Cpl Stahr 22 Jul : 09:53
NOTE: The Last Soldier link in our site's menu will now direct you to its own Last Soldier web address, which is outside this site.
Cpl Stahr 20 Jul : 12:18
NOTE: Special Order #38 has been published on the Front & Center page of this web site.
Cpl Stahr 10 Jun : 10:06
The Clayton County Monument project was completed with great personal effort in time and money by the members of the 49th! This is another tangible example of our stated mission…we are NOT a paper unit, but an active, hard-working, committed group of men. I am a proud member of an organization who remembers those who have served & are serving today. 1/Cpl. Stahr
Cpl Stahr 31 May : 12:06
Full Military Honors rendered to Sgt. Isaac Ford; no better way to spend Decoration Day!
Cpl Stahr 28 Apr : 07:29
The new Rules & Regulations are published and may be viewed by clicking the R & R link in the top menu.
Cpl Stahr 04 Mar : 09:44
"...With malice toward none, with charity for all..." Remembering Father Abraham's Second Inaugural Address, 150 years ago today, on March 4, 1865.
Cpl Stahr 12 Feb : 07:47
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Father Abraham!
Cpl Stahr 01 Jan : 13:45
Happy New Year, Brother Riflemen and to all our visitors! 1/Cpl Stahr
The motto of Company A, 49th Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry Regiment
70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE END OF WORLD WAR II
Public Relations and Media Committee Camp Dodge Joint Maneuver Training Center 7105 NW 70th Ave, Johnston IA 50131 515-252-4582
For Immediate Release
August 25, 2015
IOWA GOLD STAR MILITARY MUSEUM TO COMMEMORATE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE END OF WORLD WAR II ON SEPT. 2
The Iowa Gold Star Military Museum will host a commemoration ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 6:30 p.m. in honor of the 70th anniversary of the signing of the unconditional surrender by Japan, officially ending WWII. The public and media are cordially invited to attend this event.
The museum, located on Camp Dodge, 7105 NW 70th Ave., Johnston, Iowa, will feature four guest speakers for the event: Jim Vermeer, the son of Elmer “Dutch” Vermeer, a former Iowa state representative and U.S. Army Ranger who fought in Europe; Jerry Yellin, a fighter pilot who fought in the Pacific theater; Ed Reed, whose uncle and cousin from eastern Iowa were fighter pilots in the European and China-Burma-India theaters; and Wayne Brown, a Marshall County farmer who fought in multiple battles during the European campaign.
Vermeer’s father served four and-a-half years with the U.S. Army’s 2nd Ranger Infantry Battalion, V Corps, in the European Theatre of Operations. An engineer from Pella, Dutch Vermeer scaled the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc, France, to destroy an enemy gun emplacement as part of the D-Day invasion in June 1944.
Yellin, 91, a Fairfield, Iowa resident, fought in the Pacific and at Iwo Jima with the 78th Fighter Squadron as a P-51 “Mustang” fighter pilot. He went on to fly 19 missions over Japan, including the last combat mission there during WWII. He is author of four books and national spokesperson for the “Spirit of ’45 Day.”
Reed, a Marion, Iowa native who lives in Omaha, will talk about the service of his uncle, William “Bill” N. Reed, and cousin, William R. “Dick” Reed, both from Marion, who flew P-40 Tomahawk fighter aircraft during WWII.
Brown, 92, of Marshalltown, an infantryman during the European campaign, fought during the Normandy invasion, the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest, the Battle of the Bulge, and other engagements during WWII.
President Harry S. Truman appointed Gen. Douglas MacArthur to head the Allied occupation of Japan as Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers. For the site of Japan’s formal surrender, Truman chose the USS Missouri, a battleship that had seen considerable action in the Pacific and was named after Truman’s native state. MacArthur, instructed to preside over the surrender, delayed the ceremony until September 2 in order to allow time for representatives of all the major Allied nations to arrive.
On Sunday, Sept. 2, 1945 more than 250 Allied warships lay at anchor in Japan’s Tokyo Bay. As the flags of the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union, and China fluttered above the deck of the USS Missouri, just after 9 a.m. Tokyo time, Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signed the peace treaty on behalf of the Japanese government, followed by Gen. Yoshijiro Umezu, who signed for the Japanese armed forces. MacArthur next signed on behalf of the Allied Powers as the Supreme Commander, Adm. Chester W. Nimitz signed the treaty for the United States, and representatives from all of the Allied nations signed the surrender document. As the 23-minute ceremony ended, the most devastating war in human history, costing more than 60 million lives, was over.
Established in 1985, the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum is the only federally-recognized repository for military artifacts in the state of Iowa. The mission of the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum is twofold: to preserve Iowa’s military history and honor the military service of all Iowans.
The Iowa Gold Star Military Museum’s permanent exhibits tell the stories of Iowans who have served in defense of their state and nation, beginning in the early settlement of the state in the 1830s, through the Global War on Terror. The museum recently completed new exhibits detailing the service of Iowans in the Civil War and Vietnam War. An extensive exhibit honors the 34th Infantry Division (“Red Bull” Division), which holds the distinction of serving the most continuous days in combat of any division in the European Theater of Operation during World War II. The museum also contains one of the finest military small arms collections in the Midwest. Additionally, an exhibit about the history of the Iowa State Patrol is also on display.
The Iowa Gold Star Military Museum is located on Camp Dodge, 7105 NW 70th Avenue, Johnston, Iowa. Admission is free to the public. Museum hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The museum is closed on Sundays. Please use the NW 70th Ave. entrance, which is open 24 hours a day. Photo identification is required for adults to gain admittance to Camp Dodge (a driver’s license is acceptable).
Note that ALL motorcyclists (drivers and passengers) on Camp Dodge are required by Dept. of Defense policy to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) consisting of helmet, eye protection (full-face shield or goggles or sunglasses), gloves, long pants, long-sleeved shirt or jacket, and over-the-ankle footwear while traveling on Camp Dodge.
Group tours are welcome and available by appointment. For additional information or questions about the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum, contact the museum at (515) 252-4531 or visit the museum website at www.iowanationalguard.com/Museum/Museum.htm
At the appointed hour of 1:00pm today public gatherings were held at venues all across the nation to mark the 70th anniversary of the ending of World War II. Iowa’s took place at the Iowa Veteran’s Cemetery located just west of Des Moines near the town of Van Meter.
On hand to mark the occasion were surviving veterans of World War II and their families; as well as veterans from every other conflict that this nation has been involved in since, political figures and community leaders, Veterans Service groups, and members of the Iowa Military Heritage Society in the persons of Color Sergeant Michael Rowley and Sgt. Ronald Rittel and his wife, Sister Marilyn Rittel.
Col. Robert King (IANG Ret’d) presided over the event, and remarks were made by Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad (himself a “Cold War” military police veteran); Congressman David Young; Van Meter Mayor Allan Adams; and, Mr. James Herman, USPS District Manager all made welcoming remarks to all attending.
WWII veteran Capt. Jerry Yellin, United States Army Air Corps fighter pilot who is widely credited as being one (if not the) last combat airman to engage the enemy on the day the war ended (August 14th, 1945) while flying a mission over Japanese held territory, was the keynote speaker.
Captain Yellin, shown in photos below dating from the war era and more recently with Governor Branstad, specifically reminded the young people in attendance of their need to be ready if called upon to step forward and defend the nation and the principles of democracy that it stands for is called upon to do so.
Shown also is CS Rowley in the uniform of the Continental Army of 1776-83 with Mr. Calvin Beam of Nevada, Iowa. Mr. Beam enlisted in the military straight out of High School for the “Free, See the World Tour” that included participation in over twenty armed engagements across the European Theater before the war’s end.
The Iowa Veteran’s Cemetery at Van Meter was opened in July, 2008, as a final resting place for eligible veterans and their spouses. Since that time, interments have totaled 2,595. The cemetery will ultimately provide accommodation for 80,000.
The Iowa Veterans Cemetery has participated in the annual Wreaths across America Project in December of each year since it opened. The 49th Iowa V.V.I., Iowa Military Heritage Society has participated in these ceremonial wreath laying at all graves sites every year since the cemetery opened, and has provided the official Honor Guard for the posting of the colors at several of those events.
Most recently, the Honor Guard of the 49th Iowa contributed an original 1930’s era bronze tableau with President Lincoln’s immortal “Gettysburg Address” to the committal building at the cemetery in honor of the more than 13,000 Iowans who perished during the American Civil War.
1/Lt. David M. Lamb Inf., Commanding The Governor’s Own 49th Iowa
Late July Saturdays in Iowa can be excruciatingly hot. Especially after a few light showers have added just enough moisture to the air to bring the humidity level and the air temperature to within a couple of clicks of each other on their respective scales. By 9:00am, the temperature was hovering just above eighty degrees Fahrenheit; and, the humidity level was pretty close behind at 78%. “Good for the corn”, is the rationalization that one hears most often.
Perfect day for a bonfire….or, most accurately a “Flag Melting Exercise.” Which is precisely what one detail of guardsmen from the 49th Iowa engaged in this morning as they consigned just over 1,400 unserviceable flags to the healing flames of the U.S.S. Zenti in a more or less shady grove at Des Moines’ Glendale Cemetery. Color Sergeant Jake Grim headed the detail, ably assisted by Color Sergeant Louie Zenti (of U.S.S. Zenti fame) who was in turn assisted by Louie, Jr. when he was not engaged in keeping a couple of rainwater puddles from going to waste. Sgt. Ron “Bluebird” Rittel, and Corporal Frank Hanna completed the consignment detail that steadily stoked the fires with worn and faded “Old Glories” for the better part of one and one-half hours.
About two hundred yards due West of the spot upon which these guardsmen labored, myself, 1/Sgt. Jim Braden, Regimental Color Sergeant Mike Rowley, Color Sergeant Henry Krecklow, and Corporal Ricky Stewart busied ourselves in both the G.A.R. and WWI sections of Glendale Cemetery applying D-2 bio-cleaning solvent, and applying scrub brushes to government issue gravestones.
Not altogether certain which of the two details turned out to be the “hottest” events of the day. Sound arguments might be made for both, I’m certain. But more certain is the warmth from the feeling of jobs honorably undertaken, and well done; and, the camaraderie shared with our brothers will likely supplant the physical discomfitures of the day.
1/Lt. David M. Lamb Inf., Commanding Co. “A’ 49th Regiment Iowa V.V.I. “The Governor’s Own” Iowa Military Heritage Society
Flags at Half-Staff Through July 25 Honoring the Victims of the Tragedy in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Our thoughts and prayers as a Nation are with the service members killed last week in Chattanooga. We honor their service. We offer our gratitude to the police officers and first responders who stopped the rampage and saved lives. We draw strength from yet another American community that has come together with an unmistakable message to those who would try and do us harm: We do not give in to fear. You cannot divide us. And you will not change our way of life.
We ask God to watch over the fallen, the families, and their communities. As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on July 16, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, July 25, 2015. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.
On this beautiful mid-summer morning, at the site of the Red Oak Grove Presbyterian Church and its adjoining Cemetery in rural Cedar County, Iowa, the 49th Iowa was given the extraordinary honor of posting the National Colors, and performing the Tolling of the Angelus for the Dead at ceremonies organized by the Cedar County Historical Society and the congregation of the church.
The entire article on Red Oak Grove Remembers its Heroes may be read by opening the .pdf link below:
Marine Corps Major General Jos. L. Osterman has assumed command of USMARSOC (United States Marine Corps Special Operations Command). Another monumental change has taken place recently for this unit of elite warriors when the MARSOC recently adopted the name “Marine Raiders” as a nod to the heritage of the specially trained and equipped fighting force of 2 battalions and 2 Marine regiments that operated in the South Pacific Theater of war from 1942-1944.
The Marine “Raiders”, like the Army “Rangers” were the US military’s response to a desire to form small, highly trained, and exceptionally motivated “commando” style fighting units based upon the model of the British Commando’s. Both units conducted operations behind Enemy lines during the heavy fighting in the Pacific as the US Military sought to drive the Imperial Japanese Armies out of the island territories that it had overrun in the early months of the war.
Pictured above is the emblem of the MARSOC, whose Command and Control is functionally assigned to USSOCOM (United States Special Operations Command) headquartered at McDill AFB, Tampa, FL.
Pictured below is the WWII era Marine Raiders patch. The new “Raiders” will adopt a similar “unofficial” emblem, sans the skull of the original Marine Raider Battalions. This new emblem is not yet officially authorized for wear on the Marine uniform.
In other, related news, the USMC Officer’s Training Course in 2014 approved a new PMOS 0370 (Primary Military Occupational Specialty) for Marine Officers graduating from the USMC Forces Special Operations Command Individual Training Course. The new course is designed to turn out Officers for MARSOC units across the command, and was approved by Commandant of the Marine Corps General James F. Amos in August of last year.
Welcome back, Raiders!
Gung-ho! And Semper Fi!
Respectfully submitted, 1/Lt. David M. Lamb 49th Iowa V.V.I. The Governor’s Own Iowa Rifles Iowa Military Heritage Society
During the work detail held at Woodland Cemetery in Des Moines, Iowa, last Saturday guardsmen of the 49th Iowa treated and scrubbed dozens of government issued gravestones in the Eastern-most Grand Army of the Republic section of the cemetery.
We also cleaned a good deal of moss and lichen from two larger memorials located in that section of this oldest of Des Moines cemeteries. One of these, a thirty foot obelisk erected by the Ladies Auxiliaries of the “Crocker and Kinsman Camps” erected in 1920; and a smaller gray granite stepped plinth and column bearing the “Flower Girl” one placed in 1907 by the long-disbanded Gen. James Williamson Circle No. 54 of the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic.
On the West-facing dedicatory panel of this LGAR monument is the inscription “To the Unknown Dead”. On the North and South faces of the largest section of the edifice are the simple words “Soldiers” and “Sailors” respectively.
None of us in the detail, who had seen this monument dozens upon dozens of times over the course of the past several years had ever paid a great deal of attention to the inscription located on the Eastern aspect of this monument until peeling away a layer of lichen encrustation. Apparently, those who erected this edifice to the unknown dead from the Civil War, had chosen to return to the monument at the outbreak of another war and added the inscription:
In Memory Of Our Boys Who Died For Democracy 1917 -
No second date exists. Telling us that by the time the war to which they refer ended on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1919, there must have been none of those ladies left to complete the task of inscribing the second date.
None present could believe that we have passed this monument, collectively, hundreds of times and never noticed the omission.
The 49th Iowa VVI has already contacted and contracted with a local stone cutter to finish this piece of “unfinished business” on behalf of the ladies of the General James A. Williamson Circle No. 54, Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic. We believe they would be pleased.
1/Lt. David M. Lamb Inf., Commanding 49th Iowa VVI “The Governor’s Own” Iowa Military Heritage Society
Guardsmen of the 49th Iowa continue to also serve our state, our communities, and our veterans and their families in several ways. Engaging in cemetery-related ceremonial endeavors to honor veterans like the annual Wreaths Across America Project and Memorial Day Remembrances; performing uniformed Full Military Honors at the dedications of newly places gravestones in compliance with military regulations and protocols; providing dignified and militarily appropriate flag-retirement ceremonies for municipalities and county agencies; are but a few of the activities that we engage in to fulfill our commitment to continue to honor those veterans who have served our state and nation and are now at rest beneath Iowa sod...
This is the opening paragraph of a well written, interesting eight page article covering the cleaning of G.A.R. gravestones and the history of military headstones. The article may be read in its entirety by downloading a .pdf in the link below: