Webster County



Home Research Photographs Search Links Whats New IAGenWeb
Special Projects
Contact Us

April 14, 1944

DEAR JOE: It’s a lovely spring day we're having here at home, full of birds and sunshine and green grass. It’s one of those days when. you stop at the building entrance and stand in the sun, hoping that something will happen to keep you out there just doing nothing but blinking in the sun. Haven’t got my gar- den started yet. Hardly anyone has. It’s been nice but just a little too cool. Farm work is slow, too. Like last year, the season is a mite behind. But this sunshine today is almost too good to be true. I wish I could bottle some of it up and send it to you. For that matter, wish we could send you a lot of things, ice cream and coca cola and pop corn, a good steak, some fried eggs and bacon, and a couple of quarts of cold milk. Yes, it doesn’t seem right, us living here in this land of milk and honey and you living dangerously and meagerly in many barren places... All I can say Joe is this—they’ll be here when you get back. And we'll see that you get “seconds.”

OVERSEAS. He makes it cold for ’em. Stanley Gordon Stine, in the navy since Pearl Harbor, has charge of all refrigeration on his ship. A chief petty officer, he was in the Pacific until recently. He’s now somewhere in the Atlantic on an aircraft carrier . . . He’s better now, Pfc. Geo. E. Belthius, now in Italy, was in the hospital with malaria, contracted in Egypt... Pfc. Richard Culver, with the 313th Infantry, writes from some APO; but what his out- fit is doing and where they are is a military shh-hh-hh . . . Jim O’Connor is a navy corpsman, doing duty over in the Marshall Islands with “the sea-going bellhops’—navy politesse for Marines. Listen, Leathernecks, the language is Jim’s, not mine. Anyway, come April 1st, Jim’s been promoted to PhM 3/c. And one of these days he’s going down the center aisle with Evelyn Coleman, of Monroe, N. Y. Congratulations, fellow ... T/4 Roy K. Christ- offerson is now in Italy. He was one of the first to go. He’s served in Ireland, North Africa, and Sicily. His sister, Mrs. Myrtle Long, is now in Los Angeles, living at 426 South Union Drive and writes that she is always glad to see anyone from Fort Dodge . .. Somewhere in England is S/Sgt. Harold S. Strong. He’s with a bomb squadron... Sgt. Ray Anderson is now in England. He’s with the engineers . . . Harold Daniels,of Duncombe, formerly with the 34th, is now with an engineers depot in North Africa. Wounded in the African campaign, he spent a number of months in hospitals and when able to leave was transferred to this depot company. He hopes to rejoin his old outfit soon .. . Over in North Ireland, or maybe it’s Manchester, England, now, the officers’ club is decorated with pictures of the Iowa home towns of the officers —and 1st Lt. Bill James would like one of his old home town—Fort Dodge. We are taking care of that, Bill, Watch the mails... Watching our bombers blast the Jerries is S/Sgt. Clarence Cooklin, of Gowrie, occupying a front row seat on the Anzio Beachhead with the 3rd Div. His outfit has been fighting ever since it landed in North Africa on November 8th. We're taking care of that request, Clarence .. . She’s in England now, Lt. Dorothy Anderson, of Dayton, in A. N. C.... Tom Timmons, S. F. 2/c, of Lehigh, on a destroyer and making his seventh trip across, managed to get off a cablegram to his mother, wishing her a happy birthday. She got it Easter Sunday morning . . . He’s in England, Cpl. Kurt “Bob” Chalgren, with a squadron of P-38’s.

GOOD FELLOWS GET TOGETHER. In the same squadron of Liberators in Italy, Lt. Bill Stagman, navigator, and Sgt. Eugene Briggs, gunner. Bill and Gene have been with the same group for a long time but only recently with the same squadron, Gene was transferred to Bill’s squadron . . . In an officer’s club in Italy, Lt. Howard Green, Lt. Weiss and Lt. Don Hauser. They are all in Fort outfits . . . Ensign Bob Durian and Ensign Paul Hannon, on an island in the Pacific. Bob’s a flyer on a carrier, Paul is an oxygen officer . . . John Burke, with the marines in the Pacific, and Capt. Joe Tierney, and Glen Stockwell. They met some time ago somewhere in the Southwest Pacific . . . Gary Rabiner and Bruce Lefler are aviation cadets at Maxwell Field, Ala.

MOVIN’ AROUND. From Armed Guard center at New Orleans to Sub Chaser Training Center at Miami, Florida, Lt. (j. g.) A. C. Kramer, Jr. . . . From Camp Phillips, Kansas, to somewhere in the east (military secret), Sgt. Deno Gardini, of Lehigh . . . To St. Mary’s College, Calif., pre-flight school, A/C Don Dillman and Red Hambleton . . . From Memphis, to U. S. Naval Air Station, Minneapolis, Harold Rohrer, AOM 2/c . . . D. C. Noland, S 1/c, has a transferred from Groose Ile, Michigan, to Port Hueneme

OVER HERE. Francis Kennedy, 1st Lt. in the Signal Corps, is now at Ft. Monmouth, N. J.... Pvt. Bernard F. Guggisburg is in Camp Blanding, Fla. . . . Cpl. Ray Finck has been driving a truck in Texas for 28 months. He’s covered 75,000 miles and, having seen a lot of Texas, doesn’t like it. He has met only one Fort Dodger, a girl with a U. S. O. show unit. Her grandfather is Paul Felciai. Ray, I don’t know now who sent in your name but am glad you are a subscriber.

DOWN UNDER. Down in New Guinea when it’s really hot, Pfc. Darwin Brand remembers the snows of Iowa. “Man what I couldn’t do with some of that cool beer at the Hi-Ho or a big ice cream cone at the Dutch Mill. Met a boy from home here. Name is Brighi” (Can’t do anything about the beer or ice cream but we'll take care of that tune for the folks.) ... To Australia from New Guinea on a 19 day furlough, T/S Glen Hanson. Glen’s been overseas two years. Hopes to be home this fall . . . Somewhere in the South Pacific, Donald E. Eslick, S 1/c, of Lehigh, and Neil Willie, G. M. 2/c. They’ve been together since September 9th of 1942. (O. K. Don. We'll say hello to everyone in Lehigh. We're saying

hello for you, too, Neil.) . . . Cpl. Carroll L. Olson, of Gowrie, is now stationed in New Caledonia .. . Now in the South Pacific is Lt. Harold Kullburg, of Harcourt ... Except for his friend, Walter Hagen, Pvt. Bob Carlson, serving in the South Pacific, hasn’t seen a home town boy since he’s been in the army—a year and a half— but he’s still looking and still hoping.

HOME TOWN BOYS MAKE GOOD. He's now Pfc. Olin Maage and has a good deal with the Marine flyers as material man at the Marine Air Corps station at Cherry Point, N. C. . . . Pretty swell. Lavern Sinclair, PhM 3/c, has a desk and two assistants in the hospital on Treasure Island .. . The air medal to S/Sgt. Jack B. Weaver, waist gunner on a Fort based in England ... An oak leaf cluster to S/Sgt. Osear J. Olson. He’s tail gunner on the Fort “Little Boy Blue” but now his 25 missions are completed and he has been relieved of combat duty . . . Wings and a commission to Delbert DeWitt April 8th at San Marcos, Texas ... He’s Sgt. Joe Cahill now—and in the Post Office at Fort Knox, Ky... . Wings and a commission for Leland Holdren. He got them at Pensacola last week ... To Capt., Joe Tierney now on duty in New Britain in the Cape Gloucester area.

PERSONAL—to Pvt. Catherine Lennon, Camp Le Jeune, New River, North Carolina: Y. L. F. H. comes to you because you are an American soldier from Webster County. It is sent to you with the best wishes of the firms listed at the top of this letter. They hope that you'll like it and that it will help to keep you in touch with many of your friends and that it will remind you that we are thinking of you and that nothing will ever amount to much until you come back. As long as we have your address, Y. L. F. H. will follow you wherever you go as long as the war lasts. Until that day comes, we'll go on printing all the news we can get on both sides of a sheet this size. We're like that midget paper in New Guinea. ae print all the news that fits the print. Please write again.

MYSTERY. Some time ago a young lad dressed in Navy uniform stopped at the station. He said he was Ronald Flickinger, of Callender; that he had been in the Navy a year and a half and had been discharged because he was under age. He had a long and salty story to tell of his life in the Pacific. Now, another Ronald Flickinger writes from Bremerton, Washington, that the first Ronald Flickinger must have been an imposter and that he is the Ronald Flickinger of Callender and that he has been in the navy only three months. We are sorry to have caused the second Ronald Flickinger embarrassment. Have any of you fellows seen any sea serpents?

CAMP PAPERS. From the “Forty Fiver,” the publication of the 45th Battalion of Seabees in Alaska: “A none too prosperous London clergyman reluctantly accepted the offer of a commercial firm to supply his congregation with free books containing the standard psalms, with the stipulation that a little advertising might be injected. When the books arrived, the minister, to his great joy, found no advertising at all. But on the following Sunday, he was horrified to hear his congregation sing: “Hark the herald angels sing, Beecham’s Pills are just the thing. Peace on earth and mercy mild, Two for man and one for child.” Thanks Bob Rile, S 1/c . . . Tom Merryman contributes the Photo Graphic—a New Guinea sheet printed on photographic paper—one side only ... From Sgt. Earl Sapp, somewhere in New Guinea, copies of “Guinea Gold”, “The Cockatoo” and the “Observer.” Thanks, Earl. They are swell ... From Pvt. Paul McDonnell, Camp McCoy, Wis., “The Real McCoy.” -' Thanks; Paul . . . From Robert O’Connor, “The Pine Bur” from Ft. Benning, Ga. Thanks, Bob. Bob’s now at Camp Livingston, La.

YOUR H. T. C. is one of the luckiest guys in the world. I’ve had the pleasure, the genuine heart-thrilling, sometimes heart- breaking joy of reading about 2,000 of your letters from all over the world. Some have been written from shiny desks and others - have been written by candle light and in the mud with a stub end of a pencil. They are wonderful, all of them. They all spell love of home and friends and country, without any frills or burbelows . .. But you know what makes me mad. About every hundredth letter some horny handed son of Baal will take a scissors and cut the daylights out of it. It’s mutiny. In the last war, Joe some of us used to hate the bugler; but he’s a gentleman compared to this guy with the scissors. This letter from Clarence Suer down in the South Pacific-is a horrible example. I wish I could send his censor some paper dolls and a place to cut ’em out in. About all I can make out, Clarence, is that you and “Bud” graduated from high school. And that’s no military secret.

S/SGT. FRED BARKLEY, of Gowrie, is dead. A nose gunner on a Fort, he was killed in a raid over Italy on March 23rd. He was the sixth Gowrie boy to die in this war.

HOME TOWN. Harold Rice took fourth place in the Stransky bowling classic in St. Paul Saturday night. He had an eight-game total of 1590 . . . Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is back in Iowa. A state contest was held to find the girl in Iowa who sings most like Snow White. June Lowry, sophomore in Fort Dodge high took second and a $50 war bond . . . “Slip” Madigan, “Pops” Harrison, head coaches of football and basketball, spoke at Rotary last Monday. With them were “Dad” Schrader and Glenn Devine . . . In the evening they were honored guests with the Gowrie Girls and the Harcourt Boys basketball teams at the Warden. F. D. Retailers gave the dinner. Fred Cooper introduced them and afterwards joined Madigan and Devine in an informal vocal trio . . . No one over 26 is going in the draft right away. Last minute reprieve by Selective Service. Stout family men and burglers like Police Judge Elmo McCormick, William Carroll and others slated to go this week will now start recovering from a series of farewell parties .. . McKinstry brought the Dodger baseball squad outside

this week. First game is against Thor, the 17th .. . Dynamite Dick Woodard, Dodger all state fullback last fall, is now playing on the U. of I. baseball squad. Got three hits in his first game—one for a home run... The Apollo Boys Choir is coming to town, sponsored by the Men’s Civie Glee. Club, April 18th ... Harry Scott, of Tobins, father of seven children, was inducted the other day. He’s at Farragut ... Beb Schmidt, who is listed to go soon, is selling his grocery on North 15th to Mrs. Hazel Winston and Mrs. Verna Hanson . . . Fort Dodge was awarded first place in the state traffic safety contest—no deaths by auto accident in 465 days... Dr. and Mrs. W. F. Carver celebrated their golden wedding anniversary April 3rd . . . 200 people attended the luncheon at Harcourt given in honor of the Harcourt Boys and the Gowrie Girls Basketball team. Rev. Robert Dahl spoke. Vernon Gustafson of the Harcourt team and Joan Blomgren of the Gowrie team introduced their team mates . . . The Sargent Machine Company has been sold by E. T. Lizenby to J. E. McGrath, of Omaha... Mrs. Pauline Carberry is a candidate of the democratic ticket for Clerk of the District Court . . . Frank Spirik, Elkhorn township farmer died by his own hand last Thursday morning . . . Had a couple of robberies lately, Mrs. Geo. Timmons had $139.00 stolen from her apartment in the Warden and the John Spal home was robbed of a radio and silverware. Jack Mackey, 16 year old high school boy, was killed last Saturday in a hunting accident. He was shot by John Dessinger.

WEDDING BELLS. Dorothy Oldham, of Los Angeles, and Capt. M. P. Alger, in Los Angeles, recently. Pete, who shot down four zeros and saw plenty of combat in the New Guinea theater, is now an instructor in P-38’s at Van Nuys, Calif. ... Lucile Law, of Clare, and L. A. Pattz, of Rutland, April 4th at the Calvary Church near Barnum . . . Helen Lynn and Frank Nunamaker, of Ames, April 5th, in Fort Dodge. He’s a navy torpedoman . . . Yolan Nagg, of Coalville, and Robert Ward, S 1/c, of Burlington, at Burlington April 3rd . . . Elizabeth Hiarding, of Jamaica, New York, and E. H. Ulm, Jr. Ulm is a radar engineer with Western Electric in New York City ... Phyllis Boozell, of San Diego, and James E. Messersmith, S 2/c, in Washington, March 25th.

VISITING THE HOME FOLKS. From Camp Carson, Colo., Pfc. Fredrick V. Brown, with the field artillery. He's been 8 months on maneuvers. In the same outfit are Lt. Stowe and Arnold Johnson . . . From Minneapolis, Richard Swanson, 5 2/c, of Gowrie ... From Camp Upton, Pfc. Irene Miller, of the WAC . . . 1st Lt. Lyle Jensen, from England. He’s completed his missions and will go from here to Florida for reassignment. He has received the air medal and three oak leaf clusters . . . Capt. and Mrs. Roscoe Klinger at Dayton ... From Lake Charles, La. Fred N. Alsitrand, S l/c... From Camp Chas. Wood, N. J., Pfc. Lloyd Reberson. He’s been taking special telephone training . . . From Camp Livingston, La., Pvt. Ray Martin . . . From Glenview, Illinois, Naval Air Station, Lt. {j. g.) and Mrs. Mack Bruce and daughter Mary. Mark is on his way to Mankato where he will be executive officer in a naval pre-flight school . . . Alva Merrill, S 2/c, of Otho, from Great Lakes ... Pfc. Richard Olson, from Ft. Leonard Wood . . . 1st Lt. Herb Smith, enroute from Columbus, Ohio where he has been attending instructors school. Herb is a veteran of the Southwest Pacific. He goes to Lincoln for reassignment . . . From Camp Thos, A. Scott, at Ft. Wayne, Ind., Sgt. and Mrs. Cliff Cahill . . . A/C James Williams from Liberty, Mo., ... Cpl. E. L. Severson, from Indiantown Gap, Pa . . . Pvt. Karl Jones, from Camp Edward, Mass. ... From Ft Jackson, 5. C., Pvt. Ray Stanek. Mrs. Stanek has been ill. S/Sgt. Morris Vieg, from Topeka, Kans. . . . Art Hoeflin, S 2/c, from Great Lakes . . . Sgt. Harold Bradley, of Badger, from Greensboro, N. C. . . . T/Cpl Richard Berrier, of Badger ... Pfc. and Mrs. Ronald Folvag, of Badger, from Indianapolis, Ind. . . . Pvt. Duane Klinger from Camp Cahler, Calif. He’s in the signal corps . . . Cpl. Curt Sprick, from Camp Campbell, Ky. . . . Lt. Robert Anderson, just in and out on a training flight from Deming, N. Mex. . . . Lt. (j. g.) William Carroll, from Bermuda.

FROM THE FIVE CORNERS OF THE WORLD. Pfc. August Kastendieck, Italy, “I met a lot of the Fort Dodge boys coming over here, Paul Reedy, Ray Peed, Emmett Numier and several others. I also saw Colonel Marchi but didn’t get a chance to talk with him. I had a nice visit with the boys. They were all interested in how Fort Dodge was when I left. It’s been so long since I've been back there that I hardly recall the old home town. Well, keep up the home front and we'll keep things rolling here.”

Pvt, Marvin Bowers, England, “I'd write you a letter only I’ve got a date with one of these English gals so will have to cut it short. I received Y. L. F. H. today and was glad to receive it so keep them coming.”

2/Lt. J. W. Bice, England, “I haven’t been over very long, but most of the time I have been traveling about either alone or with a small group and my opportunity to see England has been great. One novel experience was being the only American at a Royal Air Force station for a couple of weeks. I got quite used to sipping tea and mumbling English phrases, but believe you me I was glad to see a Yankee again. It was quite an educational experience, though. A few days after I hit this country I ran into Roy Dreier who also had been with the G. & E. there. I've seen Lt. Vyron Anderson who graduated from high school with me. I told him about your letters and perhaps he has sent you his address by this time. The other evening I was visiting in a city and ran into a fellow I roomed with for a year at Iowa City. So it goes—there are so many Americans over here now that anyone is bound to come across an acquaintance now and then. Right now I’m with five officers that I lived with in Florida. It all helps. I’ll be interested to hear how the tournaments come out as I expect they’re on about now. It'll be a good day when I can again hear “Come in, John”—or did we throw that out the window before that last football season was over? Let me again say that your weekly efforts are a grand idea and every Fort Dodger I’ve seen agrees. Best personal regards to you and to anyone around KVFD I might know."

Sgt. Roy Blunk, China, “I see where Buck Walrod said hello. Well, tell Walrod “Hello” from me. “Ding How,” is the Chinese hello. I have just come back from a week’s vacation. Sure had a fine time with the Chinese girls. Pretty nice looking, too. Two of spent $60,000. I don’t suppose you believe this. But it was Chinese money. Our hotel room and board was $900 a day. They sure think these American soldiers are Ding How—also millionaires. Ha!”

Pvt. Donn Richey, England, “I see there area lot of Fort Dodgers

here in London, even though I haven’t found any as yet. I have found several natives that know where the town is so that is sort of a welcome—also see Tobin products in store windows. A smail can takes 11 points and costs about 2 shillings or 40c. Spring is in its full glory here but the weather is chilly. What this city needs is somebocdy to teach the taxi drivers how to drive. They are worse than the Californians—never use their horns.”

T-3 Eugene Carlson, APO New York, “Thanks a lot. It really was swell of you to play a piece for my wife Ruth’s birthday. She wrote and told me of your wiring her on the day before and how happy it made her when the piece was played. So again I say thanks to you and everybody who helped me make my wife happy on her birthday. And thanks for sending me “Your Letter From Home.” I pass it on to Bob Sorlein from Humboldt. It’s lots of fun to get all of the news from Webster County because that’s close to home.”

Capt. W. C. Thatcher. APO New York, “We are parked on the Anzio beachhead on what we jokingly call Jerry’s own private game preserve. He has some nice duck blinds and deer stands all set up and takes pot shots at us just like the boys do up at Mud Lake. Seems he has an open season on nurses and medical officers. Hope he closes it soon or runs out of shells. I think he has his bag limit now. This beach head is about the size of a used car parking lot and he can cover every inch of it with his pea shooter. But the son-of-a-bitch has missed me every time he has shot at me—once by only seven and a half paces. I fooled him— I was in my fox hole.”

Pvt. G A. Samuelson, APO New York, “I thought you'd like to hear that two more Fort Dedgers have gotten together again. Right now Ray Johnson is lying in my bunk reading Y. L. F. H. of February 18th. He lives about a block, from me. So, of course, we have nightly bull sessions and every time I get a copy of Y. L. F. H. we hold an extra special session. Ray hasn’t been receiving any mail from good old KVFD so how about adding him to your list.” (Ray is now a subscriber.)

Capt. D. M. Steiner, Burma, “I am getting pretty lonesome for a familiar face. As far as I know, there are no other Webster county boys in the section I am now in. The only Iowan I have met was Col. Verne Peterson of the University of Iowa Surgery staff. Until recently, we were under very strict censorship. It has only been in the last couple of weeks we were able to report our presence in Burma. Living in the jungle is quite some experience. Only recently have I secn a white woman over here— a nurse and a Red Cross girl. They were the first women I had seen since my arrival. We have almost civilized the jungle by putting up in my company electric lights, built a baseball diamond, badminton court and running water, thanks to a bamboo pipe.”

Jack Bartlett, SK “D” 1c, England, “When we were leaving Africa after the invasions we stopped at Oran and I found Miss Mary Dolliver there and it wasn’t two hours later I ran into Gene Johnson who is in the CG. Aside from ribbing him about how much better the Navy was than the Coast Guard we had a swell “bull session.” I have found that even war sometimes has its humor. While living ashore in Biserte we had air raids quite often but most of them were dry runs so we stayed in bed at night. One night they came in a stronger force than usual and we were still in our sacks when all hell broke loose. The guy next to me in the barracks was much faster moving than I and had put on my large size nine shoes and taken off and left me his size sixes. Well, I still don’t believe it possible as I have since tried it, but I managed to get into them and was only a few yards behind him in the race for cover.”

Lt. F. H. Helsell, FPO New York, “The trip over has been rough and a little exciting. Don’t know exactly where I’ll end up but after 18 months trying to get sea duty or duty outside the continental limits I am going to have to like it.”

2/Lt. Dewey Edwards, Boise, Idaho, “I can sincerely say that in all my five years of service, one of the things I've most enjoyed from home is your timely little letter. Through this, I have been able to follow the movements and deeds of the fellows I know and the current events at home.”

Pfc. Gordon Martinson, India, “Soon the monsoons start and then we can expect the worst because the average annual rainfall is 400 inches per year. With all this moisture they receive the vegetation makes rapid progress. You know they say you can hear the corn grow in Iowa in June. Well, here they say you can hear the bamboo grow.”

Morris Moore, S 2/c, Camp Parks, Calif, “I’m here at Camp Parks near San Francisco. It is in a pretty valley and the camp isn't too bad. I have seen three Fort Dodgers since I have been here. I met Dr. Dawson, Lt. Commdr. now, and Jack Caughey, who is stationed at Fort Ord, also Gladys Goodrich, who is employed at Moore Drydock Company in Oakland. Dr. Dawson is stationed next door, practically in the Naval Receiving Barracks, which adjoins Camp Parks.”

Cpl. Gordon R. Foster, England, “Reunion in England!! Gordon Foster, Gordon Crouse, and Jack Brown. The three of us spent Sunday and last night together and we are to meet again tonight and tomorrow night. It’s a small world after all. Although it isn’t every day that three old buddies get together in a distant country. We are really enjoying ourselves in this short reunion.”

Pvt. Gould Campbell, Truax Field, Wisconsin, “I want te express my appreciation for my copy of “Your Letter From Home.” It’s a grand idea and I’m sure all the fellows in the service enjoy getting it as much as I do. Particularly the men overseas.”

And there were other cards and letters—lots of them—that are acknowledged here and there throughout the letter and these, too. that we deeply enjoyed.

Pvt. Ralph W. Gambach, Chanute Field, Ill. . . . Al Nilles, G. M. 2/c, FPO San Francisco . . . Neville Halbach, Camp Parks, Calif. ... Sgt. Ted Rule, San Pedro, Calif. . . . Glen P. Averill, San Pedro ... Pvt. Carl L. Reed, Camp Crowder, Mo. . . . Cpl. Joe Ivory, England .. . Pvt. Walter E. Lehne, Camp Hood, Texas ... Pvt. Merwin D. Bowman, Alaska ... Corwin D. Dudley, FPO, San Francisco ... W. C. Nowlin, San Diego, Calif.... Clarence L. Suer, Pacific and Lt. W. L. Stagman, Italy.

Down at that same corner again, with spring in the air and the back yard waiting to be raked. It’s almost Picnic time. Loomis Park is opening tomorrow and soon the boats will be out on the river. Be seeing you, Joe and Jane, how about those Pictures? Good luck.

Copyright © 1996 - Webster County IAGenWeb and contributors!      
IAGenWeb Terms, Conditions & Disclaimer