Mason City Globe-Gazette

Mason City, IA

01 Feb 1945





By Frank Miles

Somewhere in England -- Lt. K.J. Burke, Keokuk, an armament and supply officer at an 8th air forces base in England, was 1 of the most personable Iowans I met on a recent tour of the United Kingdom. He arrived overseas a year ago to the day on which we got acquainted and he was eager to return to see his 10 month old daughter, Barbara Jean for the 1st time.

The lieutenant was employed by the Dubuque Fire and Marine Insurance company before he entered the service. His father, J.J. Burke, was a World War I soldier.

Sgt. Clarence A. Deverwaere of Toronto, Iowa, was in the armament section where Lieutenant Burke was on duty, and I shook hands with Pfc. Delmar H. Ingham, of Marshalltown, too, that day.

Private Ingham intended to return to farming after the war.

Cpls. Amos Kelson, Iowa City, and Jack Schwartz, Donaldson, were 2 other Hawkeyes with whom I had the pleasure of visiting.

Maj. Richard M. Herbert of the Herbert Refrigeration company of Waterloo, was a group communications officer at the base. Mrs. Herbert and their 2 children, Richard Keith, 6, and Kathleen Anne, 18 months, are living at their former home in Calmau, S. Dak.

Other Iowans on the base when I was there: Pilots James Holde, Fort Dodge and Sidney A. Bacon, Des Moines; Navigator-Bombardier Frank Miles, Jr., Des Moines; Navigators Marsh Hovey, Waterloo, and William C. Watts, Fort Madison; Bombardier Warren W. Nixon, Minburn; Gunners Dale L. Vance, Floyd, and Delbert Brookhard, Letts; Armorer Donald R. Peacock, Shellsburg.

Iowans, who had been there recently and gone were: Pilots Jack D. Marks, Oskaloosa, Howard E. James, Davenport, William K. Brucher, Sioux City, and Leonard P. Soenke, Walcott; Navigators W.H. Bowman, Jr., Des Moines, Clement H. Marsden, Red Oak, Myron L. Cruse, Charles City and James M. Whiting, Whiting.
Bombardiers Paul D. Richardson, Albia, Carl L. Atlimus, Jr., and James H Conrad, Waterloo.

Engineer Philip M. Murollo, Cedar Rapids; Radioman Lloyd E. Larson, Wallingford; Gunners Marshall E. Young, Waterloo; Donald D. Brunsvold, Manly, William A. Scharnhorst, Hawkeye, and Dean L. Johnson, Winterset.

Cpl. Garold Long, Knoxville, in the radar maintenance section, remembered me as the commencement speaker when he graduated from high school. He had been in the army 29 months but overseas only a month. His father, Jess Long, served in World War I, and his brother, Noel, was in the army in the Hawaiian islands, Mrs. Long makes her home in Independence while the corporal is away.

Lieutenant Holden, formerly of Emmetsburg, had been across 3 weeks. He's a tall youth with a wining smile.

Lieutenant Nixon, whose mother lives in Des Moines, was once in a plane on the ground in which there were 4 explosions. He escaped with only a scratch on his upper lip.

England is famous for fogs. It was so think one morning pieces could have been cut from it, put in dishes and with cream and sugar served for the kind ice cream we made with snow when I lived on a farm.

One night in crowds pushing toward a subway entrance in a fog a nazi rocket burst close enough to rock the ground under our feet. Ordinarily people throw themselves flat when one of those dealers of death and destruction is heard but we were too jammed to get down. They say if you hear it you can feel reasonable safe although you may be hit by falling or flying debris. Enemy projectiles were being hurled into London daily and other parts of the country were getting them.

London shows frightful effects of the blitz of 1940 but though more than 50,000 civilians had been killed in it and bombings afterward, the residents carry on in fine spirit. Any Londoner, who has been there a few months, could tell you of narrow escapes and some could show scars of wounds sustained.

The nazis seemed to have fiendish delight in their form of attacking. On Christmas Eve one of their bombs killed and maimed a number of children around a Christmas tree.

I met a British war correspondent, whose wife and baby had been victims of a nazi bomb. His Christmas without them was indeed sad.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, February 1, 1945

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