Published in September, 2018 Stereoscope
Floyd Lindstrom; Medal of Honor recipient by Patti Simpson.
Floyd Lindstrom’s Early LifePrivate First Class Floyd K. Lindstrom, was born on June 21, 1912 in Holdrege, Nebraska, to Otto and Anna (Spongberg) Lindstrom. Around 1915, Anna moved away from Otto with her two young children, Pauline aged six and Floyd, aged three. Moving to Colorado Springs, Anna worked and lived in a cottage with her children at he Myron Stratton Home. Lindstrom was a Boy Scout and graduated from Cheyenne Mountain High School in 1931.After graduation, he moved to downtown Colorado Springs and worked as a soda jerk before working as a truck driver for Soomers Market, with his route between Colorado and California. He drove for eleven years, working for Associated Grocers when they took over the transportation business. His fiancé, who died in February 1942 of a heart attack, was Mary Jane Wackenhut.World War II Lindstrom enlisted into the U.S. Army on June 22, 1942. He was at Camp Roberts, California from July 17, 1942 to October 15, 1942. Lindstrom was then sent to the 3rd Infantry Division and was assigned to H Company 2 Battalion 7th Infantry Regiment. He served first in North Africa.While in convoy on July 12, 1943 in Sicily, his unit came under attack by four enemy planes. The convoy stopped and everyone dispersed. He saw one truck starting to roll. Seeing it was moving towards an unaware soldier lying in the road and “disregarding the strafing by the planes, he jumped on the truck’s running board and guided it away from the soldier and also prevented it going over a steep embankment.” This action saved men and equipment. Lindstrom was awarded the Silver Star on August 19, 1943.By November 11, 1943, Lindstrom was serving as a Private First Class in the 3rd Infantry Division, attempting to climb the treacherous slopes of Mount la Difensanear, while under heavy gunfire from German soldiers. His spectacular action and machine gun fire during heavy fighting, completely demoralized the Germans and their counter-attack. Floyd was a machine gunner, and seeing his men needing help, he single handedly moved his 125 pound gun up an incline for better view and then proceeded to give his men cover. Later, armed only with a .45 caliber pistol, he charged a German machine gun in a mad, up-hill dash. Somehow he escaped being hit by the continuous chain of automatic fire from the enemy machine gun, got right on top of the gunners and shot them with his pistol. He then returned downhill, dragging the German machine gun behind him and then went back again and returned with two full boxes of German ammunition to equip his fellow soldiers. He did this all the while under heavy enemy attack. On January 22, 1944, he landed at an Anzio beachhead in Italy with his unit, although he had been offered duty away from the fighting, and on February 3, 1944, he was killed in a German counterattack. On April 20, 1944, Private First Class Lindstrom was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his gallantry and courage, at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. He was the first “Cotton Baler” to win this distinguished award in the Second World War. Floyd’s family is still quite proud of his courageous military service. Several relatives still live in the area, including his cousins: Mae (Spongberg) McClymont of Holdrege, Betsy (McClymont) Olson of Holdrege, Julie (Lindstrom) Nyberg of Loomis, Dean Lindstrom of Kearney, and Larry Lindstrom of Elm Creek. Initially, he was first listed as missing in action, and on June 6, 1944, his status was changed to killed in action. First buried at Nettuno, Italy, then four years later, in July 1948, he was returned to his family in Colorado Springs, where he is buried next to his mother in Evergreen Cemetery. His sister donated his medals and paperwork to the Pioneers Museum in downtown Colorado Springs. He was awarded the Purple Heart and two Italian Military Crosses.Colorado Springs VA Facility Named for Lindstrom The Gazette — Colorado Springs, Colorado, Dec. 5, 2014In 2014, Pfc. Floyd K. Lindstrom’s name was affixed to the new Department of Veterans Affairs clinic on Fillmore Street. “I was really surprised to see it,” said Colorado Springs Army veteran, Keith LaMee, who led the effort to name the clinic after Lindstrom. Lindstrom, who never married and had no children, died in combat three months after earning the Medal of Honor, which was awarded posthumously in April 1944. He’s buried in Evergreen Cemetery and his medal is part of the collection of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.“I’m just so glad they decided to honor him,” LaMee said. “His name was pulled from the dustbin of history.”Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat, and Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, pushed the bill to name the clinic after Lindstrom.“The new veterans clinic bearing his name will serve as a lasting tribute to a Colorado Springs hero who put his own safety on the line so that others might live,” Udall said in a statement.The clinic opened in August 2014. The 76,000 square-foot facility is located at Centennial Boulevard and Fillmore Street in Colorado Springs.