The Miami Valley Veterans located at 107 W.Main St. on second floor of the Mason Lodge building is growing with a collection of unique artifacts. Many of these artifacts are photographs that have never been seen out side of the families of the veterans that took them. In many cases these veterans did not know they were photographing history. Ora Hickman was one of these veterans.

Ora Hickman was born in Covington, Ohio, in January, 1915, according to his army records. His records also show that he was an electric truck operator in civilian life.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 Ora was inducted in the army on November 19, 1942. He went on active duty on December 2, 1942. He was sent to Fort Knox Kentucky to be trained as a tank mechanic for 12 weeks. On October 14, 1944 Ora left to go to the European theater. He arrived there on October 29, 1944.

While   serving his country there Ora took hundreds of photographs. In some of these photographs they did not realize that they were photographing Nazi secret weapons. They did not know at the time they were taking photographs of an historical value. These photographs were just titled, Nazi secret weapons. These we now know were Me 262 jet fighters. In a couple of these pictures Ora and his fellow soldiers were standing beside a buzz bomb as they were called.

Three pictures show the horrors of the S.S concentration camps. We are not sure which camp this is as Ora went through the Rhine Land. Not all photographs are of the horrors of war. There are some great photographs of some of the beautiful scenery that Ora saw.            

Linda Schuman the museum historian has assembled about 200 of these historic photographs. We are grateful to Ora Hickman’s son, Ted Hickman, and his family for this historic donation. Starting on July 28, these photographs will be on display. This collection is really great for those who are researching Europe during World War 2. Also for students of history this is a great collection.

Summer hours for the museum are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8 AM until noon, or by calling the museum at  (937)451-1455 at these same hours. We also can arrange special tours by calling this number.




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