WWI and WWII

RMMMH Honors Normandy Veterans
at Opening of New Gallery

| Normandy Veterans | U.S.S. Missoula | U.S.S. Missoula–Iwo Jima Project | WWII Internment Camp | World War II Map | Sam Caras WWI

Army insignia

The RMMMH opened its new combined World Wars exhibit on June 6, 2004, in the presence of a near capacity audience at the Laverne Parrish Building. Attending were several veterans of the Normandy Campaign, all of whom received Certificates of Appreciation for their service in Europe in the summer of 1944. The land, naval and air components of the Normandy invasion were all represented, as well as a cross-section of Montana's cities and towns.

Also attending were Colonel Alan Stricker of the Montana Army National Guard in representation of the active-duty military, and former University of Montana President James Koch. In his keynote address, Koch noted that a failure at Normandy would have meant a different and difficult path for the Allied forces in their attempt to subdue the Axis powers.

The opening of the exhibit "The World Conflict, 1914-45" significantly increased the RMMMH's display space.

The exhibit offers the most comprehensive look at the World Wars presented to date in Montana. Included are arms and equipment from all the major combatants of World war I, video footage of operations from all the major theatres of battle, an extensive and growing display of WWII decorations, models of many WWII combat aircraft and vehicles, a diverse and informative array of maps, and free handouts on many military and social aspects of the period. A WWII era 75mm pack howitzer, courtesy of Mr. And Mrs. Hayes Otoupalik is the centerpiece of the new gallery.

Certificates of Appreciation were presented to the following Veterans on the 60th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion.

  • George D. Apple
  • Thaddeus Babiak
  • Richard Blakeley
  • Ed Duelfer
  • Ray Grossman
  • Harry Harkins
  • John Hooper
  • Jack Kiely
  • Clair Mathiason
  • John Nelson
  • Bud C. Olson
  • Raynor Roberts
  • Lester E. Schock
  • Walter R."Bud" Shultz
  • Merlin J Shennum
  • Dick Stafford
  • George Weldon
  • Everett Wiles
  • Robert O. Durbin
  • Donald C. Whipple

The Museum continues to include still more artifacts, photos, and information on local service men and service women of the area.