The staff and board of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum CSPM are proud to announce the new F= Floyd Lindstrom theme which shares the story of Floyd K. Lindstrom, an American hero, in the Story of Us: Pikes Peak Regional History from A to Z exhibit. Growing up at the Myron Stratton Home, Lindstrom learned early on to “put the other fellow first.” He carried this motto, along with a tremendous amount of courage and determination, during his service in World War II. As a result, Lindstrom was awarded the Medal of Honor—the nation’s highest honor —and earned the nickname, the “one man army.”
In 1915, Anna Lindstrom brought her two children—Floyd age 3, and Pauline age 7—to Colorado Springs, from Holdredge, Nebraska to start a new life. As a single mother, she found work at the Myron Stratton Home; a local institution founded by Winfield Scott Stratton which cared for children and families burdened by economic and social challenges. In a cottage on the MSH grounds, Anna raised her two children. Lucy Lloyd, the MSH Superintendent, recalled Floyd as a “good all-around boy”; he played basketball on his school team, participated in Boy Scouts, and also worked as a soda jerk at a local drug store. In the summer months, Floyd worked on the Stratton Home Ranch.
After graduating from Cheyenne Mountain High School in 1931, Floyd worked for H.M Sommer’s Market as a long haul truck driver, delivering produce between Colorado Springs and California. While employed by Sommer’s, Floyd met his future Fiancé, Mary Jane Wackenhut, whose father was a clerk at the grocery. Sadly, Mary Jane died of a sudden heart attack in 1942. Five months later, at the age of 30, Lindstrom enlisted in the United States Army.
PFC Floyd K. Lindstrom completed heavy weapons training at Camp Roberts, California in October 1942, and was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division. In 1943, Lindstrom was deployed to North Africa and then to Italy. On July 12, 1943, Lindstrom saved a man’s life, and was subsequently awarded the Silver Star. While traveling in convoy of trucks near Sicily, Lindstrom’s unit was attacked by enemy planes. He left the safety of his post—while under enemy fire from overhead —to recover a runaway truck and prevent it from hitting a fellow soldier.
For his acts of valor on the hills near Mignano, Italy on November 11, 1943, Lindstrom was nominated for the Medal of Honor. He charged at a Nazi machine gun nest with a single revolver and broke up the German counterattack. Unfortunately, Lindstrom was posthumously awarded the nation’s highest honor. When offered a transfer away from the front lines while his nomination was under review, Lindstrom characteristically chose to stay with his men and advance on to Anzio, Italy. He was killed by enemy fire in the Battle of Anzio on February 3, 1944. Originally buried in Italy, Lindstrom was later disinterred and reburied at Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs. In addition to the Medal of Honor, Floyd K. Lindstrom was also awarded the Purple Heart and two Italian Military Crosses of Valor.
Lindstrom’s legacy is preserved throughout Colorado Springs. His medals are part of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum Collection. He is honored at Cheyenne Mountain High School, the Myron Stratton Home, and at Fort Carson. Since 2011, largely due to the efforts of Veteran Keith LaMee and members of the American Legion Post 5, additional memorials have been erected to honor this World War II hero in his hometown. These include: the flagpole of American Legion Post 5, the Medal of Honor Memorial, and a plaque at the Veterans Honor Court at the Shrine of Remembrance. The Colorado Springs Department of Veteran’s Affairs Clinic and American Legion Post 5 have also been named in Lindstrom’s honor.
Research in the CSPM Collection supported the development of this exhibit; including the Floyd K. Lindstrom Collection and the Winfield Scott Stratton Collection. Keith LaMee also generously provided information and materials from his own research on Lindstrom.