Carl Luther Eckman

C. Luther Eckman (Lute) was born on July 30, 1908, in Center City, MN. The youngest of five children, he attended college, taught school for two years, and then attended law school. He entered legal practice in Duluth as an assistant county attorney.

In Duluth he was joined by three brothers who were physicians and lawyers all of whom lived their entire lives in Duluth. As the World War II draft dug deeper into the available men, "Lute" was eventually drafted into the Army in his middle 30's, and was assigned to Army Intelligence positions in California and Utah, where he went under cover following witness accounts of potentially subversive groups meeting in western states.

One of his assignments was to locate and take control of Japanese balloons that had been launched into the prevailing wind currents from Japan. As potential biological or germ warfare weapons, the Army put a high priority on collection and location of these balloons. Until well after the war, the public did not fully appreciate the number of balloons that made their way onto our soil.

After V-J Day, Staff Sgt. Eckman was honorably discharged, and returned to Duluth to resume the practice of law in the West End. Eventually he was appointed and served for over 10 years as a State District Court Judge, maintaining his chambers in Duluth until retirement at age 70. He died in 1987 and is buried in Bethany Cemetery in Duluth.

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