Hey Friend! Welcome back to another post! Today, we are talking about the OSU ROTC Thatcher Hall Air Park at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Thatcher Hall is home to the Air Force and Army ROTC. The park contains old military equipment and an old plane!
The park is free to walk around and is located just outside of Thatcher Hall. (If you’re familiar with the Oklahoma State University campus or Stillwater – it’s kind of between the Spears School of Business building and The Garage.) The Park was made to honor the ROTC students and Veterans – past and present – from Oklahoma State University.
History of Thatcher Hall
Thatcher Hall has a long and interesting history at Oklahoma State University. It was originally built to be a women’s dorm building and it located near the Women’s Building on campus.
Thatcher Hall opened in January 1926, along with a dormitory building for men named Hanner Hall. Nearly two decades later, Hanner Hall was used to house Air Force and Army ROTC members during World War II (WWII). Hanner Hall eventually transitioned to a general use building and was torn down in the 2010s. Below are some photos of a marker for Hanner Hall at Oklahoma State University.
But back to Thatcher Hall – the building was named for Jessie Thatcher, the first female student to graduate from Oklahoma A&M (later OSU). She studied agriculture, chemistry, and physics. She received her diploma on June 9, 1897.
Today, Thatcher Hall is home to the Air Force ROTC and the Cowboy Battalion for Oklahoma State University. Many of the ROTC classes are taught in Thatcher Hall!
Cowboy Battalion – Army ROTC
The U.S Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) better known as the “Cowboy Battalion” is housed in Thatcher Hall. The Army ROTC commissioned its first offices in 1896 – according to one of my friends who went through the Army ROTC program at OSU (Shoutout to you – you know who you are!)
Pictured below are two large canons, one from World War I (WWI) and one from World War II (WWII). The canons were typically pulled by a vehicle or animal. They were capable of direct and indirect fire. For more information on the specifics of the canons please click here.
The canons were brought to Thatcher Hall in the 1970s. Prior to this, they had been located by the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College (OAMC) Armory. OSU received the pieces from Fort Sill (located in the Lawton, Oklahoma) to honor the students who served in WWI and WWII.
Air Force ROTC
The U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) Detachment 670 is also housed in Thatcher Hall. Detachment 670 was established at OSU in 1946.
The Thatcher Hall Air Park was really cool to walk through. It’s not too far from the center of Oklahoma State University’s campus. So, if you’re ever by the Student Union or Edmon Low Library take a few minutes and walk over there to see this equipment and read the plaques. You won’t regret it!
And as always – Go Pokes!
Happy traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! 🙂
“OSU Air Force ROTC (AFROTC) Thatcher Hall Air Park,” The American Legion.
“OSU Army ROTC Thatcher Hall Memorial Park,” The American Legion.
“Captain Carter Hanner and the history of Hanner Hall,” Oklahoma State University.
“The people behind the names on OSU’s buildings,” O’Colly, September 9, 2017.
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