|Principal Units and Locations
Fighter Pilot, Pacific Theater - 1943-1944
Operational Flight Instructor, Florida - 1945-1946
Wing Legal Officer, China - 1946-1947
Aide-de-Camp, Guam and California - 1947-1948
Adjutant, Personnel Officer, and Photo Pilot, Aircraft Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, North Carolina - 1949-1952
Photo Reconnaissance Pilot, Korea - 1952
Commanding Officer, Headquarters Squadron 33, Korea - 1953
Air Officer and Special weapons Officer, Fleet Marine Force Pacific, Hawaii - 1953-1955
Executive Officer, Marine Aircraft Engineering Squadron 12, Virginia - 1955-1958
Staff, Third Marine Aircraft Wing, California - 1959-1960
Commanding Officer, Marine Air Control Squadron 4, California, Japan, Philippines, and Thailand - 1960-1962
Commanding Officer, Headquarters Squadron 2, North Carolina- 1963-1964
Reuel Pietz was born on June 19, 1921 and raised in Westbrook, Minnesota by Henry and Martha Pietz. After attending Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, he joined the United States Marine Corps in 1942.
Upon graduating from Naval Flight training, Pietz began an extensive tenure of service in the USMC across the United States and the Pacific Theater in WWII, the Korean War, and the early stages of the conflict in Southeast Asia. Pietz's first post was as a fighter pilot with the VMF-111, also known as the 'Devil Dogs,' in Roi-Namur and Makin, flying F4U Corsairs. At the end of WWII, he served as an Operational flight instructor in Florida where he married Mary Dierks, a US Navy nurse, in 1945. His responsibilities grew between 1945 and 1952 as he served as a Wing Legal Officer in China, an aide-de-camp in California and Guam, and an Adjutant, Personnel Officer, and Photo Pilot in North Carolina.
During the Korean War, Pietz served as a Photo Reconnaissance pilot in 1952 and later as the Commanding Officer for Headquarters Squadron 33 in Korea in 1953. With the conclusion of the war, he returned to the United States as an Air Officer and Special Weapons Officer with the Fleet Marine Pacific Force in Hawaii from 1953 to 1955, an Executive Officer with Marine Aircraft Engineering Squadron 12 in Virginia from 1955 to 1958, and Staff with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing in California from 1959 to 1960. In 1960 with war on the horizon in Southeast Asia, Pietz became the Commanding Officer of Marine Air Control Squadron 4, which served in California, Japan, the Philippines, and Thailand through 1962.
His final post was Commanding Officer, Headquarters Squadron 2nd Marine Air Wing in North Carolina from 1963 to 1964. He retired in 1964 as a Lieutenant Colonel after 23 years of service and among his many awards were two distinguished Flying Crosses and ten Air Medals.
Reuel was dedicated to educating himself and those around him. In addition to Gustavus Adolphus College, he attended East Carolina University, University of Hawaii, Chapman College, McGill University, George Washington University, and the University of Minnesota. Upon his discharge, he returned to his Minnesota roots when he moved to St. Cloud. He spent 27 years teaching in the Geography department at St. Cloud State University and became a Professor Emeritus in 1991. His passion for geography extended beyond the classroom to his membership on the Association of American Geographers, the National Council of Geographic Education, president of Minnesota Geographers, and the director of the Pierce County Geographical Society.
Reuel Pietz passed away in 2008, but not before celebrating 63 years of marriage with Mary, becoming a father to Eric Henry and Pamela Jo, and being admired and respected by his friends, family, and the countless students he taught over his expansive career.