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Minnesota Military Museum to Honor St. Cloud Veteran

Reul Pietz (Photo: Minnesota Military Museum)

CAMP RIPLEY — The Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley is honoring a St. Cloud Veteran this month for their Featured Veteran of the Month exhibit.

Throughout July the museum will showcase pictures, uniforms and artifacts honoring Lt. Colonel Reul Pietz of St. Cloud.

Pietz was born and raised in Westbrook, Minnesota. He attended Gustavus Adolphus College before joining the Marine Corps in 1942.

During WWII he served as a fighter pilot with the VMR-111, or “Devil Dogs” in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific flying F4U Corsairs. After the war he served as an Operational flight instructor in Florida.

He married Mary Dierks, a US Navy nurse, in 1945.

He also served in the Korean War as a Photo Reconnaissance pilot and later as the Commanding Officer for Headquarters Squadron 33 in Korea.

Pietz retired in 1964 as a Lieutenant Colonel after 23 years of service in the Marine Corps.

He earned two distinguished Flying Crosses and ten Air Medals during his service.

Upon retirement, Pietz moved to St. Cloud where he spent 27 years teaching Geography at St. Cloud State University.

Pietz passed away in 2008, and was admired by his family, friends and countless students he taught over his career.

The museum is the only museum in the state representing Minnesotan’s in all branches of service from frontier days to the present.

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