The Annual Membership Meeting for the Fiscal Year of 2015 will be held on Sunday, January 24, 2016 at 2:00 pm at the Museum. It is vital that we have members attend the Annual Membership Meeting. This is a chance for everyone to be able to see what has happened at the Museum in 2015 and to understand where the Museum is headed into 2016 and beyond.
This year, two Board of Director positions are open for election. Board members Carl Johnson and Lee Grimes have faithfully served their terms both of these fine men are seeking reelection to the Board of Directors.
Stan Baker has also finished his active term as Past President of the Board of Directors. For the next eight years he will continue to hold the title of Past President. Stan has served on the Board of Directors with honor, integrity and wisdom for so many years. The Museum would not be where it is today without his leadership.
Any member who wishes to serve on the Board of Directors must submit their name and a biography of no more than 50 words and / or what you can contribute to the Veterans Memorial Museum Board of Directors to either Dale Ingle or Lee Grimes who are the chair heads of the candidate committee.
Upon completion of the election of Board Members, the officer positions of the Board must also be filled. A second ballot at the General Meeting will be called to elect the officers.
A minimum of 25 people is required to hold a meeting. Your input is valuable and appreciated. If you support the Museum and are close enough to come, please plan on joining us.
If you plan on attending, please call or drop by the Museum so we can place your name on our attendance list.
Date: Sunday, January 24, 2016
Time: 2:00 pm
Place: Veterans Memorial Museum
100 SW Veterans Way, Chehalis, WA
Pearl Harbor Survivors & World War II Veterans Dinner
On December 6th, 2015 at 2:00 pm the Veterans Memorial Museum held our 18th annual World War Two / Pearl Harbor Veterans Remembrance Day. It was such a blessing to have 17 Veterans and 4 "Rosie the Riveters" It was an afternoon of great food, great music and a great guest speaker.
This year’s entertainment was once again provided by the very talented kids of the Napavine High School Jazz Band. This amazing group of young men and women played the Big Band hits of the 1930’s and 40’s for the dinner entertainment. Brynn Garret also came and sang several songs of the era to the delight of many. The food was exceptional and was provided by Trina Gardipee of Catrina’s Catering.
This year's guest speaker was US Naval Aviator Harry Hokanson who flew F6F Hellcats and the F4F Wildcat fighters in the Pacific.
Our veterans in attendance this year were as follows:
-Boatswains Mate 1st Class Howard Gage who served aboard the USS Nevada at Pearl Harbor and later aboard a destroyer in the Pacific.
-CPO Aviation Mechanic Bill Furrer was at the Naval Air Station on Ford Island during the Pearl Harbor attack. Later he served on a support carrier. He also served in the Korean War.
-CPO Motor Machinist Leland Davidson joined the Navy in 1940. He served aboard the USS Saratoga in the Pacific and the bombardment campaign of Rabaul.
-Sgt Bob Kabel was drafted by choice into the Army in 1942. He landed in France with the 102nd Infantry Division and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He ended the War at the Elbe River where he met the Russian Red Army.
-Pfc Wesley Newby served with the 84th Division as a medic. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge where he earned the Combat Medic Badge and two Bronze Stars.
-Sgt Bud Poynes joined the Marine Corps in 1942. He served as an aviation mechanic on F4 Corsairs on Guam and several other Pacific Islands.
-Machinists Mate 2nd Class John Castle joined the Navy and served on the USS Leo a troop transport attack ship. He was at the landings on Iwo Jima and saw the end of the War in Japan. His ship later transported back our surviving POW’s.
-Flight Officer Frank Bates joined the Army Air Force in 1943 and was serving with a squadron of B-24s at Pearl Harbor that would have been a part of the Invasion of Japan when the war ended. Later he was sent to Japan as part of the Army of Occupation.
-Pharmacists Mate Herb Yantis joined in 1943 and served aboard a Landing Craft Infantry on the Philippines and other Pacific Islands. His ship was hit 85 times by Japanese forces.
-Tech Sgt Charlie Berg joined the Army in 1943. He built bridges along the Alaskan Highway before he was sent to Europe for the Normandy landings as they needed men to drive Caterpillar Tractors for the beaches.
-SSgt Cy Myers joined the Marines in 1943 and fought in the invasion of Iwo Jima.
-Aviation Machinist Mate 3rd Class Eugene Frasier joined the Navy in 1944 and repaired aviation instruments on the Philippine Islands till the end of the War.
-Seaman 2nd Class John Hadaller joined the Navy in 1944. He was aboard amphibious landing craft for the invasion of Okinawa and later with the occupation forced of Japan.
-Pfc David Eveland joined the Army in 1944 and was later sent to Europe. He took part in the final push of breaking the Siegfried Line and the Occupation of Germany.
-Cpl Ervin Tonkin joined the Army in 1945 and served with an artillery unit. He was with the Occupation forces of Japan from 1946 to 1947.
-Ships Cook 2nd Class Ken Witworth served aboard the USS Nereus, a sub tender, in the Pacific and ended the war with the Occupation of Japan forces.
-Pfc David Litz joined the Army in 1945. He was taking his physical when the Germans surrendered on May 8th. Later he was sent to Germany with the Army of Occupation.
-Margaret Shields began working the war industry as a mechanic with Boeing in Seattle and later worked in the Boeing plant in Chehalis.
-Nelly Eveland built fighter canopies for Boeing at Felts Field in Spokane.
-Helen Holloway began working for the war effort at 17 when she test fired .30 cal carbines. She then went on to work on building B-24s, B-25s and B-29s.
-Doris Bier started her career in the war effort at the age of 16. She worked at the Mount Rainer Ordinance Depot assembling Jeep axles.
"The Miracle Museum"
By Lee T. Grimes
as told to Julie McDonald Zander
This incredible story tells how God inspired what led to the creation of the Veterans Memorial Museum. After a Fourth of July Patriotic Program at the Centralia First Church of God, the founder of the museum was visited by the Holy Spirit and given the message
“No, don’t let them forget; go out and get their stories.”
From that spiritual encounter that night, the Veterans Memorial Museum was born. It has flourished under God’s guidance, providing a place of healing for the hearts of hurting veterans, a place where people care. This book relates the many miracles that have unfolded as the museum grew from an idea to the worldwide recognized memorial it is today. – Lee Grimes
(as taken from the rear cover of the book)
The book has finally arrived! Get your copy today! Learn the detailed stories that made this miracle happen. Over one hundred photos!
Limited Edition Color Hardback is $35.00 each
Soft Cover is $15.00 each
Shipping is $5.60 for one book. Call for postal rates for more than two books.
To order your copy – please stop by the Veterans Memorial Museum or send check, money order or cash to
Veterans Memorial Museum
100 SW Veterans Way
Chehalis WA 98532
Payments by Credit Card over the phone are possible as well
Call today for more details!
Mission of the Museum
Our mission is to honor, and perpetuate the memory of the service men and women who have served in our nation's armed forces down through the history of our country during peacetime or war.
The mission of the museum began over a decade ago with the goal of making sure that our veterans "Shall Not Be Forgotten".
The museum began with humble beginnings in 1997 at a storefront and in 2005 we opened our new facility visible from Interstate 5 just off of exit 77.
The museum features a 9,000 square feet main gallery with 85 display cases and hundreds of displays honoring our veterans. The museum features a military history reference library with thousands of volumes. There is also a gift shop and a "USO" where you can come and enjoy a cup of coffee and some conversations with our local veterans. For special occasions the museum also has a modern 3,000 square foot Events Center.
Information on operating hours, admission fees and other features of the museum.
- Upcoming Events For 2016 -
Annual Business Meeting January 24th at 2 pm
Memorial Day at Claquato Cemetery May 30th
Desert War Era Veterans Day June 18th
4th of July Parade in Centralia WA
Civil War Battle July 9th - 10th
Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Day August 6
Korean War - POW/MIA Veterans Day Sept 24th
World War II / Pearl Harbor Survivor Dinner Dec 4th
They Shall Not Be Forgotten...