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Jan 10, 1944

DEAR JOE: Here it is the seventh day of January and one whole week of the New Year gone. Time to look over those New Year's resolutions. Still got a couple that seem to be sea worthy. Most of them have taken a very heavy beating. Among other things, we resolved to tell you a little bit about the weather. Systematically—not just when we got the poetic urge or were suffering from frost bite. Strange thing about the weather, when it’s wonderful it’s hard to remember. It’s been wonderful here lately. All through the holidays and up to now. No snow, no bitter cold. Most days it’s been up to 35 to 40 degrees above. And Hollywood, we were going to say something about Hollywood. And we are too. We're going to say at least until we are contradicted that some of the finest people in the world live in Hollywood, Bob Hope, and Bing Crosby, Gary Cooper and Frederick March and all the other guys and gals from Hollywood who have gone from the Aleutians to the South Seas and from Iceland to Iran. Of course, they haven’t gone everywhere; but we believe they’ve gone everywhere the Army, Navy or the Marines would let them go. Yes sir, they are top drawer Americans. They are lucky too. There isn’t much that most of us can do, just stick at the job here and write letters, and hope and pray that you are safe and that the war will soon be won.

MISSING IN ACTION is Lt. D. J. Murphy, bombardier on a vet based in England. Denny got his wings at Big Spring, Texas, ast May.

HOME TOWN. There was no traffic deaths in Fort Dodge in 1943 . . . Mrs. Lena Barner is dead. She died at her home last week, 76 years old . . . Current and good, the display of pictures at the Art Gallery, all of them the work of Mrs. Jack Hogan . . . Dick Lane, chairman of the state liquor commission, says we will be able to get a quart of whiskey once every two weeks in January. After that no one knows . . . Selby Smith is dead. He died last week . . . Walt Englebart is president of the Musicians’ Union in Fort Dodge. Other officers elected were Doug Hatton, V. P., Fred Zalesky, sec’y. Directors are Carl Pray, Ralph Peer, of Manson, J. F. Magennis, S. H. Memphill and Karl L. King . . . The Fort Dodge Transportation company is asking for permission to run bus service between Fort Dodge and Storm Lake and between Fort Dodge and Perry . . Gov. Hickenlooper has called a special session of the Iowa legislature to change the election laws so that it will be possible for all you guys and gals to vote. One or two senators think it would be a good time to repeal the state income tax . . . Dayton is combating the flu by keeping the school closed until January 10 . . . Gilmore City, scene of the tragic school fire that took the life of Mrs. Elma Edgington, principal, will reopen school in the theatre, three churches, a home, and an empty building ... Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Lundquist had an open house in Gowrie last week to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary . . . Humboldt is no longer quarantined. The health board finally lifted the ban put on the 17th of December . . . Now we can have more beans, peas, and tomatoes. But not so much strawberry jam. OPA has readjusted point values .. . Tobins have organized a basketball team and are looking for dates ... The first of the armed guards have begun to arrive at the Algona prison camp .. . Seventy-five relatives and friends gathered down at Otho the other night to honor Pfc. and Mrs. Richard Fawkes who were married recently. Dick is back from 17 months’ service overseas .. . In the armed services now, 250,000 Iowans, about one out of every ten persons, and one of the highest state percentages in the entire U.S. A... . And boy, how the lowa girls have been joining the WAVES. 1408 from Iowa, giving us the highest percentage in the U. S. A.... John P. Hanrahan was found dead in the garage next to his home in northeast Fort Dodge last Sunday ... The scrap drive for paper is about to start. Paper will win the war. That's what I hear tell .. . The Klapka Hardware store and the Lahiff Tavern at Clare were broken into last Thursday. We got the robber, Harold E. Sanford, a professional with a long record . . . James G. Rule, an insurance man, died behind the wheel of his car Monday. Heart failure... A couple of sailors stole a car from Joe Gillespie out at Barnum Monday. Caught ’em in Dubuque. Sheriff McMahon is bringing them back. The gobs were AWOL.

2nd LT. WALTER A. SAMPSON IS MISSING. He was on a plane going between Florida and Georgia. The plane is missing. (Ed. Note—Plane found Tuesday noon. All on board were killed.)

THEY ARE SHAKING HANDS WITH THE HOME FOLKS. Lt. Frances Prendergast from the air field at San Marcos, Texas . . . 1st Sgt. John Frandsen is home on furlough from Italy. In service three and a half years, he was wounded in the knee and hand in the Italian invasion . . . John Potter, AS from Ames... Corp. Mel Peterson from Fort Knox ,.. W. R. “Bill” Swanson, carpenter’s mate 2/c from San Francisco ... A/C Don Collins from Albequerque bombardier school . . . Sgt. Art Sheker from Bakersfield, Calif. . . . Leland Christianson of Gowrie from the Navy Bomber base at Key West, Fla. . . . Ev. Johnson, Sp. 2/c musician of Gowrie, from Great Lakes . . . Pfc. Curtis Wilkinson from Alva, Okla. He’s a bugler in an M. P. unit . . . Sgt. Harry Brown from Fort Crook, Neb. . . . Sgt. Clyde J. Thorndike from the Panama Canal Zone. He’s been there for the past three and a half years . . . Pvt. Bob Lacina of Badger from Kiska and Alaska. He goes from here to Camp Carson, Calif, . . . James M. Porter, S 2/c from Farragut . . . A/C John Mulholland from Muskogee, Okla. . . . Sgt. Robert Fisher of Duncombe from desert maneuvers in Arizona .. , Corp. Cliff Jensen from Pittsburg, Calif... . A/C Richard Whitcome from Minneapolis . . . Sgt. Ralph Stuart from El Centro, Calif. . . . Don Marsh, Navy Pharmacist’s mate 2/c, and wife from Great Lakes . . . 2nd Lt. and Mrs. Robert Hogan from the Marine air base at Lejeune, N. C. . . . John Hinks, navy signalman 3/c, from Portsmouth, N. H. He’s with the subs . . . Max Treloar, gunner’s mate 3/c from his ship . . . Lt. and Mrs. Martin Van Patten from McCook, Neb. He is being transferred to Alamogordo, N. M. . . . Pvt. Gordon Johnston from Camp Crowder, Mo. . . . Lt. Edward Law of Clare from Roswell, N. M . . . Joe Conway of Clare from Farragut . . . Pvt. Glen Johnson of Dayton from Camp Dodge . . . Floyd Swanson, S 1/c and the wife, of Dayton, Iowa from Fort Tilden, N. Y. He is in the Coast Guard . . . Sgt. Lester Reis of Clare from Shick General Hospital at Clinton ... Pfc. Alvin Pieper from the air base photo laboratory at Tullahoma, Tenn. . . . Corp. Albert Hood of Clare from Ft. Jackson, 8. C. . . . Lt, Geo. Lawler from Ft. Sill, Okla. . . . Lt. Richard Johnson and wife, the former Barbara Hale, en route to a new post from Toma, Wis.

DOWN THE CENTER AISLE. Irene Doyle and Sgt. Earl “Bud” Bock at Corpus Christi church December 28. Bud goes back to Percy Jones hospital at Battle Creek, Mich., for further treatment for a broken neck suffered in North Africa . . . Chas. Gunnerson of Gowrie and Betty Brown of Los Angeles, Calif., in Corvallis, Oregon on December 25, Chuck is in ASTP at Oregon State College . . . Doris Harvey and William Wafful, Jr. , the date will be announced later . . . Cheryl Fitzgerald and Pfc. John E. Hamm at Tinker Field, Oklahoma City, Okla., on Dec. 23rd.

HERE AND THERE . . . Sgt. Arnold Bell is home honorably discharged from the army. He was in a plane crack up at McChord Field, Wash., almost a year ago. Since then he has been in the hospital and will go back for further treatment soon, Mrs. Geo. Haire leaves Fort Dodge soon to do secretarial work for the USO in Washington. George is now in England with the medical corps . . . Lt. Bob Ashford of the Navy is now at Pearl Harbor. The pilot of a Hellcat fighter, he has been in every major action in the Pacific . . . Ensign Robert E. Bailey is on a destroyer in the S. W. Pacific . . . Capt. Frank Wilson is now stationed at Harrisburg, Penn., where he is taking photo reconnaissance work. Frank was overseas for 17 months and took part in the African campaign, and the invasions of Sicily and Italy ... A/C Merlyn Natto is at Ellington Field, Houston, Tex., for pre-flight training . . . Sgt. Merle Hill of Badger is on the mend. He underwent an emergency operation for appendicitis on Christmas Day. He’s getting along fine. He is at Camp Polk, La. . . . Lt, Robt. Baughman, wounded in action in Italy, was released from the hospital December 7th.

DECORATED. To Sgt. E. A. Jordan, somewhere in England, the air medal. Jordan is waist gunner on a Fort.

PROMOTED. From Corp. to Sgt., Fred Moore in North Africa ... Virgil F. Bird of Lehigh from 3/c to 2/c E. M. . . . From Corp. to Sgt., Louis Brighi, from Camp Ellis, Ml.

SGT. JOHN ONDREJKA, prisoner in Germany, writes that he is in good health and getting along fine.

HAPPY LANDING. Corp. Gordon Foster somewhere in England... J. G. Rutledge somewhere overseas.

THEY MET ON BOARD SHIP. Boyd Christianson of Badger and Leonard Hill on board ship somewhere in the Pacific.

SCOREBOARD. . . It took a basket in the last fifteen seconds to do it. A long shot by Hubesch did the trick. Sacred Heart 22— Corpus Christi 21... Bill Baughman, University of Iowa football center, played an outstanding game for the east team in the East-West classic on New Year's day. It ended a tie 13-13... Callender beats Somers 43-37. E. Hanson with 14 points was high for Callender. Gene Martin got 13 for Somers.

SHUCKS, FELLAS. No more Varga pin-up girls through the mail. The post master general says it ain’t art. O. K. Frank they may not be art; but gee, they were fun.

SPEAKING OF WILD LIFE DURING THE HOLIDAYS! The other morning the local gendarmes rounded up a ‘possum in front of the Hine and Thome drug store on Central Avenue. Peter Russell served him as a very savory dish to a number of friends on New Year's Day.

ENSIGN JOE McTIGUE writes from somewhere down around the equator in the West Indies area to his dad: “We were on patrol flight from two yesterday afternoon until six this morning and it was all business . . . I can’t realize Christmas is so near. We have some Christmas decorations but they look rather out of season with the fellows coming in with trunks or whites on.”

BROTHERS HOME. Pvt. Lucien and S 2/c James Peterson of Callender with their parents over the holidays. From Ft. Knox and Farragut... 2/c Duane and Sgt. Charles Manguson of Dayton.

AND HOW YOU GUYS GET PUBLICITY. Lloyd KR. Hollis, E M 1/c, has his picture in the January 3rd issue of Life magazine, page 77, one of a number of lucky gobs standing in line at a swank party given by Warner Brothers at the Navy sub base at New London, Conn., getting ready to receive a kiss from a Warner Brother’s starlet who is posing as a mermaid.

JOHN C. NORTH, an instructor in flying, flew in from Columbia, Mo., to have Christmas with his parents.

REUNION IN ENGLAND. Lt. Nancy Sittig, Corp. Geo. Haire and T/Sgt. Will Mulroney. They were together two days.

MAN BITES DOG. Mrs. E. C. Otteson of Fort Dodge had a cable from her son, Pfc. Verlyn Langerman who is now in Brisbane, Australia. The cable was sent, wishing her Christmas and New Year's greetings, but was so slow that a letter mailed after the cable had been sent reached her ahead of the cable. Pvt. Langerman has been overseas for 21 months. He spent last Christmas in the fox holes of New Guinea. He has had malaria three times and is now working in a post exchange at Brisbane.

YOUR LETTERS TO US. Pvt. Leonard B. Stahl, Italy, “We are stationed here in Italy, some people call it Sunny Italy, we have another name for it most of the time. We live in a building that has been fixed over for us. Should have seen it at first, what a place. We have bunks with mattresses which we bought from the Italians, and do the mattresses ever stink. Of course, they aren’t inner-spring, but they help some. We also bought ourselves pillows, I got mine in Africa, By the way, Italy is a lot nicer than Africa, cleaner, and the people are nicer to get along with, that is if you can understand the language. We have good food and good cooks to prepare it for us. The tops to our tables in our mess hall are covered with marble, pretty classy don’t you think, so we can always say that we have eaten off of marble topped tables.”

John E. Swartz, Italy, “I ran into George Haire and Paul Cain, both of Fort Dodge, last Feb. in Africa, have not seen any of the boys since. This sure is some country. Boy does it ever rain, and cold, one can see the snow in the mountains. Things in general are a little rough where I am. One has to keep close to his foxhole. Jerry is on the go at all times, and so are we.”

Pfc. Leo D. Foster, N. W. Ireland, “I notice up in the corner which states that there is a new industry in town, a powdered egg factory. Well brother, I like the good old fashioned egg in the shell. They might be pretty good if prepared right, but you know the G. I. Cooks. Oh, what I'd give for a nice fresh egg, one that I know was fresh. I have often wondered what powdered eggs are good for. Well so much for the powdered eggs. I see the Ft. Dodge High School has a very nice Mascot this fall. If Roger the Dodger would come within a mile of our camp—well—he wouldn't last long, anyway his life would be short.”

Sgt. Theodore F. Essig, New Guinea, “I have only seen snow once in the last three years and if I hadn’t gotten a furlough, I wouldn't have seen any then. Don’t get me wrong, New Guinea has seasons also, the wet and hot season, and the dry and hot season.”

Lt. K. Hartman, North Africa, “I met Duane Crouse in a Red Cross theatre a while back. We went to school together. We talked about home and stuff all through the picture. I’m sending my copy of V. L. F. H. to another guy from home so someone else can enjoy. it.”

Pvt. Douglas Viers, Novth Africa, “We're having a party for the local kids tomorrow. Big tree and lots of bon-bon. Candy to you.”

Arnold S. Osberg, S. F. 2/c, New Guinea, “I am in New Guinea where there are quite a number of Iowa boys and some are from the grand town of Fort Dodge. One of the fellows I see almost daily and he is now promoted to chief. He is Walter (Bob) Kruse. We have outdoor movies three times a week and a boxing match every Saturday night. There have been some big time fighters present on several different shows. Gene Tunney, or rather Commander Tunney, gave a talk of interest one night. We had some Movie Stars in person on a Sunday afternoon. They were Una Merkel, Phyllis Brooks, Gary Cooper, and Andy Arcari. Their show went over big. Yes, we have pets here also, Some boys have pretty parrots and cockatoos they have captured. Some have big bats and I mean big ones. The ants and bugs are plentiful; and ants in your pants is no joke. They bite very hard and are ready for battle at a moment’s notice. The snakes aren't so plentiful although some pythons have been killed near the camp site. The largest measured fourteen feet in length. The lizards are plentiful and range in all sizes and colors. They are harmless so very few are killed.”

H. B. Ash, Jr., North Africa, “Say, Africa isn’t at all what I expected. Instead of just animals and natives and snakes, there is a real civilized race here. There are some very beautiful French girls here. You can imagine how the fellows go for them. I've had the pleasure of running into Henry Jones, Fort Dodge’s prize fighter. -He also says ‘Hello’.”

M/Set. G. Stockwell, New Guinea, “We are at the present time in New Guinea but it’s not like they showed in the movies. I have been all over the island and haven't been able to find anyone that looks like Dorothy Lamour.”

Lt. Mary Evelyn Kearns, Stockton Field, Calif. “Being this close to Oakland, I was able to visit with my sister, Mrs. Frances Kearns Riley. She accompanied her husband Pvt. Ed. Riley of the medical corps on his furlough from Camp Barkley, Texas.”

Pfc. Richard Holm, Iceland, “I’m stationed practically on top of the world. Yes, in Iceland, it isn't as bad as it sounds though, The people up here are very modernized. They are friendly and on the whole are very hospitable. I’m enclosing a few snapshots of here so it will give you a glimpse of Iceland.” (Ed. Note—Thanks Dick for the swell snapshots.)

And these are little paragraphs from letters, tremendously interesting letters, from all over the world. And all from Webster County. What stories you'll have to tell each other when you all come home. And may that be soon. This is your year, the year of victory, the year of peace, the year that marks the war’s end. And we had other letters, wonderful letters from all over. I wish we could print all in full. But we can’t—there isn’t room. But they are read over the air, all of them. Your friends and neighbors know where you are and what you are doing. Every day there are listening for news of you at 12:45. And most days we interview some one or two from somewhere. People are interested in you. They want to know what you are doing so keep on writing, please. The other letters and cards we received came from Lt. Wm. M. Adams—Central Pacific Islands, Arthur W. Lott, Pearl Harbor, R. A. McCarville—C B M—U. 5S. 5. Pioneer, Sgt. Bernie G. Nyguard, Aleutian Islands, Pvt. Selvio Ronconi, Madison Wis., Corp. J. R. Cramer, Ft. Greeley, Alaska, (Sorry fella, we haven't that address but will try to get it for you}, Pvt. Lewis C, Cook, APO New York, (And we have taken care of that request, and glad to), Carl Porter MOMM 1/c, U. S. S. Warren, Corp. Kenneth Sternitzke, Camp Haan, Calif., Frank Schnell EM 2/c, Trinidad, Walter Pigman § 2/c Camp Peary, Va. Pvt. Karl G, Jones, Camp Edwards, Mass., Maurice Johnson, A. R. M. 3/c FPO, San Francisco, Calif., Corp. V. L. Peterson, Italy; C. E. Zenor, BM 2/c, APO San Francisco; Pfc. Evert Halback, Ft. Benning, Ga.; A/C Irwin C. Wogenson, Carlstrom Field, Arcadia, Florida; S/Sgt. Pete Garatoni, Sheppard Field, Texas; Gilbert E. Merris, APO Los Angeles. Thanks a lot all of you. Let-us know when you move because we want you to get every letter. Our real New Year's resolution is this: Y. L. F. H. will go to every Webster County man and woman in the armed forces whose name and address we have as long as the war lasts. And we want the name and address of every single one of you. If we don’t have it, it’s because no one has thought to send it in. It doesn’t cost you a cent. Your sponsors underwrite the publication. Gosh, I guess we're endowed. Good luck, we'll be writing again next week.

Your Home Town Correspondent ED BREEN

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