11 Original Members

Out of 63 charter members of Company F, Iowa State Guard unit which was organized here just three years ago, only the above 11 men are left. These members who were sworn into the company Jan. 16, 1942 in a mass ceremony at the American Legion hall include, back row: left to right: First Sgt. Meyer Yonover; First Lt. John Dodge; Capt. W. C. Fastenow; Second Lt. John Whaley and Mess Sgt. Bert McCollough. Front row: Clyde Burr; Sgt. Seymour McComb; Cpl. Claude Burr; T5 Maris Johnson; Cpl. Carl Palmer and Cpl. Max Maxon. (Freeman-Journal Photo).

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The three commissioned officers who have guided Company F practically since its origin three years ago are, left to right, First Lt. John Dodge, Capt. W. C. Fastenow and Second Lt. John Whaley. When the company was first organized, C. D. Moody was commissioned as captain but resigned in May 1942, to accept a state office in Des Moines. (Freeman-Journal Photo).

Company F Observing 3rd Year

Three years ago today—on Jan. 16, 1942—one of Webster City’s most unique organizations, and one of which the community may well be proud, was officially “born”.

For on that occasion in a mass ceremony at the Legion hall, 60 enlisted men and three commissioned officers were sworn into membership of Company F, Iowa State Guard.

Since that date more than 200 men have belonged to Company F, a number which testified to the ability of the company to keep going despite tremendous losses in its forces to the various branches of the armed services, despite setbacks suffered when members moved from the community or found that hours on their war jobs prevented them from attending regularly.

Rapid Turnover

So great has been the turnover in those three years that on Jan. 16, 1945, only 14 Guardsmen remain who were sworn in during the mass ceremony at the Legion hall. Those 11, some of whom have missed only two or three drill nights during their 36 month service, include Capt. W. C. Fastenow, First Lt. John Dodge, Second Lt. John Whaley, First Sgt. Meyer Yonover, Mess Sgt. Bert McCollough, Sgts. Clyde Burr and Seymour McComb, Cpls. Claude Burr, Carl Palmer and Max Maxon and T/5 Maris Johnson.

Recruiting for Company F started by state order Dec. 29, 1941, and the ranks were soon filled by residents of this city and neighboring communities. The company at that time was under the direction of Capt. C. D. Moody who resigned that office May 23, 1942, to accept a state office in Des Moines. W. C. Fastenow and John Dodge were advanced in rank from first and second lieutenant, respectively, to captain and first lieutenant. John Whaley, who had been top sergeant, was commissioned as second lieutenant, and the three commissioned officials have efficiently guided the destinies of the company ever since.

When it is considered that company members receive absolutely no pay for their services until they go to guard camp once a year for two weeks, the steady attendance and the fairly constant membership total is remarkable. At the present time, the company strength is down to 53, but officers are hoping that new recruits will help boost that total back up to 60.

One of the biggest handicaps to overcome in maintaining a full strength company is the constant demand of the armed forces. Each month several members leave for duty in some branch of service. More than 70 members have been discharged to accept commissions or to take training in the army, navy, marine corps or the coast guard. Of more than 70 other members discharged for other reasons, enough have eventually entered the service to boost the company’s service star record to near the 100 mark.

Beneficial Training

All former members who have entered service have found State Guard training to be a definite benefit in their indoctrination courses. Many have written back to company officials expressing their appreciation of the fine training they received in Webster City. All are agreed that their experiences in Company F have made it easier for them to win advancement in rank or in completing their indoctrination schedules after having received commissions.

Among former Guards now holding commissions are Maj. Arnold M. Oosterhuis of the army medical corps; Lt. Willard Thompson of the marines, Lt. (j. g.) George Selby, of the navy, 2nd Lt. Lawrence Kayser of the army engineers, and Ensigns Carlton Crosley and John McMurray of the navy.

Veterans Re-enlist

As an indication of their desire to keep the company going, all of the original members, whose enlistment time is now up, have re-enlisted for another three years. They form a nucleus for the future operations of the Guard unit which will be needed more and more as the nation heads toward peace and defeat of armed aggression.

Members of Company F are constantly being trained in guard duty, handling of rioters and unruly crowds, bayonet maneuvers, unarmed defense tactics and marksmanship—training which will prove invaluable should the company be called to a strike or trouble zone to prevent mob violence and to protect property.

That is the chief end towards which the Iowa State Guard is working—to keep the home front secure until the Hawkeye state’s fighting men have completed their job overseas and have returned to Iowa and will be able to take over. Until that time comes—and so that it will come as soon as possible—Company F of Webster City is going to be in there drilling regularly and always on the alert for ways it can help the community and the state.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA – January 16, 1945 (photos included)