DEAR JOE: It’s no secret about the Letters From Home. The idea
in Montgomery, Alabama, at a station there run by Howard Pill.
He wrote to us as he did to 900 other stations in the United States and Canada.
We were the first station anywhere outside of his own to adopt the idea . . . Know
what he gets out of it? We send him three dollars a week and that money goes to
the Red Cross Army and Navy Relief funds. We think he deserves a medal. If any of
you fellows ever get to Montgomery, Alabama, go in and shake hands with Howard Pill
for us. We have never met him but we think a lot of him and if there is a radio
convention this summer and we get there and he does, we're going to see him, His
station is WSFA, Montgomery, Alabama . . . In this part of the country we’re told
every station man we know about the Letters from Home and some day maybe we'll get
a few more stations started on them. About seven or eight stations are putting them
out now. Lt. C. E. “Red” Moreland has been campaigning for them
too and he says he thinks maybe he’s gotten some started over in California . .
. We send this letter to every soldier, sailor, coastguardsman, marine, WAVE, WAC,
SPAR, Lady Marine, and Nurse in the armed forces whose name and address we can beg,
borrow or steal. The only qualifications, you must be from Webster County. Yeh,
we let a few others in from around close! Every day over the air we ask for new
names and addresses . . . Sometimes we lose you. That is, the letters we send you
start coming back. We call your relatives if we can find them, or your friends.
If we can't find them, then we start broadcasting for a new address. We say “Where
is Joe Doakes?” And usually, before nightfall, you are no longer a nixie. And then
we start sending your letters to the new address . . . Eventually we hope that this
letter will get to every single person from Webster County who is in the armed services.
So if you know of anyone who isn’t getting this letter, send us his name and address.
And when you move, please tell us where to send it just as soon as you can . . .
Right now, we are sending out about 2,600 letters . . . The fellows who buy the
stamps and pay for the printing and the time on the air are your friends whose names
appear as sponsors at the top of this letter . . . Once you are on the list you'll
get the letter as long as we have your address and as long as the war lasts. Some
day, some of you are going to read these letters in Tokyo and Berlin and Rome. Until
then we'll be here at the kitchen table two or three nights a week fumbling through
a lot of letters and clippings and scribbled notes beating out this letter on Al’s
Corona. Nearly everyone in the county is helping us. We get news and letters from
everywhere. People stop us on the streets, and telephone us at the office. Fellows
home on leave are in and out every day. Most of them are interviewed on the air.
Everyone at the station works on it in some capacity or other. This week we have
had members of the Newcomer’s Club and the Army Mother’s Club and Beta Sigma Phi
in helping us address letters, ten and fifteen at a time. Some of them stay all
day. On Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, there is a great folding bee. The
letters get into the envelopes and then Peter takes them to the postoffice. It’s
a great thing in the lives of all of us because. it brings us closer to you and
is something that you like. We wish we could do more but this little that we can
do has met with such an appreciative response from you that sometimes we pinch ourselves
and wonder if it is only a dream.
CAMP PAPERS: There are no pin up girls in the Sibert News of Camp
Sibert, Alabama, where they learn to exterminate with chemicals but we did learn
that Joe Louis is to complete his training there and we smiled
over this bit of ironic wit. “Mothers-Fathers, see and send your sons to Camp Sibert,
deep in the Southern Pines.” And then, in typical slick paper style, this inducement,
“Boys 18-38—attractive rustic space heated lodges, ample sunshine. Healthful outdoor
sleeping facilities available without request. No shortage of competent cadre-counselors
to put him at ease . . . Boys are daily asked to perform minor tasks about the camp
. . . After a seventeen week sojourn with us, he will be given an opportunity to
visit widely and operate in many foreign lands.” Thank you, Sgt. L. E. Johnson
CORRECTION! ist Lt. R. D. Dale Thomas, who files
everything in the transport service from sad sacks to Generals, pianos, ping pong
tables, air plane parts down North Carolina way, is not an ensign. No sir, he’s
definitely in the Marines. My error, suh, and my ‘pologies.
PROMOTED. To 2nd Lt. in the Marines, Vyva Cavanaugh Kerr.
She got her bars at New River, N. C. on the 6th of this month . . . To Ensign,
Don McKirchey. He got his commission and wings at Corpus Christi, Texas,
on the 22nd of January. He is now at Banana River, Cocoa, Fla., an address to make
your mouth water . . . To Cpl. John Spal, at Midland Field, Midland,
Texas . . . To Sgt.
February 18, 1944 Richard Haugen at Newark, N. J. airfield . .
They have beea commissioned, one in the army, the other in the Navy, Carl and
Francis Anderson. Carl is in the Army and got his commission February
5 at Miami Beach. Francis, in the Navy, got his commission and wings February 11
at Pensacola . . . To 1st Lt., Francis Kennedy at Long Branch,
HERE AND THERE. T/Sgt. Wendell K. Boots has been moved from Los
Angeles to Indiantown Gap Military Reservation in Pennsylvania . . . He is in Radio
School at Truax Field, Wis., Robert W. Hall, of Callender . . .
Dr. Ferguson, of Dayton, is now captain at Camp Livingston, La
. . . Mary Lynch, of Lehigh, is now enrolled as a cadet nurse at
St. John’s Hospital in St. Louis . . . They've got wings now. Fenton Isaacson,
C. E. Moreland, Dennis Weideman, and Lloyd Vevle.
Fenton is headed for Randolph where he is going to become an instructor. “Red” is
going to fly a Mustang down at Baton Rouge. He’s been practicing on P-40’s. His
brother, Kenny, will only be a couple of hundred miles away down at Greenwood, Miss.
He is doing basic flying there . . . A/C Donn Winders is now at
Iowa City . . . Louie LeRoy Davis, of Lehigh, is now at the Navy
Convalescent Hospital at Glenwood, Colorado . . . Pfc. Bert Hartquist
is now at Camp Houze, Texas . . . Cpl. John H. Wolfe has been moved
from Texas to Green Cove Springs, Fla. . . . Leonard DeVilbiss,
Sgt. Major with the Marines, is back in San Diego after two years in the Pacific.
He was at Midway, Guadalcanal, Makin, and the Gilberts with Carlson’s Raiders. He’s
getting a furlough home . . . He’s at Notre Dame now, Quento Leon Vandi,
A. S., of Lehigh . . . Ens. R. C. Larson is being moved from Lake
City, Fla, to Beaufort, S5. C. . . . Bob Elston, radar instructor
at Memphis at the Naval Training Station, and former KVFD announcer, is now in the
hospital there as the result of an accident. Bob was coming home from skating about
two weeks ago with two other instructors. They were run down by a car. Bob went
to the hospital with his leg broken in two places and suffering from many other
serious bruises. He says that his leg is going to come out all right but he'll be
in bed for many months . . . Pfc. Ivan Hunter is at Tampa, Fla.
for re-classification . . . Pvt. Ed Coughlon has been placed in
advanced radio school at Camp Crowder, Mo., and may go on from there into the air
corps as a radio gunner . . . A/C Cadet John Clements was killed
in the collision of two army planes at Lawrence, Ill. on February 10 . . . WAC
Alice B. Woolsey has been transferred to Camp Davis, Wilmington, Del
. . . Pvt. Billy Algood is stationed at Jefferson Barracks . .
. John Potter, Navy V-12 at Ames, has been named “Big Junior on
GOOD FELLOWS GET TOGETHER. They met in Los Angeles, Al Jensen,
who is at Indio, and H. E. DePue, who is at East Garrison, Camp
Roberts. Harold has been there for two years . . . She met them in England,
Tony Gargano, in the hospital, and Lt. Teeney Mills
in London. Who? Lt. Nancy Sittig. Teeney is flying a Fort.
OVERSEAS. Cpl. Merle Locke, of Vincent, is with
the Marines in the Pacific . . . Lt. Jeane Miller, with the Army
Nurses Corps, is somewhere in England . . . He's a warrant officer on Admiral Nimitz’
flag ship, H. E. “Hub” Nelson . . . He’s flying a “BlackCat,”
W. D. Cunningham, A P 1/c somewhere near Guadalcanal . . . Now in Italy,
he’s been overseas for two years, Cpl. Willard Freed. He's served
in Ireland, Scotland, and North Africa . . . Lt. Curtis R. Schill,
Marauder pilot in England has completed 25 missions, has been decorated with the
D. F. C., the air medal and three oak leaf clusters . . . Writing to his mother,
Cpl. Leo Hilsabeck says the Americans are treated like kings in
China and have plenty of everything but mail. He adds, however, that there is reason
to believe that the mail service will be speeded up . . . Phil Kaplan,
S 1/c, formerly of Moorland, is now with the fleet in the Pacific . . . Since entering
the service, Ralph M. Hanson, BM 2/c, former Tobin employee, has
been in forty-three states, in nearly all of the Mediterranean ports and has made
six trips overseas, Says he will still take Fort Dodge “for mine.” . . . They had
his name in the paper, Lt. James P. Cain, of Barnum. It was in
a copyrighted story in the New York Herald Tribune about the flight of the Fort
on which Cain is bombardier from Frankfurt on February 8 after being badly shot
up by flak . . . Lt. Frank Sims, former KVFD sports announcer,
flying a Fort in Italy, was awarded the medal of meritorius service on the 28th
of January. He has been flying steadily in the Italian theater since January 14
. . . He’s back in Australia now after seven months on an island off the coast of
New Guinea, Sgt. Eldred Prang . . . Capt. Wilbur Thatcher’s
picture was in the January issue of the Woman’s Home Companion, accompanying a story
about the nurses in his detachment. He is in Italy.
HAPPY LANDING. Somewhere overseas, Capt. Darrell R. Lindsey,
piloting a Martin Marauder . . . Somewhere in North Africa, Lamont Okey,
of Dayton . . . In New Guinea, Cpl. Vearl Thompson . . . Somewhere
in England, Cpl. “Bob” Michaelson, with a fighter squadron in which
he is ordance man . . . Somewhere in Italy, Lt. Willard Stagman.
He is navigator on a Liberator.
HOME TOWN. He’s out of the army now, honorably discharged,
Emil Anderson . . . Back home and honorably discharged, Sgt. Harold
L. Reed. He was at Camp Reynolds, Greenville, Pa. and had been
army seventeen months . . . Dan Rhodes reminds us the boys in the
court house are going to have to file earlier this year so that ballots can be gotten
out to you guys and gals in the front line, but here it is the 18th of February
and no county office has even announced as yet. And nomination papers have to be
filed by March 27 . . . Richard Mosher and John Parrott
broke into the tool shed at Memorial Park a few nights back, stole some gasoline
and drove to Cedar Rapids. They are now in jail awaiting trial . . . Gene Sullivan,
former deputy sheriff, is now with the federal alcohol tax unit . . . A. E.
Gadbury has opened a new shop at 10 North Seventh Street . . . While
seventeen pies cooled on the back stoop of Hawley school, Police Judge Elmo
McCormick talked to the assembled parents about juvenile delinquency.
Finally, the hour for coffee and pie arrived but when they looked on the back stoop
eleven of the pies were gone.
SHAKING HANDS WITH THE FOLKS AT HOME. From Broadway, New York,
he is in a trade school, Pvt. Gill Fletcher . . . From Barksdale
field, La, Sgt. Paul Thie . . . Lt. Ralph Bastian was
home for a day or two recently. He is assistant to the commandant at the naval station
in Key West, Fla . . . From the air base at Salina, Kansas, T/Sgt. L. E. Longhenry.
He's been there 16 months . . . From Camp Adair, Ore., Capt. Phil Hardie
. . . From Miami, Fla., on his way to Reno, Nev., Capt. Robert McCauley
. . . From Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, 1st Lt. Willis Rich . . . From Virginia
Beach, Va., Victor Hunefeld, F 1/c of the Seabees . . . From Kingman
Field, Ariz., Pfc. Duane Nelson, of Gowrie . . . From Camp Adair,
Oregon, Lt. Vernon Hart, formerly of Company “G.” Ensign Robert
Welp, from Burbank, Cali.
WEDDING BELLS. Arletta Scheid and Cpl.
Kenneth R. Black at Lredo, Tex., December 18 . . . Marie Andrews,
of Clare, and Clifford Moon, of Eagle Grove, February 10, at Clare
. . . Virginia Miller and Capt. J. K. Jensen,
at Camp Polk, La., January 25 . . . Helen Hoff, of Gowrie, and
T/Sgt. H. K. Steiner, of Wellman, Iowa, at Long Beach, Calif.,
January 24 . . . Dorothy Munn and Willard Olson
of Duncombe, in Fort Dodge February 9 . . . Bernadine Kepler, of
Eagle Grove, and Vernon Edward Voss. Scmetime soon. Voss, who is
in the Navy, has just returned from overseas duty and is now in Naval Engineering
School in Chicago.
SCOREBOARD. What wrestlers the Dodgers finally became this year.
At East Waterloo last Saturday, they won the big seven championship running up a
score of 43 points. East Waterloo was second with 28. Kenny Carlson
was the Dodger darkhorse. In the heavyweight class he won from Oliver Michaelson
of West Waterloo, who was doped to be state champion. Other crown winners for the
Dodgers were Eddie Steinhoff, Kenny Schmoker, and John Brehm.
The same evening, the Dodger cagers journeyed to Rockwell City. Took ‘em 31 to 27
. . . After an exciting and hotly contested four day battle in a twenty team tournament,
St. John’s of Bancroft won permanent possession of the Bishop Heelan trophy by winning
the Sioux City Diocese tournament for the second consecutive year. In the finals,
St. John’s defeated Trinity of Sioux City, 26 to 15. In the tournament, Sacred Heart
of Fort Dodge received honorable mention. Thissen of Corpus Christi made the honor
roll of players.
WEATHER, Last Saturday, we had about the coldest weather of the
winter, it got down to nineteen below. This week it's been warm one day and then
cold the next. A little snow has fallen but not enough hardly to bother shoveling.
Once or twice it’s been down around zero. No weather so far that could be called
JUMBO POSTCARD. The first one we had ever seen came in this week
from Lt. A. R. Augie Ricke, who is flying a Fort down in Rosewell,
New Mexico. Very handsome picture of a Fort in the air.
FROM THE FIVE CORNERS OF THE WORLD. Ensign Arnold S. Lott,
FPO San Francisco, “Here’s another answer to your request in Y. L. F. H. for communications
from the outlying suburbs. This one’s in Australia; where, I can’t mention, but
it’s still less than sixty hours away from the local airport, according to Consolidated
Aircraft. I can’t report on the doings of any Fort Dodgers in this area because
I haven’t seen any. The best I can do is to report for the benefit of Fred (I
think) Henkle, up on north 21st street, that his niece Zoe
from Cedar Rapids, an Ensign in the Navy Nurse Corps, is in the Naval Hospital here.
We had chicken dinner together in my mess last week, and showed the Harvard and
Vassar delegates how to make a prairie-commando raid on a chicken platter—bare hands
and let the gravy fall where it may. The last time I was permantently in the states
was in November, 1939, after which I have been in Panama, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela,
the West Indies, Hawaii, Fiji, and Australia, with two very brief visits to the
mainland in 1940 and two in 1941. I suppose you have my brother, Russell,
on your mailing list. The last I heard he’d been transferred to what I think is
the (censored.) They build ‘em so fast now that they get sunk before
we get the news way down here that they were going to build ‘em. And I think my
father would also be interested in getting the news from home, if he is eligible:
he’s not actually in an armed service, although he’s one of the pistol packin’ papas
out in Pearl Harbor. His letter should be addressed to Arthur W. Lott,
Senior Guard, Civilian Housing Arca No. 3, PHTH. P. S. During the typing of this
letter, I have attacked and slain eleven flies.” (We'll send Y. L. F. H. to Russell
and Dad. Thanks for a swell letter.)
Sgt. Donald D. Soldow, U. S. M. C., South Pacific, “In your letter
of November 18 you mentioned James Haring. He is stationed here
on the same island with me. I have talked to him many times, but did not know he
was from Fort Dodge.”
A/C Lloyd Hambleton, USNR, Spokane, Washington, “It isn’t so hard
to do 30 push-ups with arms that belong to the 25 Union when we realize that the
folks back there are behind us.”
Jack Calvert G. M. (M) 2/ce, FPO San Francisco, “We visited one
native village in (censored) just recently captured and I never saw a more contented
happy-go-lucky race of people before in my life —it was the nearest thing to Utopia
I ever hope to get. All the natives do is sleep, eat, play cards—some British game
I couldn’t understand—and weave baskets, pillows and grass skirts. Some of the more
industrious native men were induced to work occasionally, but otherwise they preferred
their own quiet homelife and I can't say that I blame them.”
Sgt. M. L. Jenison, Iran, “It’s nice to know where Jack
Saegor, Tommy Jordan, Jack McHenry, and dozens of other fellows are and
how they are. You mention in your last letter that Melville Monk
is in Teheran. If I get the chance I shall go up and try to see him. This place
isn’t so much, but seriously speaking when you get out of Fort Dodge there aren’t
any good places. Fort Dodge, Iowa, and the United States are going to mean so much
more to hundreds of men and women than they did before. Thanks plenty for all the
swell letters and I hope I’m on that mailing list permanently.” (Ed. note. You are.)
Pfc, Clayton Core, APO Seattle, Washington, “I’m on an island outpost
near Kodiak, Alaska. It is really much better than I expected in almost every respect,
We have nice barracks and accommodations are about the same as they were in the
C. W. O. Louie Katzman, APO San Francisco, “I am with a tough engr.
outfit. We fight, do construction work, and everything that comes along from driving
Japs out of pill block houses to building airfields. We work 24 hours a day with
Lawrence B. Arnold M M 3/c, FPO San Francisco, Calif., “I am in
the jungles of the South West Pacific now. Been in the war zone for almost eight
months. There are snakes, wild hogs, different kinds of small animals, plenty of
mosquitos and natives. Don’t let the movies fool you about these south sea islands.
I have yet to see the paradise used as a background by the Hollywood producers.”
M/Sgt. Wayne McMiniment, North Africa, “I have received six copies
and have enjoyed them very much. While I was in Corsica I received two of them.
I read them over and over. I was very sorry to hear that James Dennery
was killed. I went to school with him for quite a few years, I considered him a
very good friend of mine. I have been overseas almost a year and have covered quite
a lot of country, Scotland, England, North Africa, French Morocco, Tunisia and Corsica.
I have met Fort Dodgers all over.”
Pfc. Foster F. Funk, Fort Ord, California, “Up until two weeks
we have been doing nothing but Military Police town duty in the city of San Francisco.
It was hard work at times especially right after pay days. Please say hello to the
gang at Hendersons and Tierneys.”
Byron Knutson, MM 1/c, FPO New York, “Last July I happened to be
in the same town in Africa that Co. “G" was located but didn’t know it at the time.
It would have been great had I known it, at the time, to have gone ashore and talked
to Lt. Col. Marchi, Capt. Manchester, Sgt. Coats, Chas. Knutson, Glenn Lund
and any others I might have known from Fort Dodge and Badger. I also notice
Cliff W. Knutson of Badger is also meeting some of the other Badger
boys in the Pacific. Geo. Latham of Fort Dodge is also on this
same ship with me and each day we receive our “Letter From Home” we get together
and talk about the different ones we know mentioned in the letters. Don't fail to
send my copy every week. I sure enjoy them.”
And we enjoy writing them too. But more than that our greatest enjoyment comes from
your letters. We don’t know how you get time to write. But every day they come,
four, five, eight, ten letters from you, from you grand people who seem to have
been sent to every corner of the world. We'll be indebted to you forever for your
thoughtfulness, for your friendship and your kindly thoughts as well as your bravery
and self sacrifice. Other fine letters came to us this week from Cpl. Richard
E. Cleveland, APO Minneapolis, Minn. . . . Ens, D. J. McKirchy,
Cocoa, Florida . . . Cpl. George Haire, APO New York . . . (We
Dean on the list now—also Georganne) . . . Pvt. Ed Coughlan,
Crowder, Mo . . . A/C W. H. Moeller, Corpus Christi, Texas
. R. M. Hanson, BM 2/c, FPO New York . . . Pfc. Ivan Hunter,
Tampa, Florida . . . R. C. Larson, Ens., Lake City, Fla. . . .
(Thanks fella, and please send in that name and address.) . . . Queento L. Vandi
A. S. Notre Dame, Indiana . . . Lt. R. R. Ricke, Roswell, New Mexico
. . . A/C Donn Winders, Iowa City, Iowa . . . Sgt. Charles
R. Manguson, Nashville, Tennessee . . . Pvt. Angelo Breno,
APO San Francisco . . . Cpl. Willard Freed, APO New York . . .
Pfc. Gerald R. Robertson, Indianatown, Pa. . . . Grenevere
Swanstrom Sp. “T” 2/c, Atlanta, Georgia . . . Capt. F. H. Ferguson,
Camp Livingston, La . . . 1st Lt. R. D. Thomas, Cherry Point, North
Carolina . . . Pvt. Robert G. Wickwire, Camp Fannin, Texas . .
. Pfc. Robert W. Hall, Truax Field, Wisconsin . . . Cpl. Alvin
G. Hanson, Camp Wolters, Texas . . . T/5 Linus Wieberg,
Corona, Calif . . . H. E. DePue, Camp Roberts, Calif . . .
Pvt. Bob Williams, Jefferson Barracks, Mo . . . (The funniest letter
of the week, Bob, but I can’t quote it. I don’t want you to spend the rest of your
life in Ft. Leavenworth) . . . Lt. Vyva C. Kerr, New River, North
Carolina . . . Pvt. James L. Peters, FPO San Francisco . . .
Sgt. L. E. Johnson, Camp Sibert, Alabama, and Cpl. T. D. Dowd,
Amarillo, Texas . . . . And so to an end of another letter. I hope that it may bring
you a quicker heartbeat, a happy memory, thoughts of your home, of Mother and Dad,
or your wife, thoughts of Iowa in the winter, frozen brooks, and rabbit tracks in
the new fallen snow . . . So long. Good luck. We'll be back next week signing in
this same place down at the right hand corner of the page.
Your home town correspondent, Ed Breen.