After a year of display in a local retirement community, a local veteran recently donated his Korean War artifact display to the Missouri Military History Museum in Jefferson City.
During his service in Korea, Bernard Schanzmeyer collected many objects and memorabilia.
âWhen I got home later, I decided I wanted to get each of these items that we needed to wear and then display them – and that’s what I did,â Schanzmeyer said.
These items include photos, Schanzmeyer’s uniform, awards, combat boots, a complimentary gift from the South Korean President, a replica of a helmet with a bullet hole he wore during an exchange of shots, an envelope from a letter he wrote to his wife, supplies like a compass, map and ammo belt, and much more.
Schanzmeyer and his wife spent several years creating these displays. They bought two glass display cases, made labels with comments for each of the items, and put the items together in the cabinets. When they moved to the Primrose Retirement Community of Jefferson City, they installed the exhibit in the building.
âI exhibited it here for about a year, then my family and I decided maybe we should do something else with it, which is why we decided to donate it to the museum,â Schanzmeyer said. âThe museum doesn’t have a lot of Korean War memorabilia so that helped.â
The couple were recognized at a groundbreaking ceremony on November 6 during Military History Appreciation Weekend at the Ike Skelton training site (2405 Logistics Road), where the museum is located.
Schanzmeyer was drafted into the United States Army in September 1950 at the age of 22. He served one year in Korea as a combat infantry rifleman where he received four bronze stars.
On December 24, 1951, Schanzmeyer boarded a personnel carrier in Japan to return home. He arrived in Seattle in mid-January 1952. Then he was posted to Fort Leonard Wood, where he spent two eight-week periods as a platoon sergeant, leading basic recruit training. His active service ended in July 1952.
Schanzmeyer also wrote a book about his service in the Korean War, titled “My Tour of Duty in the United States Army – a Korean War Documentary” in 2004 and dedicated it to his wife, Jean. She had kept the letters he had written to her, which enabled her to piece together the dates and places to write the book.
Copies of both books are part of the Korean War exhibit.
The couple hope that by reading Schanzmeyer’s account, their 12 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren will grow in their knowledge and respect for the sacrifices made by men and women in the military.
Bernard and Jean celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary on Saturday. Schanzmeyer’s second book, “This is Livin”, written in 2012, is a documentary about the couple’s life experiences, including their parents and ancestors, upbringing, business interests, travel and family activities.