Muscatine Journal News-Tribune

Muscatine, IA

07 Sep 1944




Iowa Sergeant Eager To See Infant Daughter

By Frank Miles
(Iowa Daily Press War Correspondent)

Somewhere in the Mediterranean War Theater -- Sgt. William Ferguson, of Newton, Ia., who is in the anti-aircraft forces over here is in a hurry to get home to see his baby daughter, Phyllis Irene, for the first time.

The sergeant is a son-in-law of Past State Veterans of Foreign Wars Commander Sidney Land, of Newton.

Phyllis Irene was born at Newton May 23, 1943. Before she arrived, each member of Ferguson's gun crew chose a date in May and put $5 in a pool. Cpl. Leo Dvorak, of Silver Lake, Minn., happened to have the 23rd and won 75 bucks.

Sgt. Ferguson was graduated from Newton high school, where he played on the football team with Bill Green, former S.U.I. star in the 1937 and 1938 sessions. He was inducted into the army through Jasper county selective service board Sept. 13, 1942.

In the 10 months he has been across he has seen considerable action. He wears two battle stars and won the Bronze Star from the Rapido river engagement.

"We've got to win this war but what wouldn't I give to see that little girl of mine," he smiled.

"Who do you write for?" a clean cut soldier asked, spotting the war correspondent insignia on my shoulders.

In the conversation to which that led he said he was Pvt. Elwin W. Goodman of Los Angeles, Calif., serving in a rail operating outfit, and was a Pacific Electric co. employee before he entered service.

"You wouldn't happen to know a 'Zeke' Meyers who has been with that company for many years?" I inquired.

My reason for asking him that question was that Meyers is the husband of my wife's aunt, formerly Bess Stark, of Centerville. Meyers was born there, too. The Meyers' went to California shortly after they were married.

"Do I know 'Zeke' Meyers?" Pvt. Goodman replied. "Ever since I was a little kid. And my dad, Leo Goodman, a Pacific Electric conductor, and 'Zeke' Meyers have known each other for a long time. Dad was born near Centerville."

Pvt. Goodman said that he heard little talk of the coming national and state elections among his buddies, but that all talk is of getting home, going to work and having homes as soon as possible.

"The fellows with whom I serve and the others I meet here are almost without exception okay in all ways," he declared. "Don't think they are not thinking of their future and the future of our country because they certainly are. There are few dumb G.I.'s."

"Tell me what they like and don't like?" I requested.

"They like square shooting -- good comradeship," he answered. "They don't like a lot of things about army life but few kick about doing their bit for our country against the enemy. They hate a braggart -- they like to see a guy who is modest. And most of them don't like cliques."

About that time a stocky, good-looking corporal passed.

"He's got plenty of decorations but he wouldn't even talk to you about how he got them," Goodman said. Goodman has been overseas 14 months.

Near us a New York GI and a Tennessee GI were showing each other snap shots of their home folks.

Source: Muscatine Journal News-Tribune, September 7, 1944

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