715-392-7151 info@bvhcenter.org
Flag of Remembrance, Bill Duffy

Flag of Remembrance, Bill Duffy

Bill DuffySuperior, Wisconsin man’s service to his country to be honored during flag raising ceremony.

A Flag of Remembrance will fly Friday, June 30th, for William E. “Bill” Duffy who served his country as a member of the United States Navy during the “Cold War”.

The American Flag will be raised at 9:00 a.m. in front of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center for William E. “Bill” Duffy.

William E. “Bill” Duffy was born on July 10, 1929 (Navy records say 1928) in Menomonie, Wisconsin. He was the son of William and Pearl Duffy.

Bill joined the Navy at the age of 17 and completed Basic Training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Illinois. During his time in the Navy, Bill served on several Navy Vessels including the USS Ascelia, USS Natchaug, and the USS Gypsy. Bill loved the Navy. He always had fond stories to share about his time in the military service. Bill particularly enjoyed his tour of duty at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

After Bill was discharged from the Navy, he returned to Menomonie and soon after began sailing on ore boats throughout the Great Lakes from 1948 until 1960. Bill then sailed for relief work for M.A. Hanna for 10 years. After his sailing career, Bill became a licensed boiler engineer. Bill retired as Chief Boiler Engineer for Bayer & Company.

Bill married Letty Trainor on February 15, 1950 in Menomonie. On their 25th Wedding Anniversary Bill took Letty to Hawaii. Bill assumed the island would be the same tropical paradise he remembered while in the Navy. Unfortunately, to Bill’s great disappointment, it was not! Now, there were many hotels, malls, endless expressways with so much traffic! However, Letty had nothing to compare Hawaii with and she simply loved the island!

Bill was a loyal member of the Richard I. Bong American Legion Post #435 for many years. He actively participated in the Post’s Honor Guard and Color Guard. Bill passed away on August 5, 2016. The entire Duffy family are proud of Bill’s service to his country and are happy to have a Flag of Remembrance flown in his memory.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information about the “Flag of Remembrance Program”, you may contact any of the following individuals: John Vaski – (715) 394-7693; Scott Markle – (218) 269-4675. You may also leave a message at the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center (715) 392-7151. Email may also be utilized at: gro.retnechvb@ofni.

High School Essay Contest Winners

High School Essay Contest Winners

The “2017 High School Essay Contest”, proudly sponsored by the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center’, is HISTORY!

Lora Randa

Left to Right- Chad Postal, Lora Randa, Grade 10, Superior High School, Superior, WI , Lori Randa and John Gidley

The winners and honorable mentions have been selected. Congratulations! The field of entries was top notch! The contest was open to all High School students in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Center staff read and evaluated all of the essays and selected the top three entrants and three honorable mentions. The top essay will receive a Grand Prize of $250. A $50 cash prize will be awarded to the first and second runners up. A consolation prize will be awarded to three honorable mentions.

In a historic press conference on April 7th, 1954 President Eisenhower alluded to a “Falling of Dominos Principle” in which he explained the strategic importance of Vietnam in Southeast Asia. He related that if it fell into the hands of the Communists, soon after the rest of the region would fall. This announcement laid the foundation for the United States involvement in Vietnam. Looking back some sixty plus years, The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center asked students to write a short essay on whether the United States was effective in deterring the spread of Communism as a result of our presence in Southeast Asia?

The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is proud to announce the following “2017 High School Essay Contest” winners:

Top Winning Essay-Lora Randa, Grade 10, Superior High School, Superior, WI

-First Runner-Up-Adrian Ferguson, Grade 11, Denfeld High School, Duluth, MN
-Second Runner-Up Keeli Gustafson, Grade 10 Denfeld High School, Duluth, MN

Honorable Mention:
-Nate Swanson, Grade 10, Denfeld High School, Duluth, MN
-Jake Seboe, Grade 10, Lincoln High School, Esko, MN

Conversation with Edith Schultz:  POW & Refugee in WWII Poland

Conversation with Edith Schultz: POW & Refugee in WWII Poland

Edith Schultz

On Thursday, June 22nd the Richard I Bong Veterans Historical Center will host Edith Schultz, 94, who will speak about her childhood in Poland and how her life was impacted by World War II.

Bong Center volunteer and oral history interviewer Clint Mattson will facilitate a conversation with Edith that will explore her life both before and after the outbreak of WWII. Her father went into hiding before eventually being drafted into the German Army. Edith and her mother moved throughout Europe in an effort to flee the chaos around them.

“It was a terrible time that January of 1945. My hometown was bombed by the Russians and trains going west were packed with people trying to flee. We were all escaping with our bare lives and had only what was on our backs”, said Schultz.

From Poland to Germany to Czechoslovakia, Edith finally wound up in a Russian POW camp at the end of the war.

Join us to hear more about her story as well as her life after the war when she married a U.S. soldier and moved to Wisconsin. She worked as a lab and x-ray technician for 30 years at Giesen Clinic in Superior. Later in life she became a competitive swimmer in the Senior Olympics and in April 2017 was inducted into the Wisconsin Senior Olympics Hall of Fame.

Join us on June 22nd at 6:30 p.m. to hear Edith’s fascinating life story.

Refreshments will be provided.

The Mission of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is to preserve and honor the memory of Major Bong and all veterans of World War II, as well as subsequent conflicts and to provide educational resources for the Twin Ports area community and beyond.

Bong Veterans Center announces new Executive Director

Bong Veterans Center announces new Executive Director

Hayes Scriven

The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center announces that Hayes Scriven has joined the Center as its new Executive Director. Scriven, a native of Nerstrand, Minnesota, started at the Center on March 6, replacing Robert Furhrman who had been at the reins for the last 10 years.

Scriven, a 2005 University of Minnesota Duluth graduate, spent his senior year at the center as an intern. He assisted in the development of the “Holidays on the Homefront” exhibit. After graduating, he spent the next 11 years at the Northfield Historical Society where he served as Executive Director.

“In the process of doing our due diligence on the hiring of a new Executive Director we reached out to a few local museum professionals in the area,” said Bong Center Chairman Terry Lundeberg. “Hayes name continued to pop up in conversations so we knew we wanted to bring him in for an interview.”

“During the interview process we knew immediately that Hayes was the individual we wanted and couldn’t wait to get him to Northland,” said Board Member Ryan Kern. “There is something to be said about the Bong Center when you can go out and recruit your ideal candidate and they see your vision and want to be a part of it.”

“I am extremely excited to be back in the Twin Ports area,” Scriven stated. “My wife and I have always said, if there was an opportunity to get back to Northland we would seriously considered it. We love it up here!” Scriven credits his time at the center as an intern for where is love of local history comes from. “When I was interning here I fell in love with the personal stories I was researching. I felt a connection and a better understanding for the area. I knew after that internship that I wanted to work in a small museum, to preserve and document local history.”

Under Scriven’s leadership, the Northfield Historical Society had been awarded nearly $450,000 through the Minnesota Historical Society’s Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant (“Legacy”) program. These grants facilitated the construction of an elevator and six ADA-compliant restrooms, and the installation of compact archival shelving — all at the society’s downtown Northfield Scriver Building. The grants also have allowed the Society to hire professional staff in order to complete several curatorial projects.

“I am very honored to be coming back to such a great organization. The Bong Center is a very important part of the Northland and I am very eager to help preserve and document the local military history.” “We have an amazing staff and board here and we are going to do great things!”

The Mission of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is to preserve and honor the memory of Major Bong and all veterans of World War II, as well as subsequent conflicts and to provide educational resources for the Twin Ports area community and beyond.