*means I have something about them, in some cases little, in others quite a lot.

Abbott, Lloyd Gould, Ross*
Adams, Olin* Henrich, Dwight G.
Adams, Paul E * Hewitt, Jerry D.
Allen, Bernard* Holland, Garland*
Aller, Robert H Horton, Lester L.
Armitage, Dr. George* Howe, Orville*
Arnold, Charles* Husted, Don*
Bagley, Pvt. Cyril V.* Hutchinson, Dean
Bauer, Eldon D Jackson, Ronald E.*
Beaman, Doyle James, Paul
Beaman, Fred Jr. * Jeter, Marc*
Beaman, Jack* Montgomery, Edward* 
Bishop, Raymond L. Montgomery, Eugene* 
Black, Darrell D. (Doug)* Montgomery, Robert* 
Black, Marvin W.* Montgomery, William* 
Brown, Jerry* Nash, Elmer L. 
Brown, Kenneth C.* Norton, James A.* 
Brown, Kenneth R.* Nowakowski, Theodore*
Brown, Victor C. Orfield, Clarence* 
Brubaker, Dale Palmer, Frank R.* 
Burchett, Arthur Parker, Lee*
Burchett, Edwin* Parker, James L. 
Burchett, Ira: * Parker, Lyle* 
Burchett, Mansell* Parker, Richard 
Burehett, Robert Adrian * Phillips, Dale* 
Burgus, Bruce Phillips, Wayne* 
Burgus, Curtis* Poil, Ernest
Burgus, Dale * Porterfield, Charles* 
Burgas, Donald L* Porterfield, Merritt* 
Burgas, Gene Merrill* Porterfield, Robert* 
Burgas, Herbert* Porterfield, T.J. 
Burgus, Jess T.* Potter, Stephen L. 
Burgus, Rex (Junior)* Pugh, David A. 
Burgus, Wayne Reeves, Donald Leo * 
Burnett, George * Rimer, Donald W. 
Burnett, Robert* Rodgers, Howard C. 
Butts, Larry* Scholl, Ernest*
Callison, Jack * Scholl, John Franklin* 
Camp, Galen* Scholl, William Arthur* 
Carder. Paul Leland* Shaffer, Rex* 
Cams, Eldon E. Sheesley, Robert Agans* 
Cams, James E. Shields, Richard* 
Carper, Bill* Shields, Robert* 
Chestnut, Edward Scanlan, Peter E. 
Chestnut, Ray Shannon, Julian T. 
Chiood, Ben Sieflcas, Merrill (Jack)*
Coleman,* Bruce and Ben* Siefkas,Thomas A. 
Conroy, John H. Smith, Alton
Coon, Lewis* Smith, Richard* 
Cornielson, Ernest Smith, Russell Milo* 
Cox, Frank (see Leland McConnell)* Smith, Wayne 
Currie, James Smith, Willard* 
Daniel, Lloyd Maxton "Max"* Soll, Donovan* 
Davenport, Bob Soll, Duane*
David, Francis L. Soil, Irvin*
Davidson, Kenny* Stierwalt, Charles 
Davidson, Richard * Thacker, Jolleen 
Davidson, Ralph (Jack) Thomas, Audrey S* 
Davis, Loraine (Stephen)* Thomas Oliver * 
Day, T Thompson, Virgil 
Denley, Garold* Underwood, Elbert M. 
Dinham, Bernard Vanderlinden, Gerald 
Dinham, John * Watkins, Truman* 
Dugger, Clair Watts. David
Dagger, Jerry E. Webb, John R. (Ray)* 
Edge, Richard Westhafer, Lloyd 
Eyberg, Oliver R. Whitehead, Leonard L.* 
Fenn, Max* Whert, Michael 
Fisher, Robert S* Willcox, Johnny* 
Forbes, Leo V.* Willcox, Robert
Fox, Lowell Ronald* Wilkins, Milt 
Franck, Robert* Wolfe, Elva T*. 
Fuller, Leland Wolfe, Leonard* 
Fuller, Robert W. Wolfe, Wayne* 
Funkhouser, Bart Woods, Charles 
Funkhouser, Vernon * Woods, Doyle L.* 
Gardner, Gerald A Woods: Carl Roland* 
Gardner, Walter Army Woods, Dean Duncan,* 
Garrett, Charles* Woods, George Clarke* 
Garrett, Earnest Donald* Woods, Walter Edgar* 
Garrett, Wesley Gene* Woods, Vaughn 
Gonseth, Leo* Woods, Wayne* 
Gonseth, William* Young, Joseph W.* 
Goodrich, Mack L. * Young, Murray
Gould, Avery*


I had been deferred twice because I was working in a machine tool business, which the government regarded as an essential job, critical to the war effort. I was finally drafted in February 1944. I was married at that time and had a four-year old daughter. Our basic training was at the Naval Base in San Diego, followed by Navigational Schooling at the Navy Base in Gulfport Mississippi. It was while I was there, that I got word that my brother Paul had been killed in Germany. The Navy chaplain arranged for me to have a delay in transit to stop to see my folks in Iowa before going to the west coast.

In Oakland, California, I was put aboard the U.S.S. President Jackson, which was a Navy Attack Transport. In addition to the ship's company we carried 200 fully loaded attack troops and 12 landing craft. For those who don't know the difference between a boat and a ship, a ship carries boats.

My entire service was in the Asiatic Pacific Theatre. We were on a trip back from the Philippines,, which we had retaken from the Japanese, with the information that when we returned with the next load of troops and landing craft, we would attack Japan. However, it was at that time President Truman dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The war was quickly over. The U.S. Navy reserve was no longer needed, so I was honorably discharged as we all were in February, 1946. I had attained the rank of 3rd Class Quartermaster. We had several exciting events of our tour. One was when we were on the outer rim of a monsoon, which was pretty scary. But the most fearful non-combatant situation was a time when our engines went dead in mid-Pacific in mid-day and except for a small destroyer, the convoy disappeared over the horizon. We were totally exposed and if the kamikaze suicide pilots had spotted us, none of us would have come home.


Pfc. (Private Class) Paul E. Adams was born July 23, 1914, to Mr. and Mrs. George Albert Adams of Murray. As a child he had a severe attack of ragweed poisoning, which brought on many allergies. Paul entered military service at Des Moines on August 28, 1942. When he was sent to Washington State for training, he had no more allergies. He was put into the Medical Corps. He met a girl in Washington and they planned to be married when he was discharged. However, just before he was due to be sent home, he was put into Co. L 18th Infantry, handed a rifle and sent to the front lines. They were in a clean-up operation when he was shot by a sniper on April 14, 1945 near Bertesgatten, Germany. He was buried in Germany, and re-buried in the American Legion Plot, Maple Hill Cemetery, Osceola.



Allen, Bernard served in WWII in the Marine Corps. He participated in the battles of Iwo Jima, Saipan, and Tinian. He was present on Iwo Jima when the flag was raised on Mt. Suribachi on February 23, 1945.


Dr. Armitage' daughter, Margaret Brutto, sent the following: "Dad's obituary says he spent eight years in the military service but I am not sure that is right. I know he was in India for several years during the second world war. I have several letters that he wrote to me. He wrote that India was all jungle, with big patches of tea, and everyone worked — even little children. The letter is dated June 26, 1945. I had a certificate from the then president of the United States congratulating him on his service to his country, but I can't find it now. I've moved too many times."



Betty told her father's story after his death June 29, 2000. "Daddy went into the service in 1941. He had been working in Ottumwa and Mama stayed on there and worked at a war plant. Daddy served in the Army in the European Theatre. His unit repaired the big trucks and tanks, but Daddy's work was mainly clerical. He was a Supply Sergeant routing supplies to wherever they were requisitioned. Until I was in college, I couldn't get him to talk at all about the war. Apparently it was very difficult even though as far as we know he wasn't in the actual fighting. When Daddy returned, he and Mama were married in April 1945." The life story of the Arnold family is in Volume 5 of Recipes for Living, available in the Osceola Public Library.


Cyril V. Bagley, son of Stephen and Anna Bagley, lived Doyle township. He was born January 30, 1897, in Camargo, Illinois. He enlisted September 6, 1918, in WWI, Co. 41, 11th Bn. He died October 16, 1918 of Influenza Pneumonia at Camp Dodge, Des Moines. He is buried in the Murray Cemetery.


Fred Beaman, Jr. was born July 30, 1925, the son of Fred Sr. and Sally Jane Morgan Beaman. Freddy graduated from Murray High School. He had always enjoyed dancing since his high school days, and for many years lived in California and Texas where he was a dance instructor for Arthur Murray Studios. Freddie was a veteran of WWII, serving in the Army during the Battle of the Bulge. He lived in Ankeny before moving to Osceola two years ago and died at his home there April 28, 2006. Graveside services were at the Hopeville cemetery May 5, 2006.


Jack was born and raised in Hopeville, the son of Bill and Mame Beaman. He attended Murray High School, and served with the paratroopers WWII. Jack became a state Representative and promoted several projects during Elvin Soll's terms as mayor.


Doug, US Army SFC (Sergeant First Class), wrote his story: I entered the service in January 1985, and trained as a TOW/DRAGON Repairman, Lantv tank missile system. In 1988, I trained and became a PATRIOT Operator/Maintainer (Anti-Aircraft missile system). I served overseas in Germany, Korea, and SWA (South West Asia), as well as several locations stateside.

After almost 12 years in the Army, I made it to the rank of E-7, SFC, married another soldier, who gave me my little soldier boy, prior to our leaving the service in September 1996.

I worked mainly on missile systems, but whatever broke I tried my hand at fixing it. It wasn't uncommon to see me pop out of a wheeled vehicle or generator that the real mechanics couldn't fix or hadn't the time to fix. In SWA we took two like broken Radar parts and made one temporary one so the unit wasn't broken down, unable to watch the skies for aircraft or missiles.


Marvin was inducted into military service on February 24, 1943, and entered active service March 3, 1943 at Camp Dodge, Iowa. His military occupational specialty was listed as tire rebuilder 240 and marksman with rifle. He took part in battles and campaigns in England, France, Germany, and Belgium. Date of discharge, December 31, 1945. Decorations and citations: 4 overseas service bars, European-African-Middle Eastern Theatre ribbon withl silver battle star. Good conduct medal World War II, Victory Medal and Meritorious Unit Award. Highest Grade held Tech. 5



When I graduated from high school in 1951, the Korean war was on my mind and on the minds of most young men my age. We knew one of two things was inevitable — we would be drafted or we could enlist. I kept checking with the draft board during the two years I went to college. Their list gave our standing, and in April 1954, when I was 20 years old, they told me I was 11th in the county. A friend, Jim Knight, was 4th, so I told them to move me up and I'd go with him.

We went into the service together, and were sent to Fort Chaffee at Fort Smith, Arkansas. We did the first part of our basic training there, after which I was sent to Fort Gordon, at Augusta, Georgia. Golfers will recognize this as one of the most prestigious courses in the country, but any resemblance between the camp and the country club was

coincidental. Like most military bases, it was a ratty place. We were there for the summer and fall, while the temperature and humidity were both in the 90s. I was trained as a teletype operator but was surely the worst one the army ever saw.

I was sent from there by troop ship to Korea. It took us 14 days, and when I look back at the entire experience, I know that the trip over was not too bad compared with our return. About all you do on a troop ship is sit up on the deck and tell lies to each other. They try to find things for the men to do, such as variety shows for which they recruited people to perform, but mostly we just sat and visited. We had come to know some of the fellows, some we met for the first time. We knew when we were getting near Korea because miles out we could smell their national dish, kimchee. It is fermented cabbage, which has a terrible odor. We landed in Pusan and were sent to the military mess hall, where we were served by Koreans, who had all been eating kimchee. We did not have a good first impression of the country.

We were put on a train and sent to Seoul, at which point they separated us and put us in a truck to be hauled around to our assigned outfits. I was the only one assigned to the 3rd Transportation Railway Command. The 3rd TRC was in need of a public information NCO — that is, a newspaper reporter. I had done that as a civilian and when they saw that in my file, they took me out of teletype and sent me to the 3rd TRC for the same type of job.

Our 3rd TRC was really gung-ho about being good in sports. Our Colonel was really fired pitcher and catcher. They beat us and the next day, with a little transfer, the pitcher and catcher were in our outfit, playing for us. The first year I was too late to get into flag football, but I couldn't have played anyway because we had 17 guys on the squad, and 11 of them had played college football, two or three had played major college football. It was a neat thing for me to be in these sports. It made the time go a lot faster. I met some really interesting people and had a good time with it. It made me a better person.

This was a Regimental Headquarters, and my job was to write all that went on. My boss was a 2nd Lieutenant named John Lawrence, who came up through ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps), who didn't want to be there any more than I did, but we had a job to do so we did it. He was gung-ho to get everything the 3rd TRC did got in "Stars and Stripes." Whenever possible, we mentioned names, and the report would be sent to the home town newspapers. This provided a vehicle for the Army to establish good PR (public relations), which they wanted.

So I wrote what the battalions did and anything the whole company did that we considered newsworthy. A lot of what I wrote was sports, so it was a continuation of what I'd written in civilian life — flag football, baseball, basketball. Every day I took press releases to downtown Seoul, six or seven miles from our compound. We had Korean drivers because we weren't allowed to drive. I'd go to the motor pool, get a driver who would take me to the press billet, I'd drop stuff off and he'd take me back. Lots of times, we were pulled over to the side because Syngman Rhee, Korea's president, was on that road. He was so afraid of being assassinated that whenever he was on the street, all traffic would be pulled over — even Generals — and here would come a jeep armed with a machine gun. Rhee's limousine was bullet proof, with tinted windows, and it would go by about 60 miles an hour, followed by another jeep likewise equipped. I always wanted to see him, but the windows were so dark we couldn't see in, We just knew who it was.

Syngman Rhee had left when the Japanese took over Korea in WWII. When they were driven out, he went back and was elected president, but he was basically a dictator. He was re­elected so many times, they eventually elected him as president for life. I was there during one presidential election, working in an office with a Korean lady. There were three men running against Syngman Rhee and one had a chance to beat him. I asked if the other man had a chance and she said, "Yes, he could beat him, but he won't be here." Three or four days later, he was killed as he was coming out of a theater. That was pretty common in Korean politics. Syngman Rhee was reelected but before I left the country, high school and college students were beginning to revolt against him, and about month before I left Korea, they actually drove him out of office. It took several months for that to happen and he finally just gave up. They have elections now but I don't know how democratic they are.

After WWII was over in 1945, the Japanese were driven out of Korea and the country was divided at the 38th parallel. South Korea supposedly had a democratic government, North Korea communist. We had troops in South Korea — probably 25,000, after the war, but the soldiers we had there were not very well trained. The Army was at a place where they were just doing their time, they had grown soft, and were not well disciplined. It was easy duty.

In June 1950, the North Koreans launched an attack on South Korea. The North Koreans kicked the daylights out of the South Korean and American troops. They actually pushed them back to Pusan, which is the southern tip. When they got to a place called the Pusan perimeter, the troops were told, "Hold there or else." They held there and stopped the advance of the North Koreans, MacArthur went back up the coast and landed at a place called Inchon and cut off the supplies to North Korean troops. The South Koreans launched a counter-attack and drove the North Koreans back across the 38th parallel and drove them to the Yalu River, which is the border between Korea and China. They couldn't cross because they would be in Chinese territory. This was at Thanksgiving 1950, and the troops were all saying they would be home by Christmas. The war would be over,

The Chinese, however, sent across 300,000 volunteers. They launched an attack and the whole thing started again. They drove the South Korean forces back south again. The U.S. forces and some of the South Korean forces were trapped, and the fighting conditions were terrible! North Korea is bitterly cold, with temperatures 25-30 below zero — that's not the wind chill, that is the temperature. Our guys got caught in that. Their uniforms were basically summer-ish. They didn't have good boots. There were as many casualties from that situation as from weapons.

For a couple years, they went back and forth along the 38th parallel until late 1953 or early 1954. Finally those in charge sat down at a "peace table," and debated all kinds of stuff silly stuff, even to the point of "would the table be round or square?" Those talks went on for a long time and all that while there were skirmishes between the armies. Finally they arrived at a solution which was that everything would return to the way it had been — the 38th parallel would remain between North and South Korea. All this was 50 years ago and we still. have troops in Korea. I can see the same thing happening now — we'll probably be in Iraq 50 years from now. One difference is that the living conditions for the troops are much better than in Korea.

That was not my situation. I was lucky. We had taken over a school, which became our compound. In the first building were the offices fixed up for our use, and in the second were the living quarters for the enlisted men and our officers. So I worked and lived in school buildings. We had plenty of room in our living quarters, where they put 10 of us to a fairly good sized room. We were quite comfortable. A Korean house boy came in every day, made the beds, kept our room clean, along with stuff we were supposed to do for ourselves — shine shoes, etc. He was paid and every month we gave him a carton of cigarettes from which he could make a lot of money, selling them on the black market. We had a little NCO club on the compound, with music every night. Sometimes we had a Korean band, or we listened to records. It was not a hard duty. We had good food. Any time we wanted — even the middle of the night, we could go to the mess hall and the cooks would fix us eggs, bacon, and toast.

The best part was when seven of the nine guys I was with were from the eastern -U.S. — New York and New Jersey, To be honest, I was a little awed, because I'd never been around anyone from that part of the country. But we got along really well and had in common that we all liked basketball. Because it was a school, there was a gymnasium, of sorts. The windows had all been shot out, but we'd go down and play basketball two or three hours every night. During the winter, we'd put on Army long johns and wear gloves until our hands got warm. Then we'd take off our gloves and play until it was time to quit. I got to be really good friends with these guys, and wish I had some contact with them to know what ever happened to them.

I was there probably a little less than a year when they phased out the 3rd TRC. Our job had been to run the Korean national railroad, and they finally said, "Let's give it back to the Koreans." But some of us in our outfit were sent to the Korean Civil Assistance Command, KCAC. There were 100 of each enlisted men, officers, and civilians in the compound where we lived. This was great! We had the best food in Korea, good living conditions, and went to work every day on a bus. We were still essentially running the railroad but we were doing it through KCAC, rather than TRC.

The only reason I got to go with that group was that I was on the softball team, which was really good. They thought we were going to win the Korean championship, so they transferred everybody on the softball team to the new company and just found a job for me. They made me a clerk typist. I was not good. In fact, I was probably the only two-finger clerk-typist the Army ever allowed. Of course, I couldn't get fired. We could be court martialed but not fired, and we had a Master Sergeant in the office who took care of my mistakes. I never did figure out the Army filing system, so I filed everything under "miscellaneous." When he asked me about filing something, I'd say, "It's under miscellaneous," so he'd go through the file and put the forms where they should be.

I was sitting at my desk one day when a Major Spurlock came in and said, "I need somebody to type a letter." Everybody was busy so he said, "Let Brown type my letter for me." The Sergeant raised his eyebrows but said, "Well, give him the letter." This being before computers, where an error meant a page must be retyped, I must have wadded up and thrown away 10 or 12 sheets of stationery before I finally had a perfect letter. It took me a couple hours to type those few paragraphs. Major Spurlock didn't know how much trouble I had, but when he got the perfect letter, he said, "From now on, Brown types all my letters!" That is what I did from then on and I cost the Army a lot of stationery, but I got to keep my job and keep playing ball.

Later that outfit was also phased out and I was sent to 8th Army Headquarters, still in Seoul. They sent me to the troop information and education center. At that time the military had a policy that you had to have an 8th grade education or you couldn't stay in. My job as Testing NCO was to test the men to determine their education level. I'd grade the tests, and if someone graded fourth grade, we would start him in fifth grade, with a teacher for fifth grade, and work with him until he achieved an eighth grade equivalency. It was kind of sad. Some of these guys, in their late forties or fifties, could barely read and they were Sergeants and Corporals — a way higher rank than mine. We had fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade teachers who would take the guys as fast as they could go so they could reach the eighth grade level and stay in the Army. I couldn't help them with the test too much because that would put them too far ahead and they wouldn't make it.

Finally in January 1956, I rotated out. On January 1, 1956, I left Korea, took another boat home for 21 days, and was seasick a good deal of the time. I had an early discharge (I think it was January 23), and could go back to college the second semester. If we had served 21 months of our 24 months tour, we could do this. I completed my education in Maryville.

I didn't particularly like the Army, but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. Granted, it was better in my time. In WWII if you were drafted, you stayed in for the duration of the war. Those who had been drafted in 1942, just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, were there until 1945. They kept the draft after the war ended, to keep the military strong, but it was a two-year obligation. If you enlisted it was a three-year obligation. Most guys waited to be drafted.

It is kind of a shame that we don't have a continuing kind of draft, in which people arc required to give some time to the country. It is terrible that people were killed or wounded, but from the standpoint of giving up two years, it would be a benefit. When I was in high school, we knew that was going to happen. We didn't think anything about it, it was just there, something to be done. I would like to see some kind of service they would be obligated to do for their country, not necessarily a military draft. Today we have to include women. I didn't have any job in the service a woman couldn't have done, other than playing ball. I worked in the morning and played ball in the afternoon, but I didn't do any physical labor too difficult for a woman.

I know I came out of the service more mature, a better college student, and I had more purpose in my life. Financially, the GI (Government Issue) bill paid for my college education. I received $110 a month, and out of that bought a car, paid my part of the rent, and all my college expenses. I ended up with a Masters' degree paid for by the GI bill.

Additionally, in 1966, I spent 56 days in a veterans' hospital. I was 34 and had illitis, which is a blockage of the intestines. I was so sick! Doctors kept trying to diagnose what was wrong with me, treating me for all kinds of stuff, and none was right. I knew what I had because it had been in my family and I kept telling them but they said, "Oh, no, that's not what you have." Finally a doctor friend got me into a veterans' hospital, they took out three feet of my small intestine and a foot of my large intestine and put me back together. Alice and I went through a lot of stress. Our son was in kindergarten and it looked like I was going to die. Had I not been a veteran I would have died because I wouldn't have had the level of care I got there.

I believe it is important for young people to know about WWI and II. Because it is recent, teachers who follow history textbooks run out of time before they get to that period. I taught history and social studies and saved the last quarter of the year to teach — more from memory than from the books — about the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. In order to do that, I had to skip some stuff but I made the judgment of what was of more or less importance.

I am patriotic toward our country, not the current administration that has gotten us into a war we shouldn't be in, into a debt we probably never can get out of, and continuing to give money back to the rich people, soaking the middle class and the poor. It will take us a lot of years to get out of what the last five years have gotten us into. I think nobody who hasn't gone themselves should send someone else to war, and the current leaders of the country did that. Everyone who knows me, knows I'm a Democrat. I'm disappointed that we didn't fight back when we saw all this taking place.


We lived in Harden County was I was very young. My dad couldn't drink the water up there, so we moved to Macksburg, in southern Iowa, where my mother was born and raised. We came to Clarke County in 1925, and moved from empty house to empty house because the only income we had was from Dad working as a sexton of the Union County Cemetery. He had a stroke in the fall of 1936. At that time I was working in northern Iowa shucking corn. Dad became really bad and passed away in 1937. My mother, sister, and I moved to Murray that same year.

I began working for Dr. C. R Harken, on a farm south of Murray. I lived with the Kenneth Landers family. Shortly afterward, some of us went to aircraft school in Des Moines. Leonard Wolfe told about this in his story. We got a job at Consolidated Aircraft, making B-24s.

I was drafted on August 10, 1942. They gave us 10 days to come home, and just before I was supposed to report, my grandmother passed away. I checked with my draft board and they told me to take an extra three days. That left me by myself to report at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. The group I was supposed to have gone with were moving out as I came in. For some reason, I was put with a bunch that stayed there for 21 days. I began to wonder what was happening. Every night the camp would fill up with new groups, every morning they would take them out, and I stayed and stayed.

Finally a corporal came to the barracks and called my name. He said I was to report to one of the docks on the base at 11:00 that day. When I did, I found there were twelve of us. We went down the hill a mile to the old Fort Leavenworth, where at that time they were training Filipino pilots. They sent us on to Stuttgart, Arkansas, where they had a plan. to pull gliders. The files showed I had worked in an aircraft factory, so they had put me in the category of mechanic. They expected the rivets would pull loose when they pulled the gliders, so we were to patch them. up. Nothing like that materialized.

When we arrived, we had to do a lot of clean up work because they didn't have an MP (Military Police) corps. They gave somebody the power to form one and anybody that didn't have an MOS (Prepare to Deploy) number, was called for an interview. My name was on the list to recruit. I was working for Lieutenant Sorrell in Headquarters. He came to the door and said, "Do you know you are to report?" I said, "Yes, sir, I do." He asked, "Do you want to be an MP?" I answered, "No, sir, I don't," so he said, "Don't go," and picked up the phone to tell them I'd not be there.

I wound up as a clerk as part of the Headquarters personnel. I was in there until they started to hire some women, and they took my job. I took another job and the same thing happened. I was in charge of cadet supplies when a letter came from Washington D.C. They wanted me to go back to the west coast and work in the aircraft factory in San Diego, because there was a shortage of men. When I got there, they put me on a new airplane called PB4Y2, which was a big Navy patrol bomber, designed to fly above the water and spot submarines. It had the same fire power as the B-29s, and functioned electronically. All the operator had to do was turn it in the right direction and push a button. It would aim itself.

I think they only made about 500 of them. There was a story that they made 1500, but I know that isn't right because it takes a lot of time to make even a small number of them, and I was there until the war in Europe was over. I never heard much about them, but there was a minister of the Murray Baptist Church, where I go, who told me he was a bombardier stationed in Florida flying an airplane nobody ever heard of." I asked, "What kind was it?" It was a PB4Y2. They had 19 in their squadron.

After my duty there was finished, I was sent for one weekend to a base from where fellows were sent overseas — Fort MacArthur, in Long Beach. I never went overseas. Just before we were to go, I had a bad ear ache in both ears. On the day I took my physical I had blood in my left ear. I've had a hearing problem all my life, and the doctor who examined me asked how I'd gotten into the service. Hadn't I been given a hearing test? Not really. He offered me a medical discharge and I turned it down. I'd been in the service 17 months and had no difficulty. He signed a form and said, "I just disqualified you for overseas duty." About three weeks later my company was sent overseas.

I was coining to the end of my military service and was transferred from one place to another —Amarillo, Texas, on to Buckley Field and Lowry Field, both in Denver, Colorado. I was discharged from Fort Logan in 1946, with the rank of Air Force Sergeant, working in the Quartermaster Corps.

Two weeks before I was discharged, on the 17th of February, I was married. My wife was from Farmington, Iowa. She had been working in a factory in the eastern part of the state making the explosive part of bombs. She developed some health problems which led to pneumonia. Her brother was in the Army stationed at Lowry, and she went out to be with him. She had a job in Denver when we met, and 2 1/2 months later, we were married. We came back on March 5. In the years I was away, my mother had remarried. She and her husband, Oscar Brooks, had told me that when I came home, they would start me up farming. It wasn't possible to rent anything at that time of year so we lived with them one year, then started farming on our own.

We farmed that place for 22 years, and I lost it. It was a time when there were lots of new government rulings. We couldn't sell cream, we had to sell whole milk, which had to be cooled, so we'd have had to buy a cooler. We couldn't sell eggs unless they were candled. We couldn't sell chickens. It became necessary for farmers to have an additional job. I was farming for Lloyd Thurston at the same time, and he insisted that he sell me his farm, which was a good investment. I bought it and never missed a payment. What helped financially was that while I was farming for Lloyd Thurston, I worked for Gerald Edwards. That job paid $65 a week, which really helped! I worked 19 years, when all he had was a filling station. That was when 1-35 stopped at Osceola and we had traffic from Kansas City. It was a really busy place. (Someone — I don't remember who) and I traded shifts every other week. One of us had the night shift and the other the day shift. I was there when Gerald built the first building for Farm and Home. I know all about Farm and Home.

I had three sons, Kenneth R., Don and Eugene. Kenneth was in the army, and I will give his story separately. Don had a bleeding ulcer and they wouldn't take him. He went to Illinois, where he married. He and his wife have two daughters. I have one great-granddaughter and a great-grandson who is just a month old. They live in South Elgin, Illinois. Eugene lives here in Murray, just a block from me. He began working for Babson Brothers and was there when they sold it to Muellers, so he has now been there for 25 years. Gene wasn't the right age to serve.

I want to mention another person I met during my time in the military. She became very important to us. We fellows called her Mother. She ran a hotel/motel in DeWitt, Arkansas and every weekend until 11:00 p.m., she kept it open in case we wanted a room. If we didn't make it by then, she'd rent it. When I had some time off before I was called back in, I went back and spent a week with them.

I am 89 now, and live alone. My wife died March 19, 2001. When my mother passed away, she had property in Murray that we put on sale. As I remember, we priced it at $6,000. In almost two years it hadn't sold. My sister, who was taking care of it, called one night to say we had a bid of $4000. I said if that was all we were going to get, I would buy it. It was agreeable so that is my home now, at 417 Grant Street in Murray.


Told by his father.
Kenneth R. Brown served his two years in Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. He and Don Husted were the best of friends. When they graduated from high school, they couldn't get a job in Iowa because they were 1A, meaning they could be drafted any time. Don had an aunt in Illinois who said if they would come out there, she would guarantee them a job. That was when Kenneth began with AT & T, worked eight months, and was drafted. It was during the time of the Vietnam War, and he was called two or three times but he was driving for the Commander of the Post and never had to go. He had sight in only one eye, so I don't know why they took him at all. Years earlier, he developed a crack in one eye and only had peripheral vision in that eye. Because of that, he couldn't have aimed a gun.

For another eight months after he was drafted, AT & T continued to pay him the difference between what the Army was paying him and what he was making for them. At the end of two years, he went back to work for them and was with them for 30 years. He married Patty Phillips. He is retired now from AT & T. The company moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, and Kenneth stayed in Illinois. His address is Maple Park, Illinois.


Edwin and Robert were sons of Roy and Merle Burchett. Edwin attended Chillicothe Business College and was working in Kansas City for an oil company when he was drafted. During basic training, he was assigned to the Engineers Corps and served in Iran.


I have been retired since 1990. My wife and I will soon celebrate our 48th anniversary. We have two sons, 43 and 40. I served two years in the Army. When the Korean war was on about 1951 to 1953, I was teaching in Bayard, Iowa. They didn't draft me until 1954. I entered the Army on July 12, 1954, and served until May 1, 1956. I still carry my card (Certificate of Service) in my wallet after 50 years, and I also have never lost my original Social Security card after 59 years.

Be that as it may, I entered the Army at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas — now Fort Smith — on July 12 and took basic training in unbearable heat. Pretty hard and hot to be climbing obstacles and crawling in the dirt. Ha! I made it through and after 12 weeks went to Fort Sill, Oklahoma for communication school, I spent 12 weeks or so there and shipped out of New York in February of 1955. I went on a boat to Guantanamo, Cuba and got very, very sick going around Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Boy! Did I ever! I went on from Cuba to Puerto Rico where I served my remaining time on the south side of the island near Ponce. When I got out, I elected to fly home to Fort Sheridan, near Chicago, rather than ride the boat. Thank goodness, they let me.

That year was just Army time in training, etc. However, movie-makers came to the island to make a film, "The Proud and the Profane," starring Deborah Kerr and Bill Holden. They came to my infantry regiment to pick soldiers to be extras in the movie. We played the part of wounded soldiers and they bandaged us in varying ways to represent casualties of battle, using catsup to make it realistic. The hours we got to be there were much more fun than the usual classes and training exercises. Ha! It was great so see Bill Holden in person.

The most heartbreaking experience of my days in service was when my father died October 1, 1955. I never got to see him the last six months of his life and never got to say goodbye. Francis was a good man.                                                 Sincerely, Ira L. Burchett



It was not yet daylight when the draft contingent from this county lined up on the post office steps Friday morning for their picture before boarding a bus for the induction center. Considerable difficulty has been experienced in photographing such large groups with flashlight.

Names of the boys appearing in the picture, from left to right are:
Top row: Kenneth C. Brown, Wm. C. Moran, Mansel R. Burchett, Clyde W. Johnson, Paul H. Gearhart, Leo James, Dean M. Peppmeir and Kenneth A. Winter.

Second row from back: George C. David, Emery C.


Kalkas, Jesse T. Burgus, Wendell L. McCartney, Claude G. Chest nut, Henry V. Wills and Paul Adams.

Third row from back: Samuel E. Glendening, Hoyle E. Morgan, James O. Bierce, Cecil E. Reasoner, Mansel W. Main, Olaf E. Craft, Dwight B. Estes, and Everett E. Miller,

Front Row; Leon E. Folger, Frank E. Cox, Glenn A. Hickman, Cassel R. Roberts, Robert W. Smith, Doyle S. Waller, Raymond O. White and John E. Patterson.


Mansel R. Burchett, the son of Francis A. and Addle E. Burchett, Murray, Iowa, was 23 years of age when he was drafted August 26, 1942 into the army during WWII. He had just completed five years of teaching in the Clarke County rural schools.

After six weeks of basic training, Mansel was inducted into the Anti-aircraft Artillery and stationed in Haines Point, Washington, D.C. Here he remained for two years, during which tenure he received several promotions from Private to Staff Sergeant and other honors during the war. Mansel served as Supply Sergeant for the post and he was responsible for keeping record of all in­coming and out-going clothing that was issued to the soldiers, keeping the supply barracks clean and orderly, managing the laundry and dry cleaning items, as well as delivering supplies to other army bases in and around Washington, D.C.

The 29th of July Mansel asked for a six-day pass to return to Iowa and marry his long time sweetheart. On the afternoon of August 2, 1943, Mansel and Berniece Lavonne Fullerton were married by Pastor Lacey in Grand River. A small reception was prepared by her mother and sister, Phyllis West at the home of Berniece's parents, Thomas B. and Maude G. Fullerton with close family relatives from both sides attending. The Headlee Studio in Osceola took wedding pictures the next morning. That afternoon found the bride and groom on their way back to Washington, D.C. We later commented, "It was Short and Sweet, and Hard to Beat!"

At this time the German Air Force had been mostly wiped out, which left little need for the Army Anti-Aircraft Artillery Unit to remain in Washington, D.C. to defend the city.

Therefore, Mansel was soon transferred into the

Infantry and sent overseas December, 1944 for combat duty in the European Theatre of War. As you recall, we were fighting two fronts at the same time — the European Theatre of War caused by Adolph Hitler and the Pacific Theatre of War against the Japanese.

Mansel related that the soldiers left New York on a large troop ship and landed at Liverpool, England. My, how sick he was all the way over! The waters were so rough and choppy because the Captain had been given strict orders to keep the ship in a zigzag pattern all the way across the Atlantic Ocean for safety measures. At Liverpool a troop train took them to the English Channel where they boarded an LST Troop Ship and crossed the channel, arriving at LaHarve, France. From there they traveled across western France, arriving at Antwerp, Belgium. Mansel said it was a memorable moment when they joined General Patton's army, known as the 89th Indian Head Division of K Company.

Mansel was a combat squad leader for six months with Patton's division. They fought all the way through Germany to the Rhine River. The Germans had blown up the big bridge, but not until many of the earlier American troops were able to cross it before the bridge caved completely. The American Engineer Corps then built a pontoon bridge over the Rhine River. Mansel and his squad along with Patton's K Company rode across it in tanks. By now, they were in the northern part of Germany. Here they were transported on the Autobahn Highway (similar to our interstate) to the southern part of Germany to join an Armored Tank Corps. Mansel, his squad and K Company walked and rode tanks in combat through Belgium, all through Gelurany and half way across Czechoslovakia. They got as far as Pilson, Czechoslovakia when the war ended. The Germans had surrendered!! WHAT GREAT NEWS!!! A Peace Treaty was signed in May, 1945.

After a few weeks in Pilson, they were sent to a town in France, approximately 60 miles east of Paris. A convoy was sent each day to Paris, but Mansel didn't care to go. A soldier would ask each day if he could go in his place, so his name would be put on the check list.

Before long the soldiers were sent back to LaHarve, France, then shipped back to the good old U.S.A. arriving at Boston, Massachusetts in July 1945. One early evening in July, Mansel arrived in St. Louis, Missouri for his embarkment home on a furlough. Here the old Sergeant in charge of the barracks said, "If you get around and get outside when I blow the whistle, I can probably get you out of here this evening for your 30 day furlough." NO TIME WAS WASTED!

Instructions were given to sign orders, get clothes, get discharge papers for the furlough. Every man was outside waiting for that whistle to be blown.

Mansel and another soldier went to a hotel in St. Louis for the night. Early the next morning they were at the bus terminal. Mansel rode to Burlington, Iowa, and then took the train around noon to Osceola. The train pulled into the station around 6:30 PM where his wife and parents were anxiously waiting. What a happy sight when Mansel moved to the train door and started down the steps. Berniece was in his arms before he could firmly plant his feet on the ground. Oh, how we all embraced each other!!! HOME AGAIN...TRUE LOVE NEVER ENDS!

Mansel's story was written by his widowed wife, Bernice, age 85, who got to enjoy 60 happy years with Mansel. We reared three precious children: Margena Burchett Miller;
Kirby Burchett, deceased at age 21, and Debra Burchett Tjelmeland.

We were blessed with six grandchildren and one great granddaughter at present date (May 5, 2006). Mansel was called home on September 3, 2003 at the age of 85 years, four days.


Robert Burchett tells that he grew up on a farm between Murray and Grand River. My schooling was in Grand River, which I think of as my home town. After I graduated from high school, I stayed on the farm until I was drafted into the Army at the age of 18. I reported to Camp Dodge in Des Moines and was sent to Camp McClelland in Alabama. After a month or two, I was assigned to the Infantry, which wasn't to my liking. I found out I could apply to be a cadet in the Air Corps, and after a bunch of physicals, I was sent to Miami, Florida for classification. They had a sufficient number of pilots, but I was given a series of tests to train for navigation, engineering, radio, gunnery, or bombardier school. After taking all the tests, I chose radio and was sent to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for five months of training in radio. I went from there to gunnery school in Yuma Arizona, to learn to operate 50 caliber machine guns. At that point I was assigned to a B­26 bomber crew and sent to Barksdale Field, Louisiana where we trained as a crew from July to November. I was the youngest member.

We went to England for a short time and then to a bomber base in France, from which we flew combat missions over Germany. We bombed mostly railroad yards, and depending on the target, we contended with more or less interference from fighter planes. We were not hit, but when our bombardier was flying with another crew, they were shot down. He suffered a broken ankle and became a POW (Prisoner of War) in Germany.

When the war was winding down, about six weeks before it was over, we were sent to an airbase in northern Germany. After it ended, we were told we could come back to the states to be reassigned to B-29s, but at that time the A-bomb had been dropped and we didn't train on them. Our pilot re-enlisted in the Air Corps and was assigned to a base in Newfoundland. Later, I went to see our engineer in Bar Harbor, Maine. He had bought and was operating a motel close to the ocean. I don't have contact with any of them any longer.

I was 18 years old when I went into the service and 21 when I was discharged. I went back to the home place to farm in 1947. My grandfather was deceased but my grandmother was still living there. In November of that year I married Kathleen McGraw. I farmed from 1947 to 1961, when I became a rural mail carrier out of Grand River. I retired in September 1995, but stayed on the farm. I worked in the Grand River Post Office for 35 years. My wife and I moved to Osceola in September 1996, and live at 818 West Jefferson. Our daughter, Lynda, lives in Houston, Texas.


Curtis Burgus is son of Herbert and Lora Burgus. I was born March 30, 1926; graduated from the 8th grade from country school in Madison Township, Clarke County, in 1939. I graduated from Murray High School in 1943, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on December 3, 1943, I was only 17 and had a little trouble getting my mother to sign my papers but she finally agreed.

North Dakota for Electricians Mate schooling from February 1944 to May 1944. I was then transferred to the U.S.S. Proteus AS (Auxiliary Submarine) 19, a repair ship for submarine service. It was on the island of Midway, which had been secure in U.S. control for better than a year. We served there until December 1944 when the ship went to Pearl Harbor at Hawaii.

It had been three years since the attack, and we didn't see much damage. Of course, the Arizona was still sunk there, but if there was other damage, we couldn't get to it because it was a restricted area. Our ship was at Pearl Harbor until February 1945, refitting and repairing submarines. From there we went to the island of Guam where we refitted submarines until August 7, 1945. This island, too, was secure although there were still some Japanese running around in the jungles and they had some caves on the north end of the island. It was determined that it wasn't worth the effort to hunt them out. Occasionally one of them would come down and might kill a serviceman and take his clothes, or try to get into the chow line to get something to eat but generally, in that case, they got caught. It didn't happen very often.

After the bombs were dropped on Japan on August 6, 1945, we were dispatched to Tokyo Bay to take command of part of the Japanese submarine fleet. Japan had the largest submarine in the world at that time, and it came under our command. It was built with an airplane hanger on the deck, waterproof, and large enough to hold two small single seat float planes, with wings that folded. They were shot off the vessel by catapult to hunt for shipping. When they came back, they landed on the ocean and with a boom and a winch they pulled them back, folded the wings, put them back in the hanger, and shut the door.

We entered Tokyo Bay on August 28, 1945 and were anchored at Sagami Wan in the Bay until November 1, 1945. At that time we left for Pearl Harbor for repairs then on to Norfolk, Virginia via the Panama Canal. We arrived in Norfolk December 10, 1945. I had 30 days leave, then returned to the ship at New London, Connecticut until I was discharged on May 19, 1946 from Fort Snelling, Minnesota. At the present time (2006), I reside in Murray, Iowa.

DALE BURGUS, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Burgus, World War II, deceased.


Donald Burgus, the son of Charles and Grace Turner Burgus (brother of Jesse) was born June 21, 1920 near Murray. He and his twin sister Doris Forbes were the youngest of ten children. Donald was inducted into the Army Air Corps at Fort Des Moines and served from 1942-1945. He was stationed in the Aleutian Islands and Washington D.C. While in the Aleutians, he was on an island two miles by four miles, an air base that sent planes out to fight the Japanese. The enemy often flew over trying to locate the air base and there was always fear they would find it. Donald's rank was Technical Sergeant and he was crew chief for aircraft. He was well acquainted with all the pilots and talked about the planes going out and coming back, some coming late and damaged, some not at all.

Donald and a few other soldiers decided to explore their island and realized they were lost when nightfall came. It was very cold and they couldn't find their way back until morning. The base was short on rations and the soldiers often hungry. While stationed in Washington D.C. he met his future wife Eileen Miller who was in the English ATS (equivalent to the U.S. WAC —Women's Army Corps) and secretary to a high ranking English officer. They became the parents of two children, Rose Marie Cline and Gary Burgus. He received the Asiatic-Pacific and Good Conduct medals. Relatives in the area are: sister-in-law Zella Burgus, nephews Dwight Burgus and Jerry Ramsey, Osceola, niece and nephew Joan Callison and John Henderson, Murray.


I was drafted in November 1953, during the Korean War. That was where I supposed I might be sent, but the war ended and I spent my time in the States. I was drafted into the 4th Armored Division and after basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and special training at Camp Gordon, Georgia, I was sent to Fort Hood, Texas. I was in the 404th Combat Military Police Corps. The 4th Armored division had fought in Germany during WWII, and were pretty well shot up. They had disbanded and were in the process of being reactivated. We did lots of training to get the division back in order, and on June 15, 1954 it was reactivated. That was my assignment during my two years of service.


Herbert enlisted in the Air Force July 1988, and was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, Nebraska. No other details are known. He received his honorable discharge April, 1991.


Jesse T. Burgus, son of Charles and Grace Turner Burgus, was born March 8, 1917, at home in Madison Township. He attended country schools. In 1942, Jesse was 24 years old, living in Murray with his wife, Zella Brown Burgus and their first son, Ronald, when he was drafted into the Army. It was in early September and Zella was three months pregnant with their second son, Rex, when Jesse left for basic training.

He was inducted into the Army with two other Murray boys — Kenneth Brown, his brother-in-law, and Leonard Wolfe — at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, from where they were shipped to Georgia for their basic training. During training, Jesse developed a health condition that required surgery and he was hospitalized for a month. When he was released, he had to return and start his basic training over again. Jesse commented that not everybody could say they had been through basic training twice in a lifetime.

For 2 1/2 years, he was stationed in the Washington, D.C. area. He pulled a lot of guard duty around the capital and other area buildings as well as receiving monitoring duty of radar at Army headquarters. The WWII mindset led to a constant concern about a possible invasion on our eastern coastline by German or Japanese bomber planes. Jesse told of many long nights watching radar, always in anticipation that something would happen.

In 1945, Jesse was reassigned to an infantry company, and was shipped out on a smaller vessel, to be commissioned to the front lines in Europe. He recalled the severe seasickness that most soldiers had while on that ship, and weak coffee and chewing gum were a mild but not entirely successful remedy. When he arrived in England, this Iowa boy thought it to be a very foggy and cold country.

He was flown to Belgium, where he became a member of the 78th Infantry, Company F, 3rd Platoon. He was assigned a place to stay in an apartment among many hotel-like buildings, where he would stay for awhile living like a tourist.

During that time, fighting was going on up and down the German border. When he was deployed, he was sent in to help with reinforcing troops. The maneuver was called The Battle of the Bulge. This was the final major attack by the Americans fighting


their way into Germany. Jesse was assigned radio duty, and carried a 50-pound radio, plus his weapon. He was with a scouting troop that went ahead of the 3rd Army Division looking for the enemy, and spotting areas where the Army could advance. The radio that he carried was of the type made of glass vacuum tubes, and it had to be kept dry and constantly adjusted to keep it working. It put them in danger as the radio allowed the enemy to know where the scouting troops were positioned. Fortunately or unfortunately, Jesse said the radio worked only fifty percent of the time.

Among the accomplishments of the 3rd Army, which was led by General Hodges, was the securing of the long-standing bridge, a Ludendorff railroad bridge. It spanned the Rhine River at Remagen. Jesse was part of that scouting troop that let the Army into the area, and was one among the first of a group to cross that bridge. They were able to be the first of all the units, on March 7, 1945, beating General Patton by 20 days to the river, to secure and cross the bridge, allowing them to set up portable crossing bridges. This gave the American forces a strong advantage as it was the first break in the German line.

The men were then able to further advance into Germany with their trucks and tanks. Hollywood created the movie, "A Bridge Too Far," which glamorized what really had been accomplished. The troops advanced into Germany, along with four other American units, and British, Canadian, and French units, assisting to the North and South of the front line. None of these units, then, were allowed to advance into Berlin, as Russia insisted and was allowed to take the capital from the opposite side of Germany. The Battle of the Bulge cost the Americans 35,000 lives. It was a long hard fight as the troops, Jesse Burgus among them, took Germany.

As they crossed the Rhine in March, little did they know it would take two more months to defeat the German Army. Berlin was finally defeated on May 2, and the official German surrender was May 4, 1945. The war in the rest of the world continued until August, 1945. The surrender took place, but they had to wait for the full surrender. Jesse chose not to stay on in Europe, as was offered him, but was anxious to return to Murray and his wife and young family. Jesse and Zella had two more sons — Dwight and Larry — and a daughter Judith Ann, who died in infancy. Jesse returned to Murray, was employed by Kimball implement as a mechanic. Soon afterward, in 1953, he rented a farm south of Murray. Jesse and Zella moved to Osceola in later years, where he lived out the rest of his days.


My parents were Herbert Burgus and Laura (Stierwalt) Burgas. I had two brothers, Curtis and Merrill Gene, whom we've always called Gene. We lost our father when I was 12 years old, Curtis was 15, and Gene was six. Dad was working for the government (AFC agency) sealing corn. They fumigated the bins to keep out the weevils, and during the procedure, wore masks to protect their breathing. Cliff Cochran was with him and he had a good mask, but in this instance Dad was given the wrong type of mask and he died a terrible death. My uncle got hold of the mask later. They took it to a laboratory saw what the problem was.

Dad had a $10,000 insurance policy with the government, but Mother had an option. She declined taking the $10,000, realizing it could quickly be gone. She had to consider that she would have the sole responsibility for three young sons, and she wisely chose a monthly compensation, which at the beginning was $18 a month. She furthered her education, got a certificate, began teaching, and raised us. We were not wealthy by any means, but neither was anyone else in those days. We could name on the fingers of one hand those who had money, but we got along all right —better than some today. Mother was a widow for 60-some years. She lived to be 95, alone until the last month of her life. She was still getting a small amount from the government, had IPERS pension from her years of teaching, and with Social Security she managed all right.

I graduated from Murray school, and went for one year to a Bible College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I didn't have enough money to go back so I started farming and except for two years in the service, I've farmed ever since and continue now.

In 1951, Dorothy Woods and I were married. She was the daughter of Elmer and Blanche Woods and attended Murray High School, although their mailing address was actually Truro. In 1952, when I was 24, I was drafted into the Army. If they had waited another year, I'd have been too old and they probably realized that. From Des Moines, where I signed in, I was sent to Camp Crowder, Missouri and flown on to Fort Bliss, Texas, where I took my basic training. Dorothy came to be with me there for part of those 16 weeks, and then we were sent on to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where I was assigned to the artillery as a radar operator. We had a 280 mm gun which shot an 11 inch shell for 25 miles. My job was to catch the shell on the radar after they fired it, and with the arc and everything involved, our computer showed where it hit.

Dorothy followed me to Fort Bragg, pregnant, and I received word that my next assignment was overseas duty. Dorothy recalls, "So there I would be alone, facing a new experience, in a strange part of the country, essentially among strangers. Junior had one Army buddy, whose wife was also there, and I remember they had a shower for me, so the wives were considerate even though we were not close. It turned out that Junior was never in combat, but it was during the Korean War and we didn't know that he wouldn't be going there. This is the sort of trauma wives and mothers have experienced all through the years — centuries, in fact — as they have said goodbye to their husbands and sons, waited for them to return, and prayed they would."

Junior continues: We were all set to go to Seoul, Korea, and were given two weeks before leaving. When we returned and reported, we discovered they had changed their minds. They considered the Korean conflict was about over, so they sent us to Baumholder, Germany. I don't see how our equipment could have worked in the mountainous area anyway. It was a humongous thing, with two big tractors on each end to pick it up and move it. The computer was the size of a cabinet. It was spoken of as an atomic gun, but it was in a shed that we walked around and it didn't have atomic energy. It probably just made a good story. They wouldn't let us take a picture of the contraption, and even though I do have a picture that was taken where it is now, it is on a slide and wasn't a good picture to begin with.

Back at Fort Bragg, Dorothy's father brought her mother to be with her. He drove our old car back and left the better one for their return. Our son Marty was born a month after I left. The cost involved in his birth was $1.35. As soon as it was feasible, my little family was back in Iowa. They were there by the time Marty was a week old. On the day Dorothy got home from North Carolina, in October, 1953, my brother, Gene, went into the Army. He spent about all his time as an MP in Ft. Hood, Texas. His son Herb was in the Air Force.

We were in Germany about eight months, during which time we continued to do what we'd been training for. Using the big firing range, we'd go out, set the gun, go over four or five blocks, and set up our radar. When they fired the gun we were to catch it on our screen and lock onto it. We didn't have a computer to work with, so we used a slide rule and I was no good with a slide rule. We very seldom were successful until a Lieutenant came in and he was sharp. The slide rule was no problem for him, so after he came, we got so we could lock onto it the first time. The fellows in command didn't really think they needed the radar until one day it was foggy and the outpost couldn't see where it hit. They had to rely on the radar, so then they thought we were worth something. About 20 Generals and big-wigs came to see it.

The war was over when my service time was up in late June. I got to come home three months early so I could farm. It was September when I went in, and my discharge certificate is dated August 31, 1960, because after I got out in June of 1954, I was in the reserves until August 31, 1960. Dorothy and I have now been married 55 years.


was born February 24, 1924, son of Charles and Margret Burnett. Dale gave 30 years to the service of his country. He served in the U.S. Army during WW II, Korea and Vietnam. While in Germany, he married a German girl. When they were in the states, they lived on the base at Aberdeen, Maryland. Dale died May 6, 2005 and is buried at Terryman, Maryland.


was born in 1940 to George and Ruth Ellen Garrlet Burnett. Robert attended Murray High School, and served three years in the Iowa National Guard. He received much of his training in the southern states.


My parents, Delmar and Nellie Butts, lived on a farm south of Thayer in Union County, Iowa, when I was born in 1943. I went through grade school at Pleasant #5, did my freshman year at Arispe, then I finished at Clarke Community, while living with my sisters, Lucille and Violet Butts, They were nurses at the Clarke County Hospital, and worked the last several years at Skaggs Hospital at Branson, Missouri. They retired and live there.

I enlisted in the Marine Corps before I graduated from high school. I was on a deferred enlistment from April until I went to Boot Camp in San Diego in August of 1960. From there I went to Infantry training at Camp Pendleton, and was sent back to the Recruit Depot in San Diego in January, to an Aviation Electronics Operator's school, training to be a radar operator for the Marine Corps. In 1961-1962, I was stationed at the Marine Air Facility at New River, North Carolina near Jacksonville. That was my first duty station. I made Pfc there, then Lance Corporal and Corporal.

While I was there we were deployed to Puerto Rico, going on an LST (Landing Ship Tank). We were there for two weeks on field maneuvers. We loaded all our stuff on ships —trucks, radar and electronic equipment, and in Puerto Rico set up a field radar site at Roosevelt Roads Naval Station. We didn't get to see much of the country because we were way off in one corner of the base and in field maneuvers, so we didn't ever get to go anywhere.

Our mission as a squadron was serving as ground control for fighter aircraft. We would pick up enemy aircraft on the radar, controllers on the radar scopes would tell the fighters where the enemy was, and give directions as to how to find them, That was before computers so a lot of this had to be done manually. We stood behind plexiglass screens called a plotting board. It had a big map, and we would make Xs with track numbers and other information, writing every­thing backward so that people on the bridge of the radar center could read it. Merle Klein, who was stationed in Korea, had one of the predecessors of what we worked with. His was one of the first. Merle and I had known one another for 30 years and didn't realize until just a few years ago that we did the same thing in the Marine Corps.

There is a bond between fellows in service that is seldom matched. I was in Marine Aircraft Control Squadron 8 — actually twice. I was in it in the New River Air facility, spent two years in Hawaii, and when I came back to North Carolina, I wound up in the same squadron. During the time I was gone they had transferred and spent a year in Okinawa. They came back to Cherry Point, North Carolina, which is where I wound up. There were a couple guys I was stationed with in both places and several people in that unit started organizing reunions. I didn't know about them until the 5th or 6th year they had them. Now I go just about every year with different fellows hosting it in different parts of the country. In June we are going down to San Antonio. Some of these fellows I hadn't seen for 40 years but it's still like old times with old friends. Stephanie goes with me and they have come to know her, also. One of the fellows I ran onto in the motel. After all that time I recognized him, and I introduced him and Stephanie. He said, "Well, what have you been doing the last 40 years?"

I spent from 1962-1964, in Hawaii in Marine Aircraft Control Squadron 2, in Kaneohe Bay, the Marine Corps Air Station, which is over the Pali pass on the other side of the island from Honolulu. The Air Station was on a little peninsula where there was half of an old volcano crater rim on one corner of the base. That was the location of our radar site. We were about 700' above the rest of the airfield. We had the options of walking up the mountain on a foot trail, riding in a four-wheel

drive, or we taking the four-passenger cable car. The back side of where the bowl would have been was the rifle range.

When I came back from Hawaii, I was sent to Headquarters Squadron at Cherry Point, North Carolina, and was a guard in the station brig, the base jail, and when Marine Squadron Aircraft Control 8 came back from overseas and re-formed, people in personnel looked at my records and noticed I had radar training. They moved me back to the radar squadron.

In July 1965, I came home and Stephanie Gracey and I were married. She went back to Cherry Point with me. Richard Pendergraf was a neighbor there so Stephanie became acquainted with him, too. I was discharged in 1966. I should have gotten out in August but I was held over for awhile because of the Vietnam War. I was discharged in October. I came home and was out of the military for 12 years. When we first came back, we lived in Osceola, then we had a chance to buy a house at Murray in February 1968, and have lived there ever since. I worked at the school from 1975 to 1987, started driving the school bus in 1975, and hired on as Custodian in 1977, but drove a bus when needed. I became the resident substitute bus driver. However, it became evident there were not any job opportunities that had very good retirement benefits, so I thought it would be smart to get back in the Reserves and finish my military time. I joined the Airmy Reserve Unit in Creston in 1978, but they reorganized and moved my job slot to Fort Des Moines.

In the Guard and Reserve we drill on weekends. The first weekend of each month we attend meetings all day Saturday and Sunday. During the summer, we go on two weeks annual training to different bases or countries around the world. I was Communications and Electronic Supply Sergeant in materiel division. The problem was I didn't have anything to do. It drove me crazy having to sit around up there the two days. If I went over to headquarters I was tripping over officers who also had nothing to do.

I was thinking about quitting when a fellow from Prescott, who had been in the unit at Creston, told me he had transferred into the Air National Guard. I decided to check it out. Their base is on the north side of the Des Moines Airport and they have F16 fighter jets. At the time I joined in 1980, they had A-7. This is like a small Air Force base. They have everything found on a normal Air Force base — airplanes, motor transport, supply, hospital, and all. I drove over to talk to the recruiter and asked what they had available. He told me about different jobs, and I wound up in the Civil Engineering Squadron as an electrician. I transferred over there in 1980 and on my first drill weekend they sent me and another guy to the main hangar and we were boring holes in the wall, hanging conduit, stringing wires even before I had a uniform. I knew I was going to like it. I had something to do. Every year we would go different places on our deployment to bases in the United States or overseas. I went to Germany twice, to each England and Italy once, Panama twice, while other years we would be at different bases around the United States.

Under the umbrella of the 132nd Civil Engineering Squadron of the Air National Guard, we were carpenters, plumbers, painters, electricians, or surveyors. We were also heavy equipment operators. We took care of the actual base — the buildings, grounds etc. We had to go to Florida every three or four years and do some training to repair bomb craters on runways, which we'd had training to do, repair buildings that had been damaged by bombs or whatnot. We'd have to set up generators for temporary electricity, temporary water distilling facilities, to get the air base back in operation after an attack. On the deployments lots of times we would be working on construction projects. I spent 20 years in the Air National Guard and retired from there in December 1999 as a Master Sergeant.

There are two branches of the National Guard — the Army National Guard, which is part of the Army, and the Air National Guard, which is Air Force. Both are National Guard and they are under state control with headquarters at Camp Dodge. If they were activated, the Army National Guard becomes part of the Army, and the Air National Guard becomes part of the Air Force. When I first went into the Reserves, I joined the Army Reserve, which is not a State or National guard. It is a Reserve Unit of the Army so I transferred from the Army Reserve into the Air National Guard. This means I get to be part of three different military communities. Because I was in the Marine Corps for six years, I am a Marine for life. There is no such classification as an ex-Marine. Once a Marine, always a Marine. I was in the Air National Guard for 20 years so that makes me part of the Air Force, but I'm also a part of the National Guard. So I have those three communities I can associate with. The National Guard is Army and Air Force both. At the present time, the Commander of the Iowa National Guard, who is over all the National Guard, is an Air National Guard General. That is, he is commanding all the Army National Guard but he is actually an Air Force General.

I have a bunch of medals and ribbons: Marine Corps Good Conduct, Marksmanship, and National Defense Service Ribbon. In the Air Force I have a longevity ribbon. These are given according to the number of years we were in. I have a Cold War ribbon, Meritorious Service ribbon and others. In a retirement package I have my Honorable Discharge certificate dated the 31st day ofD ecemb er, 1999; a Certificate of Appreciation for service signed by Bill Clinton, another in recognition of 27 years of service including 19 in the Air National Guard; and a retirement letter from the Iowa Air National Guard. There is also is a pictorial history of the Air Guard with pictures of the P51 fighter planes on to those of the present.

One of my retirement benefits was a one hour ride in a 2-seater F16 Fighter Jet, with Major Brian Cook at the controls. Almost everybody who retires from National Guard is given this opportunity. A day or two before, I had to go up and do egress training, learning to use the parachute. We flew to an area in northwest Iowa where he could do this and he asked if I wanted to do any acrobatics. I wasn't sure, so he suggested an aileron roll, where he would roll the plane over sideways. In all these cases, I realized this would be my only chance so even though I wasn't quite sure, I decided to go for it. That maneuver got to my stomach a bit.

We did some Hi-G turns, which indicates how much gravity force there is on the body. They didn't bother me as much as the roll. He let me take the control stick and fly the airplane a couple minutes. I didn't do anything wild but was just watching the instruments. Then he asked if I wanted to do an Immelman. I had an audio tape turned on and it is apparent that I hesitated before I agreed. An Immelman starts to do a loop but at the top the plane flips over and heads back the way it had come. I agreed and was hanging on for dear life, but it wasn't too bad.

We flew back at low level about 1500 feet off the ground where I could look down and see the fields and everything, but clipping along at 450 to 500 miles per hour it all flew by pretty fast. The day I flew, Stephanie went with me. We had borrowed a video camera so she video taped me getting ready to go and when we took off, they took her to the pilot's lounge in the main guard building until we came back, at which time they put her into a pick-up and drove to the side of the runway. The pilot made a low pass over the airfield, then went way up, came back around, and landed the plane. She got to see the whole thing.

At 60, I was able to start drawing my military retirement. I was 62 last year so I started drawing Social Security. However, since I retired I've been working various places. I drove an 18-wheeler over the road from 1987-1991, mostly from Ames, Iowa to Fresno, California and back. I went to work at Highway Lumber in March 1999, before I retired; I was at the nursing home for eight years in environmental services. I was in charge of maintenance, housekeeping and laundry, doing the maintenance myself and supervising housekeeping and laundry. Now I am at Highway Lumber three days a week except for busy seasons when they call me back full time. Until recently, Stephanie was a secretary to the American Diabetes Association. We have a daughter Melissa who is married and she and Scott live on the east edge of Des Moines, almost to Altoona. They have two children. Blake is four and Gracey is three so we have two grandkids to spoil, which is pretty delightful and keeps me busy.


Jack lived with the Lester Daniel family and worked on their farm south of Murray when he joined the Navy February 15, 1951 during the Korean War. He was 18, and inducted in Des Moines, He was sent to the Naval Training Center in San Diego. After training, he served aboard the LST (Landing Ship Tank) 1134 based at Subic Bay in the Philippines. In 1953, he was assigned to a ship in Hawaii that transported Navy Officers on excursions around the islands. He came home on leave in (missing text)

and became engaged to Joan Henderson. They planned a June wedding, he bought a suit, not wanting to be married in his uniform. He received new orders and was stationed in San Diego. His ship was sent to Panama for the month of May. It was so hot in the boiler room where he worked that he lost 20 pounds. Needless to say, the suit he bought for the wedding did not fit very well but he wore it anyway. After they were married, they moved to San Diego where his ship was docked and was out on maneuvers for a week at a time. Six weeks later they received orders to ship out to Sasebo, Japan. He remained there until he had served his time of enlistment. He was discharged in San Francisco February 1955, with the rank of EN 2' Class. Jack and Jean became the parents of three children — Teri, Randy, and Cindy. Jack passed away in October 1994.



Galen William Camp's sister, Edith Fleming, lives in an apartment complex in Osceola and through her daughter, Carol Selsor, executrix of his estate, Galen's war story is available. Carol was only four or five years old when Galen was in service and what she remembers of him were the boxes of cookies and particularly the divinity and fudge candies her mother used to carefully pack and mail to his APO address. She also recalls that he had some fond memories of India where he had served, and would like to have gone back. However, the only recollection of what he told about it was that the people were terribly poor and used cow paddies for fuel.

Galen died three years ago, January 22, 2003 at the age of 87, having been born December 29, 1915, to William Perry and Jennie Margaret (Scholl) Camp. He attended Clarke County rural schools. When Galen was in the fourth grade, the family moved to Murray where he attended school and graduated from Murray High School. Except for a brief time he spent working in Washington State, he spent nearly all his life in the Murray area, working as a mechanic and tank wagon driver. He was employed by Henderson Oil Company, which later became Burgus Oil Company, until he retired in 1976 after working for the two companies for 28 years combined. Among his memorabilia is his trucking license for "Sgt. Galen W. Camp" dated 12 February, 1945.

There are also report cards, a small folder from Brush College School, District 5 of Madison Township, Clarke County, Iowa 1925-1926, listing the teacher, Annis Carter, and all the pupils: Opal Carter, Walter Hanlin, Oral McConnell, Richard Kirk, Laurell Carter, Dale McConnell, Edith Camp, Harry McConnell, Arlene McConnell, Gerdon Kirk, Galen Camp, Harvey Carter, Charlotte Camp, Beatrice McConnell; and the school board B.M. Wetzel, President, Lloyd Woods, Secretary, Fred Burgus, Treasurer, and Joe Kirk, Director. Poems inside give evidence that teaching included more than subject matter. They are similar to the quotations on the back, "Study to show thyself approved," and "Count that day lost Whose low descending sun Views from thy hand No worthy action done." Brush College School has been moved into the town of Murray and is part of a little antique complex in downtown Murray.

There is also a folder of Rural and Grade Commencement Exercises held at the High School Auditorium at Osceola on Wednesday afternoon, June 1, 2:00 in 1932. There is a diploma signed by the County School Superintendent, Ada M. Tillotson, indicating Galen had completed the course of study prescribed for the Elementary Schools of Iowa. This means that he had taken and passed a challenging test covering all subjects as required of all pupils in rural schools in Iowa. There is also his High School Diploma dated the 14th Day of May, 1936.

Galen's "Report of Induction of Selective Service Man" indicates that he entered the service January 6, 1942, and change of address cards show his reception at Fort Des Moines and training at Wichita Falls, Texas beginning January 6, 1942. Although there is no indication of when he was assigned to India, his APO address is postmarked December 1, 1942. There is a certificate of the Army of the United States, signed by Charles M. Taylor, Captain, Air Corps Commanding, officially upgrading Galen Camp from Pvt 1 cl to Corporal (Temp) 323rd Sery Sq., 305th Sery Gp. , ASC. The date is September 23, 1942.

Apparently Galen was due to return to the United States August 23, 1944, and was issued a paper which states: "Except when military necessity demands or when specifically directed by the War Department, individuals who have been returned to the continental United States...will not be ordered to overseas commands again until they have performed duty in the United States subsequent to the leave or furlough..." "Further, you will not disclose information concerning the War Department, the Army, or activities within this Theatre to the public (through any means) without first securing a clearance..."

A "Yankee Doodler" paper of February 1945, has an article naming Galen and showing a picture. The title, "Local GIs Fashion Tractor from 6x6." They have spelled Galen beginning with "J.:

In the IB Air Service Command under Major General Thomas J. Hanley, Jr., the GI's ingenuity is winning the war in a hundred different instances every day. The latest feat of magic is the result of the inspiration of Colonel Rudolph Fink, base commander, and the skill and cleverness of two enlisted men down at the Base Motor Pool, Sgt. Bernard A. McAleese and Sgt. (J) Galen Camp. The Colonel decided it would be a good idea to have a few tractors around for the 40x24' trailers, which had interchangeable parts and could be more quickly repaired than the standard tractors used which are often deadlined

long periods of time because of the scarcity of parts. With this in mind, he seized upon the idea of converting a GMC 6x6, the Army work horse, and make a tractor.

The Colonel got the idea and turned it over to Captain Clarry who in turn left it in the laps of McAleese and Camp. McAleese, who hails from Philadelphia, was an auto-mechanic in peace­time working for the New Jersey Auto Co., while Camp who is a mid-westerner from Murray, Iowa, used to work in a filling station and later ran a pool hall. These two boys, part of the original 305th, set to work and inside a month had finished the job.

They had plenty of trouble. The air-compressor system was their biggest headache — they almost went crazy trying to mount it. A lot of parts and fittings had to be handmade and they kept the Welding Shop busy with their requests. Finally though, they hurtled all the obstacles and painted her up in a brand new coat of green paint. And today the tractor is on the road doing yeoman service.

Bernard McAleese and (J)Galen Camp are a little proud of their job as well they might be. But their mind isn't on it any longer. They are due to go home on the next shipment of rotation and they have those Shangri-La blues.

This article elicited a letter from Mrs. Reginald Oakley of Central States Electric Company Chariton, Iowa, written to Galen's mother on March 13, 1945. It illustrates how hungrily wives waited for word from their husbands or mothers from their sons.

"Dear Mrs. Camp: In reading the camp newspaper from India that my husband sent me I saw a picture of your boy that is stationed in India with the Motor Pool.

The article stated that he is about ready to come back to the states and I was wondering, when he does get back and if he is ever in Chariton, if he would come into the Gas Office. My husband arrived in India in Dec. 1944 and is stationed in this same base and I would enjoy very much talking to Sgt. Camp about the base over there because I understand from the article that he has been there 2 years or longer.

There is so little that the boys can write about the camp that I know Sgt. Camp could tell me a lot of things about it. I would certainly enjoy talking to him if he ever comes to Chariton. My husband works in Headquarters with the 305th Air Service Group and will be in India for 2 years before he is eligible for a furlough on the rotation plan...Hoping to hear from you in the very near future, I am, Sincerely, Mrs. Oakley.

Another letter from Santa Ana, California, dated February 16, 1945 from Cpl. Andrew Lewis

Dear Mrs. Camp: I was with your son Galen in India for over two years and I left there last November 10. He was in good health as far as I know, He was in a good place. He was back of the front lines a long way. There never was a bombing raid over there are long as I was there.

I don't know when he will get to come home. He may be on his way now as far as I know. It takes a long time to get home, He will get 21 days at home when he gets back.

I am out in California to get reassigned. I don't know (if) I will be sent from here. I will close now because that is all I can think of. Yours truly, Cpl. Andrew Lewis.

There is another certificate for meritorious service from the Commanding General, Army Air Forces extending gratitude of the United States Army Air Forces to Sergeant Galen W. Camp 37 111 574, whose wholehearted and sincere service contributed to the successful prosecution of World War II against those who sought to subjugate the civilized world. Signed by O.A. Robinson, Lieutenant General, AC RAAF, Boswell, New Mexico and H. A. Arnold, Commanding General, Army Air Forces. It is dated 11 October, 1945. Galen brought home medals: Good Conduct, Asiatic-Pacific Theater, and Overseas Service Bars. There is indication that he visited the Taj Mahal in Agra while there. Galen died January 22, 2003 at the age of 87 of renal and congestive heart failure.

Paul Carder was born September 24, 1895, to Frank Wolford Carder and Margaret Johnson Carder. He was in WWI, 330th Machine Gun Battalion, 88th Division. He died in France, October 11, 1918 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C.


served in the Army from 1969 to 1975. He was in the 133rd Infantry, 2nd Battery, 47th Mechanical Division. He was in several camps but never out of the United States. Norma "kept the home fires," with her hands full because our three children were born during those years: Billy 1969, Mike 1972, and Sarah 1973.


were twin sons of John and Maude Coleman, who operated the Murray Drug Store. The sons were in the U.S. Army.


was in the class of '43. He quit school in 1942 and joined the Marines. He was involved in several island invasions and was wounded in Iwo Jima, now lives in Ames.




was the son of Lloyd L "Bud" and Ruby {Alley) Daniel, born March 20, 1917, at his parents' home two miles south of Murray where Gary and Delores Robins now live. He graduated from Murray high school in 1934. He planned to be a career Navy man when he enlisted January 17, 1935, In 1941 he was serving as secretary in the admiral's flagship office aboard the USS Arizona. The weekend of December 6, 1941, he had shore leave, but that night Daniel stayed aboard the battleship in Pearl Harbor, to play bridge with the ship's captain and then went to bed.

As a Yeoman Class with a young family, Daniel often gave up shore leave to try to save money, just as he did on December 6, 1941., The morning brought bombs raining from the skies as the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor just before 8:00 a.m. Hawaii time. An explosion ripped through the Arizona's forward section which was encased in smoke and flames. A few men were able to escape the burning ship but Daniel and 1,117 others went down with the ship.

Max and wife Hazel were married in 1936, and had two daughters, Lynn 2 years and Becky 5 months old. Hazel and the girls lived in Livingston, Montana near family. Daniel, 25, looked forward to seeing his youngest daughter for the first time early in the new year. Hazel had travel orders to join him ashore in January 1942.

According to Max's daughters, Lynn Shafer and Becky Bowman, their mother never fully recovered from her husband's death and her last wish was that she would be buried at sea with her husband. Her daughters complied with her wishes. When she died in 2001, her ashes were scattered just above Max's final resting place in Pearl Harbor. Relatives still living in the Murray area are Joan Callison and John Henderson, first cousins once removed.


Kenneth was the son of Elmer and Maude Bashor Davidson, born April 25, 1924 on a farm north­west of Murray, Iowa, in Clarke County. He graduated from Murray Community School in 1942, after which he worked for the CB&Q railroad in Burlington, Iowa, and gained nine months engine experience in 1943. He performed rough carpentry work on railroad buildings and bridges, some finish type work, and used all types of carpentry hand tools.

Kenny enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force August 23, 1943, signing up with rank of Private, at Camp Dodge, Iowa. From there he was sent to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, and on to Chanute Field, Illinois. From there he was sent to Drew Field, Florida for departure via troop ship to England March 23, 1944, He arrived April 3, and was stationed in Lauenham, England. He served in the 8th Army Air Force with the 836th Squadron of the 487th Bomb Group.

Airplane Sheet Metal Worker: Kenny served as a sheet metal worker for 16 months in the European Theatre of Operations, then assigned to flight line, repairing battle damage to skin, stringers, cowling and other sheet metal components of B-17 and B-24 type aircraft. He used various pneumatic and electronically operated tools and equipment in performance of his duty, in addition to hand tools. He told about how torn apart some of the planes were that he helped repair.

Related Civilian Occupations: As AAF Airplane sheet metal worker, he completed a 12 week course in which he studied minor and medium sheet metal repair methods, plexiglass care and repair, heat treating, cable splicing and related subjects. He attended Service School 3rd AFCU 6938, AAFTS, Chanute Field, Illinois.

Although Kenneth didn't talk much about the war, he did mention bombs hitting with such force they knocked him to the ground. While on active duty beginning April 23, 1943, he served in the following battles and campaigns: Air Offensive Europe, Normandy, and Northern France May 1, 1945; Ardennes and Rhineland, May 21, 1945, and Central Europe June 13, 1945. His Military Occupational Speciality: three months PFC student; 22 months Sgt. Airplane Sheet Metal Worker, one month as Sgt. carpenter — general. His date of separation was 28 October, 1945 at AAF Separation Station, Drew Field, Florida, when he received for his honest and faithful service to our country an FAME ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, and Lapel button. After Kenneth returned to Murray, he was associated with his father and brother, Delbert, in Davidson and Sons business, selling feed, farm machinery, and gasoline.

Kenneth and Wanda Anna Palmer were married May 24, 1950, at the Murray Church of Christ. They have one son, Mark Alan. Mark married Lori Christiansen and they have two children, Jessalyn Jeanne and Zachary Alan. Kenneth was active in the Murray Church of Christ, William Lochrie American Legion Post #405, V.F.W., a member of the Volunteer Fire Department, serving a term as Fire Chief. He belonged to the Murray Housing Corporation, was a member and for a time president of the Murray Community Boosters. His hobbies were playing the harmonica and banjo, woodworking, repairing antique furniture, reading and gardening. Kenneth passed away on January 29, 2002 in the home in which he and Wanda had lived for 44 years,

On the following page, in the picture of the 487' Bomb Group, 836 Squadron, 8th Army Air Force, Kenneth is seated on the right propeller. The picture was taken at Lauenham, England.


I enlisted in the Coast Guard in Omaha, Nebraska on 30 November 1951, and went from there to boot camp in Alameda, California. At that time, boot camp was 16 weeks long, and at its comp­letion on 3 March 1952, I was transferred to the Coast Guard Base in Portsmouth, Virginia, as a Seaman Apprentice. Each recruit had taken a series of aptitude test while they were in boot camp, which determined what service school they would be best qualified for. Mine, of course, was working on engines and machinery which I had done at Davidson and Sons prior to enlisting.

I was transferred from Portsmouth, Virginia, to the Coast Guard service school in Groton, Connecticut, to attend engine-man school on 22 April 1952, and graduated from there as a Fireman on 18 August 1952. I made a trip home to Iowa after graduation and then reported to my next duty assignment, which was the Third Coast Guard District Office which was in the Custom House in Lower Manhattan, New York City. From the District office I was sent to the Coast Guard repair base in Staten Island, New York, just across the harbor. I received my next assignment on 9 September 1952, to my first boat, the 83468 in Lewes Delaware.

The 83468, a wooden boat built in 1942, had been part of the Normandy Invasion and was decommissioned after they brought her and several other 83 footers back on transport ships. They recommissioned the best of the lot for patrol work during the Korean Conflict, the 83468 being one of them. Being a kid from Murray, Iowa, an 83 foot long boat was pretty darned big and I was proud to be part of her crew. We were assigned to search and rescue primarily, but were also part of the Harbor Entrance Patrol net work set up in every port entrance along both coasts of the United States, ours being the Delaware Bay and river complex. All the 83 footers were gas powered then, burning close to 80 gallon per hour at her top speed of 15 knots. Early in 1953, the 83468 was converted to diesel as were several other boats, making them a lot safer and more efficient. During that conversion, I was promoted to Second Class Petty Officer, 2 February 1954.

Rehoboth Beach Delaware, a summer resort that had a winter population of maybe a 1,000 people and a summer population of over 10,000 was only seven miles from our dock. It didn't take me long to find a piano to play and through that I met one of the local Rehoboth Beach girls and a year later married Ann Maynadier on the 26th of June 1954.

One of the more memorable events of my tour on the 83 was the collision of the US Navy tanker Mission of San Francisco and the Swedish freighter Elna IL The Mission was attempting to make a turn in the Delaware river, got caught in the out going current, could not make the turn and was struck by the Elna II who was coming down river and could not stop in time. The collision caused the Mission to explode which blew the bridge entirely off the ship and caused the Mission to break in half and sink. We were on patrol in the area and saw the explosion and were among the first rescue boats to respond. The Elna II had damage to her bow but nothing more. We were able to pick several of the Mission's crew out of the water and tend our fire hoses on the after section of ship, which was the primary crews' berthing area. All this happened at nine in the evening, and only nine people were lost — the ones on the bridge of the Mission. We were able to save the rest by the light of the fire from their burning ship.

I was promoted to Petty Officer First Class on the first day of July 1956. The 83468 was transferred to New London, Connecticut, in the early part of 1957 and the 83382 took her place in Lewes, Delaware. My son Michael was born on the 5th of May1957. I had been on the 83's long enough and requested I be transferred. I was transferred to the Relief Lightship out of Cape May, New Jersey. A Light Ship is nothing more than a floating lighthouse, anchored off shore to mark hazardous waters such as shoals and reefs. The Relief was the relief ship for three stations —Overfalls, Five Fathom, and Barnegat Shoals — spending two months on each station while the regular ship came in for their annual repairs. I made two stations on the Relief and was transferred to the Overfalls Light Ship, which took me right back to Lewes, Delaware, as that was where the crew was changed every nine days, the normal duty being eighteen days on, then nine off.

The first day of June 1960 the WAL 605, the hull number of the Overfalls, sailed for California. We were being transferred to the west coast. I became the Chief Engineer. Even though I was only a First Class Petty Officer, I was the senior Engineer on board. We sailed down through the Caribbean, stopping at Miami, Kingston, Jamaica, then through the Panama Canal and up the west coast and into San Francisco Bay. Our ultimate destination, Alameda Coast Guard Base, is the place I had gone to boot camp in 1952, so I had come full circle. We were refitted and sailed within the week to our new station, Blunts Reef Light Station, three and one half miles off Cape Mendocino, California, the most western tip of the lower United States and directly over the San Andrea's earthquake fault. I was on the Blunts Reef just under a year and was transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Avoyel, a 205 foot foinier Navy fleet tug that was the ship that gave the light ship water and fuel and changed the crew every nine days.

The Avoyel's primary duties were search and rescue, tending to the Pacific salmon fleet and the barge traffic from San Francisco to Alaska, but we were a tow boat and did so with gusto. We took a disabled U.S. Army transport in tow 200 miles west of Seattle and according to the Master, towed him faster than he could go by himself. It was a good tour on the Avoyel, one that I enjoyed and remember fondly even today, some forty odd years later.

I left the Avoyel in late 1965 for the United Stated Treasury Law Enforcement Training School in Washington D. C. I was promoted to Chief Petty Officer on 1 February 1965, actually while we were driving from the west coast. At that time the Coast Guard was under the direction of the Treasury Department, as it had been for years, and I was assigned to Coast Guard Intelligence, the criminal investigative branch of the Coast Guard. Thus I attended their school along with agents from the Secret Service, Customs, IRS, and Alcohol Tobacco Tax, and completed my law enforcement training on the 19th of March 1965. I was assigned to the Third Coast Guard District, which was in New York City, back where I had been in 1952.

Shortly after I reported to New York, our office moved to Governors Island which is directly off the tip of Lower Manhattan where we lived for four years. I attended the New York City Police Department Advanced Detective School graduating on October 27, 1967 after which I became the lead criminal investigator for the Coast Guard in my assigned area — the Island of Manhattan. I must say I got an insight into the way the world lives during the next two years.

I was also the leader in establishing a secure alternate landing area for President Nixon at the Coast Guard Air Station in Miami, Florida, in late 1969. I was transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Yakutat at the end of my tour with intelligence. The Yakutat was a fowler Navy Seaplane tender, 311 feet long and built to run with the fleet during the Second World War, her home port in New Bedford, Massachusetts. I had been promoted to Senior Chief Petty Officer on the 16th of February of 1969, and reported onboard the Yak as the Senior Enlisted Engineer with 43 men under my command. The ship was assigned to the International Weather Patrol, which involved several nations that had ships traversing the north Atlantic. We were their watch dog.

For the first time in my career I experienced what is known as mountainous seas, which are seas that exceed 40 foot in height. My last patrol was off the south coast of Newfoundland, the same area that the book "The Perfect Storm" talked about. The storm we were in may not have been prefect but it was damn close with winds exceeding 92 miles per hour. Thank God the Yakutat was built the way she was, as she fought her way through the storm and brought all of us home safely. She was given to the Vietnamese shortly after that patrol and I was transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Active, a new 210 foot long cutter out of New Castle New Hampshire.

I was once again the Senior Enlisted Engineer on board with an engineering crew of 25 men. The Active was one of the Coast Guard's first turbine driven ships, with two diesel engines and two turbines, a turbine being a jet engine connected to a gear box that drives the propeller. The Active had her problems, but despite that did her share of patrols off the New England Coast. The Active's mooring pier was at New Castle Coast Guard Base which later became the base for the patrol and ocean side security for President Bush. Sr. at Kennebunk. I was transferred to Base New Castle in 1970, and built the engineering force to what was necessary for their new assign­ment. I was promoted to Master Chief Engineman on 1 March 1971, and retired 1 March 1973. The Admiral of First Coast Guard Engineering handed me my retirement certificate and said, "You have done your part Master Chief, go home and enjoy your retirement." I did and I have.


From his obituary: Garold "Buss" Denly, son of Harry Denly and Eliza Mae Fields Denly, was born May 3, 1921 in Clarke County, Iowa, He passed from this life on October 9, 2005 at the Clarke County Hospital in Osceola, Iowa, at the age of 84 years. Garold had lived in Clarke County all his lifetime. On September 19, 1942, he entered the United States Army where he served in the 358th infantry in Normandy, Northern France, and Rhineland until honorably discharged on December 3, 1945. He returned home and was united in marriage to Dora Geneve Simmerman on December 22, 1945. He was a member of the Herndon-Oehlert Post 4157 of the American Legion in Woodburn.


John Dinham was born November 14, 1892, at Lorimor. He enlisted for WWI on July 8, 1918, at Des Moines, and was sent overseas on August 16, 1918, in the 351st Infantry 88th Division. He died of Meningitis on December 2, 1918, and is buried in the Murray Cemetery


Max was the son of Everett and Virginia Fenn, born September 20, 1945. He served in the U.S. Navy June from 1964-June 1968, during the Vietnam War. His basic training was at San Diego Naval Base, and he was on the USS Hancock aircraft carrier 3 1/2 years, in the Pacific Islands.


There are quite a few veterans in my background, and one possible conscientious objector. That would have been my great-grandfather about whom I have evidence that he and my great-grand­mother were German Baptists, who were similar to the Mennonites, and generally were conscientious objectors. My grandfather John W. Fisher must have been about 22 or 23 when he was in the Indiana Regiment in the Civil War. I am aware of his being in a battle in Tennessee, although I don't recall its name. He is buried in the old part of Maple Hill Cemetery in Osceola. My father's life span was between wars. I had a brother John, five years older than me, who served in the Army Engineer Corps in Korea. He said they got pushed back and forth through Seoul, and told they blew up Seoul three times. Every time they went through, they tried not to leave any­thing. He passed away 10 years ago at Thanksgiving, and is buried in Green Bay Cemetery.
I graduated from high school in 1952. I was 18 years old, and not seeing prospects of much happening for me locally, I joined the Air Force. The Korean war was coming to a close, and I was probably well down the list as far as being drafted was concerned. I think my reason for enlisting was probably more for the adventure than anything I enlisted in February, 1953, and the Armistice was signed in March of that year.

I was sent to California, Parks Air Force Base, for basic training, then to Lowry Field, Denver, Colorado where I went through a tech school — armaments, different kinds of munitions, and EOD (demolition work). We burned up old ammunition and stuff they didn't want to use anymore, so we had the 4th of July every day.

There were still a lot of old P-51 fighter planes. I am guessing there were hundreds of French Air Force people there. Back when Vietnam was still called French Indo-China, our government had given those planes to the French Air Force. The French pilots went through training there and when they graduated, each one got a P-51. Every few days 15 or 20 would take off with wing tanks on them for fuel. They flew to Alaska, on to the Aleutian Islands, into the Far East, and into French Indo-China. The French used them to fight the Vietnamese. What was interesting to me was that these French flyers were not officers. They were enlisted men, maybe equal to staff- or tech- sergeants. I suppose they were considered expendable, which we all were to different degrees.

After I left Lowry Field, I was stationed at Carswell Air Force Base at Fort Worth, Texas. It was SAC (Strategic Air Command) based at Omaha. It was a base for B-36s, which was about the biggest airplane they had made. There were 10 engines on that plane — six reciprocating engines, with pusher props on the backs of the wings, and four jets. They could fly higher and longer than anything they have made since. This was in the mid-1950s, during the cold war, when everybody thought Russia was going to bomb us at any time. There were a number of B-36 bombers in the air all the time. They took off from Carswell and flew a "figure 8" over the pole. They were loaded with some pretty heavy ammunition. This was before the days of in-flight refueling so the crew would come back to one of the bases, change clothes, and refuel. They began in-flight refueling in 1958 or '59.

I was attached to the old 7th Bomb Wing, of the old 8th Air Force, a later version of the 8th Air Force they had used in Europe and Gennany in WWII. I spent about two months in the bomb dump, where all the munitions were stored. We used to load what they called the Blue Whistler, 100 pound bombs loaded with sand. They had a black powder charge that went off when they hit the ground so the bombardiers could tell when they hit.

After I spent some time doing that, I was sent to Kirkland-San Dia base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I went through loading school to load some of the bigger weapons. I was there for three or four months, came back to Carswell to the B-36s again, and put on flying status for about eight months. We flew to Casa Blanca, Goose Bay, Labrador, Lincolnheath, England, and Wiesbaden, Germany.

After that, I worked in munitions armament, in Sidie Salamane, Morocco, North Africa, the air base for B-47s. They were slightly smaller and could be refueled in the air. I spent about 13 months there. The B-36 was replaced by the B-52, which they still have. I was transferred from there back to Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka, Kansas. They had B-47s there, set up for "recon." The bombs we loaded were photo flash bombs. They could go up at night, and drop one of these, which would light up. They could take a picture from the plane just like it was daytime.

From there I was transferred back to Carswell in 1957. I had gotten married when I was at Carswell the first time. This time, it is where I was discharged. When I got out of the service stayed in Ft. Worth, and made my home there for 50 years. I was a salesman for a brick manufacturing company for 35 years. My wife, Emma Sue, was from Mangumn, which is in western Oklahoma. We raised a son and a daughter. My son works for a material testing company out of Lenexa, Kansas. My daughter is a drug counselor for the state of Texas.

I planned to work until I was 70, but Sue's deteriorating health caused me to rethink that idea, and I retired at 65. Alzheimers seemed to run in Sue's family. Her mother, an aunt, and two uncles all had the same dementia, and she inherited the problem. She went downhill quickly and had to be in a Nursing Home for several years. In her final stage, she didn't know anybody. She knew our daughter until within a month before she passed away, but she didn't know me or anybody else. Whenever I was there, I would visit with her for 30 minutes, but she had no idea what was going on. She passed away in February, 2006.

I got up one morning feeling pretty low. I just got in my van and drove to Murray. It was like coming home. I looked around, realizing I was going to outlive my wife, and I thought this wouldn't be a bad place to be. I have a niece who lives in Murray, and a couple other nieces scattered around over the country, but those are my only kinfolks. I bought a couple acres and built a house, a shop, and a garage at 300 East 5th Street, my phone number is (641) 344-9540.

I have no trouble filling my time. I drive a school bus, which is a pretty lively occupation, and I've become addicted to genealogy information on the internet. I can sit down at my computer at 9:00 in the evening and the next time I look at the clock it is 1:30 or 2:00. All I have to do is fill in blanks and it will give me information and pictures of my ancestors. I've found that after the war, Grandfather John W. Fisher bought land in Nebraska. They started back to Indiana, and stopped in Osceola because my grandmother had a sister, a Hatfield, who lived in this area. I don't know if that is the Hatfield made famous by the feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys. The McCoys were from Kentucky and the Tennessee area but whether they were involved with my Hatfields, I don't know. It is interesting enough that if this weren't to be published, I might claim it, There are quite a few Hatfields around here and they are distant cousins of mine.

I have been told that if Fisher is spelled without the "c" it is German, Fischer with a "c" is German Jewish. I've also been told that the spelling of lots of immigrant names depended on the spelling of the clerk who registered them. Grandmother Fisher was named Shirey, and she was born in Pennsylvania. She didn't speak very plain English.

My relatives wintered here in Osceola and then and moved to DeKalb in Decatur County. The town doesn't exist anymore, but the location would be two or three miles west off exit 18 of Interstate 35. That was where my father was born. I have followed up on some of what I've learned. In Rossville, Indiana, just east of Layfette, I have located the cemetery where I believe my great-grandmother Fisher is buried in an unmarked grave. I'd like to go back there this summer and if that is correct, I want to put a stone. If I don't do it, there won't be anyone who will.


Leo, son of Elmer and Gladys Forbes, was born in Akron, Colorado on February 19, 1919. His family lived on a farm and be attended country schools. He was inducted into the Army October 13, 1941 at Fort Des Moines.

While in the service Leo learned to cut hair, and he became a barber for the troops as well as serving in the medical detachment. Just before the bombing of Pearl Harbor occurred, he was in the Pacific in route to Hawaii. Upon their arrival, their mission was to assist with the injured.



Leo served in the Aleutian Islands campaign and was awarded the Bronze Star for his service there. He accidently ran across his future brother-in-law, Donald Burgus, also serving in the Aleutians. It was on Donald's birthday and they celebrated together. Leo was discharged October 2, 1944 with the rank of Private in the Medical Detachment.

On December 31, 1944, Leo married Doris Burgus and they became the parents of three children — Michael, Sharon, and Marlene. Marlene died in infancy.


Lowell, son of David and Ella Fox, rural Murray, Iowa, entered the Army October 14, 1941. He was in the Coast Anti-Aircraft Artillery. He served four years (three years, six months, and 28 days overseas) without ever being home. He was in the states only four months. He was on Hawaii 19 months and Saipan 23 months, 28 days. He was discharged October 2, 1945.

Leaving the same day as Lowell: Ernest L. McKinney, Stanley W. Mitchell, Leo V. Forbes, Glen W. McKnight, Edward C. Lamb, Edward L. Smith, Lon A Fleming, Dale H. Springer, Warren C. Petty, Doyle D. McLaughlin.


It all started on January 25, 1944, when I left for Camp Dodge, Des Moines for my physical exam, which I passed with the greatest of ease, and found myself a rookie in Uncle Sam's Army. I was given three weeks furlough at home before taking up my regular duties as an Army private.

On February 15, along with four other Clarke County boys reported back to Camp Dodge. The group consisted of Ernie Scholl, Dean Hill, Raymond Culbertson, Ivel Miller, and myself. I was at Camp Dodge four days before I received my shipping orders, during which time I was kept busy at such jobs as K.P. (Kitchen Police), policing the area, etc. Then on a Saturday afternoon I was put on the train with 35 other Iowa boys and we were on our way to a camp for basic training. Our destination was unknown and not until we were well on our way did the pfc (Private First Class) in charge inform us that we were heading for Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, where we would begin training for Combat Engineers. We went as far as Newburg, Missouri by rail and finished by bus.

We arrived at Fort Leonard Wood about the middle of the afternoon on Sunday, were assigned to our barracks and bunks, became acquainted with our Cadre of Sergeants and Corporals, who were to train us and the next morning our basic training began. It consisted of bridge and road building, firing all kinds of weapons such as M1 rifle, carbine, submachine gun, 30 and 50 caliber machine guns, bazookas, throwing hand grenades, etc. There was demolition work, construction of barbed wire entanglements, all types of rigging, pontoon school, map and compass reading, long hikes, drill, and other training. This rugged training and hard, heavy work went on for 17 long weeks, but it put us in shape for the job overseas when the time came. It was really the make or break type training, and although there were a few who could not take it, most of us got through it, but not without more or less difficulty.

There was a break after nine weeks, when we were granted a three-day pass. Because I wasn't too far from home, and lucky enough to get a ride in a private car to within 10 miles, I was able to spend some time with my folks and my wife. We were back then for another eight weeks, which ended with three weeks of bivouac and maneuvers, then we had a 10 day furlough before we were shipped out to Camp Reynolds, Pennsylvania, a port of embarkation center.

I had made some good friends during those 17 weeks but now, after eight days at this center, I found myself shipping out with an entirely new group of fellows, most of whom were easterners and had taken their engineer training at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. We went by train to Camp Shanks, New York, where we were held for about four days for physical checkups, etc., before being alerted for overseas shipment.

On the 22nd of July, 1944, late in the afternoon, we began to board the Queen Mary. It was about 7:00 p.m. when I walked up the gangplank with an overloaded duffle bag on my arm, a pack on my back, and a rifle over my left shoulder, wondering where this huge boat was going to take me. The ship did not pull out of New York Harbor until about 8:00 a.m. July 23rd. There were 12 of us — just room enough to walk between the four rows of bunks which were three deep. We also had a small washroom in the corner. The boat was very crowded and every other night I slept on the deck floor, as there weren't enough rooms and bunks to go around.

It was quite a thrill crossing the Atlantic, being able to look in all directions and see nothing but water. It was a completely different experience than I had ever had. Five and one-half days later, on July 29, we landed at Greenock, Scotland, a suburb of Glasgow, Scotland at the mouth of the Clyde River. Our ship was too large and the harbor too shallow for us to land at the shore, so we were loaded into small boats and taken ashore. As we climbed out, a Scottish band was there to welcome us, and men, women, and children waved to us from their homes as we passed. It made us feel good to know we were so welcome this far from home.

We spent only a few hours in Scotland before we were put on a train headed for Chester, England, which we reached late in the evening. We were taken by truck about 18 miles out of Chester to a camp called Oulton Park. It was about 36 miles from Liverpool where we were to get six additional weeks of engineer training with emphasis on bridge building, planting and taking up mines.

Training at Oulton Park wasn't nearly as rugged as at Fort Leonard Wood. It consisted of many hikes, which we rather enjoyed, since we were in a strange land and anxious to see and learn as much about it and its people as possible. There were several ball diamonds on the camp, and I played some baseball. There were free boxing shows every Thursday night for our entertainment, and I met and made friends with some new Army buddies. Except for having the uneasy feeling and a question in our minds as to how soon we would see action, which we knew eventually was to come, it was a pleasant experience. The food, bunks, and barracks weren't nearly as good here at Oulton as in the States, but of course that was to be expected.

We expected that after we had finished our six weeks at Oulton Park, we would be heading for France, but to our surprise most of our group were taken by train to another camp at Tidworth, England, on September 11. This was about 75 miles out of London, and there we were further surprised when the commanding officer informed us we were now in the Infantry and would receive eight weeks of training after which we would go into combat as Infantry Riflemen.

Although none of us thought much of this turn of events, and some of the fellows left to join the Paratroopers, I didn't figure that was any better than the Infantry and that it was best for me to take things as they came. The training here was a little more rugged than at Oulton Park, but didn't compare with what we had in the States. It was made disagreeable because it was September and it rained hard and often. We did get to play quite a lot of softball for physical training. Our barracks were brick, formerly occupied by the British Regular Cavalry in peace time, and consisted of apartments. We were divided into groups of three or four to a room, with collapsible cots to sleep on. I had a roommate from Connecticut and one from the Bronx. One Sunday I went with the Red Cross on an interesting tour to Bournemouth, England, a seaport on the English Channel.

This portion of our training concluded on November 5, when we boarded a train for Southampton. Now we knew we were on our way to France, one step closer to the front. At 10:00 a.m. that morning we boarded a boat and sailed into the middle of the English channel, where we dropped anchor and remained the rest of the day, that night, and until noon the next day before we continued across the channel,where we were unloaded into small landing craft which took us ashore. We had landed at La Havre, France, which gave evidence of having been a large city badly damaged by the war.

After landing, we were loaded in trucks and taken to the outskirts of the city. It was evening by then, and we were ordered to pitch our tents and get ready for the night. Cabbage stubs sticking out of the ground and potatoes lying around were evidence that this ground had previously been a garden. Ralph Fortenberry from Mississippi and I pitched a tent together and the first night went along fairly well. However, the next forenoon it started to rain, and how it rained! By evening, the ground where our tents were was a sea of mud and water, with the result that our second night in France was a miserable one. Water came under as well as through our tent, making a mess of our equipment and ourselves.

The rain continued and about 10:30 p.m. here came a couple of our buddies. Their tent, they said, was in a low place and water running through it made it impossible for them to stay there. Although our situation wasn't much better, we told them to crawl in with us, and we spent the rest of the night huddled together, cold, wet, and disgusted.

The next day, everybody and their equipment were in a sad state of affairs, so our Company Commander, Captain Blatt, told us from now on, we could go wherever we wished —into La Havre, farm homes or wherever we wanted to spend the nights, if we would agree to be back at camp at 6:30 each morning for roll call. We all agreed. We were there three more nights. The first one I spent in the KP kitchen sleeping on a cement floor without adequate heat or covering. The next two I spent with a couple fellows in the hay loft of a French farmer's brick barn and that wasn't too bad.

On November 11, we boarded our first 40x8 railroad cars and the next day landed at Givet, France, near the Belgium border. It was another replacement camp, a step nearer the front. This was a rather small place and for the most part, the civilians were poorly dressed and wore wooden shoes. We were quartered in a large building, formerly a clothing factory, but which the Germans used as a parachute factory after their occupation of France. It was here that I first saw the buzz bombs zoom over on their way to England. At night they were a streak of fire racing through the sky and their loud noise explains their name. We couldn't see them in the daytime but we heard them.

We stayed there for eight days then got on the 40x8 box cars again and on November 20, we pulled in at Thaon, France, another small city on the banks of the Moselle River. Again we were quartered in a factory building. My bunk was on the fourth floor. We spent Thanksgiving here and had turkey with all the trimmings.

On November 25, I was assigned to the 100th Infantry Division, and in the afternoon, I climbed aboard an Army truck, off to join my outfit. The first night we stopped at Rimmersville and slept in a horse barn on a cement floor covered with straw. That night a bunch of us slipped out of the area, went into town, and bought our first French meal, which wasn't at all bad. At Rimmersville we were issued shoepacs and given further instructions with assignments to our outfits. I was to be a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 397th Regiment, 100th Infantry Division of the 7th Army.

During the day we left by truck and slept that night in an old warehouse where bales of hay were stored. By now the weather was very chilly and I almost froze that night. Early the next morning we were ordered to get rid of all excess equipment such as gas masks, duffle bags and some clothes. Once more we boarded trucks and soon arrived at Epinal, France, where we went immediately to a bombed out hospital and joined our respective platoons and squads. Here we discarded more clothes — in fact, everything but the clothes and steel helmet that we wore. We carried no pack, no gas mask, no bayonet, nothing but our rifles, cartridge belt, two bandoliers which were full of ammunition, an entrenching tool, and a couple hand grenades. We were now ready for battle and were soon in trucks, on our way. I was separated from all my closest buddies, although I had taken training with a couple boys in my squad in England. John Chirwrut from Michigan became my foxhole buddy for the most part, in the days I spent in combat.

At this point, there was no question — I knew I was definitely on my way to the front, and that night we pulled into a small town in the Vasges Mountains of northeastern France. It was here I first heard the artillery of both our men and the enemy, as well as some rifle fire. I thought to myself, "This is it!"

We remained in support in this small town two nights and one day. The first night we slept in a Frenchman's barn. We ran his wagon out in the street and took possession, which I don't think he liked, but he said nothing about it. Not that it would have made any difference if he had. The second night we stayed in a house, and I got really sick on some bouillon soup which I had fixed on a small gas stove our squad carried. The next morning we pulled out on foot, taking the road in single file. Mid-afternoon we pulled into another small mountain town of Weinberg, where we stayed for three days in an old barn, taking turns guarding road blocks. At this point we weren't right at the front lines but so close we were in artillery range with the noise of artillery and rifle fire going on around us.

On December 1, about 2:00 a.m., we left Weinberg on foot, fully equipped for action. We were shelled occasionally but the Jerries were either off the beam or didn't realize we were slipping up the road. About 5:00 a.m. we pulled into a very small town and our platoon officer herded us into a barn where we were given full instructions as to what we were to do. We were to take a certain hill or mountain at the edge of the town which was known to be full of Jerries. At 9:00 a.m. we started up the steep, rocky, wooded mountain in squad formation. It was quite a climb and as we reached the top, the fireworks started.I don't know how long it went on that we alternated between firing and advancing under fire, but this being my first taste of combat, I thought this must be the end. The rifle and artillery fire were both heavy but about the middle of the afternoon, the Germans ran out of ammunition and surrendered — except for a machine gun nest in a tank imbedded in the side of the cliff. The machine gun nest was still holding out when evening came, and we dug in for the night under enemy artillery. We didn't have time to dig a good foxhole so John Chirwrut, Lloyd Thompson, and I spent the night awfully cramped into one foxhole.

The next morning we set about to rout out the enemy machine gun nest. Our machine gun section took a position where they were in range of the tank, and our squads were stationed on all sides to be sure the Germans could not make an escape. The machine gun battle became furious and all at once the enemy opened up on us! We were pinned down, but were lucky to be in a low place and the bullets whistled over us, which gave me a most uncomfortable feeling to say the least! Finally the enemy stronghold was taken, and things became quiet again. How many casualties we had, I have no idea, but there were a good many.

It was getting along towards evening, so we immediately started digging in for the night, and much to our disgust, it started raining. Just when we had our foxholes dug and were about ready to eat our rations, orders came to move on, We only moved a short distance but it was across a narrow valley to the next mountain, and by the time we got there the rain had stopped and it was getting dark. Chirwrut, Thompson, and I tried to dig foxholes but after three tries, and being dead tired, wet, and cold we laid down on the ground, huddled together and spent the night,

After an early breakfast of K rations, we received orders to move out. We went through mountains and timber, which was hard going. At best, when we traveled during the day we had too many clothes, at night we didn't have enough and nearly froze. At noon we stopped atop a mountain, dug in and ate dinner, immediately moved out again and it started to rain. I didn't put on my raincoat, which was too warm and bunglesome, but we walked through rain all afternoon and I became soaked. That was only the beginning of our misery:

We ran short of water and filled our canteens in streams as we passed. That evening we came to a small town and spent the night in a barn, It was a pitch dark night, we were wet, dead tired, and cold. It was good to have a place inside to lie down, but hated to stand guard every four hours. The next day we took to the road again, and about dusk we were preparing to dig in for the night when the platoon leader came to tell us our squad had been selected as a patrol whose mission was to sneak through German lines into a small town and into a large house on a high hill in order to direct artillery units who were to take the town the next morning. We started out again, very tired but orders were orders. In pitch dark we walked single file, stumbling over rocks, falling in ditches and climbing hills in the general direction of the house, led by a compass. We kept one hand on the fellow in front of us to keep from getting lost.

We came to a large swamp and started across, not knowing how deep or wide it was. Our leader suddenly screamed for help. A thought of quick sand went through our minds but by forming a human chain we were able to get our buddy out. We were all plenty scared but we knew we had to get across somehow. We went up the swamp a way and tried again. We discovered that walking as fast as possible kept us from sinking, so across we went. At the middle, the water was up to my stomach and I hoped it wouldn't go deeper because I couldn't swim. As we neared the other bank, our radio man fell and started to sink. He was right next to me, so I grabbed his hand and we both began hollering for help. However, the others went on so I threw my rifle on the bank and by pulling with all my strength, I was able to drag him out of the mud or quicksand and water. I had a little trouble finding my rifle but did and caught up with our group who were lying there talking about what to do next. We heard voices from across the swamp and were thankful we weren't fired upon while we were crossing.

Our leader decided that two of the party would creep up to the house and see who occupied it, while the rest laid in wait. It probably was actually less time than it seemed, but the report was that French civilians — a family consisting of a man, his wife, and small child —occupied the house even though the Jerries controlled the town. The house was very large and looked more like a hotel. After interrogating the occupants, we decided they could be trusted and it was best for them to go about their usual chores the next morning so as not to arouse suspicion. By walkie-talkie the artillery was directed. About 10:00 a.m. the shelling started and we had a ringside seat. About 4:00 p.m. our Infantry came dashing out of the woods, and fighting was hot and heavy until nightfall when it became quiet. We were tired, really hungry, and the French were good to feed us. We really filled up!

We discovered later that during the night most of the Germans not captured or killed, had moved out into the hills. One of my buddies from England had been killed by a sniper and another wounded. We went down to the town about noon, stayed there through that night being shelled some, but with no casualties. The next morning we had a hot breakfast of pancakes before moving out into the hills for mopping up duties. We hadn't gone far when we were fired on. We hit the ground and moved slowly forward in snake-like fashion. We found out later the Jerries in the hills were low on ammunition, so they didn't give us much of a battle. We took 18 prisoners.

For the next three days we moved forward encountering little enemy fire but living in a foxhole, on K rations and hope. I awoke one morning with my feet nearly frozen and the ground covered with snow. We moved to a new location where we remained for two days, encountering much shelling. On December 14, 1944, about 4:00 p.m., we were told that we would move back to a town we had taken, get clean clothes, a bath and shave! We stayed in a house that night and I received the first mail since going into combat just one letter from Ruby, a very old one, but one I enjoyed more than any letter I had ever received. Some of the boys got packages and we all filled up and had a good night.

The next morning we left for the front again. We marched all day to reach Bitche, France, a WWI fortress, a strong point of the enemy. We were shelled plenty on the way and once I thought I was a gonner, but luckily I escaped by diving into a grader ditch. That evening, December 15, we arrived at a wooded area on a hillside overlooking the fortress. Chirwrut and I dug in under a fallen tree we thought would provide us protection. Our rations limited, and it was so cold that we kept walking around the foxhole off and on all night to keep our feet from being frozen, but we were not shelled. On December 16, about 3:00 p.m., we were told to dig in for the night as we had arrived at our destination and had our orders for the attack. I was to be assistant BAR man so I had a new foxhole buddy, Eddie Croft, a young fellow from New York.

Eddie and I dug our foxhole with a nice roof built over us to protect us from the rain. We had cut pine twigs to put on the bottom to lie on, when Eddie suggested I get another armload of twigs while he put a little more mud and leaves on the roof. Up to this time there had been no enemy shelling and not much rifle fire but all of a sudden things really broke loose! The enemy must have zeroed in because the shelling seemed to be all around us. I was about halfway to my foxhole when I heard a shell coming in. I hit the ground lying flat on my stomach, as we'd been taught. The shell exploded — close, but I wasn't hit. Just as I got to my feet and started to dash for our foxhole, I heard a loud explosion. The next thing I knew, I was lying flat on the ground, felt a sharp pain in my leg and numbness from my hip down. I knew I'd been hit by shrapnel. I was so scared! At first I thought my leg has been blown off. I reached down and felt my leg. My trousers were torn and I had blood on my fingers, but I was much relieved to find my leg intact!

I tried to rise, but there was too much pain, so I started hollering for Eddie. Shells were falling all around and I was afraid of getting hit again. Eddie came out of our foxhole, amid flying shells and crawled up to me, hollering for the medics. Between them, they bandaged my broken leg, made a splint for it, and started carrying me on a stretcher off the battlefield. By this time there were others also being carried off. We went a short distance and were met by a jeep on which we were loaded and taken back to field headquarters. They gave me coffee and a morphine shot to ease the pain. We were put back on the jeep and taken down out of the mountains and timber to a blacktop road where an ambulance was waiting.

After being put on the ambulance, I was taken to the 9th Evacuation Hospital at Saarbourgh, France, and as they carried me through the door, the purple heart was laid on my chest. I remember feeling rather disgusted at the time. It seemed as though they must have thought that was awfully important, when, of course, all I could think of was my leg. Here at Saarbourgh, the doctors cleaned up my wounds, set my leg temporarily and put it in a cast. I remained here about three days, then was loaded in an ambulance with three other fellows and taken to the 35th Station Hospital at Epinal, France.

It was here I met a Lieutenant of the 35th Division, who had been wounded the same as I had been, and the doctor told us both that as far as our part of action in the war was concerned, it was over, as neither of us would be in shape to go back to the front. I didn't know yet what was wrong with my leg except that it was broken and that I couldn't move my foot and had no feeling in it. I couldn't figure out what caused that.

After about a week at the hospital in Epinal, I was taken to the General Hospital at Vittell, France. It was now just before Christmas. The building in which this hospital was located was actually a hotel in peace time but converted to a hospital when the war came along. I remained there until about February 7, 1945, while the doctors operated on my leg, putting in a steel plate. Upon waking after the operation, I found myself in bed, flat on my back, with my leg in traction.

I was in a room with five or six other fellows. Some of the fellows were Burton Drury, Roy Lovejoy, and Harvey Kuhn. Miss Kumpf and Miss Schener were two of the nurses. I remember my bed being closest to the door, and there was a large window at the other end of the room, so at least we could see outside. The weather had gotten very wintry by now. It snowed nearly every day and the nurses said it was very cold outside. As yet I hadn't learned the full extent of my injuries, but found myself actually being thankful. At least I was out of combat and lucky enough to have escaped being killed or more seriously wounded. That could so easily have been the case. I thought of my buddies at the front with the colder, stormier weather. I knew they were really having it rough. I really felt I was one of the lucky ones as I would be going home —banged up a little, but at least I'd make it.

My leg and foot burned and I had stinging pains so much. One day I asked the doctor, while he was making his rounds, what caused this. He told me I had a severed sciatic nerve, which was the reason I couldn't move my foot or the muscles in my leg below my knee. They weren't set up to perform nerve operations here overseas and I would have to wait for that until I got back to a hospital in the states.

About February 7, 1945, I learned I would soon be starting home, so all of us fellows who were to go at this time were loaded on a train and taken to Marseille, France, from where we would ship out. Marseille was on the southern coast of France, so the weather was nice and spring-like. We were in an evacuation hospital here for about a week. They used German prisoners as ward boys — scrubbing floors and doing other jobs around the hospital.

On February 18, 1945, I was loaded aboard the hospital ship, the Ernest Hindes, for the trip home. It took 18 days to cross the ocean and land at Charleston, South Carolina. That was quite different from the five days it took to cross when I went over. Of course, the Ernest Hindes was a much smaller ship (the smallest the U.S. had, they said) and didn't have much speed. Also, it was a longer trip since we went by way of the Azores Islands. That was out of the way but smoother sailing and easier on us patients.

We landed at Charleston, South Carolina, on March 4. I remember it was a beautiful, warm, sunshiny day, and I was sure glad to be back in the U.S. again. I was there only three days and then was taken by train to O'Reilly General Hospital in Springfield, Missouri. I arrived March 8, 1945, and was to remain there until I was discharged from the Army. Shortly after arriving at O'Reilly, my folks and my wonderful wife, Ruby, came to see me. It was one of the happiest days of my life, and one I shall never forget, even though I was still in a cast to my waist and couldn't get out of bed.

While at O'Reilly, I became acquainted with many other injured soldiers. Some of my closest buddies were Horace DeVilbiss, Burlington, Iowa; Chester Betts, Wichita, Kansas; and Gale Smith, Fargo, North Dakota, all of whom had injuries similar to mine.

I had two more operations on my leg while at this hospital, the first was a nerve operation in September of 1945, which was an attempt to sew my severed sciatic nerve back together in hopes this would bring feeling and use of the muscles back to life. However, they found about seven inches of the nerve were gone, and it had been too long since I has been wounded for the operation to be a success. The doctor who perfouned the operation was Capt. Richard Mellen.

The second operation, which I am inclined to think was more of an experiment than a necessity — perhaps not, took place in January of 1946. They removed the steel plate and screws, except for two which were so tight they couldn't get them out. They had been put there when they operated on my broken femur bone at Vittel, France. The doctor's reason for operating was that screws and the plate might become loose in years to come and cause me trouble, and as the bone in my leg was strong enough now not to need the plate, they thought it best to remove it. The doctor who performed the operation was Major George S. Phalen, known in civilian life as "The Boy Wonder from Mayo."

After recovering from this last operation, I was allowed to go home on 90 day furloughs, coming back to the hospital at the end of each furlough for a check-up. At the end of my second furlough, I was given a physical examination, and discharged from the Army on August 20, 1946.

Thus ends the story of my life as a soldier, which I have composed principally for my own remembrance. There are many other incidents and buddies not mentioned in this story, but which I think of now and then. I have tried to touch on most of the important events and recall the association I had with some of my closest buddies I encountered along the way, lest I forget.


In the records collected by Mrs. Dale (Dorothy) Jones and Mrs. Ivyl (Lou) Miller, is a newspaper clipping from April 19, 1951. The headlines read, "Murray Man Loses Life in Korea Action," subtitle: "Lt. Funkhouser, who won Silver Star, reported dead; no details." It follows: "First Lieutenant Vernon Funkhouser„ son of Mr. and Mrs. E. O. Funkhouser of Murray, was killed in action in Korea on April 5. Word of the tragedy came to his parents from the widow, who with their two year old daughter, lives in Canton, Ohio. No details of the former Clarke County man's death have been received but the war department message said that a letter would follow.

"Lieutenant Funkhouser first entered the service during World War II and served in the China-Burma-India Theatre. After the close of the war he remained in the service and was sent overseas in July, 1950 soon after the outbreak of the Korean war. He went into action almost immediately and was in the thick of the fighting up and down the peninsula.

"Last September he was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action. At that time he was a forward artillery observer and took charge of an infantry platoon when its officers were killed. Lt. Funkhouser is survived by his wife and daughter, his parents, one brother B. L. Funkhouser of Murray, and two sisters, Mrs. Bessie Childers, who is employed at the Gold Star market in Osceola, and Mrs. Vern Gossett of Loveland, Oklahoma."


Charles enlisted in the Army of the United States in Scott County, Iowa, December 3, 1948. He went to Hawaii mid-July 1949, assigned to 5th Regimental Combat Team (RCT). He was sent to Korea July 1950. The Army's 5th RCT (Col. Godwin Nordway) from Hawaii arrived in person on July 31, 1950. The RCT had three infantry battalions — a tank company of 14 M 26 tanks, the 555th (Triple Nickle) 105mm Howitzer Battalion, and the 72nd Engineer Company. The railroad came right down to the docks. The 5th 1st Battalion was loaded onto the train that night and moved to the front that was not all that far away. South Koreans were crowded into an area known as the Pusan Perimeter. To an 18-year old from Clarke County, Pusan was a horrible sight. Refugees by the thousands if not millions with standing room only. A hair-raising experience was seeing bloody body bags (Army mattress covers) unloaded off box cars onto morgue ships close by. I have two books: Hills of Sacrifice, The 5th RCT in Korea, author Michael Slater, and Fighting on the Brink, Defense of the Pusan Perimeter, Brig. General Uzal W. Ent (Ret.) The Osceola Library has had this book. Charles served in Korea until July 1951, and was discharged December 4, '51.


son of Marion and Ruth Garrett, born December 28, 1918. Served in the U.S. Army from April or May, 1942. Basic training at Camp Roberts in California, duty in Alaska, Asiac Pacific, Aleutian Islands until the war ended in 1945. He died 1997 at Davenport, Iowa and is buried in Davenport Memorial Park, Davenport, Iowa.


son of Marion and Ruth Garrett, born December 4, 1927. He served in the US Navy from 1946­1948, in the Pacific area. He died July 8, 1955, and is buried in the Murray cemetery.


born June 19, 1931, son of W. G. and Mildred Welker Gonseth, brother of William Rex Gonseth. Their sister is Twyla Gonseth Kliendenst. Leo was a longtime resident of Murray and graduated from Murray High School. He served in the U.S. Army for two years. He trucked and farmed. He died in 1999, and is survived by Michael, Douglas, and Vicki. Son Steven is also deceased.


son of W. G. (Bill) and Mildred L. Welker Gonseth, born January 21, 1930. Brother Leo, sister Twyla Gonseth Kliendenst, widow of Alfred Kleindenst of Jefferson City, Missouri. Long time resident of Murray, graduated from Murray High School. Married October 5, 1957 to Daleth A Woodard Gonseth. Children Cindy, Becky, and Andy. Occupation: Farmer and truck owner who hauled livestock. Served in the Army in Germany from 1950 through 1953. Deceased at age 73, in 2003. He is buried in the Murray Cemetery. W. G. Gonseth is deceased as of 1969. Mildred Welker, at age 95, lives in Autumn Skilled Care, Linn, Missouri.


was in the U.S. Army Air Corp. I graduated from Flying School in the Western Flying Training Command and received my wings and commission. I was assigned to combat Fighter Group. During my flying career, I flew the P-40 Warhawk and the P-51 Mustang. At war's end I remained in the Air Force Reserve and retired as a Captain after twenty years of service. (Address: 7748 Mangun Rd. Mesa AZ 85207)


My parents, Frank and Beulah Mustain Gould, had three sons: Lawrence, Avery, and me. I was born September 9, 1926, and was nine years younger than my next older brother, Avery. Lawrence, the oldest, had a heart problem and was never in military service. My brother Avery entered the Navy in 1943, and after boot camp was assigned to the U.S.S. Cowpens Aircraft Carrier. He served in the Pacific Theatre. He was a Seaman First Class when he was honorably discharged in 1945, and returned to his wife Helen and their three children in Murray, Iowa. In 1948, they moved to South Dakota and lived there until his death in 2003.

I registered for the draft in September 1944, and entered the service in December of that year. I was stationed at Camp Walter, Texas for infantry training. From there I was sent to Fort Meade, Maryland to await orders for the European theater. It was then the war ended in Europe, and I was sent to Camp Maxey, Texas to train for the Asiatic theater, expecting to go to Japan. They sent me to Leyte, on the Philippine Islands, and while there I reenlisted in the Army for one year. I was sent back to the States, and then to Seoul, Korea, where I was assigned to an administrative position.

I actually enjoyed being in both places, although in the Philippines we spent our time on the base and didn't see the country at all. It was my impression that it was quite primitive. Korea was more like the climate I am accustomed to, and there we could go for rides and see some of the area. I understand that it is much different now, with the Olympics having been there. Mr. Kim, who lives in Osceola, said that when he went back to visit, he had to have a guide to get around the city. I was discharged in December 1946, with the rank of Sergeant Major.


Garland's discharge papers show that he attained the rank of Private First Class. His date of birth was May 13, 1915. He farmed and was inducted into the service April 3, 1942, at Des Moines. He was a rifleman who served in the Aleutian Islands, for which service he was awarded the American Theater Service Ribbon, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Service Ribbon, Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, and WWII Victory Medal. He received an honorable discharge November 5, 1945. He is now deceased, buried at Hopeville.


(From his obituary:) Orville Eugene Howe, son of Berdella Grace Fazel Howe and Raymond Carl Howe, was born in Osceola, Iowa on May 4, 1922, and passed away on February 15, 2004 at the Osceola Nursing and Rehab Center at the age of 81.

Orville grew up in the Osceola area and attended Osceola schools. He enlisted in the Army in December of 1942, and served in World War II. Orville spent his life as a farmer, retiring in 1980. We lived in the town of Osceola for the last 25 years.

Orville was a member of the William-Lochrie Post #405 of the American Legion in Murray, Iowa and a member of the Methodist Church.

Preceding Orville in death were his parents, brothers Howard, Russell, Gerald, and Harold Howe; sisters Thelma Page, Grace Brown, Bernice Burchett, and Vera Louise in infancy; nephews George Page, Carl and Kenneth Howe, Donald Watkins and Jimmie Howe.

His sister, Dorothy McVey and her husband Chuck of Osceola, Iowa survive him as well as brother-in-law Arthur Burchett of West Burlington, Iowa, sisters-in-law Lavona Howe of Arivaca, Arizona and Roberta Howe of Orrick, Missouri; cousin Geraldine Smith of Lacona, Iowa, several nieces and nephews as well as other relatives and friends.


and Kenneth R. Brown were best of friends. When they were just out of high school, the draft classified them 1A, which meant they could be called any time. For that reason, they couldn't get a job in Iowa. Don had an aunt in Illinois who guaranteed them a job there, so they went. When they were called, Don served in Vietnam. He died of cancer and is buried in Union cemetery.


I was inducted into the service at Corning, Iowa, Adams County, January 2, 1951, and released from active service and transferred to EC for five years on December 24, 1952. I was assigned to the Hq Detachment Repe BN 80 69 AV APO 59 and attended OPD (FEC) schooling from June 9, 1951 to September 23, 1951, assigned as a wheel vehicle mechanic. I worked in a motor pool keeping the equipment fixed and ready, and road tested vehicles near the fighting area. I received a Korean Service Medal W/2, Bronze Service Stars and a United Nations Service Medal.


My involvement with the United States Army began in November 1999. I left for Fort Knox, Kentucky in February 2000, to complete Basic Training. After completing this, I returned home and began drilling with the 185th Regional Training Academy of the Iowa Army National Guard with the goal of earning a commission as an officer. In August 2001, I was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant with the 224th Engineer Battalion. Fort Leonard Wood and Engineer Officer Basic Course was my next stop in February, 2002. This was completed in May of that same year.

In 2003, I transferred to the United States Army Reserve and the 372nd Engineer Group. This move would prove to be the biggest in my military service because in November of 2003, along with the rest of the unit, I was mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. From November to December, we conducted initial training at our armory in Des Moines. This consisted of endless hours of paper work and sitting and standing in lines, which as anyone who has served, knows is an integral part of military life. That December we left for Fort Riley, Kansas. Here we proceeded to repeat everything we had done at home station. More lines and paperwork! We went through numerous types of training, preparing us for our year-long deployment overseas. Convoy exercises, qualifying with our weapons, field training exercises, first aid, and rules of engagement to name a few. We also spent hours in classrooms as well receiving introduction to the Muslim world and what we could expect.

After two months of cold Fort Riley, we were deemed trained and ready to spend a year in the desert. We boarded buses in the middle of the night and moved to Topeka where we boarded an Air Force transport and began our journey to Kuwait, Our first leg on this trip brought us to Spain, where we had the opportunity to get off the plane, eat breakfast and rest a few hours. Our second leg took us to Kuwait and our entry into this theatre.

At this time we were still not sure of our destination. After more briefings and paperwork, imagine that, we were all crammed into a tent for our first night at Camp Wolverine, a post adjacent to Kuwait International Airport and the initial entry point for all US forces entering the theatre. The next morning, we re-loaded our gear and equipment for Camp Victory. This "camp," which was basically a large tent city in the middle of the desert, was our home for the next few weeks. Here we conducted more training, preparing for our move north. We also spent time preparing our vehicles for the move. We were fortunate that we had some experienced and talented individuals who performed this work. Using sheets of steel, our mechanics and maintenance personnel fabricated armored doors and armored "tubs" for the trucks. These tubs were placed in the cargo beds of our trucks as protection for the gunners who would spend the entire 200 mile journey in the back.

After a week in Kuwait, myself and five others from our unit were ordered to Camp Anaconda, our home for the next year. This base is located adjacent to the town of Balad, Iraq, approximately 50 miles north of the capital city of Baghdad. Camp Anaconda, the largest US logistical post in Iraq, was actually an old Iraqi Air Force Base. The United States Army had taken it over in 2003 and had turned it into one of our major bases. Being that it had been an air force base, it had runways and other features that would serve us well. The United States Air Force had begun moving onto the post in late 2003 and making numerous flights in and out of there daily. The six of us were fortunate in one aspect — we flew to Anaconda as opposed to convoying as the remainder of the unit which they would have to do later.

After arriving at Anaconda and settling in, we began working with the unit we were scheduled to replace. With these folks, an Army National Guard unit from Mississippi, we began counting and making note of all the equipment they would be leaving behind for our use. As you can imagine, this was a long and meticulous process. The Army is very particular about its equipment and expects you to account for everything. Obviously, our main focus at this time was trying to get our operations up and running, and taking charge of those construction projects that we would be inheriting from our predecessors. In early March the remainder of our unit made its trek from Kuwait to Camp Anaconda and most importantly, without incident.

In late March, the guardsmen from Mississippi departed for home, their job done. We were now in complete control of all engineer construction from Baghdad north. As it would turn out for me, I, along with MSG Robert O'Neal was assigned to oversee our Construction Cell. In this group, we would take construction projects, mostly there on Anaconda and the surrounding area , and develop plans along with our design cell and then prepare construction directives. These were the official orders to our subordinate units who would be performing the actual construction projects. The engineers that were assigned to us, covered the entire spectrum of military engineering. We had units that were horizontal, meaning that their main focus was building roads, concrete pads to erect buildings on, and doing grade work, i.e., moving dirt around. We also had horizontal units which can best be described as those who constructed buildings. Bridge companies, firefighters, divers, well-drillers, and an asphalt paving unit rounded out our "group." One other detail of my work was overseeing the operation of the concrete plant on Anaconda. This was actually a plant that was owned by the Iraqis, but as it was located with our camp, we set the schedule from day to day, and determined priorities. Due to other duties, I was unable to spend all day there and thus SSG Chris Constant was assigned the duty of being on-site daily and operating the plant.

As for me, the job that would end up consuming the largest amount of my time on a day to day basis, was being assigned to oversee local Iraqi contractors who had been contracted to install the HVAC in every structure on the base and the contractor who was repairing all the roofs on the base. This proved to be a great learning experience for me as I became very well acquainted with these Iraqis, especially the supervisors. I learned a great deal of what it had been like living under Sadaam's regime and just how ruthless he and his cronies had been. I gained a good deal of insight into what daily life in Iraq was and I can tell you it is dramatically different from the life we enjoy here in the United States. Their workers were paid an average of $10 US to work for us. For them, this was a lot, and I do mean a lot of money. They also asked questions as they were just as curious about us as we were about them. After talking about America, on more than one occasion, they would say they would give anything to get here. Obviously I can't speak for all the Iraqis, but for those few that I had the privilege of working with and getting to know, they were very grateful for the United States and what we had done.

Although a year is a sizeable amount of time and doesn't just fly by, looking back our year seemed to be up rather quickly. By fall of 2004, we knew who our replacement was and approximately when they be arriving. As exciting as that news was, we still had work to do.

Iraq at that time, and at the time of my writing this, still is a dangerous place. As we had construction projects going on all over, we had to go to these sites primarily performing surveys and inspections. I will have to say that one convoy I participated in was rather interesting. Camp Anaconda was, and still is, I believe, the headquarters for all US Special Forces in Iraq. There was a particular area, not far from our base, from where the "insurgents" were conducting some of their attacks. The problem was that due to the lay of the land the SF (Special Forces) could not observe their movements and deal with them. Our job was to "fix" that problem. Thus an initial site inspection was required and I was selected to go. Needless to say, as well-prepared as the average US Soldier is, these SF personnel were a few notches above, and I could tell that the reputation they have is well-deserved! Their approach to convoy operations on reaction to any contact is dramatically different. They used all sorts of weapons, not just standard Army issue, and even their uniforms varied. The day we spent in this Iraqi field, the bad guys must have seen who was there, because we didn't have a single incident with them the entire day.

As Christmas made its approach, the first individuals from our replacement unit began arriving at Anaconda. I can say that Christmas wasn't as bad as it could have been! At this point, I do have to make a reference to the weather. Christmas Day was miserable. It rained all day, turning the mostly clay soil into a paste that got everywhere! No matter what we did, we couldn't get it off our boots. We just had to wear it off. I'll bet it was a week before that "paste" was completely off my boots. As January and the New Year rolled around, more folks from the 30th Engineer Brigade, our replacement, kept arriving. By mid-month, the entire unit had arrived and just like the year before, we spent the next few weeks showing the new guys the ropes so speak. Finally it was deemed they were ready to take charge of the tasks at hand and we were more or less in the way.

Due to the fact that we had turned all of our vehicles over to the 30th, our entire unit was flying out of Anaconda to Kuwait. Our unit was split into two flight "chalks" for movement. I was on the second which flew out around 0430, that's 4:30 a.m. for those who are not familiar with the military way of keeping time. Our flight was uneventful and we arrived in Kuwait an hour later. Our time there was spent lying around waiting for a plane and going through customs, ensuring nobody was trying to smuggle illegal items home. If I remember right, we were in Kuwait for three days. You can imagine how great that feeling was when first we were told to load the buses for the airport, and second when we boarded the plane.

As with our trip over, we had to make a stop during our flight. This time our stopping point was John F Kennedy Airport in New York City. I can tell you it was an emotional moment for us all when the pilot announced over the intercom that we were back in US airspace! We were on the ground long enough to disembark, walk around the tetininal and make a phone call home. The second leg of the trip brought us back to the place from where we had left a year earlier —Topeka, Kansas. From there we once again were bused back to Fort Riley for five days of "reintegration." This meant more lines — imagine that — paperwork and interviews with both medical doctors and mental specialists to ensure we were not experiencing problems.

On February 7, 2005, we boarded buses headed for Des Moines! Arriving at the armory, we were met by our families and I can say that was one of the best days of my life. I would also like to say that the unit I had the privilege to serve with was a tremendous group of individuals, a couple with whom I became very close friends and correspond with to this day. After a couple more days of submitting to the final paperwork required and the obligatory welcome home ceremonies including a trip to the state capital and recognition from our state legislature, we were officially released from duty and returned home to our families and lives.


Richard E. Johnson was born January 29, 1924. He attended Murray High School and went into military service November 25, 1942 at Des Moines, Iowa. He was sent to Great Lakes and became a Radio Man 1st Class in the U.S. Navy. Later he was sent to San Bernadino, California to the U.S. Naval Airbase with the 7th Fleet as a teletype operator. Richard was discharged February 4, 1947. He died January 5, 1980 and is buried at Bondurant, Iowa. This information came from his wife, Naomi Brammer Johnson of Murray. Their children are Monty, Bonnie, Daniel.

Max Johnson was born January 31, 1926. He served in the Army in Germany during WWII. He was married to Leta Yount of Thayer. He died June 4, 1983, and is buried in Creston, Iowa. Their children are Marsha, Stephen, and David.

Robert (Bob) served in the Navy in the South Pacific during WWII. He married Geraldine Arnold of Murray. Their children: Michael and Patricia. Bob is deceased and is buried in Hutchinson, Kansas.


"Babe" Jones entered the Army in April 1944. He was involved in the Battle of the Bulge and was captured by the enemy near the Remagen Bridge. He was held as a prisoner of war and treated badly. Their diet consisted of turnip soup and coffee. He was listed as missing in action for months. He talked very little about his war experiences after he returned home. He was discharged in Clinton, Iowa in October 1945. "Babe" passed away in 1960


In the Vietnam era, I was enrolled in the University of Iowa Medical School. There was a physician's draft, and we students became resigned to the fact that we were all going to serve one way or another. We had the option of going into the service right after internship or into the Berry plan, which allowed a residency instead of going directly. However, as soon as it was over, two years of service was required. I joined the Army with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. This meant a three-year commitment, instead of two, because I was paid during my senior year.

I started my internship at Walter Reed in Washington, D.C., at a time when the interns worked every other night for a year. I was satisfied I had made a good choice. The other guys who went into medicine were paid $15 a month, had their room and board, with no free time until the year was up. The benefit of going into the Army was that I was making $700 a month, which helped pay for schooling and support of my family — at that time Mary Ellen and Jo. I figured that I might as well get paid for doing what I was doing.

From Washington, D.C., we were sent to Schofield Barracks in Oahu, Hawaii. We were there about eight months, when Lyndon Baines Johnson decided to send a half million men to Vietnam. So I got to go there. The first place to which I was assigned in Vietnam was Cuchi, in MDCAP (Military Civil Action Patrol). The idea was to win the hearts and minds of the village people by providing medical service. Every day I went out with my three medics, set up in a church or school, and we did whatever we could to minister to the Vietnamese. While doing that I decided that if we were going to do it, we should do it right, so I proposed to build a 50-bed hospital in Cuchi. I had it all worked out. There were numerous medical personnel in the area to help. The agency, USAID (US Agency for International Development), agreed to provide me with all the material and the local Vietnamese would build it. The U.S. medical personnel were going to man it, but at that point the higher-ups in Saigon informed me that all they wanted from us were soap and vitamins.

Newsman Morey Safer happened to be going through when I came back from that meeting. I was mad and I gave him the story with my bias. It made the 6:00 news with Walter Cronkite. I was labeled a non-team player. They threatened to send me to Vietnam, which didn't amount to much since I was already there. But a colonel believed in me and I was awarded a bronze star, and sent to another unit.

Unfortunately I had a little time bomb ticking. From exposure to the Vietnamese, I had contracted tuberculosis, sent to Fitzsimmons Hospital in Colorado for a year, and was on medication a year and a half. I was in isolation for four months, which is an experience I wouldn't wish on anyone. But it could have been worse. Ten years prior, the treatment for TB was barbaric. Lungs were removed or collapsed, the chest cavities filled with ping pong balls, and patients put in bed for a year. Young guys in their 20s came out of that experience looking like they came out of the Dachau concentration camp. They were permanently disabled. I was treated for a pneumonia and recovered fully.

After that, in 1968, I came to Des Moines and spent six months at an induction center, during which time I was moonlighting in Osceola, working afternoons and weekends with Drs. Bristow, Armitage, and Lauvstad. In September of that year, I joined them permanently, and we moved to Osceola. In 1969 we lost Dr. Armitage, and Dr. Dennis Wilken joined our practice in 1970. I began flying in 1972. Dr. Bristow was killed in 1973. In 1984, I began a Family Practice residency at Broadlawns Medical Center. This is the Polk County Hospital, which has offices for the Social Service Agency, Pediatric Services, and in general tries to provide a net for people who sometimes fall through the cracks. Basically, my position was to teach the practice of medicine in rural Iowa, emphasizing concentration on the patient and not on the disease process.


Confirming that war settles nothing but creates situations and a climate for future war, Merle's family has been called to serve again and again. His great grandfather served in the Civil War. His father, Henry Stanley served in WWI. It was probably 1916 when he was called. He trained at Camp Dodge for service in the cavalry, driving horses and mules, pulling machinery around. By troop ship he was taken to France. On the way across France, with the war going on, his troop was quarantined for diphtheria. They were close enough to the front lines, they could hear the war going on. He was still quarantined when the war ended, so he didn't have to go into battle. He was discharged 1918 or early 1919.



Over the course of several centuries, Japan had gained possession of South Pacific Islands which America fought to take WWII. The Marines had a significant part in that accomplishment. They were transported by Navy ships and invaded the islands with horrific losses, as told throughout this book. Merle tells: I lost a cousin, Russell Smith, who was in the Marine Corps, killed on Iwo Jima. My wife, Mary, also lost a cousin, Frank Sprague, who was a fighter pilot. He was first reported missing while he was on a combat mission. His body was never found. He was later declared dead.

In August 1945, the Soviet Union invaded Korea, which had been under Japan's control since 1910. Fearing that the Soviets intended to seize the entire peninsula, the United States moved troops into the southern part of the country. The two countries agreed to divide Korea along the 38th parallel, which resulted in a communist rule in the north and the Republic of Korea in the south, which is to say there was a Soviet-backed government in the north and American-backed government in the south. War broke out along the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950, although it was not declared. President Truman preferred to call it a "police action."

In December 1951, I was drafted for a two-year period in the Marines. If I had enlisted, I would have served three years. I was sent to boot camp in San Diego for eight weeks, and from there to El Toro Marine Air Base at Santa Anna, California, for radio operators' training. In November 1952, I went by troop ship out of San Diego harbor to Yokohama, Japan, and from there to Pusan Air Base in Korea. There was still quite a lot of fighting at that time, but I had a different assignment. I was not in the Infantry but in the Air Wing, directing air traffic. Our job was to monitor the east central part of Korea from enemy aircraft and guide American and Allied bombers and fighter planes through our area.

From Pusan Air Base, I was taken by truck north into the mountains to a radar station, which had been set up after the ground war passed. This was a small base right on the coast, and it was very hilly. There were mountains on three sides, with the ocean on the east. Planes had to stay above the mountains until they got to the base where they could get down to our air strip. This is where I learned to be a radar operator.

The assignment was very interesting. Our radar scopes covered the whole south, central, and east side of Korea. By watching the scopes, we could tell if there was aircraft and determine whether it was enemy or Allied craft. Our equipment was a radar scope and a large map mounted on a plotting board, which showed that part of Korea blocked off in sections called grid coordinates. I suppose by now the scope would be quite different but at that time it was about two feet in diameter. There was a line that went out from the center, going round and round all the time.

At our base, there were 16 of us radar men, and about nine miles from our base was an airstrip with 10 small interceptor fighter planes and Marine pilots, which we used to intercept enemy aircraft. We were the reason the base was there , but there were probably close to 150 other people — truck drivers, mechanics, telephone operators, cooks — all the people it takes to keep an Air Force base going. Supplies were sent to us by the 5th Air Force, for whom we worked.

When there was an object in the air, a light blip would show on the screen of the scope. The person on the scope, using ear phones, told the person on the plotting board where to plot the blip on the board. In the time the scope made its circle, the object would have moved on the screen and we could tell how fast the aircraft was going and in what direction. We knew exactly where the plane was, and soon discovered if it was ours or the enemy's. We knew what Allied planes were supposed to be in the area on any particular day. If it was an enemy plane we sent planes to intercept it. This is when we used the air base with jet fighters to scramble into the air to intercept. Baseball players Ted Williams and Jerry Colman were both pilots of those planes.

We had to learn four positions — reading the scope, operating the altitude scope, plotting the information on the back of the plotting board by writing it backwards in order for the person in front of the board to read it and talk to the planes by radio. The fourth position we learned was talking to the planes. We worked one hour on each of the four positions, be off eight hours, and back on again.

One of the highlights was talking to the pilots. On a foggy day, we lost three in one crash — not due to enemy fire. They were not part of our group but regular Air Force planes from another air base. Our little base had mountains around it. They had to fly in and drop down to the airstrip. These fighter planes came in, and as they came over us, we had picked them up on radar, talked to them, and knew who they were. We called the station where they were to land, told them their position, and asked if they had them on their screen. When they said yes, we turned them over to them to land. We could talk to them in the air but we didn't land them. We only used radar for landing if clouds or fog obscured the pilot's vision. After we turned the three planes over to the station, they called back in about two minutes and said, "We've lost them." They wanted to know if we still had them on the screen, and we didn't. They didn't get them quick enough to land the planes, and they slammed into a mountain.

We were pretty safe there, although we could have been bombed or strafed, but it was our job to stay alert and keep aircraft out of the area. We were able to do that, so we were relatively free from that danger. However, with a war going on, we could have been attacked. For the foot soldiers farther north of our location, it was another matter. Of the 77 Marines who went through boot camp with me, about 30 were killed in action in Korea.

I made two trips to Japan on R & R (Rest and Rehabilitation). We needed to go for a little liberty ever so often, and there was nowhere to go for R & R on or near our little base. We were out in the country. The people that lived around us lived in adobe huts, and the women washed the clothes in an open well, beating the clothes on a rock. That's how primitive they were in that area. It was off limits to go into their villages — not that we wanted to.

This was only about seven years after we had dropped the bomb, and we know there were people who had lost family members. Mingling among the Japanese, in a department store or the like, we got a feeling there was a bit of grudge toward us, and we have to think how we would feel toward someone who did that and took over our country. We were told not to go out alone but always be in a group of four or five. One time we were there, we were warned to go back to our hotel because there were demonstrations out in the streets, residual feeling from WWII.

I was in Kyoto, Osaka, and Yokohama. Tokyo was about a day's trip by train from where we were and I never got up there. Out on the streets, the older Japanese were dressed in native garb, while many of the younger ones were in American dress. The older people all ate with chop sticks and the whole bit. I was never in Seoul, on the west side of Korea, but the war had gone back and forth twice through the city and it was pretty well obliterated. By the time I left Korea, they had begun rebuilding it. I'd like to have seen that part of the country but I doubt if a tourist would ever go over there just to see it.

I was a Sergeant when my time was up. I came home by troop ship and landed at Treasure Island in San Francisco in November 1953. I had to spend 11 more days and was given the choice of where to spend them. I also had 17 days leave time coming. I spent the 11 days in Hastings, Nebraska as a guard in a munitions plant, because it was closest to Iowa of any of my options. I chose to go home for the 17 days. I could probably have gotten a job directing traffic in an airport, but that didn't interest me. I wanted to be a farmer. I was discharged from active duty in 1953 but was required to spend two more years in the Reserves. They could have called me during that time but it didn't happen.

So I left Korea about as I found it, divided at the 38th parallel, which was the division before the war began. Although we had intended to take over north and south Korea and make it one country, that didn't happen. If the Chinese had stayed out, it probably would have. Just as we have done everywhere we have been engaged in war, we have done the same thing there. We had soldiers after WWII helping the country. There were troops in Japan and in Korea. Wherever we've had wars, we've left soldiers. The Marines, not being as big a group, don't stay on as much as the Army.


Pvt. William Lochrie was a veteran of WWI. He was born September 6, 1892, to Warren G. and Dell Lochrie. His siblings: Clyde and George Lochrie. William entered the service in 1912, in Corning, Iowa. On July 28, 1918, he lost his life in action at Chateau Thiery, France while advancing toward the Query River with his Company. He was hit in the back by a piece of high explosive shell. He was killed instantly. He was buried first in France, then his body was returned to Murray August 7, 1921 to be buried in the Murray Cemetery. He was in Co. K, 168th Infantry, 42'd Rainbow Division. The Murray American Legion Post #405 is named for him.


4 Iowa Brothers

MURRAY, IA. — Four sons of Mr. and Mrs. H. B. McConnell of Murray. are in the service, all in the navy. Three of the boys are overseas.

Ora. D. McConnell, 32, and Francis N. McConnell, 22, both seamen first class, are serving on their ships somewhere in the south Pabific, Also in the south Pacific is Dan J. McConnell, 21, coxswain first class, Doyle L. McConnell, 19, seaman second class, is stationed at Corpus Christi, Tex.

There are two other sons, Dale and Charles, not in the armed forces.



son of Doyle and Maxine McConnell, enlisted in U.S. Army September 13, 1970, at 20 years of age. His training was at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and Fort Stewart, Georgia. He was in Company 110 Quartermaster Hq. Platoon, and was promoted to Spec. E-4.


enlisted in the U.S. Navy, October 17, 1942 at the age of 17. His training was at Great Lakes Naval Training Station, Illinois. Stationed Norfolk, Virginia, then to Corpus Christi. He was in Company Headquarters Squadron 92, Norfolk, Virginia. FAW (Fleet Air Wing) 5 Hedrom, Corpus Christi, Texas. Partial Bombing Squadron, Corpus Christi. Grade: Seaman Pt Class. Citations: American Area Campaign, World War II Victory, Good Conduct. Discharged April 20, 1946, deceased May 26, 1999, buried in the Murray Cemetery.


was born May 17, 1922 to Horace and Rachel McConnell. He grew up in the Murray area and married Twyla Uvonne Woods, daughter of Lloyd and Grace Woods, who was born December 27, 1925. They were married January 27, 1945. Two daughters were born to this union — Judy Lee and Janet Kay. Judy married Wendell Whitford and they had two children — Brien and Cara. Brien and wife Jennifer had two children, Savannah and Brookelyn. Janet married Gaylord Wells, and they also had two children — Lisa, who married Kurt Augustin, and David who married Cheri. They each had two children — Lisa' and Kurt's children are Anna and Derek. David and Cheri had Camrynn and Alanna.

Frank was inducted into the service of the US Navy on November 5, 1942 at Creston, Iowa, and was honorably discharged October 26, 1945 with the rank of Radioman 3' Class. He attended service schools at Northwestern University and Gunnery School at Danville, Virginia. While the record of his tour of duty is not specific, he served on the on the USS Monterey, which was a fast, light aircraft carrier. The following report is given of the carrier: battle November 19, 1943, to help secure Makin Island in the Gilbert Islands Operation. She went on to carry the fight to Kavieng, New Ireland where she celebrated Christmas and New Years's Day. Those engagements lasted until January 4th 1944, resulting in a Jap cruiser and a destroyer sent to the bottom. As a unit of an aggressive task force, the Monterey proceeded to the Marshall Atolls, where her bombs and rockets supported the amphibious landings at Kwajalein and Eniwetok until February 8, 1944, then streaked toward the west to participate in the damaging thrusts at Truk, the enemy's naval bastion of the Carolines. The spring of 1944, the carrier embarked upon the first phase of the Mariana's operation, with thrusts at Palau, Hollandia, and other New Guinea points. Returning to the Marianas by June 11, the Monterey stood offshore to launch strikes during the battles of Saipan, Tinian, and Guam. In the ensuing battle of the Eastern Philippine Sea, Monterey vigorously launched blows climaxing with four of her bombs finding their target in a large enemy aircraft carrier. Monterey was subjected to fierce enemy onslaught and for 24 hours their ship continued to strike at the Bonins, Wake, Yap, Luzon, Formosa and the Ryukus.

Others have told about the typhoon which struck on December 18, 1944 and lasted two days. The Monterey was caught in it and suffered great damage. From another ship an observer saw the carrier ablaze from stem to stem. The prediction was that the Monterey was lost but the holocaust was mastered and the fire brought under control. Loss of life was small but many suffered from burns and serious asphyxiation. The carrier and crew had earned a rest when she was brought into the Navy Yard at Bremerton, Washington in January, 1945. Two months later she was launching attacks at the very threshold of Japan, the southernmost island, and Okinawa, in coordination with the Marine and Army ground forces. Early in June, 1945, the Monterey became part of the 3rd fleet, Her planes struck at enemy airfields, industrial facilities and shipping operations, until mid-August 1945. She was posed for Tokyo when, on August 15, the word sent out "recall all strikes," and the battle flag, a token of victory, was hoisted to the yardarm of the carrier. On September 6, Monterey parted the water off Tokyo Bay...she had completed 68 consecutive days of activity at sea. Even though we know mostly about the carrier from this report, it gives evidence of valiant men.


Wife Frances McConnell reported that Harold was born June 24, 1915, a son of Dale and Alice McConnell. He had a brother, Leland, and younger brother Vernon. All three were in the service of the country. Vernon is buried in a cemetery in Des Moines. The father of the boys died of cancer in Dr. Harken's hospital in Osceola while they were in the service but word of his death did not reach them.

Harold graduated from Murray High School in 1933 and became the assistant manager of the Murray branch store of the Iowa Seed Company of Des Moines, assisting in buying merchandise, selling and testing farm and garden seeds for dirt and weed content, and for germination. He assisted in hiring and supervising from three to 23 seasonal employees. These were his records when he entered the military service May 5, 1944. He served six months in the European Theatre of Operations in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, and Czechoslovakia. When the war was over in Europe, he expected to come home but instead was sent to the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre of operations in Japan, both with Company C 386th Infantry, 97th Infantry Division. He served as a member of a .30 caliber, air cooled, light machine gun crew of four men during combat. He loaded, aimed, and fired the gun, assisted in disassembling, cleaning, and servicing the weapon. He was familiar with the use of all infantry small arms weapons. His separation papers indicate he was discharged from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, May 14, 1946.


Leland's wife, Betty, has written that she knows very little of his time in the service. She sent his honorable discharge papers that shows he was born January 18, 1914 at Ellston, Iowa. He enlisted in the Army at Fort Des Moines on August 26, 1940. Betty knows he was stationed at Ft. Ord, California where they were just starting the camp, He helped build it. He thought when the war started in December 1941, he would be sent to the Pacific, but instead he was transferred to a new unit, the 95th Division that was to be trained before going overseas. He was stationed most of the time at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, and did training in the desert in California and the swamps in Louisiana. He was in a Field Artillery Company.

In February 1944, his company was sent to Indian Town Gap, Pennsylvania to prepare for overseas duty in Europe. He left in July 1944, and took part in the Battle of the Bulge until the war ended in April 1945. He had enough points at that time to be discharged, so was transferred to another unit, while the 95th was being sent to the Pacific. Therefore, he didn't get to come home until September, 1945. He was discharged from Fort Sheridan, Illinois with the rank of Sergeant. The discharge paper shows that he was in campaigns in Northern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe. He earned an American Defense Ribbon, a a European African Middle Eastern Theater ribbon, four bronze battle stars, two overseas service bars, and one service strip.

"Leland was a friend of my brother Frank (Cox), who lived in Iowa. In 1938 he came to Montana with my brother for a visit. Since I was only 15 at the time, it didn't turn into anything. After I finished high school, I went to Drake University and while I was visiting my brother at Christmas time, I met Leland again. Since I had grown up, I made a different impression on him and we fell in love. We were married in April 1943. I went back to Des Moines to finish school and he went back to the Army. We finally got to spend some time together when he was sent to Pennsylvania. I went there and got a room at a private home, and he came into town whenever he could. When he left in July to go overseas, I went back to Montana — pregnant. Our son Mike was born January 6, 1945, the day after Leland's father passed away.

"After he finally got home, we spent a year in Iowa where he worked on a farm. That wasn't very profitable so I convinced him to go to my home in Montana. We lived in Montana until we moved to Washington in 1979. Leland worked most of his life as a carpenter and house painter. Our daughter, Patsy Lee, was born in 1948, and she lives in the same area I do. Mike lives in Alaska."


Walter was drafted into the US Army in 1971. He served in the Infantry in France, England, and Germany. He was discharged in May 1975 with the rank of A.T. Sergeant.



Harold Eugene McNeal was born and raised in Doyle #4 Township, Clarke County, Iowa. He was the fifth child of 10 in the family. In the spring of 1946, Harold graduated from Murray High School. Before graduation, he enlisted in the United States Army for two years. In August 1948, he was inducted into the Army and served at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, next was stationed at Fort McClellan, Alabama, and on to California just before he was shipped out for Korea. Harold served with the 508th Engineer Detachment and became a Water Supply Technician 5th Class.

One of the stories Harold recalls is when he and his buddies found out how to make ice with their generators, and thus occasionally made ice cream. Their officers found out and it became quite a treat.

They made ice cream for the Officers' Club, too, and supplies were much easier to obtain after that.

Harold said it was inevitable that there would soon be war but luckily for him, his enlistment ended on July 3rd, 1948. He returned home with awards: Army of Occupation Medal, Japan, World War II Victory Medal, and Honorable Discharge.


was born on August 22, 1936, in Clarke County, Iowa, the seventh son and ninth child in the family. He graduated from Murray High School in 1956. On January 7, 1959, he was inducted into the Army in Des Moines, Iowa and was sent to Fort Carson, Colorado for two weeks, then to Fort Riley Kansas for nine weeks. After that he was sent to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for an additional twelve weeks of training. In June 1959, he was sent to France where he was stationed for the next 18 months with the 574th Transportation Company in Toul, France. He was discharged from active service on December 23, 1960. After that he was in the Army Reserves for four years. In the summer of 1962, he went for two weeks training at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. He received his discharge in December, 1964.


was born on April 1, 1932, in Clarke County, Iowa, the fifth son and seventh child in the family. He graduated from Murray High School in 1950. He was inducted into the Army on October 6, 1952, and discharged on September 11, 1954. He spent approximately eighteen months in Korea. Myron died on April 9, 1973, of a heart attack at the age of 41 years.


was born on March 8, 1934, in Clarke County, Iowa, the sixth son and eighth child in the family. He graduated from Murray High School in 1952. On August 7, 1956, he was inducted into the Army and was discharged on August 6, 1958. He spent his entire service time in Fort Lewis, Washington.


was the fourth child in the family. He was born on April 19, 1923, in Clarke County, Iowa, Doyle #4 Township. On September 16, 1944, Rolland was injured in France during the Rhineland Campaign in the European Theatre of Operation. He wrote a letter to his parents dated October 8, 1944, saying, "I thought I would write you another short letter and let you know I am getting along fine and pray everyone back there is o.k. So you won't have to worry about me, cause they sure treat you nice here in the hospital."

After being hospitalized for a time, he was returned to the front lines. Rolland had a premonition before going into service and told his brother, "I won't be coming back." Rolland was killed in action on January 31, 1945, during the Battle of the Bulge. An article in a Des Moines newspaper in December 1944, states, "14 soldiers were listed today wounded in action." Earlier Thursday a list of 32 Iowans was announced by the War Department as wounded in action in Europe. Pvt. (fc) Rolland E. McNeal, Murray, was among those listed.

Rolland McNeal was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, American Campaign Medal, European, African, Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with (4) Bronze Service Stars for the Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, and Ardennes Alsace Campaigns, WWII Victory Medal, Sharpshooter Badge with rifle bar and 2 Purple Hearts — one for being wounded in action on September 16, 1944, the second for having made the "Supreme Sacrifice in Defense of His Country" on January 31, 1945.

His body was not returned to the states until August 1948. Services were held at the Hopeville, Iowa Cemetery on August 9, 1948 at 7:00 p.m. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).


enlisted in the Army in 1997. He was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, for four years and then sent to Germany. From there he served a tour of duty in Iraq. He went back to Germany and asked to be transferred back to the States. He is currently (June, 2006) at a base in Texas and will soon be going to California for training before going back to Iraq for an 18 month tour of duty. He plans to stay in the Army until retirement.


The following information about Everett Miller has been given by his daughter, Connie Penick, of Osceola: My dad was born May 31, 1942, and died August 2, 2000. He was inducted into the Army on August 14, 1942 and entered active service August 28, 1942, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He served in the 392'd Anti-Aircraft Artillery, 5th grade, automatic weapons battalion. His military occupation was Engineman Operator 081; his military qualifications, M1 Rifle Marksman as of March 24, 1943. He left mainland US soil November 11, 1944, arrived November 17, 1944 to attend school in Oahu, Hawaii in 1945. Due to demobilization, he returned on. January 23, 1946. His service time on US Soil two years, three months, three days; Foreign service one year, two months, 13 days. Total service time three years, five months. Until the last two years of his life, Dad didn't talk about his service time. It was something he didn't want to talk about and he never went to any kind of reunion. He did tell about the experience of his friends, who had seen bodies floating in the water at Pearl Harbor after the attack on December 7, 1941. He received the good conduct medal. I think his story is not unusual for many in his era.


U.S. 55755982 Hq and Hq Co. 2nd Battalion 14th Infantry 25th Division. I was drafted into the Army April 4, 1963. I took my basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. After 11 weeks of basic, I was sent to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, to take three months of ranger training. Then I was transferred to the Motor Pool as a wheel vehicle mechanic. I spent the remainder of my two years with the 25th division and left active duty on April 1, 1965. I spent two years in the active reserves out of Creston, Iowa and two more years in inactive reserves. I was discharged in April, 1969.


When I think back on my two years in the military 60 years ago, it is interesting that I am vague on some things, and others I remember like they happened yesterday. I'm not sure of the names of some of the towns in Germany, but the way they are here are as I remember them. I went into the Army on May 26, 1944, at Camp Dodge, Iowa, and was sent to Fort Hood, Texas. During our training for the artillery, I had to be hospitalized because of heat exhaustion.

I went overseas January 24, 1945, but while I was waiting to board the ship, I went down to the PX and saw what I thought was a nickelodeon. There was a screen that showed people dancing and singing. Later I realized I was seeing my first television. We crossed the ocean on the Queen Mary, the second largest ship in the world at that time. The Queen Elizabeth was the largest. It was a pretty nice experience. The ocean wasn't rough so we didn't get seasick. We were fed twice a day — English food — lots of beans.

We arrived January 31, 1945, and landed at Glasgow, Scotland, then went by train to Southampton, England. We were there a week or so, and what I remember was row after row after row of tents. We crossed the English channel to France, were put on box cars that held about 40 men. They stopped so we could be fed twice a day. We crossed France, went through Belgium and Holland. In Holland, we stayed in a farmhouse — the opposite side of the road from Belgium. The arrangement of the buildings was kind of a square. The family lived in part of the house, with the barn attached to it, with an open place in the center. They had a bunch of Holstein cows, one horse, a few white hogs and a great big two-wheel cart. I slept in the attic — in February, and it was cold!

It was there we joined the 2nd armored division. This would be my life in the service — I would be on a tank. We had a driver, tank commander, gunner, and my title was Light Tank Crewman 1736. We worked our way up into Germany, and took off in March on our campaign. To put the situation in historical context, this was March 1945, and in May the war in Europe was over, so at this time Germany was partly occupied. We went across the Rhine River at 2:00 in the morning on a pontoon bridge. From there we went all through the middle of Germany and central Europe. We weren't involved in a lot of combat, but most days we'd go for about 20 hours.

In one town, a fellow we assumed might be the mayor asked if we could speak French. No, but he could speak English. He told us there were Russians in German uniforms hiding in a barn, and they were afraid we would shoot them. He sent me down to see about them, and 21 came out. With 21 of them and one of me, I wasn't sure what to do, so I began to search them. It was obvious they wanted to surrender so after the search, I headed them down the road to the rear. I went with them a ways and told them to go on. We weren't equipped to do anything but that.

We had code names to identify our companies on the CB radio. A was Able, B was Baker, C was Charlie, D was dog company. One day along toward evening, Dog company needed something — ammunition, supplies or whatever, so we headed off with a jeep, a driver, and a 2nd Lieutenant in front, we in the tank, and behind us was a truck and another tank. We went down the Autobahn, but they had blocked off the road, so we went out around that into the timber. With the tank we pushed over a tree to break the telephone wires and went on down a long hill, and came to a little tiny town, just one street. There were two German soldiers headed toward the edge of town. I can still see the Lieutenant's .45 sticking right straight out at them. They put their hands on their heads and they talked a little bit but I don't know what they said. They turned around and went back the other way and we went right on through the town with everybody shaking anything white they could lay their hands on, like bed sheets out of upstairs windows, letting us know they surrendered.

We wanted to go back to our outfit but they said, "Oh, no, you can't do that, that's enemy territory." We'd just been through it and didn't see any sign of soldiers. We had to spend the night there, and it was no problem, other than all the little fireflies. I crawled into my sleeping bag. The next morning coming down the hill, were three young German soldiers, about 15 or 16, and the one in the middle had a hole in the top of his foot that you could almost stick your hand in. The fellows on each side were helping him along. Some officer started talking to them and the one on the outside started to cry. The one in the middle just stood there in shock, I saw kids I thought must have been 12 years old —13, 14, 15 — too young to be soldiers! We came to a farm with a nice horse that wanted to ride. They said, "Oh, no, a Frenchman couldn't ride that horse." They turned it out, I got the bridle, and rode it all over the place.

We continued on through Germany. On April 20, my 20th birthday, we came to a place that had a little shed that had tools and a faucet with running water. It was cold water, but I got my stuff and gave me a birthday present to myself — a bath. We continued through the countryside that was a lot like our part of Iowa with its rolling hills. There was a time we came upon a huge rabbit about the size of a jack rabbit, and shot it. We were out in the country at a farm, and the housewife cut up the rabbit, put potatoes with it, made gravy, opened a jar of cherries and that was the best meal we had for a long time. She had a little girl about eight or nine, who had a little ball that she threw against the side of the house and caught it. She did that for a long time.

This was the end of the war. We saw a lot of Russian soldiers. We ended on the Elbe River and stayed there for a few days. The bridge had been destroyed, but a German civilian had a flat-wide-bottom boat. He took passengers across the river to the town by having a rope across the river, and pulling the boat hand over hand. A Russian officer came along with the prettiest gray horse you ever saw, he asked the man to take him across the river with his horse. They made it and another day he came along leading a Holstein cow. He made the man take it across on his boat. One of our soldiers was on the other side of the river and he said the fellow butchered it. As he told us, the German had five cows, now he's got four.

We went across the river to Magdeburg, Germany. I was walking down the street one evening just before dark, when a German came up to me, quite excited to show me something. He took me to an apartment building and there was a big ball that had landed inside the building and never went off. It went through the roof and about three stories and there it laid on the floor amidst the boards and plaster it had ripped off as it went through. It was pretty good size, I'd say six to eight feet tall. I suppose he wanted me to defuse it. We saw houses where half was blown away, the other half was still there, and people were living in it. In one pretty good size city there were underground tunnels. You could walk all around underneath, and there were lots of wine cellars. Most of the Germans had evacuated, and we thought no one was there. However, one kid opened a door, and found a man and woman still living there. On the hills above the town were fancy houses, all of them empty, but in every one was a huge chandelier, as big as a table top.

After the war was over the 8th of May, our 2nd armored division was still there, and on the morning of July 4, 1945, we loaded up the tank, headed toward Berlin. On our way, about 3:00 the next morning, we came to some old army barracks and stayed there — the mosquitos were thick! The Russians had taken Berlin, and the 2nd armored division was the first American division to go in. We found a house down by the lake fixed up for Eisenhower, and there were four Russians — two men and two women — squatters, who had taken it over. We were sent down to kick them out. I didn't go into the house, but the fellows who did described it as being in terrible condition. We did get them kicked out of there, but we found the Russian soldiers were different from us. Berlin was divided into different sections — one each the Russians, the French, the English, and we had one. We were told, "don't go out after dark, don't go out alone, and don't go out unarmed." I still think we could have had WWIII with the Russians. They were taking anything, stripped anything they could lay their hands on, and sent or took it to Russia.

There were railroad tracks and any time day or night, there would be shooting by the tracks. This one kid was from Alabama who talked so slow you couldn't tell what he was saying, came in one night chattering like a chipmunk. I don't know what he was doing out there. He said, "They were shooting at me and I was hollering, 'Me American! Me American!'"

While we were in Berlin, out along the Autobahn, President Truman came along in a half-track. He was wearing a dark suit, white shirt and tie, and a gray felt hat. He was inspecting the troops. We left Berlin, went back toward the south of Germany, and in the fall we were not too far from Frankfurt, Karlsrad, a pretty good sized town with two hotels. We stayed in the National Hotel, where there was one bathroom to a floor. In October, 1945, for two weeks, they gave me a special assignment to be corporal of the guard to two American prisoners in a German prison camp. There was one who supposedly was gambling and lost, got mad and shot the guy he was playing against. He was kept in one cell but for the rest, they would bring food up from the town and they ate together. We'd watch but weren't very concerned about them. However, one night at bed check the fellows were moving around, moving around, and I kept saying, "Stand still." We were short two men. I discovered two had escaped so I had to get on the phone and try to find out what happened. Officers came and took care of the situation.

At this time they sent home the men in the 2nd armored division who had been there the longest. I'd been in a relatively short time so they sent me to a mortar battalion, and I was there until May. We left from Bremerhaven, which is way up north by the ocean. We were there for awhile before we boarded the SS Elgin, which was a small ship and man! It was rough! When we first got on board I ate some sugar wafer cookies, and I got so seasick! Then came the time when we watched for the Statue of Liberty and it got bigger and bigger. What a sight! I don't remember the place we docked in New Jersey, but I remember a steak dinner they had for us! From there I went to Fort Sheridan, Illinois where I was discharged from the Army, on June 8, 1946, at 21 years of age. I had earned a victory medal, a European African Middle Eastern Theatre ribbon, two bronze battlestars, and two overseas bars of the Army of Occupation. I took a train for Iowa and for the second time I crossed the Mississippi. On both occasions when I did that, it was a night and I never did get to see it. A few years ago we went to Hannibal, Missouri and I finally got to see it!


was drafted in February 1942, and was stationed in Italy. He received a Purple Heart.


was drafted and entered the service in December 1941, and was sent to Wisconsin for training. He then went to Africa and up the coast to Italy. He was in Normandy on D-Day. He was discharged in 1945, and received the Purple Heart.


Bob and Ed were brothers, who lived in Murray and attended Murray High School, He was drafted in January 1942 and served in North Africa. He received the Purple Heart.


joined the Army in 1944 and served six months in Italy before the war was over.


served during Operation Enduring Freedom. He graduated from Murray and sent the school a flag that few over Kuwait while he was in service.


enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in June 1967. He served in Vietnam from December 1967, to September 1968. His company was Hotel, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, located at I Corp Area near the Quang Tri River, north on Route 9, close to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone). With the rank of Sergeant, he was Point man, that is, he was lead man, which meant he led a number of men into enemy territory — could be a squadron of 15, a platoon of 60, or a battalion of 150-180. He was wounded twice, and received two purple hearts. He was discharged April 1, 1970 and is currently the Murray High School Principal.


I entered active U.S. Naval Service in October 26, 1942, and was discharged on December 2, 1945. I was at Great Lakes Training Base from February 8, 1942 to November 8 of that year. I went to Indianapolis, Indiana, Radio Operator School from December 12, 1942 to February 26, 1943, and was at Washington D.C. Naval Base from March 14, 1943 to March 18, 1944. Went to Camp Bradford, Washington from March 19, 1944 to May 15, 1944, went overseas on LST 1027 from May 15, 1944 to January 20, 1945. Went on ship (AP 90) (APA15) Henry T. Allen from January 23, 1945 to October 25, 1945. Discharged with ratings of Carpenter Mate 1/e U.S. Navy. Ribbons I could wear: 1 Victory Medal, 1 American Theater, 1 Asiatic Pacific, 1 Good Conduct, 3 Philippine Liberation.


I enlisted in the Army January 25, 1955, at Des Moines, Iowa, and was taken to Camp Chaffee, Arkansas for eight weeks of Infantry Basic. I was sent to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for eight weeks of Engineer Basic, then to Fort Lewis, Washington where I was assigned to Co. D 2nd Engineer Battalion. We trained some National Guard Troops to build bridges and an air strip. In June 1956, I went by ship from Seattle, Washington to Anchorage, Alaska then by train to Fairbanks, Alaska. At Lad Air Force Base I drove 5-ton tractor and Low Boy to haul heavy equipment, then moved some buildings from another post to our base for storage, then went into maintenance. We built gates for the base entrances, backstop for baseball fields, body work on tracks, jeeps, and welding heavy equipment. On October 9, 1957, I came back to Fort Lewis, Washington for separation on October 26, 1957.


was born 1921, served in the U.S. Army in World War II. He died August 29, 2005. Both he and his wife, Edna, are buried in Union cemetery northeast of Murray.


was born 1924, World War II, Navy, died 1994. Both he and his wife, Joyce, are deceased and buried in Union cemetery northeast of Murray.


Dale was born December 17, 1924, to Mabel and Roy Phillips in the house of grandparents, David and Eva Corder, three miles south of Murray in Clarke County, Iowa. There were five children — Norma, Dale, June, Max, and Wayne. All are still living in 2005 except Max, who was killed in 1948, at the age of 16. He was a passenger in a car involved in an accident with a train. Dale wrote, "I went to grade schools #4 and #7 in Troy Township, Clarke County. I went to high school in Murray and graduated on May 14, 1943. I was called to take my physical for the military draft on May 23, 1943. I left a couple weeks later. I chose the U.S. Navy and was sent to Farragut, Idaho for basic training and graduated from that in September, 1943. From there I went to several specialty schools and became an airplane mechanic and a combat air crewman. My rating was Aviation Machinist Mate 3rd class and I was sent to Alameda Naval Air Station in Alameda, California. I was assigned to a squadron and flew missions guarding our west coast for about 16 months. When I wasn't flying, I worked on carburetors and was a hydraulic specialist. In August, 1945 I was sent to Madjuro Island in the Marshall Gilbert Island group in the Pacific Ocean. I was discharged in May 1946 and became a civilian again. I worked several jobs until found my calling. I became a meat inspector for the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) in 1965. I retired in 1987.

"I was married to Marlene Jessen in June 1956. We had three children: Max, Alene, and Gale. Marlene died in 1985 after a seven-year battle with cancer. After retirement I moved to Bouton where I still reside. Since I retired I have done a lot of volunteer work and am available to help anyone who needs it."


Wayne's story is in the book written about the history of the Murray school and its staff. Wayne has driven a Murray school bus for nearly a quarter-century. From that story are these excerpts: I was born September 17, 1937. It was about sixth grade, when I got the nickname, "Pinky." I was only five feet tall, shy, and didn't talk much. My guess is that I often was embarrassed and my face turned red. For whatever reason, people started calling me "Pinky" and the name stuck. I am sure there are people who don't even know my name is Wayne.

I graduated in 1955, and went to work on the farm for neighbor Ed Flaherty. I decided to go into the Army. The Korean war was over. We weren't fighting anybody, so I volunteered for the draft. Melvin Goeldner was head of the draft board. When I was inducted, they put all of us on a bus, bound for Fort Chaffee, Arkansas for eight weeks, and another eight for different training. In April we were sent to Fort Hood, Texas. I didn't like it, and went to the personnel officer to say that if there was a chance, to put me on a list for overseas duty. It seemed as though I waited a long time. I had about decided it was not going to happen, when the officer came up one day and asked if I still wanted to go. I told him I did and soon, I got the orders for Europe.

I had a 30-day leave and was off for France. I flew to New York City. I was 19 and scared to death. I'd never been in such a big place. I went to the Army post, Fort Dix, after being processed, and was taken to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. We boarded a ship and in eleven days docked at a town I remember as Bremerhaven in northern Germany. They put us on a troop train, and we went clear through Germany, and France. We spent two days on the train that had a hallway down one side, and on the other there were compartments with a bench on each side. There was room for about six of us on each bench. There were no sleeping quarters, and no mess hall. We would stop in certain towns, and be met for lunch. The prettiest part of the trip was at night, when we could see there was a river on one side and mountains on the other. We passed through a big railroad yard and thought it must have been Paris.

We continued on to Bussac, an Army post in France. I spent 12 months working in an Army clothing store. Different ones of us got to put the flag up in the morning, march back and take it down at night, with the post commander standing in the window watching that we did it right. When my time was up, unlike lots of guys who got to fly back, I came like I went — on a ship both ways, eleven days going and eleven days coming.

I was discharged November 26, 1958 at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and spent six years in the inactive reserve. I was 21 years old and went back to work for Ed Flaherty. My dad passed away in 1959, and I stayed with my Mom, worked on the farm, but continued to work for Ed, also. I met a young lady (Sally) from Afton and we decided to marry. Mom sold us the 80-acre farm, and moved into Murray. Ed gave us five cows for a wedding present and I continued to work for him.

We have two children, Danny and Sharon Lynn. They are now both parents and we enjoy following the activities of our grandchildren.


This is a recount of my experiences in Korea as I remember them: Charles E. Porterfield was born in Clarke County, Iowa on September 8, 1928. I attended country schools and Murray High School until 1946, when I moved to Garden Grove and finished high school there, graduating in 1947. I enlisted in the Army in January 1949, along with three of my buddies. Our basic training was at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas, and this was the only combat training I received other than a three-week refresher course in Ft. Lewis, Washington, when I was recalled. After basic training, I was assigned to an anti-aircraft battalion in Fort Bliss, Texas.

Due to the military cutback, we were released to the inactive reserve in January 1950. I was married on June 17, 1950. I was not really concerned until I received a notice to report for a physical. I failed that one and was told that I would be recalled for a new physical in about a year. However, I received a notice the next month and passed this physical. I was told to report for active duty in Fort Lewis, Washington on October 25.

I left Des Moines on October 23 by train. We received a three-week refresher course. Around the first week in December, we were loaded on a troop ship (4,000 men) and started on our voyage to Japan. It took approximately three weeks to reach Yokohama and most of us were seasick due to storms and rough seas. We spent Christmas in Japan and then we were loaded on a small ship and sent to Inchon, Korea. At this time we went over the side of the ship on rope ladders and went ashore.

I was assigned to the Cavalry Division. We loaded on trucks and started moving up to the front lines. At that time, it was the 38''' parallel. It was very cold. There were many enemy soldiers lying by the side of the road. At this time American troops were retreating from the Chinese who entered the war in November.

Our Division held there and another Division pulled back through our Division. We retreated back close to Teague. We started walking (I think it was all night and part of another day. My feet were solid blisters!) before being loaded on trucks reaching our destination around Taugue. Miles and miles of South Koreans were retreating on the roads carrying babies and all their belongings on their backs and heads. It was bitter cold and ice crystals formed in our cereal before we could eat it. Our food consisted mostly of K-rations unless we were back in a safe area where the cooks could fix a hot meal. We received a lot of frozen juices which we thawed out over the bonfire. After a couple of months, I was moved from 1st Platoon to Company Clerk for Captain Burr. I was very grateful, for this took me off the front lines and I was also promoted to Sergeant. During my time in Korea, I was on the 38th parallel three times.

Charles provided pictures and articles giving further information about Korea:


No dates were given for "Look" magazine's article by Eric Downton reprinted in a newspaper. Title: There's Always a Hill for Infantry — and Each One a Calvary.

"So winter is behind us. The cold that made men weep, the frost that hit the rookie replacements like glacial fire and turned young, fresh flesh into black shriveled leather; the treacherous snow and blizzard-laden nights. These things are memories now to the plodding, profane infantry.

"So now it's spring. There's green tracery on the bleak willows and in the persimmon orchards. Green in the malodorous paddy fields.

Patches of green on that hill ahead (there's always one more hill just ahead for the infantry). Rivers are brown and wide and angry. So, if your battalion engineers aren't good, the pontoon bridge gets washed away and you go on half-rations and watch with hungry eyes for the flying boxcars that drone over (weather permitting) and from the gaping rears between the double fuselage spew out the precious boxes that float down under gaudy parachutes."

Mike Binning, son of Vernon and Glendola Binning of Osceola, lives in Korea and has written: "It is intensely cold because the north wind comes from Siberia. I don't know how the soldiers stood it in the clothing they were supplied at that time."

Charles continues: I really looked forward to receiving food packages from home, but it always seemed that the package arrived the same day we were to move out. We ate what we could and had to leave the rest behind.

The things I really remember were the bitter cold, lots of people getting frostbite.

Showers (water from a stream) and clean clothes were few and far between. We wore the same clothes and our boots day and night. With spring came the rain and it became hot and humid. The smell was BAD and to this day I do not eat rice and do not like the smell of garlic. Lice were another problem which required the use of lots of louse powder in our sleeping bags. One of the last things I remember as we were going to the dock was passing open fish drying racks and rows and rows of fish drying in the hot sun. The smell was horrible!

I was replaced and rotated home in July 1951, and was released from active duty in August of that year. We came home on a troop ship and the ocean was smooth as glass, making the trip much more enjoyable. We were all relieved and excited to be returning home, and considered the Golden Gate Bridge a beautiful sight when our ship docked in San Francisco. A week later I was back home in Des Moines. This is as close as I can remember after all these years! (Signed) Chuck Porterfield. (The complete "Look" article is in the section Causes and Effects of 20th Century Wars.)


Merritt Porterfield was the father of Charles and Robert. He served in the Army in France circa 1919 in WWI, and is buried in Garden Grove.


brother of Charles, served in the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific in WWII. Deceased.


son of Charles and Betty Porterfield, Lt. Col. In the U.S. Air Force. Graduate of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs in 1986.


was born June 17, 1919, Murray. Parents, Mr. and Mrs. Hazel Reeves of Murray. Wife, Thelma Reeves, Osceola. Entered service July 17, 1944. Died March 29, 1945 in Germany. Served under General George Patton in France and Gennany in Co. L 157th Infantry. He is buried in Germany.





Ernie was born July 8, 1923; and died May 28, 1984. He was married June 21, 1942 to Helen Louise Forman of Osceola. Two children were born to this union: Connie Dee born October 13, 1943, Sherry Lee born Sept. 17, 1947. Ernest went into military service in 1944. A newspaper article titled "Spent Wild Night on Okinawa Front," subtitle "War Department Tells of Experiences of Clarke County Boy As He Joined 77th Division, tells:" "With the 77th Division in the Okinawa Campaign, Pvt. Ernest D. Scholl of Osceola, Iowa, member of a machine gun company in an Infantry Regiment, came through his first engagement against the enemy in fine shape, notwithstanding the fact that he was kept up his first night by a Jap counter attack on his position.

"Joining the Division just after the Leyte campaign, Scholl went ashore with the first assault waves in the attack on the island air base of Ie Shima, just west of Okinawa. That first night in the lines is one he will never forget. 'I didn't sleep a wink all night long,' said Scholl. `The Japs attacked us constantly and they ran all around my hole. My buddies were shooting them down so fast that I didn't realize what was going on. Some of those Japs were armed only with bamboo poles with knives on the end. When daylight came, there were 153 dead Japs in and around our foxholes. It was a terrible experience but I don't feel so scared anymore.' Scholl's wife, Louise, and daughter (18 months old) Connie D., live in Osceola."

A newspaper printed a letter Ernie had written: Pfc. Ernest Dee Scholl writes his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Scholl, he is now on Cebu in the Philippines just ten miles across the water from Leyte where his brother, Sgt. John F. Scholl is located, but he says John is on the opposite side of the island near Taclobin. Ernest left the States August 26, 1944, went first to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, then to the Marshalls, Siapan, Mariannas, Carolinas, Palu and Leyte. On Leyte he was assigned to the 77th Division, then Aka Shima where he went into battle March 29, 1945, then Ie Shima, Okinawa and back to Cebu. He says he thinks his next move is Japan. He has the Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon with two Combat Stars on it, Philippine Liberation Ribbon, Combat Infantryman's Badge, Good Conduct Medal, Bronze Arrow Head for beach landing on enemy held beaches, two Overseas Service Stripes, but was lucky enough not to have a Purple Heart.

Another article about the 77th Division: (1945) The famed U.S. 77th (Statue of Liberty) Division will be inactivated March 15, ending a colorful, tough combat history. General Douglas MacArthur's headquarters announced today that the division will turn its occupation duties on Hokkaido over to the 1 lth Airborne Division.

The veterans from New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania who sailed from the United States with the 77th in 1944, already have gone home, as have many of their replacements. The 77th invaded Guam and later cracked the Yamashita line on Leyte with a surprise amphibious thrust that killed 19,000 Japanese in 18 days. Early in 1945, the division took nine islands off Okinawa, including le Shima, where Ernie Pyle was killed. It fought three bloody battles on Okinawa.

Another article: "Sgt. Ernest D. Scholl of Osceola, Iowa, is one of 1,050 high-point Army veterans whom the Navy is returning to the States for discharge aboard the U S S Shamrock Bay, an escort carrier of the 'Magic Carpet' fleet. This ship left Yokohama, Japan, January 11, and was scheduled to arrive in Seattle about January 27.

"The U.S.S. Shamrock Bay operated in the invasions of Lingayen Gulf, Iwo Jima, the Ryukus Islands and Okinawa. Seizure of these island bases was vital to the sea-air attack and blockade of Japan before the close of the Pacific war."


John was born April 24, 1921 to Arthur and Valeta Howell Scholl, died November 2, 1975, married July 17, 1944, Velva Sarah Smith of Leon. Their children were: Venita Leora, born February 1, 1949, Deloris Opal, October 30, 1951, Francis Gale November 4, 1954, who died July 14, 1973.

John's Army Record: On July 7, 1942, John enlisted in the Armed Forces at Fort Des Moines. He left Osceola by train at 6:50 p.m. and arrived on July 28, 1942 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. On August 6, John reached Camp Perry, Ohio, and was placed in the 11th Armored Division, moved on September 3, 1942 to Camp Polk, Louisiana. He came home on furlough from January 4, 1943 until January 12, when he left for his return trip to Camp Polk Between February 25 and March, 1943, John made T15 Sgt. Velva left to visit him on May 20 but turned back because the roads were flooded. June 10, she and Valeta left to visit him in Louisiana. On June 17, John made T/4 Sgt. In September John was transferred to Camp Barkley, Texas, went to Alexandria, Louisiana on a two-day pass in early October, and was sent to Camp Ibis, California on October 11, where he changed to the Air Corps.

On December 4, 1943, John was transferred to Sheppard Field in Texas, and on January 18, 1944, to La Junta Army Air Force Base in Colorado. He attended Denver University in Colorado studying to be a bombardier. In April, he was transferred back to Ordnance and sent to Red River Ordnance Department at Texarkana, Texas. John lacked one week of having enough Air Force training to avoid this transfer and remain in the Air Force.

On May 16, 1944, John was sent to Aberdeen Proving Ground at Aberdeen, Maryland, where Velva joined him. July 17, 1944, Velva Sarah Smith and John were married at the County Seat, Elkton, Maryland. In August, John had a furlough before going to California, where on September 10 he was sent to Camp Beale, and on to Camp Stoneman in preparation for going overseas. From then until December 17, 1945, John was in New Guinea, Southern Philippine Islands, and Leyte.

August 14, 1945 was V-J (victory over Japan) Day. The Japanese surrendered and WWII ended. On December 10, John left Leyte and the Philippine Islands bound for the United States. On the 27th he passed under the Golden Gate Bridge and went on to Camp Stoneman. On January 7, 1946, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, John was honorably discharged. He had attained the rank of T/4 Sgt. and earned ribbons for the Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign (Outside the U.S.) Ribbon, two Bronze Stars from Asiatic-Pacific

Campaign, Bronze Star for Philippine Liberation Ribbon, 11th Ordnance Emblem, T/4 Sgt. Emblem, l' Distinguished Award, Unit Meritorious Citation, Honorable Discharge Emblem, Ordnance Company War Department Overhead Bureau Emblem; two sleeve stripes for overseas in Combat one year; and a Hash Mark for three years service. Velva received a letter dated December 3, 1975, honoring the memory of John F. Scholl signed by Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States.

John passed away November 2, 1975, a victim of spinal meningitis. His obituary was printed in the Osceola Sentinel Thursday, November 6, 1975 "Funeral services were held Wednesday, November 5, for John Franklin Scholl, 54, who died at the University Hospital in Iowa City on Sunday, November 2. The Rev. Jim Parrish and Walter Williams conducted the 1:30 p.m. funeral from the Murray Church of Christ. Interment was in Union Cemetery with Watts-Lindsay Funeral Service in charge of arrangements...

"He spent the greater part of his life in the Murray community where he trucked and farmed. He was a member of the Murray American Legion. Survivors include his wife, Velva; daughters, Venita and Deloris Scholl of Murray; mother, Mrs. Ira Watson of Osceola; three brothers, Ernest of Osceola; William of Alexandria, Virginia; and Clarence of Osceola; and one sister, Mrs. William (Opal) Fridley of Indianola. He was preceded in death by a son, Francis in 1973; father; an infant brother and an infant sister.



was born August 4, 1930, and died November 22, 1985. His obituary gives details of his life: "William Arthur Scholl, son of Arthur Fred Scholl and Valeta Howell Scholl Watson, was born August 4, 1930 in Clarke County, northeast of Murray, Iowa. Bill passed away at 0955 from cancer on November 22, 1985 at his residence in Alexandria, Virginia, at the age of 55.

"Bill grew up in Clarke County until he joined the U.S. Air Force first in December 1948, and again in January 1951, where he spent the next twenty years until June 1970. During his time spent in the Air Force, Bill spent the last ten years of his career flying Special Missions at Andrews Air Force Base, Washington, D.C., Presidential Air Craft.    After his retirement from the Air Force, Bill took a career with the U.S. Secret Service in August 1971.

"On January 27, 1961, Bill and Ida Mae Hill of Leon were united in marriage in Indianola. Four children were born to this union: Gary (Arthur, September 5, 1952); Arthur (Fred May, 1955); Debra (Debbie) (Ann July 12, 1956); and David (Eugene March 23, 1959)...A picture of Major David Scholl and his father indicate David followed in Bill's footsteps.


A composite of newspaper clippings 7-5- furnished by Virginia (Mrs. Clarence) Scholl, give the war record of William Scholl: In June, 1963, Technical Sergeant William A Scholl was presented the United States Air Force Outstanding Unit Award at Andrews it Force Base, Maryland. Sergeant Scholl, now an S-121 flight engineer eceived the award as a permanent decoration for his part in helping the 1502nd Air Transport Wing with exceptional meritorious achievement.

An undated report Master Sergeant William A. Scholl, son of Mrs. Ira Watson of 707 North Main Street, Osceola, has received the U.S. Air Force Commendation Medal at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. Sergeant Scholl was decorated by Colonel John G. Williams, 89th Military Airlift Wing Commander, for meritorious service as a flight engineer during a flight transporting a special representative of the President of the United States to Turkey and Greece. He is a member of the 89th Military Airlift Wing, the special Air Force unit which provides air transportation for the President of the United States and other top government officials.

Further details were given in an Osceola Sentinel-Tribune article while Bill and his family were in Osceola for a July 4th Class Reunion. Master Sergeant William a flight engineer for White House planes in Washington, D.C. He makes alternate flights on the only four Boeing 707 planes owned by the Air Force, three backup planes and Air Force One, all of which are controlled by the President and assigned directly to the White House. These planes are used to fly dignitaries and the Presidential Cabinet. He has hauled kings and queens from all over the world, some of the most recent dignitaries being Premier Kosygin of Russia, the Shair of Iran, the President of Libya, and many times Haille Sallaisie of Ethiopia has been on board one of his planes. In the past six years, Sgt. Scholl has been in every country in the world at one time or another. He spent last Christmas in Moscow. He reports that the White House planes resemble any commercial air plane except for the elaborate equipment which includes classified radio equipment that can be used to talk any place in the world. The planes are also under strict security guard at all times.

December 15, 1964: Sergeant Scholl...has graduated from the U.S. Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Orlando Air Force Base, Florida. Sergeant Scholl is a flight engineer with a Military Air Transport Service (MATS) unit at the base.


In March 1971, after his retirement, Bill took a career with the U.S. Secret Service. He passed away at 0955 from cancer on November 22, 1985, at his residence in Alexandria, Virginia, at the age of 55. His obituary lists the following who preceded him in death — his father, Arthur Fred Scholl, his step-father, Ira Everett Watson, a sister Maggie Marie Scholl, a brother Robert Raymond Scholl, and brothers John and Ernie Scholl, and his mother Valeta Howell Scholl Watson, His surviving relatives are his wife, Ida Mae Scholl of Alexandria, Virginia; Gary, Arthur, and Debbie of Alexandria, Virginia, and David of Columbus, Mississippi. A brother, Clarence and Virginia Scholl of Osceola, and one sister and her husband, Opal and Henry Winderlin of St. Charles, Iowa, nieces, nephew, other relatives and friends.

Following is a copy of a plaque recognizing the outstanding debt owed Bill for his service by dedicating in his honor the conference room of a 1996 facility on the Bolling Air Force Base in Maryland, the home of the Special Services Division,


son of Vern and Essie Shaffer, attended Murray High School. He was in WWII. No details.


was born May 15, 1920, son of Claude and Ada Sheesley. He was raised in Murray by Bill and Stella Agans. Bob graduated from the Murray High School. During WWII he was assigned to Bell Aircraft. He was the father of four children. He passed away May 1, 2006, and is buried in the Murray Cemetery.


was born in Murray, Iowa September 19, 1923, son of Harry and Eathel Watson Shields, who owned and operated the Cozy Café on Main Street in Murray. Richard proudly served in the Army as a Paramedic stationed in the Azores Islands in the North Atlantic, west of Portugal, from 1942 to 1945. Richard died July 1, 1997, and lies in Resthaven Cemetery, Des Moines, Iowa. He married Margaret Gray, who died a few years before Richard. They didn't have children, but they enjoyed and had the love of children through Robert's and Carolyn's grandchildren. The children, Daniel and Shelby, loved them and Richard and Margaret loved them like their own. Both Richard and Margaret are fondly remembered and greatly missed.


also a son of Harry and Eathel Watson Shields, born in Murray. Both Robert's and Richard's stories were written by Bob and Carolyn's daughter, Becky Ann Shields Heckman. Robert was born August 4, 1927, and proudly served as a Mechanic in the Air Force in Texas, Kansas, and Illinois, from 1945 until he was discharged in February, 1947. Robert now lives a happy, peaceful, fulfilling life in Ankeny, Iowa. He married Carolyn Adams over 50 years ago and enjoys a family of three children and six beautiful grandchildren.


In May 1953, I finished my sophomore year at Simpson College. I was in debt and knew I could not enroll again in the fall. Also, the draft was still in place for the Korean War and without the college deferment, I was sure I would be drafted, so I decided to volunteer for the draft, hoping to survive and return with support from the G.I. bill. So in late July, I became a private in the U.S. Anny stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, for a six-week tough infantry basic training cycle expecting to go to Korea.

Eisenhower ended the war that fall and the 1,000 infantry trainees set for Korea were distributed all over the world. I was sent to Germany in January, 1954. There I took a test that came out well and I was sent to Frankfurt to serve in the offices of 5th Corps U.S.A.E.U.R (United States Army Europe Headquarters). It was a magnificent assignment working in the I. G. Farbens Building, which before the war had been headquarters for the I. G. Farben Chemical works, then the largest in Europe. French and British European Headquarters troops were there also. Precise bombing left buildings the Allies needed almost untouched, while rubble as shown below was typical of 65% of Frankfurt. Farben building on the left; on the right had once been a school:


I received a top secret clearance (which caused some stir when the CIA nosed around Murray and Indianola} and went to work in an office with electronic barred doors and windows, as an NCO (non-commissioned officer) clerk typing, filing, maintaining records of the Nuremburg trials and for the retreat war plans of the allies in case of an attack by the Russians.

It was great there because, except the Soviet-held areas, we could travel free to any place in Europe and it held excellent opportunity to further one's education. In spite of the destruction, there were cultural opportunities because they had revived their Civic Opera and Symphonies and some nice restaurants, all at a price that even our Army pay (bonuses for overseas and Top Secret pay was $105 a month) twice the average German income at the time.

The job was interesting and seemed important. We rode in buses to work each morning and evening. From an inner city military (old Gestapo barracks and facilities) concern, and we wore Class A uniforms with low cut shoes and no brass. In my offices were also two officers (both West Point grads — a Colonel and a Major) and I was the only NCO out of 250 who did not have at least a bachelors degree. My roommate had a Masters in languages, including German, of course.

However, because we never knew, once a month a very serious alert was sounded and we had to always be ready to evacuate, move out in battle gear, uniforms and weapons, according to the

plans for an immediate response to a Russian attack from their Eastern Germany positions. Again, I was fortunate. I drove a van that became my/our field office during those alerts. Twice each year the alert became a complete mock attack two week experience. Humor; because I was from Iowa the Army decided I could drive a truck. They thought the same about my roommate from Minnesota University, and he couldn't even drive a car. They finally gave up on him. He did organize a German/American relations Club which met in a cleaned-out rubble-removed basement, once a month with the Germans doing the program one month and our group the next.

I received an honorable discharge with the rank of Corporal from Fort Sheridan, Illinois in May of 1955 and the G.I. bill along with money saved from the army months made college easy. I then graduated in January 1957.


Field van, 1954


On alert in field, 1954


son of Harold and Idris Smith of Murray, Iowa, enlisted and was inducted into the Army Air Corps in February 1943. He received basic training at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. Following basic training, he was sent to Milwaukee State Teachers College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for ground schooling, He received preflight training at Santa Anna, California and then went to Hemet California for primary flight training, to Lemore, California for basic flight training, and to Fort Sumner, New Mexico for advanced training. His advanced training was in multi-engine aircraft. He graduated, received his wings, and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in May 1944.

Richard spent a short time training in the C-46 in Reno, Nevada, then was shipped to Nashville, Tennessee to process for shipment to the European Theatre and was assigned to Air Transport Command. He and others were flown on a C-54 to Prestwick, Scotland where he was crewed up on a C-47 transport plane. After a period of time as a co-pilot, he was advanced to first pilot and promoted to Lieutenant. From a large base in Bovington, England, he flew material and personnel over all of occupied Europe, including hauling gasoline to General Patton's fast moving Army.

After V-E (Victory over Europe) day, he was selected as one of the pilots to fly General Clayton Bissell of G-2 out of Washington on an inspection tour that landed in 30 countries all the way to China and back. Following that trip, he and a friend piloted a "war weary" B-17 via the southern route back to the U.S. He received his discharge in Chicago, Illinois in December, 1945. He and his wife currently reside in Colorado City, Colorado.


was born November 6, 1922, to Mr. and Mrs. Milo Smith of Madison Township. He entered the service March 3, 1943 in Des Moines, and was in Co. I 163'd Infantry. Russell was killed in action at Biak, New Guinea in the South Pacific. He was buried on New Guinea, and re-buried July 6, 1948.


son of Harold and Idris Smith of Murray, Iowa was inducted into the Army on June 11, 1942. He was first sent to Camp Rucker, Alabama for training, and later finished training at Camp San Luis Obispo, California. At the completion of his training, he was a light mortar crewman. He departed the U.S. for action in the Pacific Theatre on June 3, 1944. He was in the landing force that liberated the Philippines and later landed on the island of Palau, which was occupied by the Japanese. Following that, he saw duty in the occupation of Japan.

After returning to the U.S., he was discharged as a Private First Class from the 323rd Infantry, Army of the U.S., at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He returned to his parents' home and resumed fanning with his father for several years. He married late in life and he and his wife spent their final yearts in the Walsenburg, Colorado Veterans' Home. Willard passed away in May, 2004.


Donovan enlisted in the service in June, 1944, before he had finished high school. He was given time to finish, had his basic training in anti-aircraft in Texas and was transferred overseas in the Infantry, 3rd Army, 5th Division. They landed in England, went from there to France, and walked across Germany to Czechoslovakia. He was on the front line and had a pretty rough go of it. He was sent back to the States and given a 30-day leave, but the men didn't leave the war behind them just because they left the battle area.

While he was home, Donovan drove a lime truck for his father. While he was at the quarry getting a load of lime, they blasted, and he took for cover under a truck. His father had a terrible time getting him to come out. Another time, he and his mother were in Des Moines when a car backfired. He took off running down an alley and she didn't know where he had gone.

After his leave, Donovan expected to be sent to Japan, but the war ended before he had to go. He was in the military for two years, was discharged in 1946, honored with a Bronze Star. After his discharge, Donavan attended Mortuary School and for ten years was Murray's funeral director.

One good aspect of the service was the friendships that were formed. When Donovan hit the front lines, there was a fellow who had just lost his foxhole buddy, and he said, "Come on, I'll take you under my wing," Through the years, he continued to do that. This fellow had started at the bottom of the Lockheed corporation and worked his way up until now he is a "big shot" in the company. He has a home on the lake at Branson, Missouri. He gave Donovan a key and said, "You are welcome to use this house any time I'm not using it.' They're like brothers.

Donovan's family now lives in Nevada. They have two grand-daughters. For her class in high school, the younger granddaughter asked Donovan about his experiences, wrote them, combined them with pictures, and made a CD. The older granddaughter is in college in Ames.


Duane entered the service in 1942. He was in the Postal Department in the Air Force. He was in England twice, and Hawaii. He was discharged in 1946. For two years he attended a commercial college in Des Moines — 4C Community College, but he didn't find a job, so he re-enlisted to make a career of military service. After he retired, he worked in the PX on bases in Kansas and Virginia.


enlisted in 1951, for three years service in the Air Force. In two years they discharged him. While he was in service he was in radio communications, so when he got out he signed up with Land and Air. Their work involving communicating with airplanes. He stayed until they closed down. He was in California. On his way home, he stopped at White Sands, New Mexico and applied for a job there. They hired him on the spot as a radio technician. The Soll men have heart complications. The other brother, Elvin, was not able to go because of it. This took Irvin's life in 1994, their father's life at the age of 65, and Duane died in heart surgery in Colorado when he was 61.


is a veteran of the Korean War period, serving in the United States Air Force for four years beginning April 1950.




This is the first story of the Glider Corps in WWII, told by Audrey Thomas about her husband, Bud's, service record. His unit was the Medical Glider Corps of the 82nd Airborne Division. The crafts were fragile — made of wood, canvas, and metal tubing, but large and strong enough that they carried troops, vehicles, artillery, ammunition, and supplies. There was a jeep on the ones Bud flew in. They were pulled by C-47 transport planes, then detached over the "drop zones," which were often behind enemy lines, and they glided (no power) to the needed spot.

They flew at low altitude through skies filled with anti-aircraft before they released from their tow planes, so close to the ground that they were easy targets even for small arms from enemy troops trained to shoot at low-flying craft. An Internet article reports that when they landed, their only choice was to join the infantry and fight until the main Allied units established contact. Being in a unit that specialized in the medical aspect, Bud would have had a grim dimension added to his duty. It is no wonder he talked little about his years in service.

Bud went into military service December 23, 1942, was put in the medical glider corps from the beginning, and trained in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. It is ironic that before he went into service, Bud nearly fainted at the sight of blood, but he was able to get over that. "You can do a lot of things you think you can't, when the chips are down." He left in May from Maryland, on a ship bound for North Africa, and landed Casa Blanca, in northern Morocco. They went through Sicily into Italy, and on north into Europe, Holland, and Ireland. Their base was in London, England, and from there they went into France, back to England, and then into the battles that others have described — the horrors of the Battle of the Bulge, the Nolinandy invasion, and the slow but steady victory over enemy forces. In his work, Bud and his fellow corpsmen picked up the wounded, treated them there and if they were still living, brought them back to their aid stations. At times, he served in an established hospital and took care of people with contagious diseases. This was Bud's life for three years, until he was discharged in November 1945. He was kept in Germany for six weeks after the war as a member of the Honor Guard and they were given appropriate recognition, meeting with various dignitaries, etc.

When he returned home, it was impossible for him to put the war entirely behind him. In Audrey's words, we might be in the car driving, when maybe the trees would shake a little or a shadow would move, and he would duck. There are lots of wounds that don't show. He had nightmares he didn't ever get over. I doubt if the fellows who went through those horrible experiences ever get over them. This is probably why there are no stories. My husband never talked about it. He did bring back pictures. He had taken a little tiny box-shaped Brownie camera and took lots of pictures. I have boxes of them. Some he took of the concentration camps show live and dead bodies stacked together. He donated those to the Jewish community to show when they lecture about those years. They really appreciated them.

When Bud came back, he became the manager of Meyers Pump and Jacuzzi Distribution Center. Beginning in 1975, each year he won trips, most of them overseas. The first year we went to Spain and No. Africa, the second year to Yugoslavia, the third year we went on a Caribbean cruise, with stops in Puerto Rico, St. Martins, St. Thomas, and St. John's. The fourth year, we went to Hawaii and the surrounding islands, fifth to Guatemala, and the next year, on our own we drove to Mexico City and Acapulco. We had an opportunity to see how people lived because we pulled our camper and stayed in it. Also, with our camper, we've gone all the way across Canada, so we had some good times.

Bud had a heart attack in January, and was taking rehabilitation therapy when he noticed a lump under his arm. They did a biopsy and diagnosed it as Hodgkins cancer, which is curable. He had one treatment and another pathologist thought it was not Hodgkins, so he sent the biopsy to Mayo in Rochester, where they said it was lymphoma, so they had to change the treatment. He had two treatments but didn't ever come out of the hospital. He died of a heart attack caused by the cancer, at the age of 83, on December 6, 2005.


I was born on a farm north of Murray. My schooling was there except for two years in Peru High School. When I graduated, there was nothing to keep me in this area. Mother had passed away, my father had remarried, and there were no job opportunities. I left for Rockford, Illinois, which was a manufacturing city. A little way from where I lived, there was an ice cream parlor, where young people gathered, and that is where I met my husband. We dated six to eight months and were married.

In October 1944, feeling it was not right for me to be uninvolved in the war, I went into the service. I joined the Navy and had my basic training at Hunter's College in New York. From there I was sent to North Island, in San Diego, California, and stayed there until I was sent to Reamfield Airforce Base, where I was a telephone operator, and I stayed until the war ended. I was discharged December, 1945.

For the first 40 years of our marriage, we continued to live in Rockford. We had two children, a boy who died April 10, 1976, and another son, Greg, who is 53 and still lives in Rockford. Greg became a Christian about 15 years ago, and he went all the way. He joined the Gideons, and traveled throughout Wisconsin and Iowa, going to colleges, passing out Bibles, then he joined the prison ministry. He visited prisons in Cook County and Rockford each year, talking to prisoners about their salvation. Now he buys old auto parts and sells them on the internet, on e-bay, and with every contact the customers get his Christian message. He has them saved by the time the transaction is finished. His first marriage ended in divorce and he is now married to a little farm girl, who was raised in a very strict home. The children were taught how to work for their money from the time they were little, so Greg and his wife are a wonderful couple and wonderful parents.

I became fascinated with travel over the years, and in 1985, Dora Beadel and I took a three-week tour of Europe. We went to Holland and Belgium, Gemiany, Switzerland, Paris, France, Monte Carlo, San Marino, Liechtenstein, and Rome. We went to England when they were still rebuilding London, and we saw the Cliffs of Dover. Everywhere I went, including the years Bud and I traveled, I purchased souvenirs. We were in Yugoslavia when it was still Yugoslavia. There we bought big copper plates hammered out of one of the bridges that had been bombed and destroyed. It had been there for centuries, and is a reminder of what a horrible, destructive, thoughtless reality war is, always was, and always will be.


was born on August 9, 1891, in Clarke County, Iowa, the only son of John Wesley Watkins and Emma Mae Thompson Watkins. His only sister was Maliccia Jane Gertrude Watkins McNeal, making him an uncle of the McNeal boys, whose war stories were told earlier. Truman was in WWI. He enlisted in the Army on March 18, 1918, and was discharged at Camp Dodge on March 24, 1919. He died in 1922, and is buried in the Hopeville cemetery.


I came from a family of six boys. Our father passed away before my younger brother was born and Mom raised us all. There was a family who offered to take some of us and she would have none of that. We didn't have any money but no one did in the 30s, and somehow she scraped up a living for us on 60 acres of land that belonged to Grandma. I don't know how she did it.

When I started to high school, there were townies and there were country people. We didn't really mix. We stayed together and they stayed together. To me, townies were always smart guys with big mouths — not all, but some. Then, when I was a junior, I played football and that got me in with the townies. After a game one night, we were in a car, going for a coke or something, and this blond, nice looking girl pulled my door open and jumped on my lap. There I sat! Having grown up with boys, I didn't know how to act around girls. What should I do with my hands? I can still remember how embarrassed I was.

Believe it or not, all that was part of why I went into the service. I didn't have money for clothes, and I'd see guys running around with good clothes. I was pretty proud and I noticed that. I figured if I was in the Navy, I'd have a unifatiu and I'd be just as good as they were. When I'd finished my junior year in high school, I'd had all the school I wanted, so at 17, I joined the Navy. That was on June 18, 1946.

The joke was on me. They sent me to San Diego, and I was right back in school. I took my GCT (General Classification Test) there. Out of boot training they sent me to Jacksonville, Florida to Aviation Fundamental School. There we studied the Theory of Flight — how planes fly, why they fly — and Naval Aviation History. Most of the guys I was with had graduated from high school and some had gone on to college, so for somebody who didn't finish high school, it was pretty tough. While the rest were playing, I was studying.

I learned all that and then they sent to the Memphis Naval Air Station in Tennessee for "A" school. That is where I learned the Aviation Metalsmith trade. I was there for 16 weeks and graduated out of that as an Aviation Metalsmith. I took care of every part of the airplane except the radios and the engine. Then I was assigned to the Quonset Point, Rhode Island Naval Air Station in Providence, Rhode Island. There we were in the inspection department. We flew bombers, checking them out, getting them ready for something, making sure they were air worthy, but I never really was sure what we were getting them ready for. That ended in June '47.

What I intended to do was finish my two year commitment, go back home and finish high school, but at that time word came that they needed people to go to the South Pacific, for which I'd have to reenlist. In just a few minutes, I agreed to their terms, and extended my enlistment. The next day I was on a train for San Francisco, and on a ship out of there headed for Guam. We stopped overnight in Pearl Harbor. I didn't even get off the ship. It had been six years since the attack in 1941, and Pearl Harbor was still a shambles, but we had a place to tie up. Then we were off again. All told, we were 19 days going from San Francisco to Guam.

Going over and coming back was the only sea duty I had. When we got to Guam, I was assigned to a utility squadron. We towed targets for the air to air and ship to air gunnery practice.

There were three A-26 multi-engine attack bombers that we flew to pull targets, and three TBMs, which were the torpedo bombers. That is what the first President George Bush flew. Then we had a PBY, which was a sea plane. We used it for search and rescue, and patrol duty. We had some awful things happen out there. In one case, five pilots went out to meet a carrier, but they couldn't find the carrier or the way back. We searched for them all day and half the night but only found one. They hadn't plotted their course, four ran out of gas and went down. Things like that I don't want to remember. We had an A-26 going from Guam to Saipan for something, and it blew up in mid-air. Three people died, and we never knew why. It just happened.

At that time, there were still Japanese on Guam. They were in the jungle, living in caves in the mountains. They were pretty tricky. They would come in at night, steal our clothes off the clothesline, put them on and go through the chow line, then return to the jungle. Nobody ever checked the chow line, and there wasn't anything suspicious about them. There were Japanese soldiers and sailors in our military. But we were restricted as to where we could go.

It was kind of a strange situation because the Japanese had no way to get information. They didn't know what was happening in the world, or even that the war was over. Some of them surrendered. I believe clear up into the 60s, there were Japanese who turned themselves in. Some of them took their lives. There were cliffs 500 feet high where they would jump off to commit suicide. They were wearing swords, knives, and guns that were lying with their bodies. Some of the fellows went to look but I never did. It was nothing I wanted to see.

One of the highlights of my stay on Guam was in 1948. My older brother was in the Maritime service, running an Army ship, hauling war dead back to Okinawa. He showed up and we visited for a long time. I went on his ship. Another highlight — it was the first time in two years that I ate off a plate with silverware. He was an officer, had people waiting on him, and it was pretty nifty — a lot different than I was used to. When I first got to Guam the bread we were served was full of weevils. It bothered us at first but when we tried to pick them out, we had no bread left, so finally we just covered them with butter and ate them. We had beef and chicken that had green bones. We had pork, and horse — I know we ate horse meat, and it didn't kill us.

We had typhoons on Guam, and earthquakes. There were no permanent buildings so there wasn't much damage. We didn't have any girls on Guam, except natives and they were pretty dark. I was out of contact with females for three years. The only time I talked to a girl on Guam was when we had a Christmas party and an officer brought his daughter — I suppose she was 16 or 17, and she came up to me and asked me to dance. I said, "I don't dance." She said, "Oh, yes you do." She drug me out on the floor, and we danced. That was the only time in the years I was out there that I was even close to a girl. I was very bashful.

After my tour of duty on Guam, I came back to San Francisco. I went home on leave, and made up with my girlfriend, Wretha. We had met in 1940, had gone to school together, and thought of ourselves as girlfriend/boyfriend. But while I was in the Navy, "absence doesn't always make the heart grow fonder," and we parted company. We got back together when I was home on leave in June 1949. When I reported back for duty, I was based on North Island, in San Diego. First they wanted us to reenlist and send us to Germany. Next they didn't want us, so I was assigned to a training squadron in San Diego from where I was discharged in October 1949.

I'm proud of having served in the Navy. I was 17 years old when I went in so I grew up in the Navy. It's a different way of life. I learned to respect people, most of all to respect authority. I don't like what some of our politicians are doing but I'm not going to bad-mouth them. They were elected and I may not agree with them, but I have to respect them. I enjoyed the Navy. I learned a lot, I learned a trade that I worked at for a long time. I worked in a steel plant after I got out of the service, and used everything I'd learned. I made friends in the Navy. One guy I was with two years and we were together constantly. He was a mechanic and I was a metalsmith. We worked together. I'd help him and he'd help me. I've not seen him since 1949. Some outfits had reunions. Mine never did. I like to talk about the Navy but it's past. You make friends and then you go your separate ways.

I served with some really good pilots. I flew with one in a TBM. He was the pilot, I was in the gun turret, and he was pretending that he was going to torpedo planes in the harbor and when we went through, we were right down on the water. I could see ship masts higher than me. That didn't bother me. I was going to live forever. I was 18 years old, ripping around in that thing! He was a good pilot or I wouldn't have been flying with him.

I had lots of fun. While I was in Quonset Point a fellow asked if I wanted to go with him and I said, "You bet!" I flew an amphibious single-engine sea plane — took off on water, landed on water, and flew up and down the coast. Who would have thought that at 17 or 18 years old, I'd ever have done that? It was peace time. Nobody was shooting around me or at me.

We had some heartaches. There was a gymnasium set up in a Quonset building and we were exercising. One guy went into another area and found a kid on the floor. He'd been chinning himself and hit his Adams' apple. They got him to the hospital in the barracks but he was gone — 19 or 20 years old. When I came back to San Diego in 1949, some of my friends were assigned to a sea plane squadron. They were taking off from the harbor, had just cleared the water when the plane blew in a million pieces. That could just as easily have been me. It was the luck of the draw that I went where I went and they went where they went.

Wretha and I were married in November. I still had in mind going to college after I got out of the Navy, but when the time came, I didn't see how I could do that and support a family. I don't regret my decision. Wretha was in beauty school but quit when we got married. We didn't have children for six years and she decided to go back, finish her schooling, and become a beauty operator. However, in 1965, we entered a business venture that involved both of us.

I was working for HyVee Chariton Wholesale, at the warehouse and driving a truck. The fellow who owned the grocery store at Murray was complaining about the work and I said, "Do you want to sell?" He said, "Are you serious?" I answered, "I might be." I went right to the top and talked to Dwight Vredenburg. I asked him about my buying that store and he said, "I don't see anything wrong with that. I think you'd get along fine." He loaned me the money — well — he arranged for his bank to do that. I talked to the banker who said, "You treat the people right, go to ball games and yell like crazy, and you'll get along fine." And we did. I consider the relationship with people a big part of a successful business. Our customers were our friends and we treated them like friends. We were honest and people knew we were.

We had two children, Pat and Peggy. Wretha stayed home while they were small, but worked in the store a couple days a week after Peggy was two or three years old.

Wretha and I lived together a wonderful 56 years. She passed away a year ago yesterday (June 6, 2006). She had cancer and I didn't want her to live with what she was suffering through, but it was so hard to lose her! She was in the Creston hospital and then in hospice care. They gave her good care. So now I am left with two children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandsons. They are ones I'm having fun with.

My five brothers were all in either the Army or Navy. They all registered in Lucas County. I did, also, but I've lived in Murray for many years and this is home. I consider myself part of Clarke County and Clarke County veterans.


was born October 24, 1910, in Murray, His parents were Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Whitehead of Knox Township. He entered the service March 22, 1942 in Mills County and served in Company C. 357th Infantry. He was killed in action in France and was buried there. His body was later brought to the States and he is buried in the Murray Cemetery.


enlisted in the Navy in November 1943, and had his basic training in Farragut, Idaho. He came home on leave, then was sent to San Francisco, where he was in a ship's pool until he was assigned to the USS Stodddard 4566. They went for a shake-down cruise and ended in the Aleutian Islands. They were there for approximately eight months, and made bombarding runs to the Kurl Islands. From there they went to the Philippines using the Pearl Islands as home base. He left the Stoddard at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, took the train to Minneapolis, and from there he was discharged with honor in December, 1945. He came home to Murray.


was born August 16, 1931, a son of Anna and Calvin Willcox. He was raised in Murray, Iowa and graduated from Murray High School in 1949. In January 1951, he enlisted in the Air Force, and left from Des Moines. He was in Texas and had his basic training in California. He was trained in electronics and radar technology in Biloxi, Mississippi. He was stationed in many of the states along the west coast as well as Nebraska, South Dakota, and Vermont among others. He spent about 15 months on Early Warning Systems in a very isolated area in Canada, about 100 miles from any town. At times a small plane would bring in mail and needed supplies.

When his first four years of enlistment was up, Robert would reenlist, as he continued to do until he had given a total of 20 years of serving his country. He says he wasn't in an actual combat zone, that he always was told what to do and did as he was told. Robert served some time in Luxemburg and Germany. He has many memories of seeing the numerous "tank traps" they had built.

Irvin Brand, another Murray boy, and Robert were in Murray High School together and went through basic training together. Robert received his honorable discharge from the Air Force in June 1971. He and his wife make their home in Minnesota.


I was a farm boy when I enlisted in the Army Air Force in January 1946. I was interested in learning to fly but that wasn't the reason for that choice. After I was in, I thought it would be a great opportunity. I was sent to Wichita Falls, Texas for basic training and before I was finished, I had strep throat, measles, and ear infection all at once. After I was released from the hospital, I was sent to complete my basic. The original group I was with had gone on, so I was put with a different group. They handed me a rifle, a .45 pistol, and a machine gun. I had done some hunting but the rifle was nothing like I had used. I'd never had a pistol, and not even seen a machine gun. I was to fire them and jammed the machine gun but no one got excited. The war was over and our training was less important at that time.

I was sent to Boca Raton, Florida but rather than flying they put me to work on Underwood typewriters. Being 18, I didn't always know what was happening. I just did what I was told to do, and perhaps I was given that assignment because I had mentioned when I enlisted that I had worked on farm machinery. I became quite proficient at taking the typewriters apart, cleaning, repairing them, and reassembling them. I hoped to go overseas to see the world but I was disqualified because the diseases I had during basic had caused a hearing loss. That was all right. Leona and I had begun going together when I was a senior in high school, and were planning to be married when I was discharged. They had messed up my records and I served 10 days longer than I should have, so I served 18 months and 10 days, being discharged in mid July, 1947.


I am part of Murray's history. I probably am one of the few people who still live in the house I was born in 85 years ago. I started to school in Murray the year the school was built in 1925. I farmed the land where I live — the first house north of the Murray cemetery on the east side of the road. The address now is 130 Dewey Street.

December 7, 1941 upset a lot of lives, When Pearl Harbor was attacked and war was declared, a bunch of us from Murray took a course in Des Moines to learn sheet metal work, then in 1942, Kenny Brown went with us to California. On the way out we saw Hoover Darn and went through Las Vegas when all there was "down town" were slot machines along the road.

We went to San Diego and got a job at Consolidated Aircraft, making B-24s. I understand the factory is still there. We lived in La Jolla, and walked to work every day. I enjoyed myself out there. We saw the ocean, drove all around, and took a ride on the ferry. We went into Mexico where the little kids were all over us. "Dime, dime, dime," and I'd give them dimes. Then "Quarter, quarter, quarter," and I'd give them quarters. We could hear "Rose of San Antone" played for reveille every morning on North Island.

I knew I was going to be drafted, so we came back to Iowa. I went up to Camp Dodge, intending to enlist as an airplane pilot, but I'd had blood poisoning in earlier years. I can still remember going up the stairway to Dr. Stroy's office on the east side of the square. That left a blood condition, and I couldn't pass the physical they gave me at Camp Dodge. They said my blood was "unsettled." Finally I said, "There is nothing wrong with me," so the sergeant signed the papers and off I went.

They put me on a train headed for Coffeyville, Kansas. They didn't have accommodations ready for us. We had to sleep in a horse stall and wash our mess kits in a grader ditch. One of the memories I have of being there was that they wanted somebody to name the Air Force basketball team. I said, "I believe I can do that. I'll call them Coffeyville Comets with a shooting star on the uniforms." I handed it in and promptly forgot all about it.

My wife had complications when our daughter was to be born. She had uremic poisoning and was in Dr. Harken's hospital 20 days, I tried to get a three-day pass but that would only take me as far as Kansas City. However, when I got there, I just came on home. On my way back, just south of Kansas City, I went to pass a Model T just as he decided to make a left-hand turn. I hit him, but there was no damage. Neither of us was hurt, but I was scared because I wasn't where I was supposed to be, I got back to camp as quickly as I could. I thought I was going to get it for sure when the First Sergeant said, "The Colonel wants to see you in the Vet room."

Instead of what I was expecting, you'd have thought I had just become king of the world because I'd won the contest for the name I had forgotten I submitted. I won a $50 war bond, and I still have a picture of him handing it to me. If I had kept the bond, it would have been worth a lot today!

I still wanted to be a cadet but when I discovered about one a week was losing his life in a test crash, it took the pilot idea out of me. They found out I had taken typing in school, so they gave me office jobs. I moved my wife and daughter, and we stayed there three years.

Over time, I took four or five physicals but they still called my blood "unsettled," and I couldn't pass physicals for overseas duty, so they put me on a train and shipped me to Alliance, Nebraska. The place had been a glider pilot school. They closed that and neglected its upkeep. It had grown up in weeds and we had to clean it all up. In the process of doing that, we saw the steering column of a jeep sticking up out of the sand. We assumed the big-shots who had been there ahead of us had buried a bunch of jeeps in the dry sand and were coming back to get them after the war was over. At Scott's Bluff we had a bunch of Italian prisoners of war, and we had them dig up the jeeps. If those who had buried them came back looking for them, they were disappointed.

I was in the Army three years and three months. They didn't have me turn in anything when I was discharged. I still have two of my WW II army blankets in my car, all my clothes, and everything.

My wife died four years ago, the 17th of March. She had been in the hospital quite awhile in Osceola and Des Moines, and the doctors couldn't seem to find out what was wrong. They put in a stent to kill the pain, but she finally called me and said, "Please, please get me out of here." She checked herself out, and died that night. I don't know which way is better. Her way sure beats lying in a nursing home like some of my buddies are. Some came back from Viet Nam in terrible shape. I'd rather be where she is than the way they have to live.

My problem is, I can't bear to be in the house. She read a lot. She could look at a page and know what it said, so she read a book a day. I always worked and seemed to do everything the hard way, so I'm kind of lost now. I eat my lunch at the restaurant in Murray and go to Crossroads on Saturday nights for a steak. I used to dance occasionally but not much anymore.

I sit on the VA (Veterans' Administration) Board that meets in Osceola, and I've been a member of the American Legion at Murray for 50 years. I don't know many people in Murray anymore, but lots of them know me. When I am out on the highway, they honk at me as they go around. I don't know whether they are saying "Hi" or telling me to get out of their way, because I just drive the speed limit. I want to go to the State Fair. I went last year, got an electric wheel chair and was all over the place. So, I do what I can. I feel well and I eat well, but I have a rare type of blood and still doctor for it. I take antibiotics three times a day and I'll see two doctors the first day of September (2005). Physically, I do pretty well.


Brother of Leonard. No information available except that he served in the Army and was in Germany.


Air Force Experiences (written June 13, 2006 from memory)
(There were two Doyle Woods in Murray, identified as "Big Doyle" and "Little Doyle." The following story is from "Big Doyle,"son of Elmer and Blanche Woods, brother of Dorothy [Mrs. Junior] Burgus.)

During my sophomore year of college at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, the Korean War was heating up. A large number of male students quit college and joined the military services. I wanted to be in the Air Force, so Ralph Stebbins and I drove to Omaha and enlisted on January 6, 1951. We were put on a miserable troop train for three days traveling from Omaha to Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio, Texas. The train was so slow because it picked up several more cars of new troops as we progressed south.

At Lackland, there were thousands of new enlisted men there for basic training. The base was not ready to house, clothe, and feed them. We were put up in temporary tents with no immediate issue of new uniforms. The temperature dropped to an unusual 15° degrees and it snowed. Without adequate blankets and still in our civilian clothes, we were very cold and some men caught the flu and were very sick. We were eventually issued shoes and uniforms one item at a time. Sometimes we were marched across the base late at night to be issued one item of clothing as supplies became available. We were herded through cold outdoor showers and dug open latrines. Basic training was usual — haircuts, shots, drilling, body building, learning, and testing.

I was selected to go to Lowery Air Force Base in Denver, Colorado, to train to be a gunner on a four engine B-29 Superfortress bomber. We learned the aircraft armament systems and did practice flights around Colorado for six months. We then were sent to Randolph Air Force Base at San Antonio, Texas, where crews were put together and trained. The planes had been taken out of moth balls, where they had been placed after WWII. During this training, several of the planes crashed and burned with loss of life. Ground crews were new and not well trained to prepare the aircraft to take to the air again.

My first crew included a black lad from Detroit who was a radio operator. He was not acceptable to the officers of the crew, probably because he was black. This was my first real experience with racial prejudice. The crew washed out after a few weeks.

A B-29 crew consisted of an Aircraft Commander, Pilot, Bombardier, Engineer, Navigator, Radio Operator, Radar Operator, and four gunners. In the spring of 1952, the gunners joined a new crew, which was sent to do combat flight training at Lake Charles Air Force Base at Lake Charles, Louisiana. We flew almost every day on short or sometimes long flights to Texas, Florida, North Dakota, etc. We dropped many practice smoke bombs on a military reserve on Matagorda Island off the coast of Texas. It was April and was rainy and cloudy most of the time. I suffered from air sickness during the bumpy spring flying weather.

The crew had two survival training experiences. One was near Sparks Air Force base at Reno, Nevada. It was intended to teach us something about surviving after being down behind enemy lines and returning to friendly territory by crossing a guarded enemy border. If caught, we were interrogated and subject to lockup. The other survival experience was in Colorado where a crew was expected to survive by traveling 40 miles in several days, avoiding detection and living off the land. We lived at night in tents we made from parachutes.

Before transfer overseas, we were given an appreciated home leave. I enjoyed riding the stainless steel California Zephyr train from Osceola to San Francisco where we were stationed until we were sent to Okinawa. We first flew to Hickman Air Force Base in Honolulu and enjoyed three days surfing at Waikiki beach. The balance of our trip stops were made at Midway Island, Wake Island, Iwo Jima, and ended at Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa.

We arrived the first week of July 1952. The base was built with permanent buildings and we had good housing, great food, and recreation facilities. We were assigned to the 30th Bomb Squadron, 19th Air Wing, 20th Air Force. Flight Crews were expected to serve in combat for six months. Our crew did 30 bombing missions from Okinawa to North Korea between July and December 1952. The missions up and back from North Korea required about 10 hours.

I was a CFC (Central Fire Control) gunner. Gunners were responsible for arming the airplane which had five turrets each with four 50 caliber machine guns. The turrets were control­led electronically by the gunners from remote plexiglass blister sighting and firing positions. There were two side gunners, a tail gunner, the bombardier whd was the nose gunner, and the CFC (top) gunner. The CFC gunner was responsible for several pre-flight checks and during a mission, watching for friendly and enemy aircraft. It was also my responsibility to remove the safety pins from all bombs in the rear bomb bay preparing them to be released over the target.

There was a possibility of danger on each mission. Take-off time was sometimes difficult with a 10-ton load of bombs onboard. Once an engine failed on take-off and our bombs were jettisoned into the Pacific Ocean and the mission aborted. Our crew was lucky because we received only minor flak damage on two separate missions. On one of these return missions, we landed at K-13 Air Force Base in Seoul, Korea, to examine the damage. There was a flak hole two feet above the tail gunner's head in the vertical stabilizer, and a hole in the right wing flap. On the other mission, we landed in Japan for the same reason. Our targets were frequently near Pyongyang. On one major mission, we joined a stream of planes which bombed the hydroelectric plant on the Yalu River bordering China. Our bombers flew only night combat missions, because early in the war, many of the B-29s were shot down while attempting daytime bomb drops. All planes were painted block on the bottom, which made them more difficult to spot. We usually flew over North Korea at 10,000 feet. Search lights sometimes would lock in position on our plane and illuminate everything inside and out. This assisted the enemy in spotting our planes and sometimes we could see and hear anti-aircraft shells explode near our plane. The puffs of smoke and explosion sounds were very frightening experiences.

Twice we flew to Guam during our tour of duty, once for training and once to remove our plane from a typhoon which struck Okinawa. We also had one R & R (Rest & Rehabilitation) at the Philippine Islands, where I enjoyed 36 holes of golf at an officers' club at Baguio City high in the mountains of Luzon province. On another occasion when I had a day off at home base, I met Benny Coates (Sea Bee) and Eugene Johnson (Army) at Naha, the main city in Okinawa. They were both friends from Murray High and we enjoyed an afternoon exploring the area.

On December 23, 1952, in Okinawa, the Air Force made a valiant effort to get several homebound crews home for Christmas. We were loaded on a huge C-120 troop transport plane and flew to Tokyo, Japan. We disembarked onto 6x6 trucks and hauled to an Army base, where we were put up overnight in tents warmed by coal-fired iron stoves. There was lots of snow on the ground and it was very cold. We returned across the bitter cold city to the transport plane the next morning and flew via Iwo Jima, Midway, Honolulu, San Francisco, to Chicago. After 30 hours of flying time, we arrived at O'Hare Airport. It was December 24. I hoped to get home for Christmas and flew to Des Moines on the 25th of December. I spent Christmas Day in Des Moines with my uncle and his family because my parents' farm had no telephone. I was very happy to get home to be with my parents the next day for a nice leave.

For the second time, I took the Zephyr to California where I was stationed at Castle Air Force Base at Merced, California. When I arrived at the California Base, I was hospitalized for a few days because of a skin condition caused by nerves. It soon disappeared and I returned to full duty. The gunners were assigned to new B-50 crews. The B-50 is an improvement over the B-29 with more powerful engines and designed to carry atomic bombs. We flew infrequently but did make one practice drop of an unarmed atom bomb in the Salton Sea in California.

On one practice flight we flew to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, simulated a practice loading of a bomb, then returned to California by making a practice bomb run on the Strategic Air Command Base at Omaha. The initial point for beginning the bomb run was Osceola, Iowa. It was a bright, clear day and I was able to see my parents' farm 15 miles northwest of Osceola from the air at 10,000 feet. It was June and the oat fields were bright yellow. It was an expected thrill for me.

I was transferred to Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka, Kansas, in the fall of 1953. The gunners were to be trained to be boom operators for air to air refueling. After only a few training flights, I was given an opportunity to be released from the Air Force and shorten my four-year enlistment to two years and 11 months. The Truman administration and South Korea negotiated a truce with North Korea and there was no longer a need for B-29 crews. Congress passed a law to save money and discharge thousands of airmen early.

I was discharged an Airman Pt Class, Buck Sergeant with three stripes, in December 1953. We were required to serve in the inactive reserves for eight years. All in all, I loved the excitement that went with the service experiences. In January 1954, I enrolled at Simpson to earn my degree. Korean War Vets received GI educational benefits. The college granted us eight hours of general credit toward graduation. The state of Iowa gave us a property tax break and a war bonus.

The picture on the following page is my B-29 crew. It was taken at Kadina Air Force Base in Okinawa. Our crew was receiving recognition for completing eleven bombing missions in one month. The four gunners are on the right and I am the fourth from the right in the picture.




was born September 25, 1923, and enlisted on December 10, 1942, at the Navy Recruiting Station in Creston, Iowa, after two trips to Clarke County Draft Board to get his status from Critical Industry (Agriculture) changed to 1 A. He attended boot camp at the U.S. Naval Training Station Center in Great Lakes, Illinois. He attended Hospital Corps School at U.S. Naval Hospital, Great Lakes, Illinois, and received additional Medical training at U.S. Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, Virginia. Carl attended Submarine School at U.S. Naval Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut and was assigned to the Pacific in January, 1945. He was assigned to a Submarine Tender and relief crew that entered Japan September 28, 1945 to take over the remaining Japanese submarines. He served on two Submarine Tenders and four submarines — three diesel boats and one nuclear boat. He was advanced to Master Chief, 11114C M(SS). Upon completing 20 years of service, Carl was selected by the officer program as LTJG (Lieutenant Junior Grade) and served 10 years as an Administrative Line Officer. He retired as an LCDR (Lieutenant Commander) February 2, 1973, completing 30 years in the U.S. Navy.


was born June 8, 1922, and enlisted December 14, 1940 as a Seaman Apprentice. He went through boot camp at Great Lakes Naval Base, Great Lakes, Illinois, and through Hospital Corps School at the Great Lakes Naval Base. After graduation, he was transferred to the Naval Hospital in San Diego, California, where he became ill with rheumatic fever, and received a medical discharge from the Navy in May 1941. Deceased, September 5, 1997.


was born February 9, 1921, enlisted December 14, 1940 as a Seaman Apprentice and went through boot camp at the Great Lakes Naval Base, Great Lakes, Illinois. He went through Hospital Corps School at the Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia, and did duty at various Naval Hospitals in the United States before being assigned to Lion Outfit in Norfolk, Virginia. George was transferred to the Mine Sweep Force in the Pacific, where he was exposed to tuberculosis in 1945. The Mine Sweeper he was riding was blown up, but they managed to patch it up and get back to the States. George was assigned to an AKA heavy attack transport, and carried cargo to China. He came back to the States where he was shipped to the I" Marine Division in. China. His medical records caught up with him in 1946, stating he had tuberculosis. He was sent to the Navy hospital tuberculosis ward in the Corona Naval Hospital in Corona, California, from which he was transferred to Lake County T.B. Sanitarium near Waukegan, Illinois. He received a 100% medical disability discharge May 1947. He spent time in a VA (Veterans' Administration) Hospital in the Waukegan area.


was born December 16, 1928; and enlisted October 4, 1946. He attended boot camp at San Diego Naval Training Center, San Diego, California, and attended ET (Electronics) School in San Francisco, California for one year. In 1948, he was stationed at Virginia Beach, Virginia as an ET Instructor. He was sent to Guantanamo Bay Naval Operating Base in Cuba in 1949. In 1951, Walter spent the year in New Orleans, Louisiana, at Tulane University as an instructor. He was stationed at Great Lakes as an instructor in ET School in 1952, and at Virginia Beach, Virginia in 1954. He went to Rhode Island in 1956, to OCS (Officers! Candidate School), and was commissioned Ensign in 1957. He spent most of the rest of his naval career at sea on cruisers and carriers, putting the Forrestal in commission. The last four years were spent at the Naval Station Dam Neck in Virginia Beach, Virginia teaching computer classes to Navy personnel. He retired as a Lieutenant Commander, with a medical discharge in October 1969, after serving in the Navy 23 years. Edgar passed away February 27, 1993.

Because Roberta Woods Smith's parents, Wayne and Louise Woods, are both deceased, and because Wayne did not talk a great deal about his war experiences, the option is to attempt to construct his life and war records from memorabilia Roberta and her sister Rebecca have collected. This includes official records, letters, newspaper clippings, obituaries, and pictures. The girls know their father was in the Rangers, which Webster's Dictionary defines as the "branch of the military in WWII specially trained for making surprise raids and attacks on small groups." Malcolm Amos' story in the "Neighbors" section of this book, tells of the unsuccessful attempt to defend Bataan/Corregidor, and the incarceration of POWs in the Cabanatuan compound from which they were rescued by the 6th American Rangers. The secrecy regarding all aspects of the war makes it understandable that Wayne's activities in that branch of the service are not known. Like many of the returning military, he didn't talk about his service time except that he liked being in the Army. The girls also know that he contracted TB (tuberculosis) while he was in Africa.

Official documents from Wayne's past are in beautiful calligraphic lettering as it appears on Lloyd Woods', Wayne's father's, diploma on June 16, 1903, on his election to the office of Clerk of District Court on January 2, 1935, and that on November 3, 1936, Lloyd was elected to the office of State Representative for a two year temi to begin January 1, 1937.

There is a fascinating 56 page booklet of the proceedings of a Supreme Court of Iowa case involving C.F. Woods, V.C. Woods, Harvey Woods, Lloyd Woods and True Woods, with N.C. Hoffman, administrator of the estate of Clara E. Woods, deceased, as plaintiffs vs. the Knotts family in the settlement of the estate. The eventual conclusion was that J.F. Knotts "has had more than his full share of the estate. He should not now be permitted to take any part of this estate..." The attorneys for the appellees were O.M. Slaymaker, and A.M. Miller.

Wayne was born to Lloyd Henry and Grace Pearl Gilbert Woods on November 11, 1915. He had a younger brother, Vaughn, and a sister, Twyla (McConnell). He attended the Murray Schools and was united in marriage to Louise Woods, daughter of Ernest and Marie Clifton Woods on August 20, 1945. Louise was born January 22, 1921, near LeRoy in Clarke County, attended the LeRoy Schools and graduated from Osceola High School. Louise was a homemaker, owned and operated the L & W restaurant until she retired in 1967, from which time she did babysitting at home for 25 years. The couple were the parents of the two girls, Rebecca and Roberta, now Mrs. Jim Mason of Creston and Mrs. Jim Smith of Osceola, respectively. Both Wayne and Louise were members of the First Christian Church in Osceola.

Although it seems to put the cart before the horse, a clipping from "With Clarke Co. Yanks" at the time of his honorable discharge given at Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Arkansas on 31 January 1945, gives helpful details to keep in mind while reading his story: "1St Sgt. Wayne O. Woods, son of Mrs. and Mrs. Lloyd Woods of Murray, has arrived home after more than two years overseas. Wayne enlisted in the Iowa National Guard in 1940, and was called into service with the 168th Infantry in February, 1941. He was the first to arrive in Ireland, where he volunteered for duty with the Rangers, American version of the Commandos. He trained in Scotland and then participated in landings in North Africa. After going through the African campaign, taking part in the hard fighting the U.S. forces met there, he was assigned to non-combat duty and has served close behind lines in Sicily and Italy ever since. Wayne, like most other battle veterans, has little to say of his experiences."

Wayne enlisted in the military service on June 24, 1940 and made sergeant from the 10th day of August, 1941, at Camp Clairborne, Louisiana. He left the U.S. for overseas service April 30, 1942. Wayne was faithful in writing his parents, although he makes it known that he was restricted in what he could say. Excerpts follow. The letters usually began, "I will scratch a few lines to let you know I am ok and feeling fine. Aug. 9, 1942:...You said to tell you something about the country but I can't say much for Scotland only it is quite rough, and quite beautiful in places, I guess...I haven't received a package yet...If you send another, send gum and candy, any kind...It is hard to write a letter. You can't say what you want to say in it, but as soon as I can, I will write...I can't say much about my work I do now, only it is interesting...You look in the papers and you will see a lot of pictures of our fellows, also some of me cutting hair...Sept. 5, 1942:... Will write again in the near future. If I ever get mail I could think of more to write. Bye and lots of love to all. How is Vaughn? October 4, 1942: I got a letter from the Open Bible Church in Des Moines. That is where Robert and Everett Knotts' mother goes to church. It sure was a swell letter, also a good luck piece in it. They also said they had placed a star in their flag for me at the church. The beautiful impressive ceremony was held in candle light, patriotic colored paper, candles and banner formed the background for the program of songs, specially prepared poems and sermons at the Ft. Des Moines Church of the Open Bible. Because you have been directly and indirectly acquainted with the church, you name has been placed on our honor roll. I sure thought it was awful nice for me to be thought of...

4-27-43:...What division is Vaughn in? I know the infantry number but I don't know what division...I took out some more insurance today. It is made to you Dad so it will make both of you receive the same amount if anything happens to me...I sure would like to hear from Charles. It gets pretty lonesome if you don't hear from anyone in quite awhile...1 wrote to Rosco Ashford, too May 3, 1943: I am sending a few little doilies. I don't know how long it will take it to get there. The red big scarf is yours, Mother, and the pink and blue is for Sis so is the other one yours. How is Cecil coming along in his farming...Is Charles still working in the C.B.R? I suppose he is, it is a pretty good job. I sure wish this war was over. It is getting pretty lonesome over here, but I get to keep pretty busy.

Wayne's illness becomes evident in his letters. He wrote from the 6th General Hospital on July 10, 1943: Will drop a few lines as I have nothing else to do. It sure is quiet and lonesome around here. I feel pretty good but not too good but no worse than I have been. I have written several letters telling you my trouble but I wrote free mail. Maybe this will beat the others. So have trouble with my right lung the same as Betty Gibson had and one leg has gone lame on me so I guess I will be in here for awhile. That is what all the doctors say...haven't had a letter in 6 to 8 weeks. 7-11-43:...Things are going to change around here if I don't get some mail pretty soon...I don't know if you can read this or not. I am laying down and doing this writing — too lazy to sit up. I should have a barrel of mail if it ever catches up with me...I may go back to duty some of these days if I can stand the pressure.

7-12-43: ...They say at this hospital that I don't have lung trouble but they did at the others so I do not know which is right. I think they are right at this one. I sure hope so anyway...I suppose you read a lot of war news. It sure looks good at the present it might be over within the next few months or a year at the most...Is the corn big enough for roasting ears yet?...How does Sis like school over in Chariton?...July 16, 1943: I am feeling a little better. Do not know how much longer I will be here. It sure is quiet and lonesome here...Where is — - - at now? Still in the states or is he overseas yet? He should be, as windy as he is, he could talk the enemy to death...I saw some of the boys that were in my old outfit. They were sure surprised to see me.

7-18-43: I am feeling pretty good but I am getting pretty tired of laying in the hospital but I won't be here very long, Mother...It has been about 2 1/2 months since I have received any mail. 7­22-43: I am feeling pretty good. Just eating and sleeping around here. Have you heard from Vaughn lately? I guess I will write to him this afternoon...8-14-43: I am feeling pretty good but it is awful hot and I can't take it as good as I used to...I haven't received any mail yet and it has been about 3 months. It is pretty hard to take but I guess everyone is all right...I am on limited service so, Dad, you know what that means...8-20-43: I am feeling pretty good...How did the oats turn out...How many acres of corn have you got out there altogether?...I sure would like to get all the mail I have got over here scattered everywhere I suppose.

Indications in the August 29, 1943 letter are that Wayne is out of the hospital. ...I am feeling good and at work again. I am in a (?) Organization, I guess, if I don't play out and go to the hospital again. My address is Hq Staging area APO 759 so maybe all of my mail will get to me in the long run. I sure hope so. How is Aunt Lizzie? I never hear and you never mention her. Sept. 7, 1943:  ...I have been quite busy the last few days and have neglected to write...It has been quite some time since I have received any mail...What is Sis doing this fall — going to school or working?

October 22, 1943: Do not be mad because I haven't written for some days. I am feeling fine. I am somewhere in (Italy). It is quite a place. There isn't much I can write only it is all right here. I sure am getting lonesome being over here. I get homesick once in awhile, but I get over it. I just received some mail, some of it was mailed in June, and the latest was a letter from you written October 3, so maybe I will get it right along now. I received 60 letters in two days. October 21,1943: I got me a Kodak the other day. Sure hope I can get some film for it...  November 19, 1943: am feeling about as well as I have been for quite awhile, but that isn't very good. I am back in a hospital with the same as I had in Africa...Don't worry, I will be O.K. I am trying to find out for sure what the trouble is then I will tell you about it. November 22, 1943: Is Twyla still working at Billy Jones' garage? November 24, 1943: (A printed "Merry Christmas" V-mail from Italy.) Hello, folks. Feeling pretty good, still in hospital.

November 30, 1943: I am now out of the hospital. I received a package of initialed hand­kerchiefs from the Union Ladies Aid. Tell them I thank them very much, I sure needed them... There are 12 pictures coming to you with my name on them. Give one to each of the kids. December 3,  1943: ...It looks to me like old Adolph is getting in a shape anything could happen now and soon...December 28, 1943: ...I had an x-Ray taken today. Will know


in a few days whether it is positive or negative. Sure hope it is not what I have been thinking it got a letter from Vaughn. He sent me a picture of himself here. Sure looks like him...Old
Adolph can see his Waterloo, so the papers say. January 29, 1944: A printed valentine with the verse:

Memories linger ever strong
O'er ocean and with time
I loved you then, I love you now
Be my Valentine. (Signed Wayne)

This was the last of the V-mails in the packet.

A newspaper clipping dated Saturday, July 17, 1943, during the time Wayne was in the hospital, tells of the landing in Italy. The following excerpts give a glimpse of what the men experienced. "A private, who spoke Italian well, said 'These Wops tell me our arrival was no secret. In fact, they expected us two days ago." The writer of the article says the earth actually quivered from cannon reverberations. "I walk over the dunes to an Italian house where there are prisoners and a seared family. The mother holds a terrified child. A jeep drives up with para­troopers aboard. They're dirty and already pooped. They're also plenty peeved, as they were dropped all over the landscape and never could get organized. A typical story: We landed about 1500 yards from the desired spot, with only 40 men out of the 100 who jumped. We were in a tough spot so we moved into an orchard near a house. All around us guns opened up, so we charged the house with grenades. We killed or captured everybody in it — about 35 — and settled down for a siege. But they brought up a battery of 88s. We lost several men — one decapitated by a shell — which forced us to retreat through the rear of the house with 88s giving us hell at the same time. Just when it seemed we were cooked, some heavy stuff came over and discouraged the 88s. It was a gift from the gods. We finally got back with seven dead and just about everybody wounded.

"Sunday, July 11: The fireworks start at dawn with artillery engagements and raid after raid by planes...The Jerries have tanks, and we don't. Yesterday a few tanks would have raised hell and cut the German line. Now it's too late. We'll have to do it the hard way and the job falls upon the infantry and field artillery. At 1030 our case seems desperate. We're being surrounded by tanks... There is a grim telephone message demanding all anti-tank weapons available and fast. Luckily for us — and damned unlucky for the German tanks — our cannon company was on the way from the beach heading for the front. They stopped the tanks. Four went up in flames and 11 of them gave up the ghost."

Introductory to another newspaper clipping in the Woods' collection is the following from another source, possibly from the internet: "On the night of 9-10 July, 1943, an Allied armada of 2,590 vessels launched one of the largest combined operations of WWII — the invasion of Sicily. Over the next 38 days, half a million Allied soldiers, sailors, and airmen grappled with their German and Italian counterparts for control of this rocky outwork of Hitler's 'Fortress Europe.' When the struggle was over, Sicily became the first piece of the Axis homeland to fall to Allied forces during WWII. More important, it served as both a base for the invasion of Italy and as a training ground for many of the officers and enlisted men who 11 months later landed on the beaches of Normandy."

Newspaper clipping: Rangers Knock out Big Coastal Guns. The account comes from "the American Forces somewhere in Sicily:" The Ranger boys did it again. Landing on Gela before anybody else, they knocked out two batteries of big coastal guns and then cleaned out the town itself, taking more than 500 prisoners. It wasn't simple. They landed in those small LCTs with a half dozen Italian searchlights focused right on them and a flock of big guns shelling their boats. Some boats didn't make it. At the beaches they found minefields, barbed wire and some concentrated gunfire all ready and waiting...The article features Lt. Col. William 0. Darby, for whom the movie, "Darby's Rangers," starring James Garner was named. Three times Darby was offered and turned down a full colonelcy saying, "I feel I can do more good with my Ranger boys than I could with a combat team." In Gela, the Rangers went through every house in every street, and Ranger chief; Col. Darby, with a small group of 18 Rangers barged into a hotel packed with 52 Italian officers. It lasted five minutes and they walked out with what was left of the 52 officers. Shortly after dawn, Gela was as peaceful and safe as Brooklyn. The invasion of Sicily has been called by some ranking officials as the second great historic step toward the invasion of Europe.

Wayne's discharge papers credit him with participating in the Battle of Algeria on 8 November 1942, and in the Tunisian Campaign. He served four years, seven months, seven days.


An undated newspaper clipping entitled "Missing in Action," tells: "Mr. and Mrs. Gus Young, Murray, Iowa, have been notified by the war department that their son Pvt. (f.c.) Joseph W. Young, 27, has been missing in action since March 30 in the North Africa area. Private Young enlisted in the army two and one half years ago. He accompanied the Iowa boys from Camp Claiborne to North Ireland, Scotland, and Africa." Later, additional information has been added. Joseph was born October 2, 1915, and was a farm worker before joining the service. Entered service April 10, 1941. Killed in action March 30, 1943 in North Africa. He received his training at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, later at Fort Dix, New Jersey.

Joseph Young was among the first of the U.S. soldiers to land in Ireland, later volunteering for service with the "Rangers," the U.S. version of the British Commandoes. He saw much action in Africa, surviving the battles on the beaches when U.S. troops invaded Algeria, and the drive by Germans into Tunisia. National Guard Vol. 1941. . .U.S. Infantry. Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Gus Young. He is survived by a sister, Mrs. Don Shaw, 1187 Fifteenth St., employed at the Des Moines ordnance plant. His five other sisters are Mrs. Florizel Smith and Mrs. Gerald Brosnahan, both of Afton; Mrs. Robert Kiple, Waterloo; Mrs. Merle Osterquist, Clinton, and Helen Young, Murray.




Return to main page for Veterans from Hopeville and Murray by Fern Underwood

Last Revised April 12, 2015