DEAR JOE: It’s pretty hard to think or talk or write about anything
these days but the invasion. It’s hard to get away from the radio, from the teletype—you
want to hear and read everything every hour. About all we can do is hope and pray
and go on about our work . . . It still rains at the drop of a hat. We had about
four or five days of good weather. Then again came the rains. Farmers are working
every minute they can be in the fields . . . The road in Loomis Park washed out
completely in one place. But people are getting out there now and then . . . The
river is very high, the woods are green and lush. Wish you were home. The canoeing
is swell. And when we get a dry day, the picnics are wonderful.
HOME TOWN NEWS. Jim Dolliver defeated Fred
Gilchrist of Laurens, dean of the Iowa congressional delegation for
the Republican nomination to congress. Final score—Dolliver 11,224; Gilchrist 10,067
. . . Blue beat Burma in the race for the Republican
nomination for governor about 2 to 1. Judge Richard F. Mitchell
had no opposition on the Democratic ticket for governor. So this fall it will be
Blue of Wright county vs Mitchell of Webster .
. . C. V. Findlay, in the Republican race for state senator, beat
Melvin Wilson, of Lake City . . . Jim Stanek,
of Bohemian Hall and points east and west, was unopposed for State Senator on the
Democratic ticket . . . Kids are having a free show at the Rialto tomorrow. Roy
Rogers, “In Old Cheyanne,” in connection with the Fifth War Loan . . . The G. A.
R. met in Fort Dodge Monday and Tuesday. Only 16 of the Civil War Vets still living
in Iowa. Only two came to the encampment. Youngest was 96 . . . Band concerts are
starting. Lots of youngsters in the F. D. M. B. now, even some girls, Karl L.
King is still out in front . . . Running Ray Prohaska
was elected governor of Boy’s State this week at Grinnell College Campus . . . Once
more the Des Moines river is free to boat owners. Supreme Court says the land owners
along the river can’t enjoin its use . . . K V F D is taking over
the operation and management of Expo Park Pool. It will open Sunday.
Mr. Armstrong had asked the city to run it but the city dads declined.
So we took it on. Come on in, the water’s fine . . . Dwayne Dolder,
11 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Dolder, 1217 South 22nd Street, drowned last
Thursday evening in the gypsum pit near the air port. Got on a raft, got off, went
down. His body was not recovered for many hours . . . 200 boys joined in cleaning
up the farms along the Barnum road last week. Most of the wreckage in town and in
the country is now cleared away . . . Donald Edward Gordon, 19,
is now in the pen. He stole a car belonging to Russell Isaacson.
Gordon’s home is in Boone. . . Walter Sampson, Fort Dodge World
War veteran, two months ago picked June 6th as “D” Day. He figured the British would
want to attack on the four year anniversary of Dunkerque . . . The weather still
stays very wet but Chas. D. Reed says 86% of the corn is now in . . . Al Carroll
and his wife were riding with friends from Omaha last week. Driving through Crawford
Park they attempted to cross the concrete ford just above the little foot bridge
and were swept down stream in the high water. They got out with the help of friends
on shore, but the car rolled down stream and into the bridge. High water! . . .
PRISONER’S MAIL, Lt. Bernard Gillespie says he’s alive and well.
TO A WEDDING THEY’RE GOING. Charlotte Anderson
and A. E. Dinwiddle, Jr., of Higbee, Mo., PhM 1/c, at Norfolk,
Va., May 27th . . . Betty Garlick and Pvt. Howard J. Nelson,
of Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, June 18th in Fort Dodge . . . Geneva Peterson,
of Callender, and Karl Balm, June 27th in Fort Dodge . . .
Dorothy Lynn, of Gowrie, and Michael Wasko, of Jersey
City, New Jersey. He is an X-ray technician. At Gowrie, May 28th . . . Phyllis
Patton and Jimmy Wooters, of Gowrie, on May 30th,
at Gowrie . . . Mrs. Tera Kennedy, of New Ulm, Minnesota, and
Marshall Bickford, in Davenport, May 20th . . . Velma Anderson,
of Duncombe, and Sgt. Edward Pederson, of Los Angeles at Mason
City, June 3rd . . . Harriet Jean Smith and Sgt. C. J. Thorndike,
of Tampa, Fla., May 28th in Fort Dodge . . . Pearl Maddox and
Pfc. Samuel Reese, of Des Moines, at Killeen, Texas, May 21st . . .
Marcella Schulz and Ensign Robert Buckingham,
of Eagle Grove, in Ft. Pierce, Fla., May 25th . . . (correction—We were mistaken
or something about Jeanette Oppel and Bob Berry. Just pretend you never read it,
ENJOYING MOM’S COOKING. WAC Lt. Pauline Sherman,
from Ft. Benjamin Harrison, Ind., on her way to Ft. Oglethorpe, Ga . . . Pvt,
Alan Breen, from Camp Butner, N. C. . . . William Ross,
enroute to Louisville, Ky. . . . Lt. Emmett O’Connor, enroute to
Camp Benning, Ga . . . . John L. Harrigan, S 2/c, of Lehigh, from
Norman, Okla. . . . Capt. Wm. Terrill, enroute to Olympia, Wash.
. . . Tom Helferick, M. M. M. from the Pacific theatre on his way
New London, Conn. . . . Lloyd Schultz, PhM 3/c, from 17 months
MISSING IN ACTION. Sgt. William Peed, of Duncombe,
in Italy, since May 10th. He was with the tank corps.
PRISONER IN GERMANY is Lt. H. Erricson, 26 year
old bombardier, missing since April 29th, on a mission over Germany. His brother,
Jim, is in the Southwest Pacific with the army signal corps . . . Lt. Owen Walton
is a prisoner in Germany. He was reported missing as of April 29th on a mission
over Germany. He was co-pilot of a fort.
HOME TOWN BOYS MAKE GOOD. Byron Adams is now an
ensign. Got his Navy wings June 1st at Corpus Christi, Texas . . . To 1st Lt. in
the Army Nurses Corps, Mary Quinn. She’s at Coffeeville, Kansas
. . . Graduates from radio school at U. of W., at Madison, Dale Lindquist,
S 1/c, of Moorland, and Richard Perrin, S 2/e . . . To ensign,
Quento Vandi, of Lehigh. He got his commission at Notre Dame. He
will be with the navy’s amphibious forces. He’s home now enjoying Mom’s cooking
. . . Cited for bravery, 1st Lt. Wm. Lundgren, for courageous leadership
displayed on the Anzio beachhead . . . To 2nd Lt. Oral G. Thompson,
in England, the oak leaf cluster and the air medal . . . Louie Beisser
and James T. Edwards, of Callender, now have 2nd Lt.’s commissions
and wings. Got them May 23rd at Luke Field, Ariz.
OVER HERE. A/C Chas. D. Freed is at Minter Field,
Bakersfield, Calif. O. K., Chas. we’ve put Elkins on the list .
. . Pvt. Jerry R. Coughlin is in combat training at Ft. Jackson,
South Carolina. Thanks, Jerry, for the papers . . . Gale Stringer
is in the navy at Shoemaker, Calif., . . . Pvt. William Robert Fisher
is at Ft. Benning, Ga. . . . Duane Short, S 2/c, is at Shoemaker,
Calif . . . A/C R. E. Mockett is at San Antonio, Texas . . .
Cpl. Frank Zenor is back home from Italy. He was on the air with us
today, June 8th. Left Italy May 6th . . . Pvt. Melvin Inman is
stationed at the air field at Amarillo, Texas . . . S/Sgt. Ted Rule
has had his overseas plans cancelled for the time being and is still at Ft. MacArthur,
San Pedro . . . Pfc. Roger Howard is at Camp Beale, Calif., . .
. Pvt. Earl Murphy is at Fort Story, Va. . . . Lt. W. J. Whalen
is at MacDill Field, Tampa, Fla. . . . Louis LeRoy Davis, CMM,
is at Camp Parks, Calif . . . Pvt. Wilbur Strom is at Davis, Calif.
. . Art Hoeflin, S 2/e, is at Great Lakes . . . Pvt. Earl Pulis
is at Sheppard Field, Texas . . . Cpl. John W. Fisher is at Langley
Field, Va. . . . Pfc. Wm. Hutchinson is at Camp Polk, La. . .
Harold Licht, S 2/c, is at the Naval Air Station at Pasco, Washington
. . . Pvt. Robert Wickwire is now in the parachute school at Ft.
Benning, Ga. . . . Lt. (j. g.) M. Bruce is at Mankato, Minn. .
. Pvt. Paul H. Mundt is at Camp Beale, Calif . . . Pvt. J.
E. Larson is at Lubbock, Texas . . . Ted Lindberg,
F. C. 3/c, is at Treasure Island, Calif. . . . Pvt. Geo. W. Lundgren
is at Truax Field, Madison, Wis. . . . J. S. Gibson, A/S, is back
in the states and in V-12 at Ames . . . Pvt. Earl Martin is at
Camp Grant, Il. . . . Marvin Intermill, F 1/c, is at Norfolk, Va.
We'll send you Dwain’s address and see what we can do about the pictures, Marv.
. . Gene Savage is now a Sgt. and is stationed at Camp Haan, Calif
. . . Pfc. Bruno Sestini is now at the air field at Laredo, Texas.
OVERSEAS. Sgt. Cliff Ennis is getting his mail
APO 958, San Francisco . . . Pvt. Paul Jordan has been on the beachhead
at Anzio. Hope by now he is in Rome . . . Pvt. Fred Engelbart is
APO 7801, New York . . . Cpl. Norman T. Castenson is APO 867, Miami,
Fla. . . . James F. Knickerbocker, S 1/c, is now an old shell back.
Recently, he crossed the Equator. On one trip in the Pacific, he saw Geo. Daniel
. . . T/5 James H. Johnson is in Italy, near Cassino . . .
E. C. Hollister is in England with the air force, APO 577 . . . T/4
Daniel Reed is APO 505, New York. His brother, Cpl. Vern Reed,
is at Biggs Field, Texas . . . Cpl. Sam Rhodes is in Pyote, Texas.
In the same squadron is 2nd Lt. Don Perkins, a bombardier . . .
Capt. Delbert M. Steiner is now APO 689, New York.
2ND LT. WILFRED STAGMAN, now listed as missing in action, was navigator
on a plane shot down over Rumania on April 4th. Before his plane crashed near the
Danube river, at least nine parachutes were seen to emerge from it. No further word
has as yet been received. He had the air medal and two oak leaf clusters.
T/4 FRITZ SCHRANDT writes from Italy that it is no uncommon sight
to see four or five hundred bombers going over at once. He sends a copy of Lili
Marlen and says the boys have heard it and sung it so much it’s losing popularity.
Thanks, Fritz. I’m sending your letter on to Lt. and Mrs. Russell Pederson.
MORE LILI MARLEN. S/Sgt. Clarence Cooklin sends
us a copy in Italian from the Anzio Beachhead. Clarence ran across Ivan Swartz
recently. “Sure was glad to see him.’ Thanks, fellow. We'll dedicate that number
to Mrs. Pirie.
MOVIN’ AROUND. Lt. Howard Johnson, from Tonapah,
Nev., to APO 719, San Francisco . . . Sgt. Paul Menefee, ex-aviation
cadet along with 35,999 others since B, O. Day,* is now at Camp McCoy, Wisc. Thanks,
Paul, for the copy of “Post Script.” *Blanket Order Day . . . Ensign Bob Kelley
is at Daly City, Calif. . . . Lt. Jack Foley is in San Francisco
and delayed temporarily for an operation . . . From Camp Van Dorn, Miss., to Camp
Beale, Calif, Pfc. Herman F. Etzel . . . Pvt. Tom Moore,
from Camp Grant, IL, to Lawson General Hospital, Atlanta, Ga. . . . From Kearns,
Utah, to APO, San Francisco, Pfc. Carl Leiss . . . A/C Gerald
Lundgren is at Childress, Texas . . . A/C Donald Thompson
from Maxwell Field, Ala., to Carlsbad, New Mexico.
GLAD TO SEE EACH OTHER. Cpl. Mary Hutchinson,
of the Marines, and Marv. Moreland, at Camp Lejeune, N. C.
Mary is going on furlough to visit her folks in La Jolla, Calif. .
. . Donald Rodenborn S 1/c, is at Hollywood, Fla., in N. A. S.S.
In Memphis, he met Sue Peschau with the WAVES . . . R. D, Samuelson,
CM 1/e, and Alex Black, in the Panama Canal Zone. Sammy almost
missed Alex behind the big beard he’s wearing.
D-DAY. Most of Fort Dodge slept through the early hours of historic
June 6th. Most of Fort Dodge had found election day a little dull and apathetic.
With few contests and a light vote, Fort Dodge had yawned and gone to bed . . .
In the KVFD newsroom the staff had watched the teletype with mounting interest.
The Germans were broadcasting the news of an invasion of France. Allied headquarters
said nothing. There was some speculation, there was inferred denial. Then it broke
at 2:32 CWT and we took the air. Through the early morning hours we read dispatches,
drank coffee, ate doughnuts. We notified the city hall at 2:32 and at 2:45 the whistles
sounded but they were feeble and few people woke . . . At 5:30 there was almost
no one on the streets. It was a cold gray morning. Those all night workers and early
risers who heard the news heard it calmly and soberly. Morning papers carried no
news of the invasion but everywhere radio stations junked commercial programs and
devoted the entire time to news—news that came from London, from the skies over
the British channel, from Washington and New York and the West Coast . . . A sailor
passing KVFD stopped and asked why the sirens were blowing. “Gosh” was all he said
but there were tears in his eyes as he walked away . . . When I went out to see
who was stirring at 5:30 the only sound was the chirping of sparrows. The first
person I saw was Delores Gunderson. She was on her way to the telephone
company office where she works. She hadn’t heard the news and hardly knew what to
think. Chas, Ferris and Bob Wretman, at the post
office, had both been listening for hours. Frank Fleming, at the
Warden Apts., had been listening since 2:45 a.m. Mrs. Arnold Osberg,
who works at the Butterfly Cafe, hadn’t heard the news but said “Oh, good.” Her
husband is with the Seabees in Australia . . . W. J. Burrell, night
clerk at the Wahkonsa, had been listening all night. They’d been listening at
Wimpy’s and Carl’s Hamburger. Everyone was sober and
thoughtful. They were thinking of those deadly beachheads our boys were attacking
. . . At 9:00 a, m., all stores and business places closed and we went to church
to pray for those Americans who were assaulting the fortress of Europe, to pray
that peace might return to the world and that the scourge of war might be lifted
. . . And still the news sings its song of courage and terror.
KILLED IN ACTION. 1st Lt. Jim Lizer, 23 year old
marine corps fighter pilot in the Southwest Pacific. It happened late in May.
FROM THE FIVE CORNERS OF THE WORLD. Pvt. Harry J. Ladwig,
Amarillo, Texas, “The Battle of Amarillo is progressing rather well, If I were a
general, I would certainly order an orderly retreat out of Texas and let the wind
and sand take over as it is so persistently trying to do. I started out to be a
flight instructor but our schools were closed in January so I made application to
become an airplane mechanic. Hence, I was Shanghaied down here to Texas and have
finished about half of the school here.”
Pvt. Joe Ritts, Island of Kawai, “Can you imagine reaching up and
pulling down a nice ripe banana and all other sorts of delicious fruit? Well, we
can do just that and it is the only advantage of being in the tropics.”
Lt. Harold D. Peterson, Charleston, South Carolina, “The first
copy of “Your Letter
From Home” reached me the other day. I do not know who put my name on the mailing
list, but I thank you for making it possible. It is as welcome as chow and as relaxing
as a cigarette. It was indeed a surprise, but soon I’ll be used to anything. I just
glanced out of my office window and saw a British sailor walking up to the front
door. Even an American sailor is rare in this army institution. I didn’t intend
to get off the subject but the Limey did startle me. After having been away as long
as I have, it is a thrill to see familiar names and know what friends are doing,
although most of them seem to have gotten farther than I in less time. In two years,
all I've accomplished is a view of ships with the big red cross and the green stripe
coming in. Fortunately, I've not yet seen a Fort Dodger on the ship’s list. But
should any of them come back in a hospital ship and hit Stark General without my
knowing it, my phone is 3-2511, extensions 805, 806, and 807.”
Cpl. George Caldwell, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, “I’m here
taking a course on instrument repair. That includes binoculars, telescopic sights
and all fire control instruments. This camp is really a busy place. The proving
ground is just about 44 mile from the school and the gun fire shakes the devil out
of the school all day long.”
Lt. Ed. Degner, North Africa, “At present, I am in a hospital in
North Africa, recovering from a minor skin ailment. Yesterday morning, while I was
censoring mail, I noticed a letter addressed to Fort Dodge. It was written by
Bob Moe who was in my class in F. D. H.S. I made some contacts and
we had a reunion. He’s a pill-roller and I’m a patient in his hospital. We had a
bull session. He supplied me with his latest copy of Y. L. F. H. and we agreed that
it is more important to the war effort than the bazooka. We all appreciate it very
much. Love and stuff, Ed. Degner.” “Dear Y. L. F. H., It sure is nice to see a Fort
Dodger. My second one since, coming overseas. Thanks again for the great letter.
ACK John Burke, FPO San Francisco, “Quentin Fiddler, formerly from
Fort Dodge, visited me recently and gave me two issues of Y.L. F. H. I believe it
has traveled more than any other as it was sent to Bud Youngstrom
who is in the third marine division. He gave it to Louis Fiddler
who sent it to Quentin. He passed it to me and after I was through with it, I mailed
it to Paul Von Bank, who is in the Fifth Amphibious Corps. It traveled
through the mail to three different divisions at different islands in the Pacific.
I would lke to have you send it to me as it takes quite a long time via the third
division. Tomorrow will be a sort of a celebration to us old men of the division
as tomorrow we've been overseas two years. Thank you very much, John Burke.”
Curt Anderson, FPO New York, “I guess I ought to begin by telling
you who I am. When I was home I lived at Gowrie but I have been in the Merchant
Marine for over a year now. We have been out on this trip for six months and yesterday
we got our first mail. It seemed funny to get Christmas mail in May. Among the mail-was
twelve of Y. L. F. H. and boy I’m telling you they really hit the spot. The port
we are in now isn’t much but we went ashore last night just to feel solid ground
again. About .............. we were in Colombo, Ceylon and we had a swell time
there. The American Red Cross held a dance and it was great to go to a dance after
a six month layoff: There were some American girls there and some WRENS, The band
wasn’t like Miller or Dorsey but they could beat it out pretty good. Running out
of paper so I'll close but let me thank you again for Y. L. F. H. It’s really O.
Rudie Anderson, Italy, “I want you to thank all the firms that
help to put out the Y. L. F. H. for me; it is really a morale builder. I have one
that I am going to keep as long as I can, for it has a shrapnel hole in where a
piece of German Flak went through it while on a mission. I was reading about the
egg situation. We get them fresh once a week.” (Most Fort Dodgers in Italy or from
this part of the country are now APO 34, New York, New York. Wish we could give
you more information but we don’t have more than that available.)
Capt. Wilbur C. Thatcher, M. C., Italy, Words to Lili Marlen, “Outside
the barracks, by the corner light, I'll always stand and wait for you at night.
We will create a world for two. Id wait for you, the whole night through. For you,
Lili Marlen, for you Lili Marlen. Bugler, tonight don’t play the call to arms. I
want another evening with her charms. Then we must say goodbye and part. I'll always
keep you in my heart. With me, Lili Marlen, with me Lili Marlen. Give me a rose
to show how much you care. Tie to the stem a lock of golden hair. Surely tomorrow
you'll feel blue. But then will come a love that’s new. When we are marching in
the mud and cold. And when my pack seems more than I can hold, My love for you renews
my might, ’m warm again, my pack is light. It’s you Lili Marlen, it’s you Lili Marlen.
Note: The story is that the Germans and yanks sing this in unison up where they
are closely opposed. I can’t vouch for its truth.” “Dear Mr. Breen: You requested
it. Here are the words. Will try to get the music. Keep the letter coming from home.
They are fine—great morale boosters. Would like to send you a copy of “Beachhead
News,” but censor says no. Bruno Marchi is here with
his outfit and doing a swell job. Also Bill Burnquist, Ralph Coats,
and many other Dodgers.” (Thanks, Capt. Bill. We print it in full because everyone
in the European theatre seems to agree that “Lili Marlen” is the great song of the
war. In England, it’s selling 20,000 copies a day. Life Magazine has recently devoted
several pages to it, including music. Thanks, fellow.)
And there were other cards and letters from Cliff C. Castor, F
I/c, San Diego, Calif. . . . A/S William Newsum, Cedar Rapids,
Iowa. (Thanks, Bill, for the “Gremlin Gazette.”) . . . Pfc.
Bill Roberts, Florence, S. C. . . . William Sweeney, Oceanside,
Calif. . . . Cpt. Earl D. Wendt . . . R. D. Samuelson,
Lido Beach, Long Island, N. Y. . . . Cpl. Sam Rhodes, Pyote, Texas.
Pvt. Earl E. Martin, Camp Grant, Ill. . . . Sgt. E. J. Savage,
Camp Haan, Calif. . . . A/C Donald Thompson, Carlsbad, New Mexico
. . . Pvt. Harold Foran, Camp Grant, Ill, . . . Pfc. Floyd
Zeka, Pyote, Texas. (We'll try to get that address for you.) . . .
Pfc. Maurice Beem, Fort Knox, Ky. . . . Frances Knickerbocker,
Olathe, Kansas . . . Cpl. Donald S. Zakeer, Camp Campbell,
And loads of papers, magazines, booklets and pictures. Thanks so much for all of
them. One of these days we’re going to acknowledge them all, we hope, we hope, we
hope . . . So long Joe and Jane. You are great people and we’re proud of you. Our
happiest day will be that day when you'll be coming home. Good luck.
Your home town correspondent,