Red Arrow: The reunion
By Kris Leonhardt
Final segment in a series on the 32nd “Red Arrow” Infantry Division
“When we were called up, we were not full strength. What they call fillers were called – these are guys who were in service two years and were out; they were still in the reserves. They were guys from California, some from Montana, some from Colorado, or whatever; they were called to bring us to full strength,” Joel Strack explained.
“A couple of guys were Ray Nitschke and Boyd Dowler from the (Green Bay) Packers,” Mert Fischer added.
“(Vince Lombardi) negotiated so he could get them back on weekends to play football,” Norb Konrardy explained.
But most of the division’s service members were from the state of Wisconsin, with many coming from central Wisconsin.
The members of Battery A, Battery B, and headquarters have stayed close through the years, with reunions from 10 years later and on, until their 60 year reunion coming this October.
“Some of them have been five years apart, but we have had reunions all along,” Strack said. “Because of the age of everyone, this is probably going to be the last hurrah.”
“We’ve stuck together for years,” said David Schalow.
“Pretty near everybody joined at a different time – some of them guys back in the 50s, we joined in the 60s – but when we were called up, we lived together, worked together, ate together for 10 months,” Strack added.
The reunion, like those before, is open to any member of the 32nd “Red Arrow” Infantry Division.
“There is a lot of camaraderie and a lot of discussion about the train ride and things that happened at Fort Lewis,” Strack explained.
The 60th reunion is currently scheduled for Oct. 16 at the American Legion Post 54, 2100 S. Maple Ave., Marshfield.
For more information, call Joel Strack at 715-305-3787 or Norb Konrardy at 715-676-3643.