NO ONE LEFT BEHIND

NO ONE FORGOTTEN


Jefferson Barracks
POW-MIA Museum
16-18 Hancock Ave., St.Louis, MO 63125

Museum currently closed undergoing restoration/renovation construction. Thank you for your patience!

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WHY A POW-MIA MUSEUM?

“While we can debate the rights and wrongs of war, what is not open to debate is what these men and women did for their country. This country called, and they answered that call, and many did not return.

People ask why this is important, it’s important because this country sent men and women into harms way and made them a promise. The promise was that they would be returned and it is a promise made not just by our government and our military, it was a promise made by each individual American. Each one of these men and women were somebody’s father or mother, they were somebody’s brother or sister, they were somebody’s husband or wife. All of us are those mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, brothers and sisters. That makes the promise we made to them one husband or wife to another, one mother or father to another, one brother or sister to another, and this is a promise that we’re determined to keep.” – Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command

The Jefferson Barracks POW-MIA Museum will be a part of this promise, a part of that commitment with which we have been entrusted. A commitment through which our fellow Americans will be able to see and understand – a promise made, and a promise kept.

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Latest Museum Updates

During these very difficult pandemic times for businesses and for restaurants especially, Cafe Telegraph, located at 2650 Telegraph, St. Louis, MO 63125 still kept the Jefferson Barracks POW-MIA Museum’s donation jar on the counter and still managed to collect donations for the Museum.

Our most heartfelt Thanks to Cafe Telegraph, its customers, management, and staff!

Pictured: Bill Cieslinski, Owner.
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During these very difficult pandemic times for businesses and for restaurants especially, Cafe Telegraph, located at 2650 Telegraph, St. Louis, MO 63125 still kept the Jefferson Barracks POW-MIA Museum’s donation jar on the counter and still managed to collect donations for the Museum.

Our most heartfelt Thanks to Cafe Telegraph, its customers, management, and staff!

Pictured: Bill Cieslinski, Owner.Image attachment

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"You sob's are back in the Army now..." Liberated Stalag 17-B POWs pictured left to right, May 1945... Cecil Holliday, Herman "Herkie" Evans, George Jahnke, Red Dillon, John Reggie, and Bob Cole. Freedom is good.

In memory of Richmond P. “Red” Dillon, American Ex-POW, WWII, Stalag 17-B in Krems, Austria. Paul Dillon and I will never forget “Daddy.” 💞

Remembering these Former Prisoners of War... Eldon Broman, John Chaffin, John Clark, Robert Ruetsch, Ed Ucinski, Bob Adler, Ralph Althaus, Frank Annis, Clyde Baker, Glen Beck, Angelo Berra, Donald Blust, Dutch Borcherding, Leonard Bornemann, Lyle Bouck, Wallace Brauks, Victor Breite, Howard Brittan, Emanuel Cassimatis, Anselm Catoor, Landon Chilcutt, Harold Davis, Don Dreifke, Russell Dunham, Bill Eden, Bill Effinger, Mel Everding, Steve Fitzgerald, Charley Foley, John Fribis, Walter Gaterman, Rich Gearhart, Dave Godair, Ralph Gregory, Delbert Henson, Ross Houston, Eugene Kelch, Charles King, Lester Kraft, Vernon Kunz, Cyril Lake, Edward Little, Thomas McGovern, Ken McKalip, Glen Minter, Walter Mohrmann, Charles Mutert, Jerry Myers, George Noeth, Amon Overturf, Frank Promnitz, Fred Quiel, Carl Rieger, Emmett Rimmer, Donnie Rippeto, Carl Ronollo, Anthony Ruchal, James Shartzer, Ken Sohn, Robert Sorrell, James Stacy, Jack Stegal, Oliver Stohldrier, Paul Strippgen, Joseph Sutter, Bill Topping, Vince Venegoni, John Waidmann, Joseph Wolf, Russell Wray, Charles Zavorka, George Weber, Warren Vernon, Roland Stoehner, Bill Koeln, Jack Sorkin, Willard Watts, Joe Cramer, Henry Marganski, Oliver Lange, Tom Kornya, George Dortch, Elmer Meng, Herbert Niemeyer, Emil Perko, Joe Kritchell, Harry Kern, Pete Howard, Hal Roth, Oren Smith, Albert Duncan, John Winkler, Gerald Harvey, Lester Roettger, Robert Miller, Walter Barenkamp, Elmer Breece, Carl Snofke, Allen Sabol, Hank Mayhall, Jack Frederick, Edward Smith, Robert Wagner... Bless them all. 🇺🇸

We mourn the passing of former WWII Prisoner of War Bill Koeln.

Bill passed away peacefully late Monday night, March 22. However this sadness is tempered with gladness in that he is once again united with his beloved wife of 71 years, Doris, … where he wanted to be.

Bill served with the 3rd Infantry Division and was captured December 17, 1944 when his unit was overrun during fighting in and around Kaysersberg, France in an area known as “the Bloody Colmar Pocket,” the same area where Audie Murphy would earn the Congressional Medal of Honor a month later. Like Audie Murphy, Bill too was a recipient of the French Legion of Honor Medal.

To the best of our knowledge, Bill was the last surviving WWII Prisoner of War member of the Greater St. Louis Area Chapter of American Ex-Prisoners of War.

Because his last name was Koeln, when he was captured he was asked by his German interrogators if he spoke German and if he had any love for his fatherland. Bill defiantly told them that he didn’t speak any German and that America was his homeland.

Like so many of his generation he was never ever comfortable with being referred to as a hero. Again, like so many of his generation he would tell you in a heartbeat that the heroes were the ones who didn’t make it back. To make this point, if he told you anything about his experiences at all, it would be about the time his patrol was tasked with finding and locating a German machine gun nest.

His platoon sergeant told Bill and another squad member to scout ahead and see what they could find. Bill had just been made the assistant BAR gunner and was carrying all the extra BAR ammunition. He asked his platoon sergeant what he wanted him to do with all the extra BAR ammo. His platoon sergeant told him to go ahead and hang onto the ammo and stick with the BAR gunner, they may need it, and sent another in Bill’s place. The two that were sent out to find the machine gun nest walked into an ambush and were killed. Will Jones was the name of the soldier who took Bill’s place. That it was Will and not him scouting ahead that day is something that I believe Bill could not shake, and something he carried with him his whole life. You could see it in his eyes when he told the story. Godspeed Bill Koeln, you will not be forgotten. Tell Doris hello for us.

Per his family’s wishes, in lieu of flowers Memorial donations can be sent to:

Jefferson Barracks POW-MIA Museum
c/o Financial Support Services
P.O. Box 50348
St. Louis, MO 63105-5348
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Honored to have known both Bill and Doris. Loved seeing them at the annual POW/MIA Recognition Ceremony at Scott AFB, then Freedom Farm and, most recently, at the O’Fallon IL VFW.

God Blees you for your service Bill Koeln. ❤🙏

Thank you for this beautiful tribute in memory of my Dad. He lived a life of gratitude, humility and kindness. I feel so blessed to call him my Father.

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