VFW 1215 and The Mess Hall Tavern & Grill About

Our Namesake Whitlock-Sonnenberg

Our Post was established September 2, 1924, and named after two veterans from the Rochester area who were killed in service to their Country.

Guy Whitlock of VFW Post 1215 The Mess Hall and Tavern Grill

Guy Whitlock

Served with CO M 3rd US INF. Killed in battle in San Fernando, Philippines, near Maasin on 23/May/1889. Age 28. He was Buried in High Forest in March 1900.

Carl Sonnenberg of VFW Post 1215 The Mess Hall and Tavern Grill

Carl Sonnenberg

Who served with the 307th Infantry, 77th Division, and was killed in France 13 October 1918 during World War 1. He was buried in a mass grave on the battlefield where he died. His name is listed on a wall of the missing in the Meuse-Argonne American cemetery.

Carl Sonnenberg (Continued)

Rochester native, Carl J. Sonnenberg was killed in Meuse-Argonne offensive in France during World War l. He was shot by a German Sniper near Vienne-Le Chateau, Marne on September 28, 1918.

Sonnenberg was a Pvt. in Co. G, 307thInfantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division. He is memorialized on the "Wall of the Missing” along with 953 other American Servicemen, at the U.S. Meuse-Argonne National Cemetery, Romagne, France. He was buried in an "Isolated” grave near Vienne-Le- Chateau and apparently his remains were never found later when the cemetery was established. There are 14,246 Identified Servicemen buried at the National Cemetery.

Carl was the son of August H. and Emilie O. Sonnenberg. (German immigrants of the 1880’s to Rochester). He was born June 4, 1889, in Rochester, attended District 30, Olmsted Rural School in Cascade Township, Trinity Lutheran Parochial school, and Northrup school in Rochester. He married Elsie Holt of Rochester on March 30, 1918, they had no children.

Carl was working as an Auto Mechanic when he entered the Army draft on June 24th 1918. He was sent to Camp Lewis, Washington, where he trained for 6 weeks before being sent to France in August. His two brothers also served in France. Frederick in the 119th Field Artillery, 32nd Infantry Division and Eckhardt in the 49th Aero Squadron.

After Post 1215 was formed in 1923 and named after Carl Sonnenberg and Guy Whitlock, who was killed at Baliaug, the Philippines, May 23, 1899, Frederick and Eckhardt served as officers. Their wives, Laverne and Anne, respectively, served as officers in the Auxiliary.

A memorial Veteran’s Headstone for Carl Sonnenberg is in Lot 300, section 3, Oakwood Cemetery, Rochester, Minnesota.


General Manager

Taylor Kelzenberg

Gambling Manager

Chad Stowers

Current VFW Officers VFW Post 1215


Mark Fetterman

Senior Vice Commander

Zachary Gore

Junior Vice Commander

Chad Stowers


Jim Kelzenberg


Zachary Gore


David Rowlands

Judge Advocate

Rod Peterson

Officer of the Day

Gene Wendelken

Honor Guard Commander

Rick Coombes

Voice Of Democracy

Jim Crawley

Patriots Pen

Jim Kelzenberg

VFW Riders President

Tim Peters

Youth Activities

Peter Arroyo

House Committee

Jim Giebel
Rich Daily
Michael Dexter


Joel Skauge
David Crawley
Dana Stowers

Service Officer

Jennifer Shumaker


Terry Severson

VFW Auxiliary Officers VFW Post 1215


Linda Diedrich

Senior Vice President

Shirley Hultz

Junior Vice President

Cindy Sharp


Roberta Peterson


Linda Henry


Ann Schwanke
Shirley Hultz
Cindy Sharp


Ann Schwanke


Patricia Rossman


Bea Gessner

Gold Star Event Coordinator

Angela Mulholland

Technical Advisor

Jacob Koster