Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Annual May Exhibit Honoring Veterans

Initiated by Niles resident and veteran Al Aronson in 2009, this annual display honors America's veterans and highlights the library's participation in the national Veterans History Project.

This year the library spotlights the contributions of World War II B-17 tail gunner, Chester Rogala, and his son Richard, a POW of the North Koreans upon their capture of the US Pueblo in  1968.

Niles resident and collector, Chris Reuscher, assisted library staff in the planning and execution of the exhibit, loaning the historically accurate clothing and gear which would have been worn by Chester Rogala while serving in the US Army Air Corps, flying out of Foggia, Italy on his 51 combat missions. Niles veteran and resident, Ralph Ponfil, also made items available for the exhibit.

Richard Rogala displays his Navy uniform and the North Korean garb he wore upon his release across the Bridge of No Return on December 23, 1968 along with 81 other crew members.

Both transcripts can be read via the library's website along with those of 48 other veterans.

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