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home : news : news May 22, 2015

6/18/2014 2:46:00 PM
Local WWII soldiers featured in Cannon Falls Military Museum

by Rosie Schluter

Cannon Falls area WWII soldiers are featured along with $3000 worth of new posters, etc. in Vince Cockriel's Cannon Falls Military History Museum at 33504 Warsaw Trail to be open to the public on July 4, 5 and 6 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free.

Local memorabilia including uniforms, etc. of local soldiers were donated by their families. Twenty-five new mannequins include 14 local soldiers along with touching memories triggered by photos or in the case of William (Bill) Daniels of Stanton - his discharge papers dated October 12, 1945. He was with the 19th Tank Battalion, 9th Armored Division.

Daniels drove "both light and medium tanks in combat in Central European theater. Drove convoy, blackout and battle formation... made repairs to tank motor, track and final drive."

"Received the Purple Heart, American Defense Medal, European African Middle East Campaign with two Bronze Stars and Good Conduct Medal."

Was innoculated with Smallpox, Typhoid, Tetanus.

Edgar "Ole" Olson was in the US Coast Guard-Merchant Marines and the U.S. Army. His son Wyatt explained: "He never really talked about any of it to me. He did tell me that when he told his father he was going to join the Merchant Marines, his father was very disappointed, upset, and tried to talk him out of it. His father was a WWI vet, who had been injured by mustard gas, so he didn't see much 'glory' in being in the military. My dad saw the MM as a way of getting into the 'action' before the war would end."

His daughter Cammy added: "He was on the Frances Y Slanger hospital ship. I see his discharge date is the day after VJ (Victory Over Japan) day."

"Ole" also joined the Army for the Korean action. Wyatt wrote: "I'm not sure what his thinking was when he joined the Army. But I remember him telling me something to the effect that he didn't want to stay in it because it was digging holes so you could turn around and fill them up again!"

Daughter Deanna remembered Ole saying this too and that he was in the Army Corp of Engineers where they fought floods by filling sandbags.

Cammy wrote: "The only thing he ever said to me about his army time was how much he wanted to go to Korea.....but later, after reading about the hell it was, he was very glad he was never sent."

Local soldiers featured in the museum are Bill Daniels, John Burch, Melvin Eckstrom, Donald Richardson, Robert Anderson, Randall Hughes, Edgar Olson, Loren Steenblock, Dorothy Daniels, Richard Dierke, Arthur G. Malon, Robert Midness, Arnold Sibbers and John G. Pasch.

The museum will also be open Labor Day (Sat-Sun-Mon), Veterans Day (Sat-Sun-Mon) or by appointment 507-263-3698 or vgc7175@hotmail.com.

History Museum

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