North High School Wall of Honor
Joseph Elwood McDole
Class of June, 1950

Research done by Claradell Shedd, class of 1953.

Joseph Elwood McDole
Joe graduated from North High in June, 1950. At the time, his next of kin was Mrs. Dessa B. McDole, 1515 11th Street, Des Moines, IA. His service number is 55217748.
Joseph Elwood McDole
Year   Rank   Status
June, 1950   x x Graduated from North High, Des Moines, IA
1950-1951   Employed x Meredith Publishing Company, Des Moines, IA
Feb., 1951-
Dec., 1952
x School x San Francisco State, San Francisco, CA; Then Iowa Highway Commission.
Sept.24, 1952 x (Volunteer)
US Army
x Drafted (volunteered) into the US Army in Des Moines, IA
x Training x Basic Training at Fort Riley, KS. 24th Infantry Division
January, 1953 x Enroute x Fort Riley, KS to San Francisco, CA. Then by transport ship *USNS William Weigel (T-AP-119) to Yokohama, Japan (Camp Drake).
February, 1953 x Stationed x Yokohama, Japan to Camp Fuji at the base of Mount Fuji. Four months. 24th Infantry Division.
June, 1953   Arrived x Pusan, Korea
August, 1953 x Stationed x Inchon, Korea
August, 1953 x Stationed x After Inchon, back to Pusan. Then to **Koje-do, Korea to watch prisioners. We escorted the soliders from India out of Korea. Then we went to Freedom Village, Yongdungpo, Korea..
August, 1953 x Stationed x Freedom Village, Yongdungpo (45 miles north of Seoul, Korea) guarding Chinese POW. There 10 months.
1953 x Stationed x Freedom Village, Yongdungpo to Punch Bowl Area, Korea.
Armistice was July 27, 1954.
1953-1954 x Bronze Star/Cpl x At Punch Bowl, Korea, near North/South Korean line. Awarded for service in Korea from April 1, 1953 through July 27, 1954. During this time, Cpl Joseph McDole served as 1st Battalion Operations Specialist and later as Regimental Range NCO. 2nd Dagger Brigade.
1954 x Enroute x Korea to Seattle, WA via troop ship.
Aug.19, 1954 x Transfer to Reserve x Transferred to Army Reserve/Infantry.
Sept., 1954 x Discharged/Sgt. x Flew from Seattle to Camp Carson, CO.
date x Enroute x Train from Camp Carson, CO to Des Moines, IA
1954-1956 x Employed x Meredith Publishing Company, Des Moines, IA. Two years.
1956-1995 x Employed x Electrician, Maintenance Supervisor at L-tec Welding Supplies, Tonawanda, NY
1995-2002 x Retired x In Tonawanda, NY
2002 x Retired x Relocated to FL in 2002.
*24th Infantry Divison
The 24th Infantry Division was initially activated in the Regular Army at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, on 1 March 1921 as the Hawaiian Division. Unlike most divisions in the continental United States, the 24th was concentrated on one post during the interwar years, which enabled it to conduct more effective combined arms training. It was also manned at higher levels than other divisions, and its field artillery was the first to be motorized. With the threat of war in 1941, elements of the Hawaiian Division were reorganized as the 24th and 25th Infantry Divisions, and the Headquarters of the Hawaiian Division was redesignated as Headquarters, 24th Infantry Division.

Among the first divisions to see combat in World War II, the 24th sustained minor casualties when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. The division was charged with the defense of northern Oahu, where it built an elaborate system of coastal defenses. In May 1943 the division was alerted for movement to Australia and by September of that year, it had deployed to Camp Caves, near Rockhampton on the eastern coast of Australia. The 24th was part of the assault forces that landed on Dutch New Guinea, where it fought its way to the Hollandia airfield. After occupation duty in the Hollandia area, the division was among the assault forces on Leyte. From there the division went to Luzon and eventually formed an element of the assault forces in the Southern Philippines. During World War II the division adopted its nickname, "Victory Division." After serving in five campaigns and being decorated by the Philippine government, the 24th left Mindanao on 15 October 1945 for occupation duty in Japan.

When the North Koreans attacked South Korea in June 1950, elements of the 24th Infantry Division were the first to arrive in Korea, where they fought a delaying action against overwhelming odds. The delay permitted the United Nations to build up its forces near Pusan, and the division was awarded the Presidential Citation (Army) for its actions. Over the next nineteen months the division fought in seven campaigns and was twice decorated by the Republic of Korea. In February 1952 the "Victory Division" returned to Japan where it served as part of the Far East reserve. In July 1953 the division went back to Korea to restore order in prisoner of war camps. The following year the division returned to Japan, where it served until February 1955. At that time the 24th deployed to Korea for another tour of duty.

When the United States reduced and realigned its divisions in the Far East in 1957, the 24th left Korea, eventually replacing the 11th Airborne Division in Germany. While in Germany, in addition to its standard infantry mission, the 24th fielded airborne units for about two years. The division remained in Germany until 1969 when it redeployed to Fort Riley, Kansas, as part of the REFORGER (Return of Forces to Germany) program. As the Army withdrew from Vietnam and reduced its forces, the "Victory Division" was inactivated in April 1970 at Fort Riley.

*USNS General William Weigel (T-AP-119)

Following a Magic Carpet voyage to Manila and back to San Francisco 11 April 1946, the transport departed San Francisco 16 April for New York, arriving 1 May. Decommissioned there 10 May 1946, she was transferred to the War Department for peacetime operations as an Army transport and made shuttle runs with troops and supplies from San Francisco to garrisons in the Pacific until reacquired by the Navy 20 July 1950. General William Weigel was assigned to MSTS 1 August 1950, and redesignated USNS General William Weigel (T-AP-119).

Korean War

During this phase of her career, the ship sailed from the Pacific coast to Japan and Korea carrying troops for duty in the Korean War. She continued to rotate American troops to strengthen the United Nations position in Korea until she was placed in Reduced Operational Status in 1955.

General William Weigel was returned to the Maritime Commission 12 June 1958 and entered the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Olympia, Washington.

General William Weigel received seven battle stars for the Korean War and one for the Vietnam War.
USNS General William Weigel (T-AP-119) Basic Training, Fort Riley, KS
Basic Training at Fort Riley, KS;
USNS from Sam Francisco to Yokohama
*USNS General William Weigel (T-AP-119)
Day of being awarded the Bronze Star - South Korea Day of being awarded the Bronze Star
Korea; 4/1/53-7/27/54
(left and above)
Day of being awarded the Bronze Star
(below right)
At Imjim River, South Korea
**Koje-do Island - a prison camp where over 170,000 communist and non-communist prisoners were held from December 1950 until June 1952. Throughout 1951 and early 1952, upper-level communist agents infiltrated and conquered much of Koje section-by-section by uniting fellow communists, bending dissenters to their will through staged trials and public executions, and exporting allegations of abuse to the international community to benefit the communist negotiation team. In May 1952, Chinese and North Korean prisoners at Koje Island rioted and took Brigadier General Francis T. Dodd captive.
In 1952 the camp's administration was afraid that the prisoners would riot and demonstrate on May Day (a day honoring Communism) and so U.S. navy ships (such as the USS Gunston Hall (LSD-5)) removed 15,000 North Korean and Chinese prisoners from the island and moved them to prison facilities at Ulsan and Cheju-do.
Koje-Do Prison Camp At Imjim River, South Korea
Freedom Village, Korea Laundry Day, Pusan, Korea; 1953
Freedom Village; Yongdungpo, Korea Laundry day; Pusan, Korea; 1953
US Army Seal

24th Infantry Division

Staff Sergeant Stripes
Joseph Elwood McDole
Technical Sergeant
24th Infantry Div.; 34th Infantry Reg.;
1st Battalion, Company D
US Army
Infantry Insignia

Joseph Elwood McDole
United Nations Service Medal/Korea; National Defense Medal; Korean War Service Medal; Bronze Star; Korean Defense Service Medal; Good Conduct Medal

Army Presidential Unit Citation

United Nations Service Medal/Korea; National Defense Medal;
Korean War Service Medal; Bronze Star;
Korean Defense Service Medal; Good Conduct Medal;
Army Presidential Unit Citation
The comprehensive list of names from North High's 1893-2018 graduation classes are from Claradell Shedd's North Des Moines High School website. The names of all North High School graduates can be found online at Joseph Elwood McDole's class page can be viewed at
Joseph Elwood McDole
09/18/10: Living in FL. Died: 02/01/11.
Music: "Wind Beneath My Wings"
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