Meritorious Patriotism Award
In 1995, as the world marked the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II and the restoration of peace and freedom for the peoples of many countries who were subjected to a reign of terror and oppression, the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame found it appropriate to pay tribute to six outstanding military men from Minot, N.D. - the location held by the Hall of Fame.
These six flag officers honored (an admiral and five generals), all of whom fought in WWII represent all the veterans from the area who so proudly and heroically served in the war. These high-ranking military leaders were produced from the Magic City of Minot, which was then only a small town of 17,000 people. All six men lived in the city and graduated from Minot High School between 1926 and 1939.
At age 28, Lt. Gen. Pepke was the youngest Army full colonel in the Pacific and the Phillipines. He went on to serve in Germany, Korea and Vietnam and earned Silver and Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart, and the Air Medal with 10 clusters before retiring in 1972. Lt. Gen. Pepke graduated from Minot High School and the University of North Dakota.