Robert C. McCoy at the Battle of Buna

By Kevin Hampton, Curator of History Robert C. McCoy of Sparta, Wisconsin came from a long lineage of military service. Grandson of Captain Bruce E. McCoy and son of Major General Robert B. McCoy (both namesakes of Wisconsin’s Fort McCoy), Robert C. grew up with a strong sense of duty

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A Son’s Service

More than 122,000 Wisconsin men and women served in the military during World War I, in all branches of service and in hundreds of different units. However, the largest concentration of Wisconsinites served in the 32nd Division, which consisted of the Wisconsin and Michigan National Guards. Much like today, individual

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A Shared Experience

By: Andrea Hoffman, Collections Manager While there are numerous reasons Wisconsin residents have joined the military over the last 150 years—each generation met with unique historical events and changing social expectations—serving one’s country has also been a shared experience within families. Whether a parent and child, siblings, or spouses, serving

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The Story of One Wisconsin WASP: Happy Landings, the Jeanette Kapus Story

Whether they were WACs, SPARs, WAVES, or WASPs, no witty acronym or cute nickname could belie the fact that women performed dangerous jobs across the country and around the globe during World War II.  By 1945, there were women serving in every branch of the United States military, standing a remarkable

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The Life-Saving Gift to Majil Steiner

By Andrea Hoffman, Collections Manager On November 21, 1944, the B-29 “Snafuperbomber” with the 40th Bomb Group was attacked over Japan while approaching its target city of Omura. While badly damaged, the crewmembers managed to keep the B-29 airborne back across the China Sea. But when the aircraft’s usable fuel

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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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World War II Sweethearts~Thomas F. Diener & Betty Gene Dealy

Part of the Thomas F. Diener WVM Collection  Thomas F. Diener, a Milwaukee native who served in the 2129th Engineer Fire Fighting Platoon (Aviation) during World War II, and his girlfriend (and later wife) Betty Gene Dealy during his stateside training and service in England.     Thomas Diener proposing

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If Dreams Come True…~The Wanserski Family

Part of the George Wanserski WVM Collection by Laura Farley This is a love story about Wisconsin natives George Wanserski and Florence Lange that spans nearly five years of separation and struggle to raise their family. Married July 18, 1934, the Wanserskis set up home in the Milwaukee area and

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Liaison Officer Karl Hanson

By Gregory Krueger, Curator of Exhibits After completing the Armor Officer’s Basic Course, where he made the Commandant’s List, Hanson was commissioned an Army Armor officer in 2000 as platoon leader with Task Force 1-64 Armor, Camp Dobol, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Returning stateside, he served as a tank platoon leader with Company

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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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