Green Bay airport searching for photos and artifacts of namesake Lt. Col. Austin Straubel

Published: Feb. 1, 2021 at 2:21 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport is asking for your help.

It’s searching for artifacts and photographs to further pay tribute to its namesake, Lt. Col. Austin Straubel with a permanent display honoring the World War Two hero.

It was 75 years ago that the Brown County Board renamed its new airport at the time, in memory of Straubel, the first aviator from the county to lose his life in the war.

Straubel died in February, 1942 after his B-18 bomber was shot down.

“He survived the crash, it was when we was pulling out his fellow soldiers out of the crash, and he succumbed to the injuries days later,” says Airport Director Marty Piette.

But aside from Straubel’s bravery and courage, not a lot else is known.

“We know that he grew up here in Green Bay and went to East High School, played football, went to UW-Madison and played football, but that’s about it, so we’re looking for some artifacts, we’re looking for maybe some family members that are still around that have artifacts, maybe just collectors that have something,” says Piette.

Aside from a statue honoring Straubel as you enter the airport grounds, and a new informational board in the baggage area, there’s little else that pays tribute to the man who served 13 years in the U.S. Army Air Corps.

“It could be a telegram that he sent home, it could be a pay stub, who knows what it might be, a bomber jacket would be great, but there’s got to be a number of items out there that still exists that can help us tell the story,” says Piette.

Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport has put together a list of information that might be helpful in jogging people’s memories as to what information they may have stored away somewhere. It includes:

-- Austin Straubel’s parents were Charles A. and Alice C. (Van Dycke) Straubel; his sisters’ names were Minnie and Florence and one of his grandparents was named H.H. August Straubel.

--He was a graduate of Green Bay East High School class of 1923. A member of the football team.

--He was a member of the University of Wisconsin-Madison class of 1927; Delta Kappa Epsilon and was on the football team.

-- His father’s business was Midwest Cold Storage.

--Possibly lived at these addresses in Green Bay: 1118 S. Monroe; 109 S. Monroe and 409 N. Washington

--Was in the Army Air Corps in Texas and March Field, California in 1928

--Served in the 11th Bombardment squadron; part of the 7th bombardment group (heavy); Hamilton Field - Hamilton Air Force Base, California. Douglas B-18 “Bolo” (36-338)

“We’d appreciate any and all interesting information about Lt. Col. Straubel,” added GRB Marketing & Communications Manager, Susan Levitte. “Feel free to reach out to me if you have something you think we could use.” Levitte can be reached by phone or email: 920-498-4800 or

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