News | Dec. 6, 2021

The last member of the Percy Jones Alumni Caucus passes away

By Jeff Landenberger DLA Disposition Seervices

Senator Bob Dole, 98, passed away December 5 in his sleep.

 

Painting of Senator Bob Dole
Senator Bob Dole of Kansas. He served as a Senator from 1969-1996.
Painting of Senator Bob Dole
Senator Bob Dole
Senator Bob Dole of Kansas. He served as a Senator from 1969-1996.
Photo By: U.S. Senate
VIRIN: 211206-D-YU183-556
He served in the U.S. Senate for a quarter of a century, ran for the office of President of the United States, served in the Army in World War II and lived for a short time in Battle Creek, Michigan.

 

On April 14, 1945, Dole was a young Army officer in the 10th Mountain Division. His radioman, Corporal Sims, had been wounded. Dole was attempting to get Sims, who later died of his wounds, back to safety when he was hit.

 

The bullet that hit Dole bruised his spinal cord.

 

Dole was sent to the Percy Jones Army Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan. While there he met people who would influence the rest of his life.

 

I was part of what we later called the Percy Jones Alumni Caucus,” said Dole in an interview with History.net Dole. “Our ward’s ranking officer was Colonel Philip Hart, who later became Senator Phil Hart, after whom the Hart Senate Office Building is named.”

 

Photo of a young Bob Dole in Army uniform
Bob Dole joined the Army in 1942 and was part of the 10th Mountain Division. He was wounded in Italy in 1945.
Photo of a young Bob Dole in Army uniform
Bob Dole in the Army
Bob Dole joined the Army in 1942 and was part of the 10th Mountain Division. He was wounded in Italy in 1945.
Photo By: U.S. Army
VIRIN: 211206-D-YU183-444
“Another guy in our ward was Dan Inouye. He was the best bridge player in the whole hospital and later represented Hawaii in the Senate. He had been wounded in Italy, too—he lost his right arm,” Dole said.

 

While at Percy Jones Dole also met and married Phyllis Holde an occupational therapist who worked at the hospital. The couple had one daughter. They divorced in 1972.

 

The Percy Jones Army Hospital was closed after the Korean War and turned in to a federal office building. In 2003 it was renamed The Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center. Both Dole and Inouye attended the event.

 

Hart passed away in 1976, Inouye in 2012.