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WWII Exhibit Opens to the Public, Nov. 11th

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The City of Alamo Museum will join much of America in observing Veteran’s Day on Friday with the opening of a World War II exhibit. Soldiers image Courtesy of Alamo Museum. Bgd Image source:  googlemaps
The City of Alamo Museum will join much of America in observing Veteran’s Day on Friday with the opening of a World War II exhibit. Soldiers image Courtesy of Alamo Museum. Bgd Image source: googlemaps

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ALAMO, Texas – The City of Alamo Museum will join much of America in observing Veteran’s Day on Friday with the opening of a World War II exhibit.

The materials on display come from the museum’s collection and include reprints of newspaper front pages with headlines about the most important aspects of the war in Europe and in the Pacific. Also, many war time postcards and recruiting posters are on display.

One of the recruiting posters of the 1940s era on display at the City of Alamo Museum. Image Courtesy of Alamo Museum

Uniforms, caps and helmets are included along with a barracks trunk, photos from the war and pictures of soldiers. A list of service personnel, who served during WW II, can be found, including the Esteves family with nine guys—Higihio, Martin, Vincente, Francisco, Ramon, Jesus, Erasmo, Raul and Juan Gabriel.

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Also among the items are insignia patches, battle ribbons and ranks worn by service personnel on their uniforms. 

Herb Moering, an Alamo resident and Friends of the Museum secretary, provided several of the uniform patches for the exhibit that were worn by his uncle., Jack Moering, who served with the Army Air Corps in the South Pacific from late 1941 until 1945.

In World War II military dress uniform are Jack Moering, left, and his schoolmate and lifelong friend, Art Jewart, which is part of a Veteran’s Day exhibit at the City of Alamo Museum. Image courtesy of Alamo Museum

Like almost all Americans, Jack related about hearing that Pearl Harbor had been bombed when he and a close friend came out of a Milwaukee movie theater. On Dec. 10, 1942, he enlisted as a private in the 863rd Aviation Battalion, which was shipped to Australia in June of 1943. The unit saw action in New Guinea and the Philippines, where the soldiers rebuilt captured Japanese airfields and bridges.

There were times when the rebuilding in New Guinea came under aerial attack or sometimes shelling. In one of the attacks a piece of shrapnel went through his tent wall. He also survived a kamikaze aerial attack while aboard an LST on route into a Philippines bay landing, but damage was reported as light in most instances. Malaria and other jungle diseases turned out to be the worst threat, he indicated.

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This uncle, who rose to the rank of technical sergeant by war’s end, finished his duty celebrating both VE Day and VJ Day in the city of Manilla in the Philippines. He returned to the family home in Milwaukee on Christmas eve of 1945, which he called ”the best Christmas ever.”

The sergeant received seven battle stars, a Philippines Liberation medal with a bronze star and Meritorious Merit unit award.

In his later years, while retired in Arizona, Uncle Jack told his nephew that he was no hero. He was just doing the job that his country asked him to do. He passed away Feb. 1 of 2021 at the age of 98.

As most students of history know, Veteran’s Day was first known as Armistice Day, the day that World War I ended. The armistice was signed at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. It was to have been the war to end all wars, which is why there is now Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11 each year, honoring all who have served in the military over the years and in the wars that have followed. 

The Friends of the Museum invite the public, especially Winter Texans, to visit the exhibit, which will remain open for the next three months. The museum, located at 130 South Eighth Street in Alamo, is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 956-961-4398.

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