The Winona Steamboat Days Festival Committee is pleased to announce the Military Grand Marshalls for 2013 are Arthur A Redig and David Mahlke III. Arthur served from October 15, 1940 to October 5, 1945.
Arthur Redig and a school friend decided to join the army together. The friend backed out. Arthur enlisted on the 15 October, 1940, the same day he was to register for the draft at Fort Snelling MN, Company 1, 3rd Infantry (The Old Guard).
On October 29, 1940, his Company was alerted to move. They left for Newfoundland on January 20, 1941 and returned to the United States, September 17, 1943 to Camp Butler North Carolina for five months. He then moved on to Fort Benning Georgia for 11 months, until March 8, 1945.
Arthur was then transferred into 106 Division to replace troops lost in the Battle of the Bulge, Company G, 254th Infantry. He arrived in LaHarve France on the 18 of March, 1945. He and his company slept in a tent the first night as a steady roar of planes flew overhead. The war ended the next day.
They went into France the following day and the people in town happily greeted Arthur and his company. They then moved into Germany, where they trained surplus Air Corps personnel for service in Japan, but the war ended before they had to leave.
During his service, Arthur Redig was listed as Light Machine Gun for 8 months and as Cook for 52 months.
Arthur was the first to join the service of our country from the Winona area for World War II. He was the first from his Church to enlist and he was part of the first troops to leave the US in World War II.
Arthur Redig was honorably discharged from the service in October 5, 1945.
David Mahlke enlisted in the Army National Guard the fall of his Senior year at Winona Senior High School. He began Basic Training at Fort Benning, Georgia on September 11th just two hours after the attack on the Twin Towers. After he completed training he returned to Winona to attend SE Technical College to study auto body. Two weeks into the program he decided to transfer to active military duty and become a fulltime soldier with the United States Army. He was stationed in Forty Steward Georgia with the Third Infantry Division.
He deployed to Kuwait in January 2003 and was one of the first divisions across the border in the invasion on Iraq. On March 28, 2003 his Bradley Fighting vehicle fell 45 feet into a tank ditch, where a T.O.W. missile dislodged swung around and crushed his head. He suffered a 2 ½ inch blood hematoma on his brain and his heart stopped twice. He was flown to the US Comfort for emergency surgery before finally making his way to Walker Reed Hospital in Washington, DC. Later he underwent surgery to replace a missing part if his skull with a titanium mesh plate.
David is now married to Angie and has two sons Spencer and Ashton. He is employed at Winona Lighting and lives in Lewiston.