DEAR JOE: The days go by softly here at home. Spring is gone and
summer is ablaze with the heat of Iowa corn weather . . . Little boys and little
girls run around barefooted and scanty clad, as brown as Indians. We work in the
garden and go on picnics and listen to the political convention over the air. Mother
puts up jam and jelly. Strawberries were not very good this year. Cherries are in
season now but high priced. There are lots of currents. So we make currant jelly
. . . The dock is in at Loomis Park. Mrs. Tyler is back running
the concession and Eugene Williams has his boat in the water ready
for rides. There was an awful washout in the park road this year about 300 feet
above the dam. But men are working on it and it should be repaired before the Fourth
. . . Some farmers planted corn twice this year and are now planting soybeans. It’s
been a hard season for farmers . . . Yes, everything goes along about as it did
when you were home, Joe, except that we know there’s a war going on. We know it
because you are gone. We know it because, in almost every family, there’s a vacant
place at the table—and because, in our hearts, there’s the tumult and confusion
of war—because we are lonesome for you.
AROUND THE TOWN. Badger is over the top in the Fifth War Loan Drive
. . . Tuesday evening, the G. I. all soldier show from Camp Dodge, with Sgt.
Frenchy Graffouliere and Cpl. Don Jensen, of Fort
Dodge, and a cast of 45 stars brought the home town the best entertainment of the
year. People hung from the railings and jammed the aisles at the high school auditorium,
clapped, shrieked and whistled their enthusiastic delight . . . Tank and jeep rides
were called off by the commanding general at the last moment. Great sorrow among
the junior commandos . . . Next War Loan show, the Air Wac Caravan,
here tomorrow evening, is to be announced by a flight of 5 Thunderbolts from somewhere
in Nebraska. Most of us here at home have never seen a Thunderbolt . . . Frank
McTigue and his committee have collected 175 pens for men in service.
These are being turned over to the Red Cross to be sent to hospitals . . . The Movie
Premiere for the Fifth War Loan, Wednesday, was such a sell out, six shows had to
be run at Rialto, three at the Strand . . . The liquor store has been closed all
this week, except for the issuance of new books . . . Lightning hit the big water
works pump motor last Sunday afternoon and put it out of commission. . . We still
have water but it will be two weeks before the big motor is repaired . . . It was
98 here Sunday, hottest day in two years .. . Monday it was 97. Tuesday it was hot.
Wed- nesday it was cooler. Jim Fitzgerald says we can look forward to a normal summer
. . . Sufficient repairs have been made at the Country Club so that locker room
and caddy house facilities are open . . . The town of Vincent has bought three times
its bond quota . . . Bob Rueben, former Fort Dodger, now a correspondent
with the Reuters British news agency, jumped with the para- troopers in the invasion
of Normandy . . . The rumor is that former Mayor Bill Cadwell and
family are leaving Texas to return to Fort Dodge.
HERE COMES THE BRIDE. Evelyn Woods and Cpl.
Russell Sletten, June 15th, at Callender . . . Beverly Johnson
and John North, June 25th, in Fort Dodge. North is a civilian flight
instructor at Columbia, Mo. . . . Sara Ann Jordison, of Coalville,
and Robert Gustafson, of Harcourt, June 11th . . . Miriam Wonders
and Pfc. Glenn Machovec. The wedding date has not been set. . .
Irene Messa and Pfc. Frank Recchia, of New York
City. No date has been set. . . Frances Hogan and Chas. Adams,
CMMM, of Palmer, sometime this summer.
SCOREBOARD. Manson and Fort Dodge
wound up in a 4 to 4 tie as darkness fell at the end of nine innings last Thursday
evening. Waldron pitched for Manson, allowing seven hits, Anderson
for Fort Dodge, allowing five hits. The teams will play a return game July 4th.
MISSING IN ACTION is Pvt. Emmett Niemeyer, of
township, in Italy. He was a member of Company G.
KILLED IN ACTION. This is the war department report on S/Sgt.
Glenn Larson, of Badger, and Sgt. Conrad Thompson,
Clare. Larson was tail gunner on a Liberator. He is reported killed the opening
day of the invasion, June 6th. Thompson was killed in New Guinea on June 5th.
PRISONER IN GERMANY is Lt. Don “Heinie” Kehm.
of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Kehm. He was reported missing over Germany,
March 6th . . . 2/Lt. Eddie Weiss, son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter
Weiss, taken the 24th of May.
HOME TOWN BOYS MAKE GOOD. To Sgt., C. C. Scott,
in Italy. Cecil, we think you fellows over there are doing a great job . . . To
S/Sgt., Joe Stapleton, on Guadalcanal . . . To T/Sgt., Harold
S. Strong. He’s a member of a Marauder crew. in England . . . Wings
and commission to Irvin Wogensen, at Phoenix, Ariz. . . . 2nd Lt.
Willis Olson’s patrol captured the first Jap prisoner on New Britain.
He was commended by his regimental commander . . .To Flight Officer, John D.
Owen, at Randolph Field, Texas . . . To Sgt. and radio gunner on a
B-17, Vernon H. Johnston. He’s based in Italy . . .To 1st Lt.,
Don Tepfer, somewhere overseas with the air corps . . . To T/Sgt.,
Carlyle Hanson, engineer and turret. gunner on a Fort based in
England . . . The air medal to Lt. F. C. Prendergast, somewhere
in England . . . To 1st Lt., Rev. Wilbur H. Becker, in the chaplains
corps . . . To ensign, Boyd Burnquist, upon graduation from Annapolis
. .. The Purple Heart to S/Sgt. Fred Heidick. He was wounded on
the Anzio Beachhead May 20th. . . A Lt’s commission and wings to Robert E. Jensen,
at Blackland Army Air Field, Waco, Texas, June 27th.
ENJOYING MOM’S COOKING. 1st Lt. Don Hauser, veteran
of 50 missions, out of Italy. He was in on the raids over Ploesti, Reggensburg,
Belgrade. He was navigator on a Fort and also on a Martin Marauder . . . Harold
Leutzinger, RT 2/c, from Farragut, on his way to Great Lakes . . .
Cpl. Ed Wafful, from Camp San Luis Obispo . . . Cpl. and Mrs.
Russell Rhodes, from Camp Breckenridge, Ky. . . Richard Rosien,
Sig. 3/c, recently returned from Italy . . . Warren Englebart,
A/S, from Navy V-12 at Ames. . . Cpl. Russell Novy, from Warner
Robins Field, Ga. . . Pvt. Virgil Bell, from Camp Van Doren . .
. Robert Linn, BmM 2/c, from the South Pacific, his first leave
in 32 months . . . James and Fred Maddox, from
Their brother John is with the infantry at Camp Croft, S. C.
. . . Ensign Joan Cunningham, from Great Lakes . . . Pfe. John
Vohs, from Camp Howze, Texas. . . 5/Sgt. Everton W. Maly,
from the air base at Santa Maria, Texas. . . Ed Cahill, S l/c.
He had been in Russia . . . Cpl. and Mrs. Richard Trost, from.
Wichita Falls, Texas . . . Frank Schuster, F 2/c, of Moorland,
OVERSEAS. Verne Skoland, S 1/c, is with the Seabees
in the Hawaiian Islands. He has been on Tarawa doing construction work and expects
to go to another “rock” soon. . . Pvt. Joe Ritts, writing from
Kawai, T, H., uses a very glamorous paper with a beautiful hula girl, a reasonable
facsimile of Dorothy Lamour, reclining in one corner. Joe says, “There are no such
damsels over here. But when the little chick at home sees such things, it seems
to build up a far greater love for the boys over here.” . . . Lt. Gerald H.
Steussy is now getting his mail APO 559, New York. . . Walt Brown,
who was inducted at the same time as KVFD program director Bob Williams,
is now in England in the “walking air corps” (infantry). We'll take care of that
request, Walt . . . Cpl. Arthur Zuetlan, APO 637, New York, somewhere
overseas, sends his regards to his brother-in-law, Pvt. Sterling Stensrud
. . . Pvt. D. E. Haring, now in Sicily, says hello to Herb
Bennett. . . S/Sgt. M. L. “the old red head,” Campbell
is feeding ’em now in Italy. He says hello to everyone . . . Carl Nelson,
CM 2/c, is with the Seabees in the Southwest Pacific. Thanks, Carl, for the
“Coral Sea Barnacle.” . . . T/5 John Knox, of
Lehigh, sends us a copy of “Lili Marlene” from England. Thanks, John Knox. We sang
it the other day for the people here at home.
SERVICE PAPERS. From Sgt. E. J. Lyons, Camp Pickett,
Va., a copy of the “Dispatch,” published by the United States army
in the Persian Gulf Command. E. J. gets it from a friend of his who is over there.
A very handsome paper. E. J. and his wife, the former Florence Cackler,
are together at Camp Pickett. The Sgt. says, “Dad was pastor of the Baptist church
in 1937. You'll remember me best as the preacher’s kid.” Thanks, Sgt. . . . From
Lt. Richard G. Sternitzke, in Dutch New Guinea, way up front, a
copy of the “Jungle Journal” of June 11th. As Dick says, it’s crude
but shows what an effort is made by the army to keep G. I. informed of what goes
on in the outside world. Thanks, Lt. . . . To. the Fort Ord “Panorma,”
a snappy GI salute and a very deep civilian bow for its full page Morale Booster,
No. 124, of glamorous Lynn Bari. Thanks, Foster Funk
. . . From S/Sgt. Merrill Saunders, somewhere in the Pacific, the
7AAF “Brief.” Thanks, Merrill.
OVER HERE. A/C Bob Tucker is at Lemoore, Calif.
. . . V. M. Hunefeld, MM 3/c, is at Camp Peary, Va. . . . Cpl.
Scott Pfaff is an instructor in the B-29 Development school at
Dalhart, Texas, He has but one regret, that we can’t give Texas back to the Mexicans.
He says they knew what they were doing at San Jacinto. “They
lost on purpose.”” . . . Luella E. Schwering, S 2/c, is at Murray
Hall, Stillwater, Okla. . . . Chas. Kubicek is at Camp Butner,
N. C. . . . Pvt, Kirsten Lyngstad is at Camp Phillips, Kan . .
. Lt. Wallace Wise; skipping: or flying from one desert to another is now at Davis
Monthan Field, Tuscon, Ariz. He’s on a B-24. . . Lt. (j. g.) A. A. Carlson
is convalescing at the Naval Hospital at Yosemite National Park . . . Bob Elston,
who has been in the hospital for the past four months, is on the mend and hopes
to be home from Memphis for a short stay soon . . . Lou Carroll,
former KVFD continuity writer, now riding a sub chaser between Bizerte and Oran,
keeps Bob informed about what goes on in the Mediterranean. It seems that the beer
is very scarce, if any. Tough, Lou. We keep sending Y. L. F. H. You ought to. get
them sometime. Old but still good . . . Lt. Florence M. Powers,
of Callender, is home for good, honorably discharged . . . Chaplain Robert R.
Joynt is at Ledalia Air Field, Warrensburg, Mo. . . . Carl J. Graves,
EM 1/c, is ferrying boats from the shipyards up in the interior to tide water. He
enlisted December, 1941.
GLAD TO SEE EACH OTHER. In New Guinea, 0. H. Bohannan,
S 2/c, and Ray Fallon . . . At Ardmore, Okla., Pfc. Bernard
O'Brien, Lts. Dennis. Werdeman and Lloyd Vevle,
and Cpl. Russell Schultz. Werdeman, Vevle and Schultz are leaving
Ardmore soon . . . Somewhere in the Southwest Pacific, Geo. Schnurr,
Tom Berry and Bob Stewart. They were together
a couple of days, and had some-good talks about the old home town . . . In a shower
room at Camp Hilmer, N. J., Pat Derrig and Earl Fisher,
Pat's first Fort Dodger in 16 months in the service . . . In Oklahoma City,
Donald Stewart and James Peterson, both of Callender.
Don is at Tinker Field, Jim at Norman Field. - Thanks for “Tailspin,”
I WONDER WHATS THE LONGEST anyone has been in the service without
seeing anyone from home. . . All right, guys, no fish stories, just Honest Injun
all the way . . . And say, what’s the meanest, orneriest, funniest gripe you’ve
had in the army. I don’t mean you, Joe. I know by you everthing’s kopasetick. But
you might have heard of someone who didn’t always love what Uncle had planned for
FROM THE FIVE CORNERS OF THE WORLD. T/5 James R. Buckroyd,
New Guinea, “I'm enclosing some Jap invasion money which was used in Dutch N. G.
and a Jap postcard. I don’t know what the Nip said on his postcard but it looks
like a bunch of hooey! These were about the only souvenirs I got from my last landing.
Maybe I shouldn’t start you on this business of collecting souvenirs or you are
likely to end up with a studio full of items, ranging from mummy cases to Jap ears.
Perchance, in the near future, I may be able to secure you a Jap flag which, incidentally,
brings a nice price over here. One Navy man is reported to have offered 300 pounds
($1,000) for one and the soldier refused to sell it. He said he had killed the Jap
to get it and wouldn’t sell at any price. “Oh, what fools we servicemen be.” Other
valuable souvenirs brought these varying prices. Jap sabers and swords, 100 pounds;
pistols, 25 to 50 pounds; and American Philadelphia Whiskey, priceless. No fooling,
we found cases of it: Now we know what the Nips were fighting so hard to preserve.
No doubt, if it were sold in the right place it would bring the price of a trip
back to the States. Speaking of mosquitoes, and you were in your last letter, we
have seen some unusual performances by them also. In places that we occupy, the
mosquitoes always convert to using American flying formations and some even grow
twin tails (to resemble the P-38’s) so that they won’t be shot down for enemy aircraft.”
(Thanks a lot, Jim, for the postcard and the Jap money. Looks like the stuff we
used to play “monopoly” with. It’ll be on display in some downtown window soon.
Harwood’s been on the list for some time.. Thanks again, fellow. It was swell of
S/Sgt. Hubert R. Hood, New Guinea, “I see S/Sgt. Dick (Windy)
Johnson, of Fort Dodge, quite often for he is in the same bomb group.
Alfred Jenkins was with us but was transferred to another outfit
here. I was talking to him last week when I was at his base. I saw my cousin, Sgt.
John (Junior) Hood, a couple of months ago. I had a chance to get
a plane to his station and how we talked about Clare and Fort Dodge. Cpl. Bob
English, of Clare, is just over the mountain from me, but I haven’t
had the chance to go and see him as yet. Hope to soon: Bob and I were high school
classmates in St. Matthew’s school in Clare. There are a few boys from north central
Iowa in my squadron—Rockwell City, Clarion, Clear Lake and Sac City. We have bull
sessions every once in a while. You don’t blame us for talking about good old Iowa.
Nothing like it. New Guinea isn’t quite as bad as I thought it would be and I have
been around a lot, too. Travel mostly by air. I am in the garden spot of New Guinea,
if you would call it that. Sleep with at least two blankets on every night, plus
a wonderful thing—an air mattress. That’s for being a supply Sgt. Nice tropical
scenery to look at, but that is just about enough for me.”
Capt. Dave Alftine, Italy, “Had a glimpse of the eternal city and
the wonderful church of St. Peter’s and the Pope, as highlights of the day. Words
can’t describe the infinite beauty of the Cathedral and its wonderful works of paintings
and art treasures. The Pope gave an audience the day I visited and I considered
myself for- tunate on being there for the occasion. The city itself has been untouched
by the ravages of war and all the fine works of art and history are well preserved.
It looks a bit odd to see ruins like the Colosseum right in the midst of modern
buildings.” (Yes sir, Dave, we'll take caré of that request.)
Ch. William T. Paden, Capt., India, “Recently, I met my first Fort
Dodger since leaving the U.S. A. Pfc. Harry Jahn, a member of my
Fort Dodge congregation, came to my service about three Sundays ago. My services
are now conducted in a big tent. Harry, who lives in a tent just a short distance
from my chapel tent, did not know I was the chaplain here. He had not heard from
home for a long while so I have had the pleasure of sharing my. copies of YLFH with
him. I assure you it was a thrill to look down and see a Fort Dodger in my congregation.
Since that time, Harry and I have managed to get together often.
Jack Clark, Italy, “Received a huge bunch of Y. L. F. H. today and
was sure glad to get them. Have been in the hospital for over two weeks now and
you can never imagine how nice it was to receive them. Ran into a little opposition
just outside of Pontecarvo and now I’m here, basking in the Italian sunshine just
out of Naples. However, it is a great rest away from Jerries, “Moaning Minnies,”
our name for his six tube racket mortar, and the crash of gun fire. You should have
been here when the push started. The barrage was the biggest ever known in warfare.”
Sgt. Vern E. Aeling, New Guinea, “New Guinea is pretty in many ways,
but to live here, a person soon understands why they call it the “hell hole of all
places”. Seemingly, everything not wanted elsewhere was dumped ever here. Every
kind of insect, including the Jap; can be found here. The army has done wonders
in making this place and others like it livable. We certainly can be thankful for
Cpl. Paul T. Davidson, China, “We had a movie last night. It was
pretty good. We have about two a month. The only places there are to go here are
some villages and there is nothing in them. The prices are high and they go higher
all the time. They think we are all made of money, I guess. We have a radio. We
hear the news part of the time. It helps pass away some time in the evenings.”
S/Sgt. Glenn Moen, Italy, “I had the privilege of passing through
Rome and getting a glimpse of St. Peter’s Cathedral. I hope to get a pass soon so
I will be able to go through the Cathedral as I hear it is beautiful and very interesting.
Rome is a large city and very clean. Its environment is beautiful this time of year.”
Pvt. Dom Richey, England, “London is changing rapidly. Lots of
stores are painting and taking down the boarded windows and show many other improvements—they
are really planning for a bigger and better city. I nearly slept through D-Day.
(I worked the night shift for a time.) Everybody has a smile on his face and a much
lighter walk. If the cues were long in Washington D. C. for the movies, they should
see the lines to get a newspaper nowadays. It’s getting almost impossible to get
one. I was fortunate to get a couple of the invasion issues. Some news boys had
to have police protection on Tuesday. It saw Lt. Nancy Sittig over
a month avo. When our company paper, “Retakes” comes out this week
I’ll forward a copy to you. Yesterday I sat in on the broadcast of the MBS Am. Eagle
show. What different radio technique! The orchestra puts its rhythm and violins
together right in front. The announcers are rather dead looking and old. No handsome
ones. They don’t use the hand signals or the timing we use.” (The paper “Retakes”
is done by the Signal Photo Mail Co., and looks like V- mail. Thanks, Donn, for
the swell little paper.)
Ensign Erling L. Jordahl, Pacific, “The Fort Dodge area was my home
for four pleasant years and it is still very close to my heart. Flying a Liberator
bomber is a far cry from teaching music at Farnhamville and Callender!”
SOME DAY WE HOPE to acknowledge all the service papers and photographs
that we've gotten. We're trying to keep up now. But once we got behind and when
we looked up there was a pile that seemed almost insurmountable. That was when we
were struggling with the problem of getting the letters addressed. That's solved
now. The members of the Wa Tan Ye club, about 25 of them, come one night a week—and
are they good! About three hours work and the 3,500 letters are ready to go. It’s
wonderful of them. We had other grand letters from S/Sgt. Roy Blunk,
China . . . Julius Krebs, Italy . . . Sgt. Garland Porter,
Camp Beale, Calif. . . . R. H. Lacock, Norfolk, Va. . . Pvt.
F. J. Wempe, Denver, Colo. (Thanks, Pvt. for “The Rev-Meter.”
) . . . Pfc. Robert Dobmeier, England. (Yes, sir, we'll
take care of that number, Bob.) . . . Floyd Nichols, England. (We'll
take care of that dedication, Floyd, and thanks a lot for “The Invader”
) . . . S/Sgt. Ted Rule, San Pedro, Calif. . . . Cpl.
Clarence Carlson, APO, New York . . . Pvt. Charles Walker,
Aleutians . . . Pvt. Don McLaughlin, Truax Field, Wisconsin . .
. Ed Duehring, Cox., Pacific. (Yes sir, Ed, we'll take care of
that request.) . . . Pfc. Edith Fiderlick, Ft. Des Moines, Iowa
. . . Pvt. Thomas E. Lande, England . . . Pfc. Leo R. Miles,
APO, New York . . . Pvt. Ralph Rosales, APO, New York.
Thanks so much, all of you. Got an idea from a GI the other day. He said, “Why. don’t
you get together a. collection of shoulder patches. Then we'd have.’em after the
war.” Sounded O. K. to me. Joe. So if you got an extra one, we’ve got a place for
it in the collection we're going to have. Sure, come on over. We'll have a duck
dinner—if you bring the ducks. So long Joe—so long Jane —and the best of luck.
Your home town correspondent, Ed Breen.