Hi Everyone! Welcome to the first installment of our Oak Creek Heroes series. This series will investigate and remember those Oak Creek Citizens that served their county at a time of need. Read on!
Oak Creek American Legion Post 434
It was supposed to be the war to end all wars. At the time, it was called the Great War. The devastation was so unprecedented, it was thought surely mankind would never again embark on such carnage. Yet barely 20 years later, mankind once more seemed bent on self-destruction as nations descended into the Second World War.
The Great War would become known as the First World War. It ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month on November 11, 1918. We still celebrate the end of this war, calling it Veterans Day. It was first known as Armistice Day in the US. In 1945, World War Two veteran Raymond Weeks of Birmingham Alabama had the idea to expand the holiday to include all veterans.
It would be eight years before President Eisenhower would sign legislation officially establishing each November 11th holiday as Veterans Day.
What was once a holiday to recognize the sacrifices and heroics of our Great War Veterans was expanded to include all veterans. Despite the expansion, we still remember our Great War heroes, like Sergeant Emil Dallmann of Oak Creek.
Sergeant Dallmann enlisted in the U.S. Army on June 5, 1917, shortly after the U.S. entered World War I. He was assigned to the 39th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division. He trained at Camp Greene in North Carolina and Camp Mills in New York before sailing to France in May 19181
Emil Dallmann was born on March 19, 1896, in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. He was the son of William and Anna Dallmann, who were German immigrants. He had three brothers and two sisters. He grew up on a farm and attended Oak Creek public schools.12 He was 21 when he joined the army.
He fought in several battles, including the Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, and Meuse-Argonne offensives. He was promoted to sergeant and earned a reputation for bravery and leadership. With less than a month to go in the war, he was killed by enemy fire on October 14, 1918, near Bois de Fays in eastern France, during the second phase of the Meuse-Argonne offensive. He was 22 years old.1345
He was buried at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France, where his grave is marked by a white cross. His name is also inscribed on a memorial plaque at the Oak Creek Cemetery in Wisconsin, where his parents and siblings are buried.12
He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Croix de Guerre by the French government for his valor and sacrifice. He was also honored by naming the Oak Creek American Legion Post 434 in his honor, in 1920. The post still bears his name today and carries on his legacy of service and patriotism.1345
Credit Oak Creek Historical Society.