military

Imagine your car. Now consider the amount of gas that it requires to keep it running. Picture that your car is in the middle of rural, untamed Nebraska: there are no gas stations for miles. Multiply your car into several hundred cars, and imagine you must organize a large group of men to drive them. You will be doing your best to chase down and capture men driving another group of cars. These other men know the landscape, and their cars run on grass instead of gasoline. What’s more, their drivers hate you, and attack any gas stations that you don’t guard.

Nebraskans have a long history of serving their country and their fellow citizens. In 2007-2008 the Nebraska State Historical Society and the Nebraska National Guard teamed up to showcase some of this history through an exhibit entitled, The Nebraska National Guard: Nebraska’s Citizen Soldiers in the Twenty-First Century. The exhibit closed in September of 2008, but it is now available as a virtual exhibit through our website.

Think about the clothes you save–what are they?  Chances are your family saves things like wedding dresses, christening gowns, military uniforms and other fancy or formal attire.  These get handed down for a few generations (maybe) and sometimes are eventually donated to your local museum.  Museums are happy to have these items.  Clothing collections help illustrate styles over the years, fine local or regional craftsmanship, and even changes in textile manufacturing.   However, what many museums end up with is a collection of formal and fancy attire.  That’s fine but it also doesn’t allow

Charles “Mutt” Davison, a Lincoln resident and former University of Nebraska baseball and basketball player, was awarded the Silver Star on May 21, 1945 for heroic conduct in action. Davison served with the 11th Armored Division in Germany during World War II. On April 2, 1945, Davison left Ruckingen, Germany with several other soldiers in a mail truck bound for the Division Class I supply distributing point. While passing through the town of Wolferborn, the truck was fired upon by German soldiers, and one of the Americans in the truck was injured.

In January of 1968 the USS Pueblo, a navy vessel on an intelligence mission off the coast of North Korea, was attacked and captured by North Korean forces.  One sailor was killed and the remaining eighty-two were taken captive and incarcerated in North Korea for eleven months.  Two Nebraskans were on board this ship, Charles R. “Joe” Sterling, raised near Weeping Water, and Commander Lloyd M.

The Library/Archives Division holds a small collection of papers and photos relating to “Chief,” the last U.S. Cavalry horse. Foaled in 1932, the U.S. Army purchased Chief in 1940 at Fort Robinson from L.A. Parker of Scottsbluff, Nebraska for the sum of $163. Chief arrived at Ft. Riley, Kansas on April 3, 1941, where he was assigned to the 10th Cavalry and later the 9th Cavalry. Chief was then transferred to the Cavalry School in June of 1942 where he would eventually attain the rank of Advanced Cavalry Charger.

The Library/Archives recently acquired a scrapbook relating to a Nebraskan’s military service during World War II and his capture and imprisonment in a German POW camp.  Quentin M. Coyle, a native of Valley, Nebraska, served as a Liberator bomber pilot during the war.  On April 24, 1944, Coyle’s plane was shot down over Germany and he was forced to parachute to safety.

Private's Spanish American War Era Sack Coat, Nebraska State Historical Society, C.C. Sheldon, Columbus, Nebraska

 

Private's Spanish American War Era Sack Coat; Source: C.C. Sheldon, Columbus, Nebraska

“Unknown Planes Drop Six Bombs on Tarnov.”  This was the headline from the Columbus Daily Telegram on August 16, 1943.  The article states that, “Two unidentified planes dropped practice bombs on the village of Tarnov between 4 and 4:30 a.m. today.  By noon authorities had accounted for six bombs.”

Unknown Planes Drop Six Bombs on Tarnov

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