A Medal of Honor winner-turned-state legislator from Southern Illinois is the subject of a new museum exhibit. Clyde Choate was awarded the Medal of Honor for single-handedly destroying a German tank with a variety of weapons during a battle in France in 1944, and saving an Allied command post.
Choate then went on to serve 30 years in the General Assembly, and Union County Historical Society President Patrick Brumleve says he’s still remembered fondly in the area.
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“He did a lot for SIU. He did a lot for Anna and the surrounding region,” Brumleve said. “He was definitely the go-to man if you needed help considering state issues.”
Brumleve says Choate would have been speaker of the Illinois House if it wasn’t for a feud between Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley and Gov. Dan Walker. Choate served in the Illinois House until 1976. He died in 2001.
The exhibit at the Union County Museum in Cobden features many items from Choate’s military career, including the Medal of Honor he was awarded in 1945, along with memorabilia he brought home from the war, such as Nazi banners and badges.
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