Missing in Action
Lt. Norman Kempton of Watauga, is reported missing in action over Germany on January 5th, according to a war department telegram received by his father, S.S. Kempton. Lt. Kempton, pilot of a Flying Fortress, has seen action since early in November, having made several raids over Berlin. Lt. Kempton is a brother of Mrs. Dick Hoisington, living northwest of Watauga and made his home here with them and his father.
Taken from Corson County News February 10, 1944
Local Boy Sees Action at Tarawa
Clp. Wm. Byhoffer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Byhoffer of McIntosh took part in the battle of Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands in Nov., the bloodiest battle in the Marine Corp history to date. He was a a member of the Signal Battalion of the Air Ground Liaison Unit and came through the battle without a scratch and is now located in the Hawaiian Islands. On account of censorship, Billy was unable to tell his parents much about the Battle of Tarawa, but said it was terrible, and that a couple of his buddies were among those who lost their lives.
Taken from Corson County News February 10, 1944
Parents Receive Son's Citation
Mr. and Mrs. Francis Lofgren recently received an award of air medal and a citation for their son, Sgt. Harry W. Lofgren, who is missing after taking an active part in an air battle over Kiel, Germany, last spring. The Citation is as follows;
Citation: For exceptionally meritorious achievement while participating in five separate bomber combat missions over enemy occupied Continental Europe. The courage, coolness and skill displayed by these officers and enlisted men upon these occasions reflect great credit upon themselves and the Armed Forces of the United States.
By command of Brigadier General F.L. Anderson.
Taken from Corson County News February 17, 1944
Is Jap Prisoner
Mr. and Mrs. Jess Nehl of Morristown recently received a card from their son Mark, from a prison camp in Japan, saying he was well and not wounded. The card was a form card, printed and spaces left for answers to questions of importance, but gave very little information as to his whereabouts. Mark was listed as missing in action several months ago, and although the card is a little consoling to the parents and friends, the fact that he is a Jap prisoner, he is undoubtedly subject to a lot of hardships. The card was typed, but the signature was Mark's and readily recognized by his parents as his hand writing.
Taken from Corson County News March 2, 1944
A Ruthless Enemy
The Jap is a ruthless and fearless enemy and bombs and strafs hospitals and wounded soldiers as he would men on front lines, is the way Max One Feather, discharged soldier of the South Pacific war theater and former McLaughlin high school basketball star put it.
Having received a medical discharge, Pfc. One Feather returned home last week, after spending considerable time on New Guinea. He was in the medical division and it was his work to give first aid to wounded men and carry them back to the field hospitals.
He said that when his outfit first moved up to the battle zone they carried no guns and were unprotected but that after a number of their stretcher-bearers had been killed by Jap snipers, they were given permission to carry weapons for their own protection and the protection of the wounded men that were being taken back to hospitals.
Recalling one of the early events, One Feather said that a field hospital had been set up behind the lines and was laid out and marked so that no one could mistake it. It was without protection, as all field hospitals should be. He said that a formation of Jap planes came into the hospital zones, flying just above the tree tops and bombed and machine gunned the wounded men as they lay on their cots and forced doctors and workers to seek the shelter of fox holes.
Following the raids the field hospitals were forced to move back nearer the coast where anti-aircraft guns were stationed in order to protect wounded men and hospital crews from the Jap bombings.
One Feather was among the first American soldier to move onto New Guinea. He was there from November 1942 to February 1943, when he was returned to Australia for hospitalization. He had malaria fever several times and was suffering from shell shock. He was returned to the United States after 17 months of overseas service and in spite of his protests, was discharged. He had been trying to get back in the service and says that when he builds himself up physically perhaps they will take him back.
Taken from Corson County News March 2, 1944
Returns from South Pacific
Dan Hamon, son of Mr. and Mrs. Dan Hamon arrived and will spend a thirty day furlough with his parents and other friends. Dan has been in the service for nearly eight years, the last two and a half years serving as a paratrooper. He recently returned from the South Pacific where he has been for the past fourteen months. Three stars on a chevron indicate that Dan has taken part in three major battles, but Dan is very modest and to get a story about his adventure he just casually remarks that it was "hot stuff". He did admit that he had thirty-three jumps to his credit, but to hear him tell it, it was just another day's work. Says he was glad to get his feet back on the soil of the good old U.S.A., but is anxious to get back into the battle zone some where there is plenty of excitement. Asked how the morale of the boys in the battle zone was Dan replied, he had heard more "squawking" about rationing, buying bonds and what not, then he did all the time he was in the battle zone where, the boys face death every turn of the road. Dan is a fine young and a fine specimen of the good American boys that are doing the job and doing it up in a hurry.
Taken from Corson County News March 2, 1944
Wakpala Soldier is Prisoner of Germans
Pvt. Steven Twohearts, son of Mrs. Amy Twohearts of Wakpala, who was reported "missing" in the Mediterranean area in December is now known to be a prisoner of the Germans. The war department released his name along with the names of 231 prisoners. Pvt. Twohearts was an early enlistee from Corson County and has been overseas since November 1942, seeing action in North Africa as well as Sicily and Italy.
Taken from Corson County News 1944
Bill Flyinghorse Returns Home
Pfc. Wm. Flyinghorse returned last Friday evening from Los Angeles, where he has been confined in a hospital since he returned from New Guinea about four or five months ago. Bill contracted a skin disease while in the Jungles in the South Pacific, and was given his honorable discharge from the service. He has been in the army for nearly two years and seventeen months of that time he has spent in Australia and New Guinea serving in the medical department. Bill is very modest about what he went through, but says the good old U.S.A. looked very good to him, although he would have just as soon remained in the service had it not been for his affliction. Says the eats were pretty good in the far off land, but due to the heat and rain, everything was canned, even the potatoes, and the menu got somewhat tiresome at time. Says the natives of New Guinea are odd little people, but very friendly to the American soldiers, and some of the younger natives talk fairly good English and have received their education from missionaries. Many of the native boys work in the dining rooms and kitchens of the U.S. bases and are very ambitious and like to be with American boys. The country has a heavy growth of jungle trees and without a native as a guide, it is nearly impossible to get any place without danger of being lost, the brush is so dense that one can only see a few feet ahead of them, and paths made by the natives run criss-cross and are like a chinese puzzle. The natives are small and dark with thick curly hair, Bill says and live in small huts made by weaving leaves together and that the American soldiers have copied their mode of living to a great extent, the rain causing the tents to rot after a few months use. Bill has two sons in the U.S. army and both ready to go overseas.
Taken from Corson County News March 9, 1944
Geary Brothers in Service
The Geary brothers, Elmer and Ralph, felt their place during the war was to be in service for Uncle Sam. They both volunteered and joined the Navy. They are the sons of Mrs. Hanna Geary, of north of Morristown and brothers of Walter Geary, who is on the farm with their mother. Both boys are in the Pacific theater of war. Ralph Geary volunteered in June 1942, before entering the Navy he handled the bulk oil station at Watauga for 12 years.
Taken from Corson County News March 16, 1944
Writes Home from New Guinea
John Gehring received a letter from his brother Fred, recently who is stationed in the South Pacific, and allowed us the privilege of passing on the news to Fred's many friends here.
Received your V-mail this afternoon and hope this letter finds you also in the best of health.
I couldn't make out everything in the letter that you wrote; the majority of V-mail letters are hard to read. Darn near have to get a magnifying glass to read it. That is the reason I very seldom write one.
Well, here it is Valentines Day and not a card to send to anyone. It's not that I wouldn't like to but there just aren't any here to send, so you will have to excuse me for that, I guess.
Last night some of us fellows went to a stage show. It was very good. There were six "Aussie" girls in the act and quite a bit of comedy, also a very good band. Boy! you ought to hear the fellows yell and yip when the girls go on the stage, as women are scarce here except nurses and things like that, of course there are plenty of native women but nobody with a half-way intelligent mind would go with one of them.
I see that you have had some blizzards already; I sure like to face cold weather again soon, instead of this kind of climate. It really gets tiresome although a cold climate now, wouldn't agree with me just now.
In your letter you wrote I had better watch my step on account of this being leap year. Well, I'm darn sure there won't be any leaps this way, at least not here anyway, furthermore, I'm not in the mood today, ha.
I received some pictures from Rusty, from the family, gee! the kids really have grown since I last saw them. You all look very well to; I'd like to send you some but haven't any. I've changed a lot I believe, I don't think you'd know me if I should drop in on you some future date. At least we are looking forward to seeing you all again in the near future, at least I hope so.
Taken from Corson County News March 23, 1944
The following letter was received recently by the Melvin Rye family, from Miss Hope Lone who is stationed in the South pacific as nurse with the American army force.
This year has sure gone fast so far and hope it keeps on. Seems like years already since we left home. Almost a year since I joined into the Army and plenty has happened since. Lillian Lang is stationed at this hospital we are attached to so get lots of chances to talk to her.
But so far I've met no South Dakota boys. Seems sort of funny, but they must be pretty scattered. My cousin, Juel, is over here somewhere but can't seem to track him down.
We have a beauty parlor-strictly G.I., now and run by ten men and it surely boosts us. Our hair was getting very long and hard to handle the way it is- and regulations say off the collar so you know how it is.
We've a Club on top of the hill now built by the Natives; something on the order of a hut-but so hard to get there. A jeep needs four wheel drive if its damp. Sure a lovely place and we can give parties now in return for all the parties we've been given.
You'll have to tell everyone "Hello" from me over here. We're fine and dandy good spirits and our care seems so appreciated. As one boy put it-it's just the feminine touch that gets us well.
Taken from Corson County News March 30, 1944
North Watauga Boy is Killed
Sgt. Dave Bertch, son of Mr. and Mrs. G.E. Bertch of Watauga and formerly of Carson was killed in an airplane accident in the North African theatre.
Sergeant Bertch was an aerial gunner in a Flying Fortress with the army air force and according to the best information received by his parents he had only been in the north African theatre a few days.
Mr. Bertch, son Peter and son in law Victor Sokolofsky, had gone to Watauga Friday morning on a business trip and about 15 minutes before they expected to return home they received the telegram from the war department stating that Dave "had been killed in an airplane accident in the North African theatre" that a letter would follow.
Dave is the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Bertch. He was born on their farm in southern Grant county on March 11, 1922 where he resided until the family moved to Carson so the children could attend school. Dave graduated from the Carson high school in 1940 and shortly thereafter he went to the West coast where he was employed in an aircraft factory until he went into military service in Feb. 1943.
Sergeant Bertch received his basic training in Florida was transferred to Colorado and then to Texas where he graduated from the aerial gunners school. He was later transferred to Salt Lake City, Utah and assigned to a bomber crew. He was stationed at various places with the crew training and making plans for their overseas journey.
His parents received a letter from him on March 30 stating that he was in Brazil. According to the letter it was thought that he would remain there for awhile but he apparently left immediately as a letter written to friends by Dave, dated March 23, states that he was in Africa.
Besides his parents, one brother Peter and four sisters, Mrs. Victor Sokolofsky, Mrs. Arnold Landgrebe, Christine and Esther Bertch are left to mourn his untimely death.
Taken from Corson County News April 13, 1944
Boys Called to take Physical
Floyd Edward Afrank, Morristown who was accepted for U.S. Navy service left from McIntosh for Omaha, Nebraska, where he will be assigned to a Naval training center to begin his boot training.
Casper S. Fischer, Frank Filscher and Arthur Coraguilo all of Trail City and Lawrence Silveson, Mobridge are scheduled to leave for Fort Snelling April 25th. All four of these men were accepted by the U.S. Army for regular military service and will now be assigned for taring in one or more of the Army training camps.
Another group of men is called for April 28th to take the pre-induction physical examination at Fort Snelling according to a report from the Local Board office. this group includes Walter Kirschenmann, Lawrence Kelsch and Julius Jundt of McLaughlin; Leo Roshau, Nevin Krein, Leo Fischer and Paul Shell of Trial City; Thomas Edward Beranek, Sheldon Neumiller, Merle Lofgren, Carl F. Johnson and Hugh Utter all of McIntosh; Dan Enright Timber Lake; Samuel Parker, Kenel and Joseph Selzer, Glencross, Alfred Morgan Sioux county registrant has been transferred to this Board for his pre-induction physical examination and will leave with the Corson County group
Taken from Corson County News April 20, 1944
Bullhead Tops Quota
The little Indian Community of Bullhead did its share in helping Corson county reach its quota or surpass it by more than $1200. Bullhead contributed $281.10. They did this by individual contributions plus the proceeds form a Red Cross benefit which was well patronized by the people. Much credit should be given to John Archambault and his able assistant Mr. and Mrs Charles DeRockbrain, Eli Eagle, Ivan Red Bear, Patrick Foot, Jenny Red Bear, Edith Rothert and Eilven Redmond.
Following is a list of individual contributions: James Bearribs, 1.00; Sherm Iron Shield, Lily Good Eagle, Clement Little Eagle, Harriet DeRockbrain, Alma One Feather, Clayton Barker, Margaret Archambault, Edith Rothert, Elwen Redmond, Nicholas Blanket, Robert Rauser, Wm. Flyinghorse, Ambrose Pine, Allen Brave Crow, Bruce Flyinghorse, Arthur Larina, Amos ElkNation, Francis Whitepaw, Bertha Flyinghorse, Theresa Flyinghorse, Wm. CrowGhost, Victoria Morris, Odeliah Crow Ghost, Joachim Harrychin, John Archambault, Mary Hawk, Eli Eagle, Charles DeRockbrain, Mrs. Wears Horn, Garfield Elk Nation, James Redfish, Louis Archambault, Womens' War Bond Buyer's Patrick Foot, Victoria Harrychin, Joseph Fast Horse Jr., Joseph Fast Horse Sr., Lucy Elk Nation, Blanch Mutchier, Nancy Pine, Paul High Cat, James Cedar Boy, Mary Brave Crow, Julius Kills Pretty Enemy, Mrs. Hawk, Olivia Hollow, John Steel, Raymond Harrychin, Lawrence Brown, Theresa Brown, Sam Eagle Pipe, Clarence Gray Eagle, Thomas Shoots Straw, Essie Brown, Eunice Thompson, Lucille Red Bear, Joe Iron Thunder, Luke Speaks Walking, Josephine Leap, Louise White Paw, Joe Red Bear, Geo Hawk, Sophia Archambault, Mrs. Two Face, Louis Archambault Jr.
Taken from Corson County News April 20, 1944
Dedicate flag To Service Men
In an impressive ceremony at the High School auditorium, McIntosh High school dedicated a service Flag to the graduates who are serving in the armed forces. The high school is mighty proud of its 71 graduates who are in the armed forces among which are 7 girls.
The committee in charge hopes that no one has been omitted. Following is the roll of honor, each being represented by a blue star on the Flag which is a gift to the school from the 1944 Graduating Class.
Ellis Miller, George McCarthy, Bernard Peterson, Arthur Kern, Harold Gall, Kenneth Wattenberger, Edmund Erz, Milton Lang, Leo George, Willard Scott, Norman Helgerson, Earl Giese, Irvin Green, Donald Peterson, Vernon Striegel, George Campbell, Wm. George, Lee brooks, Chester Lind, Lyle Becker, Roger Pederson(Missing), Peter Mattern, Frank Welder, Bryce Brancel, Wilfred Arneson, Elton Thompson, Lee Payne, Harris Green Lawrence VerDouw,(Honorably Discharged), Ernest Watson (honorably discharged)
Army Air Corp:
Clarence Olson, Robert Stoick, Robert Byhoffer, Herby Bakkehaug, Donald Halverson, Jack Chesrown, James Belknapp
Hope Lone, Lillian Lang, Bernice Thompson
Frank Mattern, Ivan Cain, Hartley Scott, Emmett Jensen, Tony Panko, Art Nehl, Clarence Winterberg, Harry VerDouw, Charles Hoffman, Jack Cain, Johnathan Taylor, Eldon Olson, Lowell Haines, Waldon Nehl, Wilton Langerman.
Navy Air Corp.
Wallace Smith, Clare Hoffman, Ernest Brooks, David Eskelson, Clifford Whitmore, Gordon Evanson
Helen George, Mary George, Anna Thomson, Emma Lou Daly
John Evans, Wm. Weeden.
Wm. Byhoffer, Selmer Skotvold, Buckley Pudwill.
Taken from Corson County News May 4, 1944
Sioux Tongue Breaks Silence in Warring Italy
The mountains of South Italy echoed for the first time the Sioux language as three Standing Rock soldiers met back of the battle lines and renewed their knowledge of the Lakota tongue. In telling about the meeting, Frank Vermillion, formerly of Kenel said, "When I met Jess Ankle and Ambrose Dog Eagle, we started to take Indian and boy, I had almost forgotten how to talk the language. We made out pretty well though.
The experience of the three Standing Rock boys was related last week in a letter from Frank Vermillion to Henry Ankle, father of Jess Ankle of Little Eagle. He said that in the twenty-three months he had been overseas, it was the first time he had seen anyone from home. The three boys got furloughs and spent three days together in South Italy. He said that Jesse was working some distance behind the lines, but that he had spent much of his time near the front.
Sgt. Vermillion sent his regard to friends on the Standing Rock and said "tell the McLaughlin Messenger that three boys from the Standing Rock got together over here in Italy."
Taken from Corson County News May 4, 1944
Morristown Boy Listed Missing
The horrors of war were brought closer to home again last week, when the War Department notified Dr. and Mrs. L.F. Miller, of south of Morristown, that their son, Staff Sergeant Clayton L. Miller, was missing in action over Germany April 25th.
Clayton was well known over the west river country and was an outstanding young man and had a host of friends, and made many friends through his pleasing personality and sense of humor. He always took his army training very serious and was rewarded by being promoted to staff sergeant. Many of the boys flying over Germany are reported as missing by the Department and later either show up in England or are prisoners of war, and the many friends of Clayton trust and hope that will be his fate.
Following is a copy of the telegram received by Dr. and Mrs. Miller from the War Department;
The secretary of war desires me to express his deepest regret that your son, Staff Sergeant Clayton L. Miller has been reported missing in action since twenty-five April over Germany. If further details or other information are received you will be promptly notified
Taken from Corson County News May 18, 1944
Reported Missing; Returns Home
Lt. Norman Kempton of Keldron reported missing in action somewhere in the German theater of War on January 10th is home. Then days ago, his parents received a letter written from somewhere in Spain advising that he was safe and in neutral territory.About five days later they received a wire from London and in another five days Lt. Kempton was home.
Lt. Kempton would make no statement about his experiences other than to say that his plane was shot down and he landed in enemy territory and was able to reach neutral territory.
Lt. Kempton was serving as a pilot on a bomber. His crew had made several missions, but on this mission, the plane was damaged from shell fire, and fell out of formation, after which the plane was easy prey for the German fighter planes. Lt. Kempton said they were flying at about four thousand feet when the plane was disabled. The crew were ordered from the ship and he saw that all men were safe, then he made his exit through the bombay door. He had difficulty in clearing the plane as it was falling down at the same speed he was falling, but at about two thousand feet, the plane caught the wind, permitting him to fall away from it and open his parachute.
He stated that one reason the plane was unable to combat the enemy fighter planes was because a fire had broken out in the ship from the oxygen tanks, and the gunner in the upper part of the plane had been called down to fight the fire permitting the German fighters to get at them from above.
Lt. Kempton is well known in Corson county and is a brother of Mrs. C.L Hoisington, north of Watauga.
Taken from Corson County News May 18, 1944
McLaughlin Boy is Soldier of the Month
A telegram was received by Mrs. Alfred Rau that Pfc. Alfred Rau was chosen as soldier of the month at Marianna Air Base of Marianna, Florida. Pfc. Rau was chosen as the representative of the band and all representatives from the different squadrons were interviewed by the officers of the field. They were questioned on current events and Army regulations with Pfc. Rau winning first place in the quiz. He was given a three day pass and $30 in cash as an award.
Taken from Corson County News June 1, 1944
Joe Senftner Writes Home
Well, I finally snatched up Jap paper and pen so will let you know how things are on this side of the world.
So far I am still the same. Have been in combat for sometime. The air corp come in first and knocked out over 300 Jap planes on the ground. There were (Censored) and then the infantry troops come in and took it over in five days. Most of the japs took for the hills because they were mostly air corp men and didn't know how to fight infantry troops. We still live in fox holes, and sometimes go out on patrol looking for them. The other day we killed one and our company brought in some prisoners. I guess we captured over six hundred so far, and there are a few thousand back in the hills. They are pretty brave as long as they have weapons to fight back, but without them they're just like a scared dog. We don't take any chances, we usually let them have it as soon as we see them. At least they better stay out of my way, for I carry an automatic rifle called a B.A.R. and it can spit out our 500 shells a minute if you can feed it that fast. But so far we haven't had a chance to use it on them. We sure had a strong force when we invaded for we expected a lot of trouble, but guess we really surprised them. This campaign is in New Guinea, I can't tell you exactly where (Censored) I never saw so many wrecked planes in my life. There were pieces of the rising sun laying all over the air field. Bombers and fighter planes of all kinds.
Well you will have to excuse this paper land envelope, but that the only way I could get news home. We don't have our bags and stuff here yet, so we do the best we can. We have been living on ration, and do our own cooking, and get along fairly well. We usually swipe some rations from the air corp, and we eat pretty good. Haven't lost any weight yet. Right now I am sweating out a chance to get home by Christmas; and go to the Phillipines for another invasion.
Taken from Corson County News June 1, 1944
McLaughlin Soldier Killed in Pacific
Cpl. Edwin Schmitt, 24 of McLaughlin was killed in action somewhere in the Pacific June 5, his sister Mrs Walter Kirchgasler of Aberdeen was informed
Cpl. Schmitt was a veteran of three years army service and was home last two years ago when his father died.
Surviving besides his sister there are his mother, Mrs. Katherine Schmitt of McLaughlin, a brother Harry, serving in the marine corps and two sisters Mrs. Ervin Rommich, Milwaukee and Lena Schmitt Richmond California
Taken from Corson County News July 6, 1944
Joins the Infantry
The War Department has approved the request of Pvt. Thomas V. Crow Necklace, 595th AA Automatic Weapons Battalion for transfer to the Infantry according to an announcement by the Public Relations Office, Fort Bliss, Texas.
Pvt. Necklace volunteered for duty with the "Queen of Battle" at a time when importance of the Infantry is becoming apparent to everyone. Pvt. Necklace who lives at Provo, entered on active duty at Ft. Meade, S.D. on August 19, 1940 and has served in California, Alaska and Ft. Bliss. He has been a sharpshooter's medal.
Taken from Corson County News July 6, 1944
Returns from War Front
Corporal Raynold Nelson, brother of Glenn Nelson, arrived for a short visit with his brother and family. Cpl. Nelson served 27 months in the South Pacific are with the infantry, and like most of the boys who return from the battle zone, evades conversation relative to the fights they have taken part in, passes it off by saying "the battles in the Pacific are tough, and it is no Kid's play." Corporal Nelson says the bugs and jungle animals are about as tantalizing as the Japs. After his furlough, he will be assigned to an outfit in the States.
Taken from Corson County News July 6, 1944
More Men to Leave July 18 and 25
Another small group of men will be forwarder for pre-induction examination on July 18th. This group includes the following Corson County registrants; Ben Defender, and Joseph Many Horses, Kenel; Burton Hatch and Raymond Ling, McLaughlin; Chris Ripplinger, Trail City and Marvin V. Glover, formerly of Watauga, but now residing in California.
As per present regulations, these men will be physically examined, but they will not know what branch of service they will enter until they are called for induction.
Taken from Corson County News July 13, 1944
Very Welcome Mail
Mr. and Mrs. Paul Pudwill received a letter from their son, Buckley, the first they have had in several weeks and he is with the Marines in the South Pacific, and in his letter stated he was back of the lines for a rest period. Buckley undoubtedly took part in the battle at Saipan, but could not tell anything in his letter, but it was the opinion that's where he was headed for when he left the States. The letter was very welcome to his parents and wife and friends. The battle at Saipan cost the lives of many American soldier, and relatives who knew their loved ones were in that war sector, had reason to feel uneasy over their welfare. Billy Byhoffer, son of Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Byhoffer, also in the Marine corps., was supposedly in the Saipan zone and a letter last week from him, lessened the worry of his parents and friends. Billy said he was okay, but didn't reveal his whereabouts. The Byhoffers also had a letter from their son, Bob, who is with the air ground corp somewhere in the South Pacific.
Taken from Corson County News July 20, 1944
Memorial Services to be Held at Firesteel for Roger Pederson
Mr. and Mrs. Andor Pederson, Firesteel, received word July 18th that their son Roger Pederson Pfc., long missing in action, is now declared dead.
Roger born on August 14, 1918, lost his parents within a few days of each other in the influenza epidemic of the last war, and was adopted by the Pedersons at the age of two years.
He attended the Fitzgerald School north of Firesteel, taking musical parts in all school programs. The first year of high school he spent in Firesteel and the last three at the McIntosh High School where he stayed in the Boy's dormitory. Here he played guard on the football team, was in several operettas, sang in the boys glee club, mixed chorus, a boys quartet and mixed quartet winning high ratings in district and state contests.
The desire for further education in music lead first to a year of study at Pacific Lutheran College, Parkland, Washington and then to further study at Concordia College, Moorehead, Minnesota.
Roger then assisted his father on the farm for a year before going west again. He enlisted on March 28, 1941 in Seattle and after a months training at Angel Island, San Francisco, went directly to the Phillipines for further training as a radio technician in the Army Air Corps. He was here at the outbreak of the war and after a brief period of fighting was listed as missing in the fall of Bataan. Mr. and Mrs. Pederson last heard from Roger on February 10, 1942.
While missed by the entire community at Firesteel because of his unobtrusive kindness and friendliness toward all, Roger is especially missed by the young people of the Lutheran Church. Here he took an active part in the young people work, and used his fine solo voice in giving testimony to this living faith in Christ Jesus.
Memorial services for Roger will be held at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, Firesteel on Sunday July 30th.
Taken from Corson County News July 27, 1944.
Japs are Tough, says Billy
Pfc. Wm. Melvin arrived in McIntosh to spend a couple weeks furlough with his mother, Mrs. Julia Melvin and with other friends and relatives in this vicinity. Billy a member of the 22nd Division of the U.S. Marie corp., recently returned from the South Pacific and has been in a hospital on the west coast, convalescing from a wound received in the leg from shrapnel. Although considerably lighter than when he left McIntosh a couple years ago, he looks fine and is regaining his strength after a stay in the hospital.
Billy sailed for the South Pacific in July 1942 and this is his first furlough since he joined the armed forces. He took part in the three major battles in the Marshal Islands and in the last skirmish, Billy received his Jap souvenir that put him on the "shelf". He wears three stars, indicating three major battles, a ribbon for general citation and a badge indicating a Presidential citation. Billy says the last citation is one that he is very proud of and it was awarded to members of his division for the speed in which they took an island. It only took the Marines six hours to clear the island of Japs.
Billy is modest, doesn't care to discuss the battle he has taken part in and when pressed for information said, "I am only just one of the Marines, I have not done any more or feel I am better than the rest of my buddies, they are real fighters and added, "I could tell you lots of stories but they are beyond the imagination of one that has not really been in the thick of battle, and they are better left unsaid". The Jap is a tough fighter and will fight you on any ground you choose, Billy said, and as far as the war being over in the South Pacific, we are just hitting the larger Islands and the boys over there have a long way to go and many tough battles ahead. The Jap is kept in complete ignorant of what is going on, Billy said, and as an example of their ignorance on one island, they had taken, a Jap prisoner said, "you might take this island, but you will never get San Francisco back."
Taken from Corson County News July 27, 1944
Ward Schmidt is Wounded
Mr. and Mrs. Christ Schmidt have received word that their son, Ward, had been wounded in action on the Normandy front in France. Ward, a radio operator on a tank destroyer had been in France since D-Day. He was wounded on June 29th when a German 88 mm shell exploded nearby and he is now convalescing in a hospital in England.
Although Ward enlisted in the army before his parents moved to McIntosh, and reared in the state of Washington, he made many friends and acquaintance here while visiting his parents.
It's been quite some time since I have written you. I had a little accident the twenty-ninth of June. I was too close to a Jerry 88 shell when it exploded. But I got by lucky. I just got a few pieces of shrapnel in my thighs. I'll be out of here and back in a couple weeks. By the way, I'm back in England again; they took the shrapnel out over there and they really stripped me for my operation. I came to England with my dogtags, a ring and my watch. They even kept my billfold. I hope I get it back $36 included. I had all my snapshots and things in it.
I sure am tired of these hospitals already. I remember how I hated it when I was in one at Fort Lewis.
Taken from Corson County News July 27, 1944
Helps Take Men Out of Jungle
Sgt. Jack Chesrown, son of Mr. and Mr.s Joe Chesrown of north of Watauga is a pilot in the Army Air Corp, located at present in India.
Jack is in the hospital at the present time but before that he was evacuating the wounded from the jungles in Burma.
He has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal as the result of action in Burma. He volunteered in the air corps in September 1942 and took his training at the Black Hills, S.D. and took work at Spearfish S.D. state normal. In December he was transferred to an Air Corps school in Texas and received his Wings as liaison pilot in April 1943.
He was then transferred to Morris Field, Charlotte N.C. He volunteered in the First Air Commando group and left for overseas from Raleigh, N.C. in November 1943 to be located in India. He spent three months in Burma and it was fro action here that he was awarded the Distinguished Fling Cross and Air Medal.
Taken from Corson County News August 3, 1944
Pete Davidson in France
Dear friend Frank;
How is everyone in McIntosh? Greetings to all.
Our son Pete as you know him and most of the people there has been in France since D-Day. We hear from him quite often, but mostly by spells. He has seen some tough action. He said he had no time for a fox hole in the good old U.S.A. but where he is they come in mighty handy at times, and at times they felt pretty shaky.
He and a buddy visited a French farmer and bought some fresh eggs. He said he has not tasted ice cream since he left New York. He has taken a bike ride; they are practically like ours. He said the French were very kind to them and would help them all they could; he said "they would look up at their houses, which were well shot full of holes and say, boom, boom."
He is busy most of the time, hardly had time to write; he patiently waits for the McIntosh paper and says it seems good to get news from there. I am working about 11 hours per day now and am working for the Roth Packing Co. We have 2,650 boys in this war, from the Plant and up to month ago, we have lost 21, killed in action. Yours truly B.J. Davison
Taken from Corson County News August 10.1944
Brothers Return from War Zone
It was a happy day for Fred Gehring when his two sons Frank ad Fred stepped off the train after an absence of nearly four years spent serving in the armed forces of Uncle Sam in the South Pacific. The two boys enlisted in the army four years ago next November and Frank they younger of the two, was just a mere boy and this was their first visit home since they signed on the dotted line to e one of the fighting men of the U.S. army.
In their thirty-three months spent in the jungles of the South Pacific, fighting Japs, the boys have had some hazard and hair raising experiences, but that is past history for them, and they evade any conversation pertaining to battle, and are anxious to hear about what has been going on at home since their departure. They are the typical young Americans, fine looking soldiers. Frank, who wears four stars indicating four major battles aid, "we must have looked like snails to the public when we were only making advances by yards when the American boys and the Russians were measuring their advances by miles, but we had to how out every yard of under brush and fight Japs at the same time, "it was mighty slow progress"
Frank and Fred left on the same day after a few months training in the U.S. on their way to the Phillipines Islands for further training. It was just before the Japs attacked Pearl Harbor, and instead of landing in the Phillipines they were rerouted to Australia, and they feel very fortunate that they were not a few days ahead of schedule. The radio announced the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japs, but they said not a man on board ship would believe the report. Their ship was unarmed and they were helpless, had the Japs seen fit to attack them, and when assured that the bombing of Pearl Harbor was a fact, they were a pretty nervous ship load of soldiers.
Frank and Fred were given a twenty-one day furlough and after visiting their father will return to Texas for reassignment, but they hope it will not be to the South Pacific.
Taken from Corson County News August 17, 1944
sets All Time Record
Staff Sergeant Louis G. Hetzel, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Hetzel of Keldron, is a member of the B-25 Bombardment Group which has set the all-time record of 500 combat missions over German occupied territory.
Five hundred is the largest number of attacks frown by any bombardment group, medium or heavy in the Mediterranean Theatre of operations. During 19 months of active combat, Sergeant Hetzel's groups has flown 9,000 sorties, logged 29,000 hours, dropped 11,5000 tons of high explosive bombs, sunk or damaged 205 German ships and damaged or destroyed 481 German aircraft. Under the continuous command of Col. Anthony G. Hunter, the Bombardment Group has participated in some of the most vital battles of the Tunisian, Sicilian and Italian campaigns. This includes making sea sweeps at Tunisia, blasting airdromes at Sicily, giving close ground support to American ground forces at Anzio, and sinking supply ships which were carrying food and munitions to enemy troops at Cassino.
Taken from Corson County News August 31, 1944
Indian Boy Loses Life
Joachim Hairychin of Bullhead, received the sad news from the War Department of the death of his son, Joseph, Gunnersmate, 1-c on one of the battle ships serving in the South Pacific. His son had been in the Navy for the past couple years and had been serving in the South Pacific since soon after he completed his "boot" training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station. The young man was well known in the Bullhead vicinity, where he had made his home before entering the service of Uncle Sam.
Taken from Corson County News September 7, 1944
Former McIntosh Boy Loses Life In France
The many McIntosh friends extend sympathy to Mr. and Mrs. B.L. Davison, now of Waterloo, Iowa in the sad news of the death of their son, Glen, who was killed on the battle fields of France soon after D-day. The Davison family resided in McIntosh a number of years before moving to Waterloo, and Glen was one of the outstanding athletes of the McIntosh high school. He was a fine young man, held in the highest esteem and those who have seen Glen in basketball and football know that he gave his all in the fight for his country; he was always brave, true to every task he undertook.
The following article was taken from Waterloo newspaper;
Pfc. Glen V. Davison, 20, Waterloo Iowa was killed in action Aug. 2 while serving with the armored field artillery in France, according to a telegram received by his parents Mr. and Mrs. B. Davison.
In service since May 20, 1943 he received his basic training at Fort Sill Oklahoma and attended specialized training in the tank corps at Fort Knox Ky. He went overseas in December 1943 and was stationed in England until entering France shortly after the first Allied landings.
Son of Maude and Barton Davison, he was born Oct to. 9, 1923 at Glenham S.D. where he lived until moving to McIntosh with his parents in 1936. He attended McIntosh high school and came to Waterloo two years ago.
Survivors besides his parents are two sister Betty low and Rosemary and one brother Ronald all at home; his maternal grandfather J.E. Mock, who makes his home with the Davison family; and the paternal grandmother Mrs. Clara Davison, Watertown, S.D.
Taken from Corson County News September 7, 1944
Former Athboy Resident Killed
Mrs. F.E. Andrus of Pittsburg, California received a telegram from the War Department, that their son Rudolph Jellesma was killed in action on the Island of Guam on July 21, 1944.
He enlisted in the Marines and was trained in San Diego, California. He took part in the invasion of the Marshal Islands. He had been a marine radio man but recently had been transferred to the first provisional division Marine Brigade.
His last letter was written "at sea" on July 14, on the first birthday of his son Robert Carl. His little son and his wife Betty Jean live with her parents near Pittsburg, California.
Rudolph was born near Gopher, South Dakota and lived in the Athboy neighborhood for a while. He also lived south of McIntosh, South Dakota during the time his mother taught the Dugan school. While a very small boy he moved to Oregon and later to California where he went into the service of his county. He was 21 years old.
Taken from Corson County News September 21, 1944
Bob Finds a Bosche Cache
Its about time I reported in again I guess. A lot of things have happened and are happening since I wrote the last time. We've been here in France for sometime and although I like the country and ways here better than in England I still repeat-"there is no place like America." I'm sure that goes for every G.I. here.
It might not be so long now though and I'm planning on buying a South Dakota fishing license early next spring.
A lot of boys like Ernie Utter and Hank Trager would certainly be familiar with some of the spots we're going through now. We're not permitted to mention towns we hit, but we've made a long trip from where we first hit France. I haven't been in "Gay Parie" yet but we were close and then went the other way. Maybe I'll make it after the war but about all I'm interested in then is to get home.
Due to the liquor shortage there at home here's something that might interest you. We found a German wine cellar containing 3500 cases of red wine and cognac. Personally I don't care if we find any more. There's a lot of headaches in a couple of those bottles.
The Heinies are running so fast sometimes, that we're picking up a lot of good equipment intact.
Today every soldier you see has a fur jacket. The result of a train captured, headed for the Russian front.
I got a kick out of the article you put in the paper about the arrival of my baby girl. Didn't I say things have happened since I wrote last.
If I can make it I'll send dad a bottle of cognac for you and him to get a headache.
Best Regards, Bob Hoesley
Taken from Corson County News September 28, 1944
Morristown Boy Given Citation
S.Sgt. Mark L. Grahek of Morristown, now serving overseas with the 12th Air Force P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter Group is authorized to wear the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon.
Sgt. Grahek's group was recently cited by the President for "outstanding performance of duty in action against the enemy in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations".
After the Allied armies had broken the enemy's seven month stand before Cassina Italy and were threatening his flank from the Anzio beachhead the enemy attempted to form a defense line. Sgt. Grahek's groups was ordered to maintain continuous armed reconnaissance of all roads leading from the front to the projected defense line.
Although the majority of the planes they were then flying A-36 "invaders" and P-40 "warhawks' had been flown over combat hours on more than 200 combat missions, in almost a year's time, the ground personnel through indefatigable and resourceful effort had every plane prepared for all out effort.
In one day the group destroyed or damaged 462 vehicles, inflicted an unknown number of causalities on hostile personnel, established many effective road blocks, silenced several gun positions and interdicted a number of highways being used by this enemy.
The citation concludes "this dawn to dusk aerial hammering by the group coordinated with the terrific assaults made upon adjoining areas by other units of the Mediterranean Tactical Air Force, so crippled the enemy' transport system and disorganized and decimated his ranks that he was forced to abandon his projected defense of Rome and hastily retreat northward to escape complete annihilation"
Sgt. Grahek is an armorer with the group and has been overseas 16 months.
Taken from Corson county News October 12, 1944
Harold Stewart is Wounded
Corporal Harold Stewart, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Stewart of McIntosh has been awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in action in France on September 14, 19144. according to information received form the War Department. Cpl. Stewart was a member of Battery "B" 689th Field Artillery Battalion when he was wounded. Mr. and Mrs. Stewart were not informed as to the extent of his wound except that is was classed as minor.
Prior to enlisting in the army, Harold was employed on the Lemmon Leader and worked there while attending the Lemmon high school.
Taken from Corson County News October. 12, 1944
McLaughlin Youth Killed in Accident Over England Sept. 14
S.Sgt. James Lewis, son of Mrs. Christine Lewis was killed in an airplane accident over England on September 14, according to a wire received Wednesday night from Mrs. Lewis by her parents, Mr and Mrs. D.E. Slater. No details were given but Mrs. Lewis said that a letter would follow.
Sgt. Lewis, who had recently been promoted to Staff Sergeant, was serving as radio operator and navigator in the air borne division and had taken part in five invasions in the three months he had been in foreign service. In one of his last letters to is wife he said that he had taken part in the air born invasion of Holland.
S.Sgt. Lewis went into the army in April 1942, He took his training in California and was then assigned to the radio school at Sioux Falls. After completing his radio training he was assigned to Missouri and later to Mississippi and then Missouri and later to a camp in Illinois, where he was serving at the time he was assigned for foreign service last May.
S.Sgt. Lewis who was raised in this community graduated from the local high school in 1939. Later he want to the west coast, where he was employed until entering the service On January 31, 1942 he was married to Shirley Slater of this city and together they made their home in Seattle, Wash., until he entered the aviation service.
He is survived by his wife, his mother, who is making her home with his wife, and two brothers Harold, who is serving in England and Mark, who is serving in the Navy located at Farragut Idaho.
Taken from Corson County News Oct. 12, 1944
Ralph Returns from Tarawa
Chief Petty Officer Ralph A.Geary was in the city from Watauga, visiting with friends. Ralph returned to Watauga from the west coast after flying from Tarawa on a transport plane to Oakland, California. Ralph says the lights of Oakland looked mighty good to him, although it did not take them long to fly across the great span of water from Tarawa. Ralph looked mighty fine, and say navy life has been very agreeable to him, but that his short leave was very welcome. He will visit at the Simon Thomsen home at Watauga and with his brother north of Morristown. Ralph declined to comment on his activities in the war zone of the South Pacific, but his many friends know that Ralph will keep up his end, no matter how tough the going is.
Taken from Corson County news November 30, 1944
Elknation is Decorated with Purple Heart
Marine Private First Class Reuben A. Elknation of Bullhead, S.D. was decorated with the purple heart at a special ceremony here in conjunction with the observance of the 169th birthday of the Marine Corps.
Attached to the famed Second Marine Division, Elknation was a member of a security watch for a shore party unity during the bloody fighting on Betio Island, Tarawa, Nov. 20, 1943. While helping guard the vital supplies, he was hit on the right side of his head by a snipers bullet.
Taken from Corson County News Dec. 7, 1944
Keldron Boy is Wounded
Mr.a and Mrs. Martin Kling received a telegram from the War Department stating that their son Sgt. Ray Kling had been wounded in Germany November 22nd. The telegram added they would be kept informed further as to his condition as word was received in Washington.
Ray entered the service November 1, 1942 and took is training at Camp Adair, Oregon; Camp Horn, Arizona, and Camp Carson, Colorado. He left for overseas duty last August and has been in the front line since arriving, fighting in Belgium, Holland, and Germany. Sgt. Kling is a member of the Timber Wolf Division of the Infantry.
Taken from Corson County News December 14, 1944
O'Donnell Now in France
Tec. 4 Robert T. O'Donnell is now fighting in France with the famous fighting 712th Tank Battalion, the armored spearhead of the famed 90th Division, one of the first Divisions to land in the Invasion of the Continent. His battalion, commanded by Lt. Col. George Randolph and 90th Division, have received much praise for their magnificent contribution to the battle of France. They gained fame in combat among the hedgerows of Normandy in the early days of the Invasion and later the famous Battle of Foret de Mont Castre. The same outfits figured in the capture of the important city of Le Mans and was instrumental in closing the Falaise Gap and the resulting capture of several thousand German Prisoners.
Tec 5 O'Donnell joined the Battalion 20 Sept. 1943 and has participated in many big battles across France. This soldier is a member of Company "D" 712th, land is a tank driver.
Taken from Corson County News December 21, 1944