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Local military items on display in museum's Study Hall

Thursday, August 2, 2012

(Photo)
Military uniforms from World War I through Desert Storm are part of a military display at the Plymouth County Historical Museum's fourth floor Study Hall. The display runs through September.
History is once again being told in a room students used as a Study Hall years ago.

A military exhibit is on display at the Plymouth County Historical Museum's renovated Study Hall through September.

The Study Hall is located on the museum's fourth floor.

The military exhibit opened July 4 and features a number of uniforms from the museum's collections.

"All of these uniforms have been donated to the museum," said Mary Holub, museum registrar and exhibit manager.

The uniforms represent wars from World War I to Desert Storm.

"This is just a sampling of the uniforms we have in our collection," said Holub. "There is at least one uniform for every branch of the military represented."

A table holds a variety of caps and head gear worn by the various branches, ranging from dress uniform to battlefield.

Holub points to a foot locker which holds a uniform and other items that belonged to Norman Roggow, who served in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam.

In October 1967, Roggow's E-1B Tracer was returning to the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany, flying in bad weather, according to reports from military officials at the time.

Three days later the plane wreckage was found on the face of a steep mountain. Conditions at the time prevented a ground recovery.

Remains of the five men aboard, including Roggow's, were returned to the United States by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1993 and 1994.

The remains were identified and released to the families in late 2007.

The Roggow family held a funeral service Dec. 14, 2007, at Grace Lutheran Church, with inurnment of the remains in Memorial Cemetery in Le Mars.

"It's so sad that his dad died before they identified and returned Norman's remains," Holub said.

The Roggow family donated the various items to the museum in 1984.

Pictures of various military members from Plymouth County fill display cases in the Study Hall, along with several issues of the Stars and Stripes military newspapers.

On loan for the exhibit are picture albums and memorabilia of Capt. Edmund Valentine, who served with the Army Occupation in Japan in 1946-47.

Valentine also was in charge of a prisoner of war (POW) camp at Indianola, Neb., where German POWs were held.

Among the items displayed are several wood carving items handmade by German POWs.

Mary Valentine has loaned the items for the exhibit.

The Study Hall area is air conditioned and accessible by elevator, according to Holub.

Museum Administrator Judy Bowman said it's great to see the room being put to use.

"When we first started renovation of the Study Hall, we kept asking 'how are we going to use the room?'" said Bowman.

Now they have started to find opportunities, she said.

"It's a beautiful room and we can now see a lot of uses for it," Bowman said.

She points to the museum's vast collection of clothing items.

Bowman foresees a display of wedding dresses as one possibility.

"Mary did a tremendous job on the military exhibit," said Bowman.

In putting together the exhibit, Bowman and Holub said the museum is in need of more mannequins to be used to display clothing items.

The museum is located at 335 First Ave. S.W. Contact museum personnel at 546-7002.



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