Lander historian and war hero Tom Bell honored at Pioneer Museum

(Lander, Wyo.) – Over 100 people attended the grand opening of a new display at the Lander Pioneer Museum Saturday morning, August 2. Lander native and World War Two veteran Tom Bell donated his uniform, medals which include the Purple Heart and Silver Star, and other memorabilia to the Lander museum. The artifacts became part of the museum’s armed services display.Bell was a bombardier in the Army Air Corps who flew over 40 missions over Europe. He was badly wounded in a flak attack.

“This is a terrific day for the museum,” said President of the Fremont County Museums Board of Trustees Jon Lane. “To see all these people here to pay their respects to Tom is wonderful. He is a man who has dedicated much of his life to the betterment of this museum and the community.”

Bell returned to Wyoming after the war and attended the University of Wyoming. He became a well-loved science and history teacher in Lander. He is a renowned historian who did research for the Lander museum for many years. He founded and wrote the Wind River Basin’s history magazine, the Wind River Mountaineer. He also founded the Wyoming Outdoor Council and the High Country News. He was named an “Outstanding Alumnus” of the University of Wyoming in 2003, and inducted into the Wyoming Outdoor Hall of Fame in 2006.

–Provided by Fremont County Museums