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Saturday, December 29, 2007


From the Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan -
"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, idealogies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every 'superstar', every 'supreme leader'. every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."

With our Best Wishes for a Peaceful and Happy New Year
The Museum Staff

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

MUSEUM IN THE NEWS Click to Enlarge

Thanks to Craig Wieczorkiewicz and The Times of Streator and Ottawa IL for giving us permission to publish this article on our blog.


Thanks from the President

The Museum thanks all of the speakers, workers and guests for the tremendous success of the Conference on America's "Forgotten War" - Korea. The Conference was outstanding and we look forward to the Vietnam War Conference in April.
Jack Murphy, President

Korean War Conference - Click all to enlarge

The Coldest War - James Brady

Korean Conference Speakers

Korean War Conference

George Pouliot

Jack Murphy Welcome

Saturday, October 27, 2007

War Museum Joins Pontiac Chamber of Commerce

Our museum is now a proud new member of the Pontiac Area Chamber of Commerce.

Click to Enlarge

Korean War Conference - November 17

We are proud to announce the second in a series of four free Conferences sponsored by the Livingston County War Museum. Two panels of local Korean War veterans will speak and answer questions on Saturday, November 17 from 9 am - 12 noon. Thanks to the generosity of our next-door neighbors, the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum, the Conference will be held in their meeting room. This will enable the War Museum to remain open to the public.
We encourage families and school age children to attend and meet these honored veterans of the Korean War. Just contact us at our email: dal@, call us at 815-842-0301, or send us the attached form. See you at the Korean War Conference - Living History!

Seneca Junior High Visits Museum

Thanks to the great group visit from Seneca Junior High earlier this month. Along with the 80 students were the following teachers and teacher aides: Sue Gumm, Kathleen Stadel, Ruth Capsel, Debbie Fitzmorris and Greg Stahl.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Recent Comments from our Guests

" Such an inpactful place. It is important that the stories and memories are preserved for future generations."
"This place is awesome!"
"Brings tears to my heart."
"Thank you for bringing this to the area."
"Very nice displays. Very informative."
"I loved how much history was in here."
"Beautiful job. Much more than I expected. You make me proud to be a teacher and proud to be an American."
"Very impressive and intimate selection of memorabilia."
"Thank you for the reminder that 'freedom is not free' "
"The personal stories and pictures are so helpful in understanding. Thanks to all who shared their experiences."

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

3rd Infantry Division

Our Honored Hero: S/Sgt. Lee Nelson Dwight IL

S/Sgt. Lee Nelson, 3rd Infantry Division, Dwight IL, US Army World War II. He was the most decorated World War II veteran from Dwight IL in World War II according to veterans from Dwight. Sgt. Nelson participated in the Anzio invasion and the war in Europe through Italy and Southern France. He earned the following decorations: Combat Infantry Badge, two Silver Star medals, Bronze Star medal with "V" for Valor in Combat, Purple Heart, Good Conduct medal, American Campaign medal, European Campaign medal with three battle stars and spearhead for the Anzio invasion, World War II Victory medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Citation. His uniform, loaned by the Dwight VFW Post 2608, is on display in our museum.

Friday, September 28, 2007


WELCOME HOME from Iraq to the 70 soldiers of the 33rd Military Police Battalion of Bloomington. The soldiers were responsible for security at Camp Bucca, an insurgent camp 300 miles southeast of Baghdad. It would be our honor to meet you and your families at our museum.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


WELCOME HOME from Iraq to the 1744th Transportation Company, Illinois National Guard, based in Streator IL! Once you settle in, we invite you and your families to come over to see our museum. A Job Well Done from the Livingston County War Museum! "Honoring Veterans"

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Newsletter for September - Click to enlarge

Our redesigned double issue newsletter will be sent to museum Members in September. We'll have information about many exciting developments in our museum including this blog, our new museum theater, the Korean War Conference in November and much more! Only museum Members receive this excellent publication. JOIN TODAY!

Membership Form -Double click

Join the over 200 members of the Livingston County War Museum as we continue to develop the museum.
You will receive our newsletters and invitations to special events held at the museum throughout the year.
Annual membership is only $20 per year (September - September) and Life membership is only $100.
Your donations are also appreciated enabling us to develop exhibits, offer Conferences at no charge, and to bring student groups to the museum.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Meet John Hamilton

Colonel John Hamilton, Pontiac IL, served as a lieutenant with the 15th Infantry, Third Infantry Division in the Korean War. John remained in the Army and the National Guard and attained the rank of Colonel before his retirement. His decorations include the Combat Infantry Badge, two Bronze Star medals with "V" for valor, Army Commendation medal, National Defense medal, Korean Campaign medal with 3 Bronze battle stars, Army Reserve medal, National Guard Achievement medal, United Nations medal, Korean Service medal, Republic of Korea Service medal and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation. John is an active board member of the Livingston County War Museum.

Great addition to our Air Force collection

Thanks to Malcolm Gray of Bourbonnais IL we now have on display several US Air Force framed patch collections and beautiful large photos of the Golden Knights Army parachute team, the Air Force Thunderbirds, the Navy Blue Angels, even a full parachute pack from World War II!

Girl Scouts visit

Twenty-two Girl Scouts and three Scout leaders from the Humiston Day Camp in Pontiac visited the War Museum on August 8th. Thanks for an excellent visit!

War Museum in the News (Double-click to enlarge)

Thanks to Craig Wieczorkiewicz of the Times for coverage of our museum in the Streator and Ottawa IL areas.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Meet John Amm

John Amm, from Pontiac IL, served with the U.S. Army Infantry, 65th Division in France, Germany and Austria during World War II as a Tech Sergeant. His unit made contact with the Russian Army in Austria and liberated the Nazi prison camp at Ohrdruf, Germany. According to John "our 65th Division liberated Nazi concentration camps as we fought our way across Europe. The conditions that we found were impossible to imagine."

His decorations include the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star medal with "V" for Valor, the American Campaign medal, the European-African-Middle East medal with three battle stars, the Army Good Conduct medal, the World War II Victory medal and the Occupation medal along with a Meritorious Unit Citation.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Meet Neil Bach

Sgt. Neil Bach, U.S. Army Air Corps, World War II. Neil particpated in the China-Burma-India campaign. He flew 112 missions (752 hours) of all types in C-46's (large cargo planes) to support American and Chinese troops fighting the Japanese. These air routes took them directly over the highest and most dangerous mountain range in the world - the Himalaya Mountains. This became known as "The Hump". Between 1944 and 1945, 81% of all supplies came into China via these air crews. His medals include: The Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with cluster, 3 Bronze battle stars and the Good Conduct medal. Neil is from Pontiac and is a member of the Museum Board.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Meet John Rodino

John Rodino, T-4, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, World War II. John was in the Anzio invasion and served as a radioman for Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier in U.S. military history. John was an Infantry soldier for 27 months and was with Murphy when he earned the Medal of Honor. John's unit landed in Southern France and the campaign took him across Northern Africa, Sicily, Mt. Cassino, Rome, Germany and Austria. John says "They gave me all the medals except the Congressional Medal of Honor, including the French Croix de Guerre and the Presidential Unit Citation with Palm." John Rodino is a life board member of the War Museum and lives in Pontiac.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Meet Willis Harms

Willis Harms, T-4, United States Army, World War II. Willis is a Life Member of the museum board. He served as an Infantryman, then a replacement medic when so many medics were being killed with the 36th Infantry Division in Europe. The Lone Star Division was in 400 days of combat and was one of the most feared divisions according to captured Nazi officders. Willis and his brother John were both wounded in combat in the Battle for Monte Casino Italy. Willis now lives in Pontiac but grew up in the Saunemin IL area. His medals include: Medical Combat Badge, Purple Heart, Bronze Star with "V" for Valor, Good Conduct medal, American Theater medal, Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater medal with four battle stars, World War II Victory medal, Presidential Unit Citation, and Meritorious Unit Citation medal.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

President's Message

The Livingston County War Museum continues to thrive and grow as word spreads about it. The Route 66 Museum and the War Museum provide great attractions to visitors of our city and county.
We have a lot of new items, new signs at the doors and hopefully soon an elevator for those who find the stairs too difficult. The City of Pontiac has been very helpful in making the two museums an attraction.
Our sole purpose is to honor and remember those who gave so much for our country and to honor those who serve today. God Bless America.
Jack Murphy
Livingston County War Museum
Dal Estes Education Center
Pontiac IL

Bill Voorheis - Veteran of Tarawa

Bill Voorheis, Life Member, pictured recently on a visit to the War Museum from his home in Kentucky. Corporal Voorheis, formerly of Cornell IL, was severely wounded at Tarawa, a major battle in the Pacific during World War II.Voorheis was shot seven times on the beach and spent two years recovering from his wounds. In spite of all of this, he considers himself one of the lucky ones because he made it home.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pontiac Junior High Tours Museum

Jack Murphy, Museum President, explains decorations on a uniform and the M-1 Garand rifle to Pontiac Junior High students and their teacher, Mike Lidy.

Cornell Grade School visit

Cornell Grade School visited our museum, saw the World War I uniform and learned about Walter Cornell, whose family Cornell IL was named for. Jack Murphy and Board member Gene Lyons gave a tour to another Cornell group.

Pontiac High School history class

Saunemin American Legion Auxiliary

The Ladies Auxiliary of the Saunemin American Legion visited the War Museum on June 5.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Museum President Named Citizen of Year (double click)

Jack Murphy, the War Museum President, was recently named Pontiac Rotary Citizen of the Year. Congratulations, Jack, for this well-deserved honor!

World War II Conference a Great Success!

Thank you to the City of Pontiac, Pontiac Tourism, and the many friends of the Museum who helped us put on a great World War II conference. Special thanks to our 12 honored speakers representing the Army, Navy, Air Corps, Marines and civilian life as well as over 100 guests. In the photo are (left to right) Jim Dawson-US Marines, Peg Spalding-US Naval Intelligence, Gladys Barnes-engine repair, and John Rodino-US Army. Other participants include: Wib Henkel - US Army, John Amm - US Army, Neil Bach - US Army Air Corps, Eric Merry - RAF door gunner, Willis Harms - US Army, Bill Diaz - US Army and David Siebert - son of a German prisoner of war. Following the Conference, everyone had fun travelling on Pontiac's Jolly Trolley to a local restaurant for even more stories!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

That Day the tide brought in Freedom

Remembering D-Day 63 years later. God Bless our D-Day and World War II veterans. Thank you for our freedoms.
We will never forget.

Remember Their Sacrifice

D- Day June 6, 1944. Staff Sergeant Herman "Red" Greenlee being brought in by Sergeant Mominee and PFC Cliff Voss. All with C Battery, 467th Automatic Weapons Battalion, Self-Propelled (Halftracks)

Omaha Beach on D-Day (Double-click) Drawn by Dal Estes

Two Heroes of D-Day: Dal Estes and Orval Monson

In the early morning of June 6, 1944 Dal Estes, Orval Monson and members of the 467th AAA Automatic Weapons Squad helped take out this German bunker, WN65, guarding a key exit off of Omaha Beach. They returned 50 years later to return the Nazi flag taken from inside the bunker to the people of France. It is now in the Musee Omaha 6 Juin in St. Laurent sur Mer, France. A plaque now commemorates their unit"s heroic actions on D-Day.

Dal Estes on Omaha Beach 60 years later

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Comments from our Guest Book

- "My husband and I felt in awe as we stood in the midst of memorabilia. I could almost feel the not forgotten heroes and their "ghosts".

- "Fantastic for education. Pontiac shows it has respect and pride for those who gave for our security."

-"This is the best "war museum" I've visited and I've been to several in our country".

- "Awesome museum. I could spend hours in here."

-"Extremely well done. One could spend a whole day in here!"

- "It was nice to see the items kept so well."

- "Very emotional, moving!"

- "Impressive display, very welcoming and educational."

- Thank you. This place reminds me of what my Grandpa used to talk about when he was in the Korean War. He told me lots of stories."