A Lesson in Resiliency From the Bataan Death March

At the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898, Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States. A Philippine insurrection against the United States began almost immediately and ended in 1902 with the United States controlling the territory until the Japanese invasion in December of 1941. Choosing deployment to the

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Part I: Okinawa: Genesis of a Battle

In 1945, 75 years ago, World War II in the Pacific ended with the Battle of Okinawa and the atomic bombing of Japan. These important events, in which Wisconsin service members did their full duty, still impact the world today.   From April until August 2020, the Wisconsin Veterans Museum staff

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“These Numbers All Mean Something”

By Russell Horton, Reference & Outreach Archivist  “I’ve got documents that I brought out of Korea… just pieces of paper with numbers on them. They are very old. These numbers all mean something.”                                   

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A Veteran’s First Vehicle: Incorporating the Automobile into the Army during WWI

By Bobby Brito, Oral History Intern The Great War inaugurated the twentieth century, while the proliferation of the internet can be thought of as one of the events that bookended the twentieth century. Conventional conversations would not typically involve both events in relation with each other. However, through my work

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Holiday Greetings from the Field by Mary Kate Kwasnik

A wise man once crooned that this is the most wonderful time of the year. As the winter holidays roll in, cheer seems to surround us. Coffee shops break out their festive red cups , the radio croons out classic holiday songs and the city is suddenly frosted in tiny,

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“Walking Point with London” by Kylee Sekosy

Just as servicemen and women often befriend one another, war dogs and their handlers often share a deep bond from their experiences in combat. James Hooker, a Wisconsin veteran of the United States Marine Corps, spent three full tours of service in Vietnam. A young man “tired of school” and

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In Recognition of Aviation Month – The Story of Robert Balliet

By Jeff Javid, Wisconsin Veterans Museum Archives Assistant Robert Balliet of Appleton, Wisconsin served with the 776th Squadron, 464th Bomb Group, Fifteenth Air Force, United States Army Air Force in the European theatre during World War II. An employee of Wisconsin Bell Telephone Company, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in

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John Garrett: A Veteran in the Spotlight

Born on July 6, 1922 in Oak Park, Illinois, John W. Garrett was in a fraternity studying Metallurgical Engineering at the University of Illinois when he heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Knowing they were at war, John decided to enlist in the spring of 1942.  As an engineer

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Together in War by Emily Irwin

Born twenty minutes apart in Kiel, Wisconsin, identical twins Willard and Wilbur Diefenthaler share a story of duty and sacrifice during World War II.  They were drafted together on December 7, 1942 and after induction at Fort Sheridan, Wilbur joined the 919th Field Artillery and Willard went to the 101st

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A Date Which Will Live in Infamy by Emily Irwin

Today marks the 73rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, where an estimated 200 Wisconsin men and women were stationed on December 7, 1941. One such Wisconsinite was Gunner’s Mate Stanley Gruber. A Butler, Wisconsin native, Gruber entered the Navy in 1939 and was stationed aboard the USS Maryland. In April 1940,

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