City, he also served as commander of the Oklahoma Wing of the Civil Air Patrol in addition to leading a career in petroleum geology with his firm Ayers Exploration.

March 30, 2015

General Frank F. Everest

General Frank F. Everest
Formal Evening Dress Uniform

General Everest graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1928 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Field Artillery.  He then entered Primary Flying School at Brooks Field, Texas, graduating in 1929.  After service in Hawaii, Everest was assigned to Army Air Forces Headquarters in August of 1941.  He was posted to the Pacific Theater in 1942, serving as commander of the 11th Heavy Bomb Group at New Hebrides Islands and Guadalcanal and then Army air officer on the staff of the commander of the South Pacific Theater.  Everest returned to Headquarters of the new Air Corps in 1944 and was then designated Air Force member of the Joint Staff Planners of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1946.  He was then made commander of the Yukon Sector of the Alaskan Air Command before joining the Atomic Energy Commission in 1950.  The following year, Everest became commanding general of the Fifth Air Force, Far East Forces, in Korea.  In 1954, he was named deputy chief of staff for operations at Air Force Headquarters.  Everest was assigned as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and promoted to a full general in 1957.  He returned to the United States as commander of the Tactical Air Command in 1959, retiring 1961.

February 21, 2014

Brigadier General Edward M. Kittilsen

Brigadier General Edward M. Kittilsen
M1902 Full Dress Uniform

General Kittilsen joined the Illinois State Militia in 1875 and in time became Sergeant Major of the Fourteenth Battalion, a rank he maintained after the unit’s consolidation with the 6th Illinois Infantry.  In 1886, Kittilsen was advanced to the rank of Major and then Lieutenant Colonel of the 6th Illinois in 1893.  When the Spanish-American War broke out in 1898, the 6th Illinois was mustered into federal service.  As second in command of the regiment, Kittilsen embarked for Cuba with the 6th Illinois between July 8 and 10.  Spanish troops around Santiago surrendered while the 6th Illinois was en route and the regiment was then sent to Puerto Rico, arriving on July 25.  The 6th Illinois saw little action by the time an armistice was reached on August 12 and returned to Illinois by September 16.  By 1908, Kittilsen had been promoted to Brigadier General, commanding the 6th Illinois.  He long served Illinois in law enforcement in addition to his military career.  Kittilsen was appointed Chief of Police of Moline, Illinois, in 1883 and was elected Sheriff of Rock Island County in 1906, serving until 1910.  He was also a member of Doric Lodge No. 319, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.

Officers wearing the M1902 Full Dress Uniform.
(H.A. Ogden, Stone Lithograph, 1908)