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Saturday, May 28th, 2016
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Chatfield resident recalls the last battle of the Vietnam War


Mon, May 23rd, 2016
Posted in Chatfield Features

Clark Wiger thought he had put his time in the military behind him. He’d served as a hospital corpsman third class in the Navy from 1971 through 1975, enlisting at the age of 17. After he got out of the Navy, he returned home to Minnesota and moved on with his life. But, in 2003, he was at breakfast with his kids when he happened to see an article in the Des Moines Register about the Mayaguez Incident.

“I was there for that!” he exclaimed.

The Mayaguez Incident was the last battle of the Vietnam War and took place May 15, 1975. The Khmer Rouge regime had seized the American cargo ship Mayaguez while it sailed through Cambodian waters and was holding it on the Cambodian island of Koh Tang. President Gerald Ford ordered a rescue operation of the civilian crew. The entire crew was saved alive and the mission was declared a success and hailed as a “victory at sea!” in the May 1975 edition of Newsweek. Unfortunately, due to poor planning, underestimation of enemy forces on the island, and a lack of communication, 41 members of the U.S. military lost their lives in the assault.

Twenty-three Marines were killed in a helicopter crash in Thailand while training for the mission and another 18 lost their lives during the battle. Three Marines were abandoned alive on the island after the crew of the Mayaguez was rescued, and U.S. forces pulled out. They were later captured and killed. “We never knew about that,” Wiger recalled. “No one did until 30 years later.”

In 1975, Wiger was stationed on the USS Henry B. Wilson, a guided missile destroyer. The ship was involved in Operation Eagle Pull, which was an evacuation of U.S. citizens from Cambodia. Later, the crew assisted in the evacuation of Vietnam. The USS Wilson was the last U.S. warship to be fired on by a hostile shore battery and also the last to leave Vietnamese territorial waters.

On May 12, 1975, while en route to the Philippines, the USS Wilson was called to take part in the rescue of the Mayaguez crew. As they were 1,000 miles away at the time, they did not arrive until 7 a.m. on May 15, after the battle had begun. By the time they got there, three helicopters had already been shot down. The crew of the Wilson, including Wiger, pulled 13 Marines from the water. They spent the day treating the injured.

“The whole operation was a mess,” Wiger said. “It was planned too quickly and wasn’t executed w .....
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Chatfield Charitable Event

Mon, Mar 14th, 2016
Posted in Chatfield Features

Chatfield Charitable Event Pictured here is Kadin Hill, left, and Henry Gathje, right. Kadin is working to raise awareness for diabetes, a disease which affects 29 million people across the country, including his friend and teammate Henry Gathje. He ..... 
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Chosen Valley Community Foundation hosts Chill Fest January 23

Mon, Jan 18th, 2016
Posted in Chatfield Features

The 13th annual Chatfield Chill Fest celebration will once again be held on Saturday, January 23, in Chatfield. This year’s Chill Fest is being hosted by the Chosen Valley Community Foundation. The celebration will have the Polar Plunge in Mill Cr ..... 
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Warming the hands and hearts of Fillmore County

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Dec 14th, 2015
Posted in Chatfield Features

For 25 years, a group of enthusiastic knitters has taken up residence in the lobby of Root River State Bank in Chatfield for a one-day December gathering they’ve called “Rock & Knit”. Some have been there from the beginning; some are newer; j ..... 
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Chatfield Brass Band Christmas Concert

Mon, Dec 7th, 2015
Posted in Chatfield Features

The Chatfield Brass Band will be presenting their Christmas concert on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 1:30 p.m. at the Chatfield Lutheran Church. Special guests will be the Rhubarb Sisters and the Burdock Brothers performing holiday favorites. Brass Band selec ..... 
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Center for the Arts renovation officially begins

Mon, Nov 16th, 2015
Posted in Chatfield Features

Tuesday afternoon local and state officials celebrated the beginning of the Phase I renovation project of the Chatfield Center for the Arts. In the late spring of 2014, a bill authorizing the funding of several construction projects across the stat ..... 
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Friends Of The Root River to hold annual meeting November 19

Mon, Nov 16th, 2015
Posted in Chatfield Features

The Friends of the Root River (FORR) will hold their first Annual Meeting on Thursday, November 19 at the Chatfield Public Library meeting room. Anyone interested in learning more about the non-profit organization is invited to attend. The evening ..... 
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One day Chatfield Food Shelf drive November 14

Mon, Nov 9th, 2015
Posted in Chatfield Features

The Chatfield American Legion and Legion Auxiliary are holding a one day food drive on November 14 at the Chatfield United Methodist Church to benefit the Chatfield Food Shelf. Items will be accepted from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with donations going t ..... 
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St. Paul Lutheran School expands to include high school

Mon, Oct 26th, 2015
Posted in Chatfield Features

When Pastor Preston Paul became the minister of Chatfield’s St. Paul Lutheran Church in August of 2002, he had a dream of starting a parochial school. A few short months later, the congregation of the church conducted a feasibility study and the ..... 
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