WWII Afghan Donated to Museum

Emaus ELCA has donated an afghan knitted by Emmaus women during World War II for wounded American soldiers to the Racine Heritage Museum.

Ellen Eschmann (now Whitman) and Pastor Mary Janz pose with the afghan in 2005.

The afghan was returned to Emmaus in the fall of 2005 by Wanda Drose, a retired Army nurse who had worked during the war in the amputee ward of Percy Jones Army Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan. The afghan was one of several homemade comfort items donated to the hospital.

According to Mrs. Drose, she kept the afghan after the Army issued a ruling banning the use of civilian afghans, blankets, and the like in Army facilities. For years, she stored it in a cedar chest in her home, taking it with her when she and her husband, Ed, moved to Augusta, Georgia, where she became a member of the Redeemer Lutheran Church quilting club.

051120-afghancornerThe name of our church was knit into a corner of the afghan, so she looked us up when she was going through her and Ed’s things to decide what they needed to keep. At the time, Carol Eschmann’s daughter Ellen happened to be stationed at Fort Gordon in Augusta, so Ellen met the Droses and brought the afghan home with her when she visited for Thanksgiving. The Eschmanns presented the afghan to the congregation at the November 20, 2005 worship service.


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