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Faces of WWII Veterans of Clarke County, IA: a Photo Exhibit by Dr. Bill Schaefer to be Displayed at Iowa Gold Star Military Museum


The Iowa Gold Star Military Museum, located at Camp Dodge in Johnston, Iowa, will host a photographic exhibit entitled “Faces of World War II – Clarke County, Iowa.” This exhibit, by Professor Emeritus William Schaefer of Grand View University, opens Friday, May 18.

Schaefer, born in June1939 (the year WWII started in Europe), said his earliest memories were of a nation “where everyone was encumbered by the war, Soldier and civilian alike. During the years of building my cabin in Clarke County, I met many Clarke County WWII veterans and, with increasing frequency, read their obituaries in the local paper.”

He said his goal was to photograph those Clarke County WWII veterans who were still alive to preserve their faces and memories for future generations. By the end of the year-long project, he had found and photographed 43 WWII veterans, including three female veterans.
On display at the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum throughout the summer of 2012, this exhibit depicts WWII veterans during their service to the nation and also in the present. Each photo includes biographical and military service information about the featured veteran. This project was previously displayed at Grand View University and in Clarke County, Iowa.

Schaefer, a Des Moines resident, enlisted in the 3llth General Hospital unit of the U.S. Army Reserve, in Minot, N.D. in 1957. After college at Minot State University, he taught high school history in North Dakota and developed an interest in photography. He then earned masters and doctorate degrees in photographic communication from Indiana University at Bloomington, Ind. and arrived at Des Moines’ Grand View University in 1980. Schafer taught photography for almost 30 years at Grand View, retiring in 2009.

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 honor the military service of all Iowa veterans, and preserve Iowa’s military history. Additionally, an exhibit detailing 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.-4:30 p.m. Saturdays. 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).