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June 2, 1944

DEAR JOE: It’s a beautiful day in June. Warm but blue skyed and lovely—one of those very special June days. Our torrential rains have abated and farmers are working like fury to get in corn and soybeans. If we were Californians, Joe, we'd describe the weather we've had this spring as unusual . . . Memorial Day is over. We had a beautiful parade and a beautiful day. We decorated the graves and made speeches but we were thinking of you, picturing in our mind’s eye another day when you'll be here to march with us. Aloud and in our hearts we prayed that day might come soon. . . The grass is growing this year the way the weeds used to grow. I wish Al could get a furlough. The Home Front needs him, especially our back yard.

AROUND THE TOWN. The kids are out of school. Nearly all of them working—no matter what age—getting 40 and 50 and 60 cents an hour. Fifty young boys are working at Cargills doing repair work on the soy bean plant, The C. of C. has hired everyone they can find to help pick up trash on the farms on the Barnum road. The Red Cross feeds them . . . 11th Ave. southwest is beginning to look habitable again. The telephone and power lines are up. The pavement and walks have been cleared of debris. Carpenters and householders are working long hours repairing damage . . . Doesn’t look like the Country Club would be the same for a long time. Some of the golf clubs scattered out of the completely demolished caddy house were found near the road in Phinney Park . . . Vite Amanzio is still in the hospital, the last of the tornado victims still incapacitated. He received severe head injuries at the time his store, the I. C. Market, was struck . . . Boyd Burnquist is now an Annapolis graduate. He has asked for duty with the Navy landing boats . . . Next Monday, June 5th, is primary election day but little interest has been developed. Look for a very light vote . . . The baseball tournament was too much for Roy Prentice, of Colesburg. He died about four o’clock at Dodger stadium, as Colesburg was playing Davenport in the final game . . . Ted Fio Rito opened the Expo Park Ballroom Wednesday evening. Fine band—Pattie Palmer, girl soloist, was terrific.

TO A WEDDING THEY’RE GOING. Elizabeth Ann Winders and Cpl. Richard Fisher, in Fort Dodge, June 1st . . . Jeanette Oppel and Bob Berry, the date unannounced . . . Avis Taylor, formerly of Fort Dodge, now of Redding, Calif. and Cpl. Gardzelewski, of Sedro Wooley, Wash., May 11th in Los Angeles . . . Dolores Sinnott and Sgt. S. W. McNaughton, of Lake Village, Ark., in San Diego, April 16th . . . Erma Geneva Graves, of Bakersfield, Calif., and 2nd Lt. Will A. Reinman, at Merced, Calif., May 12th.

MOVIN’ AROUND. Cpl. Robert Grall, from Mills Field, San Francisco to Chico, Calif. . . . Still in the hospital but moved to La Gurda Hospital, New Orleans, is Cpl. Don Allan . . . To Fort Bragg, N. C., Capt. L. F. Smith. Page 32 is all right, Smithy, but we'll have to clean it before airing it . . . Pfc. Dale A. Peterson, from Camp Haan, Calif., to Camp McCain, Miss. . . . To Camp McCain, Miss., Pfc. Robert P. Crosby . . . To Atlantic City, N. J., Harold Rohrer, AOM 2/c. . . . A/C Richard Taylor, to Stuttgart, Arkansas . . . S/Sgt. Loren L. Wren, from Van Buren, Ark. to San Antonio, Texas. . . Pvt. Warren G. Slawson, from San Bernadino, Calif., to San Francisco, APO 5165. . . To Camp McCain, Miss., Pvt. Robert Gilbranson . . . Pvt. Gilbert J. Strait, from Camp Roberts, Calif., to Camp Butner, North Carolina, Co, K, 355th Inf. . . . Pvt. Walter Collins, from Camp Roberts, to Camp Butner, N. C.

OVER HERE. Joe Vratney, S 2/c, formerly of Tobins, thinks he may have meat cutting as his specialty in the navy and end up in cooks and bakers school. “Everyone who has read Y, L. F. H. is grateful to the firms involved and I’m sure glad to see the firm I worked for, “Tobins,” along with the rest of them.” . . . Ross Edwards and Francis Meyers are working on the “Corsair,” keepin’ ’em flying at Lee Field, Green Cove Springs, Fla. Ross is an aviation machinist’s mate 2/c . . . Pvt. Tom S. Moore is now at Camp Phillips, Kans. His brother, J. A. Moore, MM 2/c, is with the Atlantic fleet . . . Peter G. Frank, A/S is now at Farragut . . . Capt. Dean Cavanaugh is now at Miami, Fla. His sister, Lt. Vyva Kerr, is in Santa Barbara, Calif. . . . Pfc. Millard Carlson “one of the vanquished from ASTP” is now at Camp Crowder, Mo. The other day he saw a fellow in chow line reading Y. L. F. H. Turned out to be Vincent Will, from Dayton. Result— “The usual session concerning the ole home town.” . . . Bill Newsum, after spending the winter in Calif., with the army, is now in air training at Coe College, Cedar Rapids. . . Pfc. Gerald D. Schmoker is now at the air base

at Reno, Nev. Cpl. James R. Cramer, back from the Aleutians, after twenty-seven months, was home on leave, got married and is now at Ft. Bliss, Texas . . . Pvt. Leslie M. Sorenson is now at Camp Shelby, Miss. . . . Sgt. Morris Edwards is at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland . . . Lt. Harold D. Peterson is at the Station Hospital, Charleston, South Carolina.

PICTURE OF A CENSOR AT WORK. This is the way Glen H. Hanson's letter from somewhere in the Southwest Pacific looked when it got to me. “I’ve been at quite a few places since I’ve been over here. _________________, Australia, went from there to ___________ then boarded a plane and flew to ________ for five months, Then to , from there to ____________, New Guinea, and where I’m at now I can’t say.” Yes sir, Glen, it’s mighty nice to know where you have been. And as for your censor, I wish the ______ would _______.

OVER THERE. Cpl. Walter Lehman, with the 47th Bomb Squadron in Italy, is now in the hospital suffering from an accidental gunshot wound.

MISSING IN ACTION. 1st Lt. Frank Vratney, 26 year old pilot of a Liberator on a raid over France May 11th. He had just begun his missions . . . S/Sgt. Chas. J. Pessica, 24 year old gunner on a Fort on a raid over Germany May 8th. He had been over seas only five weeks.

KENNETH STRAIN, FM 2/c, is now the proud papa of a son, Gordon Kenneth , born May 13th, Ken is at San Diego.

HOME TOWN BOY MAKES GOOD. Wallace J. Wise, to second Lt. He got his wings at Victorville, Calif., May 20th . . . Norman Wiche got his commission and wings at Marfa, Texas, in May . . . Harold Hampton, of Barnum, got his wings and commission as an ensign in the Navy May 17th, at Corpus Christi, Texas.

WOUNDED IN ACTION was Pfc. Rayburn J. Lentsch, in Italy, on May 2nd. He wrote from the hospital on May 6th.

CPL. EUGENE CURL has been working at the main post office at Camp Kearns, Utah, for over a year. One day, sorting mail, he ran across a copy of Y. L. F. H. “Gee, I really looked it over. So I wrote on it ‘see Curl in the P. 0,’ and sure enough, he came up. Here it was Wendt. I had gone through high school with him. He had been home so we had a long talk.” Gene just got out of the hospital last Sunday, but says he’s feeling pretty good.

DOWN UNDER. From Red Garret, MMM 1/c, in the Southwest Pacific, comes a paper I haven't seen before. It looks like “Guinea Gold,” is issued by the Australian Military Forces and is called, for reasons unknown to me, “Table Tops.” Thanks, Red . . . Pfc. Floyd W. Carter is now stationed on an island in the Southwest Pacific. We'll take care of that request, fellow. Floyd has been in Australia and New Guinea.

BEST STORY OF THE WEEK. Lt. Kenneth Moreland, now wearing wings, and pilot of a fighter plane, told this one while back on furlough. “A bunch of us were being shipped to an air field in Mississippi. We had to change trains in the deep south and finally found ourselves on a very old coach. The lights were kerosene, the seats were unpadded board. One of the fellows scraped and dug away at a little plate on the windowsill until we could read it. It read, ‘Please do not shoot buffalo from the train,’ Yeh, it was pretty old.”

GLAD TO SEE EACH OTHER, Alex Tetrault and Bob Gadd at Great Lakes. Alex, who is a PhM 1/c, is now at Boston, Mass.

ENJOYING MOM’S COOKING. From Camp Howze, Texas, Pfc. Dale Fiala, of Moorland. He’s with the anti-tank corps of the infantry . . . From Camp Rucker, Ala., Sgt. Robert Riggs . . . From Camp Carson, Colo., 1st Lt. Doug Stowe . . . From Camp Chaffee, Ark., Cpl. Dick Fisher . . . From Farragut, Mickey and Abe Castagneli . . .S/Sgt. and Mrs. Ward Roberts, in Moorland, from Childress, Texas . . . A/C Richard W. Broe, of Duncombe, from San Diego, Calif. . . . The three Coopers, Pfc. Dean Cooper, from Iowa City, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Cooper and Major and Mrs. Wayne Cooper, from Mitchell Field, Long Island . . . Wm. C. Robbins, from Camp Thomas, R. I. . . Pfc. and Mrs. Leland Anderson, of Burnside, from Fort Knox . . . Bob Kurtz, from Davis, Calif. . . . Lt. Mason Damon, here for a short time, enroute to Washington . . . Lt. Mason Haire, enroute to a new post. . . Cpl. Tom Dowd from Rosecrans Field, St. Joseph, Mo. . . 1st Lt. John Ramsden, enroute to Flora, Miss. . . . M/Sgt. Don Newell and his wife from Camp Crowder, Mo. . . . Cpl. John Larson, from Camp Livingston, La. . . . A/C John Wold, from the Ottumwa air base. . . Pfc. J. E. Duncan,

from Yucca, Ariz. . . . Walter L. Woodman, Glen E. Musselman, Gilbert Miller, Eugene McMahon, Harry Crosby, Anthony Kaletka, John G. Foreman and Arlie Babbitt, all from Farragut, Idaho.

SCOREBOARD. The Dodgers lost the first round of the Big Seven baseball tournament at Mason City to West Waterloo in a ten inning battle that ended 1 to 0. Junior Janssen held ‘em scoreless for seven innings. He was relieved by Knack. Geo. held ’em for two innings. Then Glenn Schuh went in, Glenn is not a regular pitcher—he’s our third baseman and he was a little wild. So the Waterloo hurler held us to one; that’s right, one hit for the Dodgers in the 10 frames . . . The Dodgers didn’t do well in the state track meet—landing in fifth place with 16 points. Greatest disappointment was Ray Prohaska’s defeat in the mile. He was beaten by Ernie Hill of Davenport, Time 4:30:8, fastest time in six years. Heinie Wasem took fourth in the high hurdles and we took third in the mile and medley relays. East Des Moines took the meet for the second straight year.

STORM STORY. Mrs. Arthur Axen, of Lehigh, stepped out into her back yard to see how much damage the over flowing Des Moines river had done. Stranded in the mud was a glass jar with a folded note paper in it. On opening it, she found a twenty dollar bill and attached to it was this message: “This is one of my hobbies. Let me know what you do with the money. Sent September 12, 1943, from Mankato, Minn. Mrs. Inez Vouldiers.”. Mrs. Axen bought a bond, wrote a note to Mrs. Vouldiers. Gee, Joe, nothin’ like that ever happens to us.

FROM THE FIVE CORNERS OF THE WORLD. Harlan Williamson, PhM 1/e, Italy, “Among those from Fort Dodge I have met are Gilbert Lindquist, PhM 3/c, Raymond Laing. SC 1/e, Duane Anderson. S 1/c, from Gowrie, Oakley and Jamisen. Of course, we always had a good talk about the old home town and all hope to be back there soon. At the present time, I am in Italy and am stationed at a Naval Dispensary.”

S/Sgt. Gaylord Grennan, North Africa, “At present I am in North Africa, but my mind is thousands of miles away in good old Fort Dodge.”

Pete Lang, S 1/c, FPO San Francisco, “I'm on an island in the southwest Pacific, but I can’t tell you which one I’m on. I’ve only met one guy from Fort Dodge since I've been in the navy and that was Francis DeHart. I met him out here one day when I was running my boat. I run a speed boat and I happened to step on his island one day and met him on the beach.” (Pete’s been promoted to coxswain. Congratulations!)

Evelyn V. Johnson, H. A. 1/c, Washington, D. C., “I think I perhaps have one of the most inspiring spots in the country to live. That being Washington, D. C. I live about three blocks from the capitol and from my window each morning I can look out and see the place where the people who work for our country are working. I also pass the White House daily on my way to work at the Navy Department. It sorta gives your heart a thrill to see the lovely lawn and home where the President of the United States lives.”

Pfc. Palmer Strom, APO New York, “I'm sitting here in my fox-hole writing this. I have a top on it and it’s nice and shady in here—also cool. So if I finish this before I fall asleep I'm lucky. I have been on the Anzio beachhead some time now and getting tired of it—anyway having the Anzio express going through the air. Jerry gets mad once in a while and throws a few shells at us, but we usually can put a stop to him. I can hear our — shooting now. As the Jerries back in Africa used to call them, the “Whispering Death.” We had a ball game here last night and I feel like an old man today, Not used to running like that. Sure wish I could be at home playing again at the softball park. And hitting that dance floor again. So, Larry, keep that floor in shape. Can't stay over here the rest of my life, as now it’s going on our 22nd month of overseas.”

Cpl. Wayne Daniels, Italy, “I am still in Italy and, as you know by now, we are at it again. I am in charge of two traffic posts so we live in a house away from the Co. We had a milk cow until night before last and then some so and so swiped her from us. Since I have last written you, I have seen several boys from Webster County. Among them Dick Broadstone, John Swartz and a neighbor kid for years, Eddie Davis, from Duncombe. Eddie is a cook at a hospital here. Saw him yesterday. He was baking cherry pies. You guessed it. He gave me two for my post. Thanks again for the letter. Tell all my friends m the county that I said hello.”

Pvt. Robert A. Geiger, India, “As I am sitting here writing this letter, in the far distance you can hear the rumble of thunder, and this time of year it means trouble. In the very near future the monsoons will start, and from what the fellows tell me that have been here for some time, it really rains. From what I understand, it rains from 150 to 250 inches in about four months time. So, as you can see, it is no fun. One of these mornings, we will wake up and find ourselves isolated from the other tents. Our living conditions aren't too good but they could be much worse. We are quartered in tents, six of us to a tent; our beds are made of rope tied between slabs of wood, and for our mattress we fold up our blankets. Our food is fair, and it sure will be swell when we can stop eating C ration. But I have eaten worse, so that is one consolation. Now for a little about India. India, as you know, is a very hot place, and I do mean hot. During the last few days it has been so hot that we eat salt tablets as candy. It rains, that is any to speak of, only four months a year. But during those four months, enough rain falls for the entire twelve months. Disease is very

bad aver here, but after seeing how the natives live, you can see why this is. They live in huts, which in my estimation, are filthy. They do everything in the rivers from drink to wash their cattle.”

S/Sgt. Glenn Moen, Italy, “Just a few lines to let you know I am receiving “Y. L, F, H." and thank you so much. I pass it on to my Buddies and it is read word for word, although none of the boys are from or near Fort Dodge. I am sending my copies to a friend, who is a pilot and is stationed in Sardinia, who was formerly of Thor, Iowa. I am now and have been for some time on the Anzio Beachhead. Many of the old “G”’ Company boys are near me, although it is impossible to see any of them. Here, one doesn’t want to be seen: if he is, most likely it will be his last chance. The same goes for the Krauts, of course. Last night I received several letters from friends near Humboldt, telling me that a previous letter of mine had been broadcast from KVFD. 5o, to you, many thanks. At the present I am living in a “dingy dug-out.” In other words, a foxhole with a roof. Just enough room to lay down, like a snail. As you know, the smaller, the sturdier—I know. We come out only at nite and Jerry knows it so he makes it very un-comfortable for us then. I was caught out the other nite so I had a race with a shell. The shell beat and I got it in my face. Just slight wounds but very uncomfortable and then I had to spend the rest of the nite rebuilding my little home. Our life up here is like that of a wolf. We are actually getting all the nite life we ever craved for. Ha. I must close now as it is getting dark and this is the time of nite I start my day’s work. This sounds a bit confusing but so is life here at Anzio.”

Sgt. Don McEwen, New Guinea, “That letter from home you've sent me is one of the grandest things in the mail bag. I look forward to receiving it every week. Although I haven't lived in Fort Dodge for quite a number of years, it still seems like home to me. Leonard Curtis and I have been in the same squadron since its inception way back in the states. He told me about meeting Harry Largent in Australia and Harry came over to our outfit a couple of weeks ago but I missed him somehow. Where is Marvin Pratt, Dick Tang and a lot of others about that age? My brother “Ronnie,” who is pretty well known back there, is an Intelligence Officer in a Fighter Squadron in Italy, I think. We've been overseas over a year and right here in New Guinea all the time. Curtis and I belong to a squadron which is compiling one of the finest records in the Fifth Air Force, the “Falcon Squadron” of the 345th Group. Before I close, there is one thing that I've been wondering about for a long time. They say it's true but it’s been so long since I’ve seen any I’ve been wondring. Do they still have the old fashioned eggs? You know, the kind we used to have to break the shell first? Thanks again for the swellegant paper, and best regards to everyone at home. It’s about time to take my atabrin tan to the sack. So long, thanks again.”

Lt. Col. Bruno G. Marchi, Anzio Beachhead, “Most of the men are okay. We have been very fortunate up here and haven’t had as hard luck as some. We have given them a hell of a lot more than they ever give us, too, and the boys are doing a mighty good job. I'll tell you, Ed, you can't beat these boys from the middle west and every officer that I know says the same thing even if they are from other parts of the country. But do they all want to see Iowa! Well, after all, 28 months is a long time. But there is a job to do and I hope that we can do our share well. Saw Roger Minkle just before we came up from Naples. By the way, I was in Naples when old V. broke open and I went almost to the top next day, right up to the lava. What a sight. I also saw Frank Zenor, too. He is with the same unit as we are and I get to see him once in a while. Looks swell but is a little war tired and I can’t blame him. He has had a lot of it. A darn good boy. I hope to see Thatcher soon. I have some of the men in the rear area asking about him and if he is here I am going to take time off to see him. Give the gang there my best regards and all the boys in the service my best wishes for a speedy return back home. Thanks again to you and the people that back the Y LF H. It’s swell.” (Geo., we are reading that part of your letter about returning soldiers over the air, I hope it will explain the situation to the folks at home.) Pfc. Vasilli Vannoni, Anzio Beachhead, “Things aren't so bad here now. The yanks have the situation well in hand, as usual. These “Jerries” ain't as tough as they would like us to believe they are. Saw a group of prisoners that a couple of other Fort Dodge boys brought in several nights ago and they are just kids. The Germans, I mean.”

And there were other grand letters and cards and pictures and papers. Some of them we haven't otherwise acknowledged came from Pvt. Robert E. Gilbranson, Camp McCain, Miss. . . . Pfc. Cleo D. Hanson, Camp Murphy, Florida . . . Pvt. Charles S. Walker, APO Seattle, Wash. . . Roy K. Christofferson, APO New York. (We'll play that song, fellow) . . . Pfc. George Westling, New Guinea . . . Rill Field, S 1/c (FC), FPO San Francisco . . . Marvin Louis Intermill, Norfolk . . . Pfc. Harry C. Jorgenson, England . . . Pvt. W. C. Strom, Camp Kohler, Calif. . . . Melvyn O. Phipps, S l/c, FPO San Francisco. . . Pfc. Adolph Guarill, Chanute Field, Illinois. Our picture collection is growing. But we are greedy. Come on, Good Lookin,’ give. Must sign off now before the June bug bites again. The effect of the bite is very similar to spring fever . . . Another week gone. We're that much closer to the day when you'll be coming home. Good luck, fellow.

Your home town correspondent,
Ed Breen.

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