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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Veteran Sweethearts~Rose Jrolf and Fred Ray

Part of the Rose Ray WVM Collection  This formal portrait is of Rose Jrolf and Fred Ray on their wedding day in 1945. Rose is wearing a large lily and ribbon corsage and Fred is wearing a carnation boutineer. Rose enlisted in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in 1943 and

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Poetry and Proverbs

By Russell Horton, Reference Archivist “If I die a prisoner of war, I would like to have this diary sent to my Father, A. Ingersoll, Waupun, Wis.” -Frank J. Ingersoll, Diary Entry, ca. September 1864 In the first two years of the Civil War, soldiers from either side of the

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Vietnam Veterans Day

On March 29, 1973, the last US combat troops were withdrawn from Vietnam, and the last prisoners of war held in North Vietnam returned to American soil. Since then, Vietnam Veterans Day has been established to welcome home Vietnam veterans, acknowledge their service and remember the men and women who died during the Vietnam

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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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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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The Life and Letters of World War I Aerial Observer Lt. Mortimer M. Lawrence – November 1917

Tuesday Nov. 27, 1917   Dear Mother:- Yesterday’s letter was intended to take the place of the one I didn’t have a chance to write Sunday. Jack Bainbridge’s brother, wife and family are mighty fine people and were certainly nice to me.  The brother is about forty-one or so and

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William Stark and the Church Pennant

While serving aboard a landing craft (USS LCI (L)-23) in the Solomon Islands during World War II, William Stark of Waukesha was saved by what he must have believed was partly “divine intervention.” In 1943, when his landing craft beached to unload, Motor Machinist’s Mate Second Class William Stark was

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USS Cole Bombing: The Road to 9/11

On the morning of October 12, 2000, the USS Cole was attacked in Yemen’s Aden harbor by two suicide bombers piloting a small boat loaded with an estimated 700 pounds of explosives. The subsequent blast tore a 40-by-60-foot gash in the side of the guided-missile destroyer, claimed the lives of

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Wisconsin Veterans and September 11, 2001

  It has been sixteen years since the events of September 11, 2001. That fateful day prompted the nation into action, and within two years the United States was involved in two conflicts in the Middle East, participating in what has been termed “the Global War on Terrorism.” With the

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