Friday, July 24, 2015

Wisconsin WWII veterans featured in Memorial clips

Friends of the World War II Memorial are posting video clips of veterans interviewed at the memorial site.
Here is an interview with Huns Nass of Cecil, Wisconsin.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Graphic novel reading group | Wisconsin Veterans Museum

From the Wisconsin Veterans Museum:

The Wisconsin Veterans Museum, in partnership with Jessica Gross, a Public Humanities Exchange Scholar with the UW-Madison Center for the Humanities, is launching a graphic novel reading group for veterans.  Participants will meet twice a month (evenings) in downtown Madison to discuss readings from war-themed graphic novels.

Through both true-to-life and fictional stories of combat, Jessica hopes to open up a dialogue on war and power among veterans. All veterans are welcome to participate, but combat veterans and those with recent service in Iraq and Afghanistan are encouraged to attend. All books will be provided by a grant received from the UW-Madison Center for the Humanities.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Curator of Education Jennifer Kollath at

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Vietnam Virtual Wall

The Virtual Wall Vietnam Memorial listings for Wisconsin veterans is an amazing resource that allows you to look up Vietnam casualties by name or official home of record. I've provided the link for Wisconsin. The Virtual Wall covers the rest of the states as well.

Friday, June 6, 2014

D-Day | Wisconsin soldiers fought through blood, chaos

Kenneth Schumacher of Madison landed at Normandy 70 years ago.

Pfc. Schumacher, right, with his anti-aircraft gun crew in Europe.

From the Wisconsin State Journal:

Seventy years ago, 21-year-old Kenneth Schumacher of Madison was floating in a landing ship off Omaha Beach.

As far as he could see to either side, boats were idling or maneuvering as German shells exploded in the water and on the beach, taking a terrible, bloody toll.

Trucks for gun crews like Schumacher’s were being blown up as they drove off the ships, through shallow water toward the beach.

“A direct hit and you’d see the doors fly open and you knew everyone was killed,” Schumacher said Thursday as sunlight bathed his face in a quiet library space in his nursing home on Madison’s East Side.

Read the full story here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sapper Stakes | Wisconsin-based team claims second place

Staff Sgt. Daniel Clark, a Reedsburg resident who is a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, participates in the National Sapper Stakes Competition May 5 -8 at Fort McCoy. Since the competition, Clark has been promoted to sergeant first class.

From the Wisconsin State Journal: A Wisconsin-based team earlier this month took second place in a national competition to test skills at locating land mines and working with explosives.

The first National Sapper Stakes Competition took place May 5–8 at Fort McCoy near Sparta. Reedsburg native Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Clark, a member of the U.S. Army Reserve for 18 years, was among the participants.

DOD outflanked | Middleton man to bring "missing" WWII soldier's remains home

Journalist and filmaker
Jed Henry of Middleton,
Wisconsin, worked for
two years to force the
military to accept its errors.
Pfc. Lawrence S. Gordon, KIA 8/13/44

Pfc. Gordon's charred wallet
 was returned to his family,
 but the military said
 it didn't know where
his remains were buried.

From the Wisconsin State Journal:

A Middleton man has finally outflanked the U.S. military in his determined two-year campaign to bring home the remains of a World War II veteran who had served with his grandfather.

Along the way, Jed Henry enlisted the help of the Madison Police Department, UW-Madison’s DNA Sequencing Facility, members of the state’s congressional delegation and two Madison-based forensic scientists.

“The people of Wisconsin really got this done for the Gordon family,” said Henry, a freelance journalist and filmmaker.

Henry was researching his grandfather’s Army reconnaissance company for a documentary when he stumbled across the strange case of Pfc. Lawrence S. Gordon — the only member of the unit who was killed in action but never got a proper burial.

After butting heads with the Department of Defense Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command and the Defense POW-MIA Office since 2012, Henry said, he wasn’t surprised by the announcement in March that the agencies would be reorganized because of complaints about their performance in the recovery and identification of war dead.

Temporary cemetery near Gorron, France, where
Pfc. Gordon's remains were buried first, on Aug. 15, 1944,
 as an unknown American soldier, then months later
reburied as an unknown German soldier.
“It highlights the other 83,000 who are missing and won’t get help and won’t have the luxury of the French government helping them out,” Henry said. “We all feel that if you go and you fight and you die, you ought to be able to go home.”

Cemetery for German soldiers where Pfc. Gordon's
remains were buried in 1961.
Working with Gordon family members and several military historians, Henry’s detective work led him to conclude that Gordon’s remains had been misplaced in a cemetery for German soldiers in France. The U.S. military repeatedly refused to perform DNA tests. And when the French government did the tests and identified the remains as Gordon’s, the military refused to accept the results.

In March, after Henry arranged for further testing at UW-Madison and
Pfc. Gordon's nephew in the funeral vault in France where his
uncles remains were exhumed on Sept. 13, 2013.
another laboratory, the Pentagon signaled that it would relent. He said the key was news coverage in the Stars and Stripes newspaper, along with pressure from Congress.

Last week, hundreds of veterans mounted motorcycles and headed for Washington, D.C., dedicating their 26th annual Run for the Wall rally to Gordon.

Henry and members of Gordon’s family plan to travel to France next month to take custody of the remains. They refused the military’s offer of military transport to the usual reception point for war dead, Dover Air Base in Delaware.

Read the full story here.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Fallen | Rhinelander street named for Sgt. Ryan Adams

From the The Lakeland Times: Armed Forces Day 2014 provided the appropriate backdrop for a brief ceremony Saturday afternoon in Rhinelander.
The name of the street in front of the Wisconsin Army National Guard armory, Military Road, was formally renamed Adams Way, in honor of Rhinelander resident Ryan Adams, who had been a member of the Wisconsin Army Guard's 951st Engineer Company (Sappers) when he was killed in action in Afghanistan on Oct. 2, 2009.
It was his second deployment, the first being to Iraq in 2003.

Photo: The parents of Ryan Adams, Pete (left) and Jalane Adams, at Saturday's ceremony. (By Brian Jopek, The Lakeland Times)

For an update on veterans of the 951stEsprit still strong among soldiers battered in Afghanistan