WWI Remembrance – Paul & Charles Redeker

Charles Redeker (left) with his older brother Paul who is shown wearing the Distinguished Service Cross and the French Croix de Guerre. Photo Courtesy Don’a Nelson.


     Paul W. Redeker was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Redeker of Manistique. He was born in Manistique in March of 1897 and attended area schools.  In May of 1917, Redeker enlisted in the 33rd Michigan Infantry which was later federalized and became part of  Company M, 125th United States Infantry. The Distinguished Service Cross was awarded to Paul W. Redeker, Corporal, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Sergy, northeast of Chateau-Thierry, France, July 31, 1918. Corporal Redeker twice volunteered to carry messages from company headquarters to the battalion post of command through heavy machine gun fire and artillery barrage. He assisted in gathering the elements of the company together after the assault. He volunteered for every dangerous duty and in broad daylight, in full sight of the enemy, dragged wounded to places of shelter. The French government also honored Redeker with the Croix de Guerre medal. Redeker survived the war and graduated from the Michigan College of Mining and Technology in Houghton in 1926. He passed away in July of 1956 at age 59 and is buried in Fairview Cemetery. Read More...

WWI – Cpl. Vern E. Swingle, U.S.M.C.

Left to Right: Eugene Swingle (brother), Vern Swingle, Walter Burkowitz (uncle) and George Swingle, (brother), Circa 1910.  Photo Courtesy Don Linderoth

   Vern Erwin Swingle was born in Manistique on May 10, 1896 to Charles and Lena Swingle of 128 South Houghton Avenue. He grew up in Manistique and graduated from Manistique High School. After graduation, he worked in this city until obtaining employment in an automobile factory in Pontiac, Michigan.

     Swingle enlisted in the United States Marine Corp in Detroit the day after America’s entry into the war in April of 1917. He was the first Manistique soldier to go overseas and the first to lay down his life for his country. Swingle was killed in action in France on June 11, 1918. He served in the 6th USMC Regiment, 2nd Division. A few weeks before his death, Swingle wrote to a friend in Manistique about the horrors of war. “A fellow doesn’t know what war means until he gets up at the front line and sees a village ripped to pieces by big gun fire—all in the space of a few minutes.” Read More...

Ruth Ward – WWI Red Cross Nurse

Red Cross Nurses Hat from World War I – SCHS Archives

June 14, 1918

Somewhere in France

Dear Folks,

     Settled at last for now and at work, and near the front. I sure have seen some wonderful country and some historic settings, and I am so perfectly well for all my travels.

     Our boys are sure in it from accounts of their wounds and how they got them. We are sort of a second dressing station, and we evacuate almost as soon as they enter, getting as much treatment as is possible to give them.  I am certainly glad to be here, even though it is dangerous, there is the fact that you can be of so much good when the time comes to do it. And if you are always on your guard, you will find that it helps to be as President Wilson said, “Watchful waiting.” I can just hear the distant bombing of guns from here. Read More...