Seventy-five years ago, on May 8, 1945, the United States, along with its allies, formally accepted the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. This marked the end of the war in the European Theater.
On May 13 of that same year, the Hinckley post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars was established. Currently, Post No. 4118 has members in Hinckley, Mora, Sandstone, Bruno, Askov, Moose Lake and surrounding areas.
The VFW is a nationwide organization made up of service members who have served the United States military in a war, campaign or expedition on foreign soil or in hostile waters. It was founded in 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service. Many arrived home wounded or sick. There was no medical care or veterans’ pension for them, and they were left to care for themselves. Today, membership stands at more than 1.6 million members of the VFW and its auxiliary.
The original members of Post No. 4118 included officers: Frank Patrick (commander), Alfred Moen (adjutant and surgeon) Vernon Welschinger (quartermaster), Warner Cyr (Sr. vice commander), Carl Tenquist (Jr. vice commander), Ephraim Anderson (chaplain), Joseph Mans (officer of the day), Clifford Mann, John Danger and George Hayes (all trustees) and nine other members.
Legacy Post No. 4118 was named after two brothers from Hinckley. George and John Wallick were both killed in action in WWII fighting for freedom.
John Edward Wallick was born on Jan. 2, 1916, to Mr. and Mrs. Ed Wallick. John was the oldest of four boys. He graduated from Hinckley High School in 1935. In July of 1941 John entered the Army and in April of 1943 he was sent overseas. John took part in the invasion of Attu in the Aleutians and also the attack on and occupation of Kiska in August of 1943 among other battles. In October of 1944 he took part in the invasion of Leyte, Phillipine Islands as part of the Amphibious Forces. On Feb. 12, 1945 his parents received a telegram that read: “Mrs. Bessie I. Wallick, Hinckley, Minn. The Secretary of War desires me to express his deep regret that your son, Sergeant John E. Wallick, was killed in action on 6 December 1944 on Leyte.”
A few months later the Wallick family received news of their second son George. George Alvin Wallick was born at Hinckley on Nov. 16, 1917, and graduated from Hinckley High School in 1935. George enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve on Oct. 8, 1941. He was stationed on the carrier, U.S.S. Bismarck Sea. In October of 1944 the Bismarck Sea went into the South Pacific and was involved in the invasion of Luzon, in January of 1945.
They also took part in the invasion of Iwo Jima on Feb.19, 1945. On the evening of Feb. 21, 1945, kamikaze pilots attacked the Bismarck Sea which burned and sank in the waters of the South Pacific. A telegram sent to his parents stated that “after careful review of all facts available relating to the disappearance of your son, George Alvin Wallick, Electrician’s Mate First Class, United States Naval Reserve, previously reported missing, leads to the conclusion that there is no hope for his survival and that he lost his life as a result of enemy action on 21 February 1945, while in service to his country.” Three hundred eighteen crewmen lost their lives that day. The U.S.S. Bismarck Sea is the last known U.S. aircraft carrier to sink in enemy action.
These brothers, and their family, gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country and Post No. 4118 is proud to carry their names. Seventy five years later, V.F.W. Post No. 4118 is still serving and honoring veterans in the Hinckley, Mora, Sandstone, Bruno, Askov, Moose Lake and surrounding areas.
On behalf of Post No. 4118, current commander, Terry Bullock, would like to thank the communities of Hinckley, Mora, Sandstone, Bruno, Askov, Moose Lake and surrounding areas for their support over the years. “Their ongoing support helps us do what we do for our veterans, schools and communities.”