Waterloo museum plans exhibit on Korean War veterans

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 19, 2017 at 10:53 a.m.

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WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — An upcoming exhibit about the Korean War at a Waterloo museum will focus on the experiences of servicemen, especially those from Iowa, as well as the weaponry they used.

Major elements of the exhibit at the Grout Museum are still being planned, but it will include names and photos of Iowa residents killed in the war, The Courier (http://bit.ly/2mnVhqV ) reported.

"That's kind of our focus 7/87/8— the troops' story, particularly Iowa troops," said Erin Dawson, the museum's exhibits curator. "We are trying to pick out individuals."

Veterans on the exhibit's planning committee will help curate video-recorded oral histories of veterans and their photo albums, diaries and artifacts to be displayed.

"There's something about seeing a photograph an Iowan took, seeing it literally through their eyes, this photograph that is passed on," said Chris Shackelford, historic content and program developer for the Grout Museum District. It's amazing how many of them have it. In the 1950s cameras were a lot more available to the general public."

Dwight Clark, who served in the Marines during the Vietnam War, is helping collect items for the Korean War exhibit. So far, he has found a flamethrower, mortar, light machine gun and M-1 military rifle.

"It's really nice, to hear at least from the vets on the committee, their experiences during the war," Dawson said. "What the temperature was like, whether it was hot or cold. What the rice paddies smelled like. Everything."

Gene Holmes said he became involved with planning the exhibit because he served with the father of retired Grout exhibits curator Robin Venter.

"It's been a good experience," he said. "It's a real hoot to be with these guys (Grout staff) who know what they're doing and plan the exhibit."

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