Iowa Gold Star Military Museum

Iowa Gold Star Military Museum
(95)

Iowa National Guard
02/14/2019

Iowa National Guard

Come out to the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. to hear Paul Bridgford speak about the history of Fort Des Moines - for free! ⭐️ Bridgford spent two years as the administrator of the Fort Des Moines Museum. His presentation will include photos of the post's activities during the World Wars. 🖼 #IowaGoldStarMilitaryMuseum #IowaNationalGuardHistory #FortDesMoines

December 17, 1903 - Orville and Wilbur Wright, two brothers from Dayton, Ohio, made the first airplane flight with a dis...
12/17/2018

December 17, 1903 - Orville and Wilbur Wright, two brothers from Dayton, Ohio, made the first airplane flight with a distance of 120 feet in 12 seconds. The brothers started with kites and gliders before moving on to powered aircraft. At the Kill Devil Hills near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, they made the first successful flight of a powered, controllable airplane. On the first launch, Orville manned the controls of the Flyer while Wilbur ran along side, steadying the right wing.
Three more flights were made that day, with the brothers alternating as pilot. Wilbur made the last flight, covering 852 feet in 59 seconds. The Flyer, slightly damaged from the last landing needed additional repairs. However on the way back to Kitty Hawk, a gust of wind overturned the airplane damaging the craft extensively. The Wright Flyer never flew again.
During the next few years, the Wright brothers continued to develop airplanes but kept a low profile about their successes in order to secure patents and contracts on their flying machines. By 1905, their aircraft could perform complex maneuvers and remain aloft for up to 39 minutes. In 1908, they traveled to France completing their first public flights, arousing widespread enthusiasm and public interest. In 1909, the U.S. Army’s Signal Corps purchased a specially constructed plane from the brothers allowing them to establish the Wright Company to further create and market their invention.
In 1928, the Wright Flyer left America bound for England for a display at the Science Museum on Exhibition Road in London. It returned to the United States in 1948 and is currently on display in the Wright Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.
Iowa tie: The parents of the two boys are Susan and Milton Wright. Milton, a bishop of the Church of the Brethren, traveled frequently to different parishes throughout the Midwest. In 1878, Milton had been assigned to a post in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and the Wright family settled into a house on Adams Street. During their first year in Iowa the boys received a toy helicopter-type spinner device that flew around operated by a rubber band. The boys became fascinated by the toy and successfully duplicated the device a number of times. In 1881, the Wright family would return to Dayton.

December 7, 1941 – At 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, a Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun appears o...
12/07/2018

December 7, 1941 – At 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, a Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun appears out of the clouds above the island of Oahu. Following the lone fighter, a variation of squadrons totaling over 360 Japanese warplanes, zero in on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor to begin their aggressive assault. The surprise attack deals a critical blow to the U.S. Pacific fleet and draws the United States irreversibly into World War II.
On Sunday morning, several military personnel with passes left base to attend religious services within the community. At 7:02 a.m., two radio operators verified a large group of aircraft in flight north of the big island, but with B-17s expected in from the United States mainland during this time, the indication did not raise alarms. These missteps helped set the stage for Japan’s devastating air assault on Pearl Harbor. After the onslaught, most of the Pacific fleet had been rendered useless: five of eight battleships, three destroyers, and seven other ships sank or had been severely damaged, and more than two-hundred aircraft destroyed. The combined total losses suffered by the American armed forces included 1,200 wounded and 2,400 killed during the surprise incursion. During the attack, Sailors, Marines, Soldiers and civilians valiantly attempted to repulse the invaders and aid their fellow Americans, including acts of heroism from Doris “Dorie” Miller, Kenneth Taylor, George Welch, Chaplain Aloysius Schmitt (from Dubuque, Iowa) and many others. The Japanese total losses included thirty planes, five midget submarines, and fewer than one hundred men. Perhaps the only silver lining in the outcome came in knowing all three aircraft carriers in the Pacific fleet happened to be out at sea on training maneuvers. These monolithic carriers would later enact their revenge upon Japan forces six months later at the Battle of Midway and reverse the tide of WWII.
The day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appeared in front of a joint session of Congress with a brief but powerful speech, invoking Congress to approve a resolution recognizing a state of war between the United States and Japan. Roosevelt declared, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. …No matter how long it may take us to overcome the premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through absolute victory.”

11/20/2018
State Historical Society of Iowa

For Eastern Iowans, go see the mobile World War I Honor Roll exhibit, now on display at the Carnegie-Stout Public Library in Dubuque. The display is sponsored by the State Historical Society of Iowa featuring thousands of stories from WWI. The video is when the display visited the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown.

The World War I Honor Roll is in Dubuque! Come and check it out at the Carnegie-Stout Public Library, now through December 17.

The WWI Honor Roll, a State Historical Museum of Iowa traveling display, features thousands of names and corresponding photos the State Historical Society collected from Iowa families who lost loved ones during the war. The society sent out an initial call, in 1920, and then again in 2017, to shore up the official records during the war’s 100th anniversary. The display is the result of that research – and a tribute to a generation of Iowans who sacrificed their lives to the cause of freedom.

Check out this video when the display visited the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown. Learn more about the display at iowaculture.gov/honorroll

On Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, U. S. Senator Chuck Grassley, paid a visit to the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum on Camp Dodge ...
11/15/2018

On Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, U. S. Senator Chuck Grassley, paid a visit to the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum on Camp Dodge in Johnston, IA. His visit was twofold, to present a variety of medals to veterans and family members of veterans and to promote the Veterans History Project associated with the Library of Congress.
Prior to the medal ceremony, the senator had an opportunity to meet with museum staff and volunteers. Robert Holliday, Board President at the museum, escorted the senator through the newly renovated World War II exhibit with interactive displays and additional artifacts.
During the ceremony, held between the WWII and Vietnam exhibits, Grassley would present medals to David L. Pontious, a Vietnam Veteran and the family members of William O. Davenport, a WWII Veteran, who has since passed away.
Grassley also spoke on behalf of the Veterans History Project, how veterans and family members can contribute their stories and individuals can volunteers to help support the program. For more information, go to Library of Congress Veterans History Project.

There are still some free seats remaining for the performance of "Glory Denied: The Saga of Jim Thompson,"  which is bei...
11/13/2018

There are still some free seats remaining for the performance of "Glory Denied: The Saga of Jim Thompson," which is being held this Thursday, Nov. 15, at Camp Dodge.

The tickets are for all Veterans or currently serving military members and a complimentary guest. The event will start at 7:00 p.m., at the Freedom Center (S-70) on Camp Dodge, 7105 NW 70th Ave, Johnston, IA 50131

To secure tickets please send and email, include the name of servicemember and guest, to [email protected] or call (515) 961-6221 ask for Dennis or Scott.

#GloryDenied #FreeEvent #CampDodge

On Saturday Nov. 10, 2018, in honor of Veterans Day, the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum hosted to a Veterans Day Celebra...
11/13/2018

On Saturday Nov. 10, 2018, in honor of Veterans Day, the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum hosted to a Veterans Day Celebration with guest speaker retired Naval Cmdr. Larry Spencer, Vietnam POW. Nearly 300 guests were in attendance for the event.
#VeteransDay

The Iowa Gold Star Military Museum hosted a Veterans Tribute Celebration today. 🇺🇸️ Current and retired veterans and civilians alike sang along to performances by Military Tribute Singers and the Young Patriots Club. 🎶 Guest speaker Larry Spencer, former naval commander and Vietnam prisoner of war, also spoke at the event. #VeteransDay #KnowYourMil #Thankful

📸 A Flickr photo album will be posted later today!

The Mackenzie Highlanders Pipes and Drums of Iowa  participated a global Veterans Day tribute in conjunction with The Th...
11/11/2018

The Mackenzie Highlanders Pipes and Drums of Iowa participated a global Veterans Day tribute in conjunction with The The National Piping Centre Otago Street out of Glasgow, Scotland and over 2,500 pipers worldwide playing ‘When the Battles Over’ at 6:00 am, which is noon in the United Kingdom.

To honor Veterans Day the Mackenzie Highlanders Pipes and Drums would give a very special performance this morning at th...
11/11/2018

To honor Veterans Day the Mackenzie Highlanders Pipes and Drums would give a very special performance this morning at the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum on Camp Dodge in Johnston, Iowa. Observed annually on November 11 to honor all military veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces. The holiday coincides with Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. The day formally ends the major hostilities of WWI on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect.
At the urging of major veteran organizations, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.
The Mackenzie Highlanders Pipes and Drums of Iowa participated in a global Veterans Day tribute in conjunction with The National Piping Centre Otago Street out of Glasgow, Scotland and over 2,500 pipers worldwide playing ‘When the Battles Over’ at 6:00 am, which is noon in the United Kingdom.
The Gold Star Museum pays honors to Iowa veterans daily, come see the new expansion of the WWII exhibit and the many other displays in the gallery. And to all those who served, Happy Veterans Day!

Don't forget about the Veteran's Day Celebration going on at the Gold Star Museum this Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, with gue...
11/09/2018

Don't forget about the Veteran's Day Celebration going on at the Gold Star Museum this Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, with guest speaker retired Naval Cmdr. Larry Spencer, Vietnam POW. Doors open at 10:00 am, admission is free.

For the first time since 1994, the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival was held in Iowa.On Sunday, November 4, 2018...
11/06/2018

For the first time since 1994, the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival was held in Iowa.
On Sunday, November 4, 2018, the Veterans Affairs (VA) Central Iowa Health Care System hosted the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, where over 3,500 Veterans from 128 VA medical facilities competed.
The organization is designed to spotlight veteran's talents in four creative art disciplines including art, music, dance and drama. Gold medal winners in the art division displayed their works in the Atrium in Capital Square Nov. 1-3, 2018, and the festival concluded with performances at the Hoyt Sherman Place Theater in Des Moines, Iowa.

Des Moines Metro Opera
11/06/2018
Des Moines Metro Opera

Des Moines Metro Opera

"Experience GLORY DENIED, an opera that chronicles the compelling true story of Col. Jim Thompson and the nine years he was held captive as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. A collaboration of Des Moines Metro Opera and the Iowa National Guard, the opera will be presented Nov. 16-18 at Camp Dodge in Johnston."

Check out this great preview of Cipullo's Glory Denied in dsm Magazine's gorgeous Nov/Dec issue!

Learn more→bit.ly/glorydenied

World War II exhibit drops in 101st Airborne from aboveOctober 24, 2018 - The World War II exhibit continues to grow wit...
10/25/2018

World War II exhibit drops in 101st Airborne from above

October 24, 2018 - The World War II exhibit continues to grow with the addition of two 101st Airborne paratroopers jumping into the European theatre. Mike Vogt, Museum Curator, and Will Thompson, Creative Director and proprietor of Armadillo Arts, with the help of workers and staff members lift two mannequins, in full 101st Airborne attire, into the rafters of the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum.
Walking into the WWII section there are two paths, to the left is the European theatre and to the right is the Pacific theatre. The paratroopers will be located near the end of the exhibit on the European side. One soldier is positioned at beginning his freefall while a second is standing in the doorway, just waiting for the ready to jump signal.
A rededication ceremony in November 2017 signified the completion of the Pacific section in the exhibit. With the addition of the Airborne paratroopers, the European side will also receive an interactive display module and additional exhibit cases. Currently there is no scheduled date for a rededication ceremony on the European theatre side.

Dr. Russell W. Currier, D.V.M., recently provided a lecture on the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 at the Iowa Gold Star Mili...
10/23/2018

Dr. Russell W. Currier, D.V.M., recently provided a lecture on the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 at the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum located at Camp Dodge in Johnston, Iowa. His lecture focused on the origins of the influenza virus, the effect it had on Camp Dodge and the Soldiers training there for duty in World War I and the preventative measures taken to protect the local population. Dr. Russell, a retired veterinary corps officer from the U.S. Army Reserve, worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) before taking a position with the Iowa Department of Public Health as the State Public Health Veterinarian. He spent nearly 30 years working with medical professionals, hospitals and local health departments investigating acute disease episodes around the state.

Monday, October 1, 2018 – Iowa Gold Star Military Museum Curator, Michael Vogt, attended the Iowa Council for Social S...
10/02/2018

Monday, October 1, 2018 – Iowa Gold Star Military Museum Curator, Michael Vogt, attended the Iowa Council for Social Studies Conference yesterday at the Prairie Meadows Convention Center in Altoona. Approximately 250 educators gathered to listen to keynote speakers, attend informative breakout sessions and visit various booths.
Vogt had the opportunity to speak with educators about the opportunities and resources the museum has to offer for both students and teachers. Several educators provided positive feedback surrounding recent fieldtrips to the museum and some indicated they will be returning with classes this year.
Iowa Gold Star Military Museum hours of operation are M-F 8:30AM – 4:00PM,
Saturday 10:00AM – 2:00PM, Sunday - Closed.

Sept. 18, 1947 – Between the Korean War and World War II America’s Air Force, known at the time as the Army Air Corp...
09/18/2018

Sept. 18, 1947 – Between the Korean War and World War II America’s Air Force, known at the time as the Army Air Corps, ended a 40-year association with the U.S. Army. Origins of the air force have been with the Army since 1907, but a progression of changes within organization, titles, and missions caused the Air Force to outgrow the constraints within the Army. The change brought forth the National Security Act of 1947 and President Harry S Truman signed the document establishing the United States Air Force in a new era in which airpower became decisively established as a major component in national defense and a strategic instrument in deterring war.
Lawmakers explained the reason for the change in a Declaration of Policy at the beginning of the National Security Act. By providing a comprehensive program for the future security of the nation and to provide three military departments within the national defense realm: the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force. The last section provided coordination and unified direction under civilian control and to provide for effective strategic direction and operation of the armed forces under unified control. On September 18, 1947, W. Stuart Symington became Secretary of the Air Force, and on September 26, General Carl A. Spaatz became the USAF's first Chief of Staff.
From the Iowa National Guard and the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum, Happy Birthday to the U.S. Air Force on its 71st anniversary. Fly, Fight, Win!

#USAF #71YearsStrong

September 11, 2018 - Yesterday 20 Wells Fargo volunteers coordinated by retired Iowa Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Stev...
09/12/2018

September 11, 2018 - Yesterday 20 Wells Fargo volunteers coordinated by retired Iowa Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Steve Altman, assisted with various projects throughout the museum including power washing outdoor equipment, conducting a library inventory, landscaping maintenance, data entry, and other activities. A big thanks to the volunteers for their help in supporting our mission of continuing to celebrate and honor the many accomplishments of fine Iowans who have served this country in uniform.

Returning to the tributes to the fallen, the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum remembers:August 31, 2007 – U.S. Army Sgt....
08/31/2018

Returning to the tributes to the fallen, the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum remembers:

August 31, 2007 – U.S. Army Sgt. Kevin Gilbertson, 24, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa dies in Landstuhl, Germany, from injuries sustained during combat operations in Ramadi, Iraq, two days earlier. He was a member of the 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, Germany. He was on his second tour in country.
Gilbertson graduated from Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School in 2000 and during his senior year he began looking at avenues to start his career path.
Keeley Frank, mother of Gilbertson said, “I loved him, we were close and when it came to high school time, he asked me, ‘mom, can I go into the service?’”
Military recruiters had been coming to Gilbertson’s high school and he was going to join on the buddy system with a friend of his, however Gilbertson’s friend decided not to join. He enlisted anyway, on his own.
“He loved it,” Keeley said. “From day one, especially all the exercise, lifting weights, that is what he really liked the most. But he didn’t tell me a lot of what he did there (in the Army).”
As life would have it, he became a family man with a wife and two children. His youngest was just 8 months old at the time of his passing. The soldier, known as an upbeat, rabble-rousing, ball of fire nicknamed “Gilmoe”, was gentle giant when it came to family.
“He joined the Army right out of high school to get a college education when he got out,” said Don Gilbertson, the soldier’s father. “His dream was getting a degree and supporting his family.”
Don made the trip to Germany, retrieving his son’s body to return home to Iowa.
Gilbertson’s funeral was held on September 11, 2007, more than 300 mourners from all over would hear about the love he had for his family and the ultimate sacrifice he gave for his country.
Maj. Gen. Howard Bromberg was on hand to present Gilbertson’s family with the soldier’s Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Action Badge awards. “We owe a great debt to his family members,” Bromberg said.
The Patriot Riders held dozens of flags at the chapel and at the gravesite to honor the fallen soldier. In a final goodbye, a color guard of seven fired three volleys, and a lone bugler played Taps at the graveside service.
He is buried at Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was preceded in death by his two grandfathers, Leo Unash and Allan Gilbertson.
In a memorial blog for Gilbertson, Sgt. Jason Willette wrote, “I miss you Gilmo, I really miss you! To all Gill's family, he was so very loved by us in his platoon, I will never forget everything he gave to me. Thank you.”

Address

7105 NW 70th Ave
Johnston, IA
50131

General information

Hours of Operations Monday - Friday: 8:30 A.M. - 4:30 P.M. Saturday: 10:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. (Closed Sundays, Holidays, & Holiday Weekends) -Free Admission -Tour Bus Parking -Museum Store -ADA Accessible

Opening Hours

Monday 08:30 - 16:00
Tuesday 08:30 - 16:00
Wednesday 08:30 - 16:00
Thursday 08:30 - 16:00
Friday 08:30 - 16:00
Saturday 10:00 - 14:00

Telephone

(515) 252-4531

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Iowa Gold Star Military Museum posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to Iowa Gold Star Military Museum:

Nearby museums


Other Johnston museums

Show All