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Copyright The Valley News & Clarinda Herald-Journal June 2014

T O N L L A H T S n e E v e S E W F O R G Volume


we shall not forget

2 June 2014

Benjamin Franklin

Ray Harris Shenandoah

Essex

Civil War soldier rests at Essex Cemetery By TESS GRUBER NELSON Managing Editor - The Valley News

A Civil War Cavalryman, whose final resting place is in the Essex Cemetery, received the recognition, and headstone, he deserves during a short May 7 ceremony. Benjamin Franklin, who served in the 1st Minnesota Mounted Rangers, a cavalry unit, from December 1862 to December 1863 and in the 2nd Minnesota Cavalry from December 1863 to April 1866, is also the only known quadriplegic soldier of the Civil War era. Although born in Ohio, and having lived most his life in Minnesota, he was laid to rest in the small, quaint Essex Cemetery. However, Franklin, who also served in the Indian War, didn’t lose his limbs in battle against man, but rather a battle against the elements. According to Marlin Peterson, who is writing a book on Franklin, he lost all four of his limbs after being caught in a December 1865 blizzard. Peterson explained that Franklin, and four others, were going from Fort Wadsworth, Dakota Territory to Fort Ridgley, Minn., when caught in the blizzard. His four

Harris served in Vietnam during ‘advisor’ period

comrades perished, but two Indians found Franklin eight days and seven nights later, nearly starved to death. Also sustaining frostbite on his nose, Franklin survived with the help of Dr. Alfred Muller, who amputated his limbs in January 1866 at Fort Ridgley. Franklin lived on a small pension the rest of his life and sold photographs of himself, for a quarter, as income. “I have been interested in the 1862 Dakota (Sioux) Indian War in Minnesota since childhood,” said Peterson. “In 2007 I purchased one of Ben Franklin’s 25 cent photos and immediately became intrigued with his story. I researched him for several years and by 2012 had accumulated a fair amount of info and decided to try to write a book.” Peterson said that in June 1893, Franklin divorced his first wife and moved to Red Oak until 1896. It was then he married his second wife, Maria (Mrs. George B.) Clark, and they lived in Essex until moving to Walworth Co. South Dakota in 1897. Benjamin passed away in South Dakota in October 1899 and his body was returned to Essex for burial. Maria passed away five years later and is also buried in the Essex Cemetery. While conducting research, Peterson said he was first informed Benjamin had been buried in Minnesota, but in late 2012, he determined his final resting place was actually Essex. Essex City Clerk, Lisa Royer and cemetery sexton, Jim Alexander

By TESS GRUBER NELSON

Managing Editor - The Valley News

Imagine being stationed in Vietnam for a year in the 1960s with an Army issued gun, but no Army issued ammunition. That’s exactly the situation Ray Harris of Shenandoah found himself in from 1963 to 1964. “We were there as advisors at the time, so we were given rifles to carry around, but never a round of ammunition,” Harris recalled. “However, that didn’t mean I wasn’t protected; I had a couple other guns that were loaded.”

see HARRIS, Page 13

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Born in Shenandoah and a graduate of Elliott High School, Harris attended heating and cooling school in Omaha; a trade he’s been doing for 55 years and counting. When school had been completed, he took a job in Waterloo working in heating and cooling. “I knew the draft was coming up and I didn’t want to go in as a foot soldier, so I enlisted. I wanted to be in radar repair, but they sent me to be in radar operations.” Basic training was completed in Fort Carson, Colo., followed by radar school in Washington State. “I didn’t like radar scopes at all; following a blip on a screen. The only way I could get out of it was to take a short enlistment and then re-enlist for six years,” Harris said. Harris was sent to school in Fort Monmouth, N.J., followed by tropospher-

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June 2014 3

Vaughn Hiaring Clarinda

Ken King Clarinda

Clarinda bandsman performs for world leaders

King was on Army Rifle Team

By KENT DINNEBIER Editor - Clarinda Herald-Journal

While serving in the United States Army, Vaughn Hiaring of Clarinda wielded a baritone as his rifle and utilized music as its ammunition. An infantryman trained as a member of a mortar division, Hiaring was stationed at Fort Richardson, located adjacent to Anchorage, Alaska, in the early spring of 1971. “I saw a notice that they were holding auditions for the 214th Alaska Army Band. In high school at Madison, S.D., I was a member of the finest band in the Midwest for several years. I was a member of both the marching and concert bands. We traveled all over the country and to Canada,” Hiaring said. Given his musical background, Hiaring auditioned and was selected for the Alaska Army Band. Hiaring said he was terribly excited to join the approximately 50 member band. “I couldn’t believe that in war time I had the fortune to be part of a band. It allowed me to do something I was good at and really enjoyed,” Hiaring said.

Over the next year Hiaring and the 214th Alaska Army Band performed throughout Alaska including the city of Sitka located on Baranof Island and the southern half of Chichagof Island in the Alaskan panhandle. As a result, Hiaring said he and his fellow bandsmen had an opportunity to see the attractions and beautiful scenery the state had to offer. “We held morning and afternoon rehearsals in a Quonset hut. Between rehearsals we played chess or cards and in the summer we played horse shoes. It was not unusual to see a moose nibbling on a tree outside the hut,” Hiaring said. “Since we were in the band we also had the best stereos, so we would often listen to music in the evenings.” During his time in Alaska Hiaring said there were two consecutive nights where the temperatures plunged to -44 degrees. He also saw the midnight sun during the summer and experienced the nearly continuous darkness of winter. Serving as a member of the 214th Alaska Army Band also provided Hiaring with a front row seat to a defining moment in world history. On Sept. 26, 1971, President Richard Nixon welcomed Emperor Hirohito to the United States for what was the first meeting in history between the emperor of Japan and the president of the United States. Hirohito served as emperor of Japan from 1926 until his death in 1989. “During World War II, Japan attacked nearly all of see HIARING, Page 14

By KENT DINNEBIER

Editor - Clarinda Herald-Journal

Ken King, the new plant manager at NSK Corporation in Clarinda, had a front row seat to one of the most important political events in history during his time on active duty with the United States Army. King was stationed in Mannheim, Germany, from 1989 until 1992 and witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Berlin Wall served as the barrier between East and West Germany for 28 years and also symbolized the divide between democracy and Communism during the Cold War. However, on Nov. 9, 1989, leaders in East Germany announced residents would be allowed to travel to West Germany through various border checkpoints. Additional border crossings were announced in the following weeks and on Dec. 22, 1989, the Brandenburg Gate was included in those border crossings. “I was on the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate on New Year’s Eve 1989. It was unforgettable. The scene was very exciting and breathtaking. There was a sense of elation and people were reveling

in the time. There was no fear or hesitation. It was just all celebration and anticipation for what the future held,” King said. The fall of the Berlin Wall, King said, opened all of Eastern Europe and eventually led to the reunification of Germany. “After The Wall fell, the East and West German armies joined together, so I had the opportunity to work with and gain experience using East German equipment including tanks. Suddenly the people you were defending against were working with you. That was very exciting,” he said. Originally from New Jersey, King said his father’s family has a lengthy tradition of military service. Therefore, after completing high school, King enlisted in the Army in 1983. He received an Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Scholarship and attended Lehigh University before being commissioned into the Army in 1988 as a second lieutenant. “One of my hobbies is competitive rifle shooting. When I enlisted I was selected for the Army Reserve Rifle Team. I have shot competitively since 1978, so it was a nice transition plus they offered me the college scholarship,” King said. After his time in German, King was stationed at Fort Benning, Ga., and competed with the All-Army Rifle Team. King has continued his competitive shooting since joining the Army Reserves in 1997. “I have earned the President’s 100 Tab five times and ranked as high as 17th in the see KING, Page 15

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we shall not forget

4 June 2014

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Jim Martin Shenandoah

Scott McComb Clarinda

Martin repaired B-52s while serving in Air Force

McComb served in Germany during Cold War

By TESS GRUBER NELSON Managing Editor - The Valley News

There are several Jim Martins living in Shenandoah, and while all of them are husbands, fathers, and honest, hard workers, only one of them served in the Air Force for four years. “The service was a good experience,� said Martin. Born and raised in the Rock Port and Northboro area, Martin farmed with his dad and siblings. In fact, Martin continued helping on the family farm during World War II, while his three older brothers went to war. “I was only 13-years old when war broke out,� he recalled. “We farmed a lot of ground back then.� The family moved north of Blanchard where they continued to farm. In 1949, Martin and his brother, Glen, decided to come to Shenandoah to join the National Guard. They both remained there for six years. Working in Shenandoah, but not making much money, Jim decided to join the Air Force in 1956. He completed six weeks of basic training at Parks Air Force Base in California, fol-

lowed by more training in Amarillo, Texas. “I trained to be a jet aircraft mechanic,� Jim recalled. “When I was done with that, I was given 30 days leave and then went to Loring Air Force Base in Maine where I had been assigned.� Married in 1953, Jim’s wife, Delores, joined him in Northern Maine. “It was 170 miles north of Bangor, Maine and there was one road to get there.� Four winters were spent in Maine, working inside and outside repairing B-52s. “There were three squadrons there and each squadron had 15 B-52s,� Jim explained. “B-52s are good airplanes and I liked what I did.� Referred to as “impressive machinery,� Jim said B-52s are 185-feet from wingtip to wingtip and have eight huge tires. In addition to working on the aircraft, Jim volunteered to be a crewmember to fly with the crew, incase there was mechanical troubles. “I flew five times; the shortest was four hours and the longest was 12 hours,� he said. The weather in Maine, explained Jim, could be brutally cold in the winter, but fabulous in the summer, although short. “There was a joke to never take your 30-day leave in the summer because you’d miss it.� Jim and Delores spent three and a half years in Maine, from October 1956 until March 1960. Once discharged, they loaded see MARTIN, Page 15

WE SALUTE

At the height of the Cold War Scott McComb of Clarinda played a vital role in keeping the United States focused on developments in the Soviet Union. In February of 1971 while serving in the United States Air Force, McComb was sent to Wiesbaden, Germany, and assigned to the 437th Reconnaissance Technical Group. He was responsible for maintaining the photographic equipment used to develop and process satellite photos taken of the Soviet Union. “We received all the photographic films the satellites had taken of Russia. We had photographic interpreters to read the photos, but I worked on the equipment,� McComb said. “I saw pictures taken from space of people, tanks and missiles. The clarity was amazing and that was 40 years ago when the Cold War was at its height and Vietnam was still going on.� The reconnaissance group operated out of the Schierstein Kaserne compound located in downtown Wiesbaden. McComb and the other members of the group traveled to the compound each day by bus and

he said the tolls of World War II were still evident in the city. “There were still signs of the destruction from World War II in downtown Wiesbaden, but the people were very nice,� McComb said. “During the six or seven months I was there, I was also able to visit the Black Forest and see a lot of the countryside.� McComb said he would have likely remained a Wiesbaden had he not received an opportunity he had started pursuing shortly after enlisting in the Air Force. He was selected to attend the United States Air Force Preparatory School in Colorado Springs, Colo. McComb said the school is designed to academically, physically and militarily prepare qualified applicants to enter the Air Force Academy. McComb said he first applied for admission to the Air Force Academy in 1970 while enrolled in precision photographic systems repairman school at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, Colo. “I had decided to make the Air Force a career while I was at Lowry, so I took the entrance exam and physical for the Air Force Academy. During the physical they discovered I had a heart murmur and I did not score high enough on the test,� McComb said. So McComb completed his six months of schooling to become a precision photographic systems repairman. “I learned how see MCCOMB, Page 15

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e salute the American veterans and active-duty military whose courage and dedication have protected our freedom and our way of life for generations. We recognize their service and their sacrifice, their selflessness and bravery, their hard work and their faith. Please join us in celebrating the men and women of our military, past and present. Proudly fly your flag, thank a veteran and show your support for those who continue to serve today.

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Editor - Clarinda Herald-Journal


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we shall not forget

June 2014 5

WW Millikan Shenandoah

Jim Nye Shenandoah

Shenandoah’s Millikan was Major in Air National Guard

Nye finally receives commendations earned 45 years ago

By TESS GRUBER NELSON Managing Editor - The Valley News

In and around Shenandoah, when a person hears the last name of Millikan, they can’t help but think of University of Nebraska Hall of Fame football player, Todd Millikan. However, there is another Millikan with Shenandoah ties that would be in the D.C. Air National Guard Hall of Fame, if they had one. Major General W.W. Millikan, who grew up in Shenandoah, Hamburg, and Malvern, was the original founder of the modern D.C. Air National Guard. On top of that, he was an Ace pilot during WWII and a Prisoner of War. His niece, Karon Spears, said she knew from an early age her uncle was someone out of the ordinary. “He flew his cross-country speed record when I was 7; it was the same year my dad died,” said Karon. “I have a scrapbook of all of his achievements; my grandmother would send me clippings.” Spears said Millikan graduated from Malvern High School, although his parents moved to Rock Port his senior year. “He stayed with the family who had the newspaper in town and worked for them,” Spears said. “Each night he’d run four miles to their home just to stay in the shape, and that was before he even got in the service.” Millikan’s military history includes time as a pilot during World War II in the European Theatre with the Royal Air Force of Great Britain; before the United States got involved with the war. “The U.S. said he’d never make it as a pilot, so he went to England and became one,” said Spears. After Pearl Harbor, Millikan transferred to the United States Air Force and became a Triple Ace. He also spent one year in a German prison camp after his plane

crashed over enemy territory in 1944. “He was able to parachute to the ground, where he was immediately captured by German soldiers and taken to a prison camp, wounded. After a year under near inhumane conditions, he was able to escape during the time of D-Day and fled to safety.” When he returned back to the States, he joined the D.C. Air National Guard and commanded the 121st Fighter Squadron, where he was promoted to Lieutenant in 1948. When the Korean War broke out, he also commanded the 121st (White House) Squadron. He led that unit on active duty in 1951 and became the commander of the 33rd Fighter Interceptor Wing. In 1954, Spears said Millikan established a new west to east coast cross country speed record in a combat equipped F86 fighter jet, and was promoted to Brigadier General in 1958. He then led the guard unit in active duty during the Berlin Crisis mobilization in 1961, as well as the military’s 113th Tactical Fighter Wing on active duty in 1968 during the Pueblo Incident, when the USS Pueblo, a Navy intelligence ship was captured by North Korean patrol boats off the coast of North Korea. Spears said during that tour of duty he was commander of the 833rd Air Division of the Tactical Air Command, until he returned to National Guard status in 1969 as 113th Wing Commander. If that weren’t enough, Spears said Millikan was a member of the Reserve Forces Policy Board; serving as chairman of the study groups on reserve forces pay and allowances. His military decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross (three enemy aircraft destroyed in one engagement), Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with silver oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and the Purple Heart. He was also past president of the Aero Club of Washington, past commander of Air Service Post 501 of the American Legion, a director of Virginia Trading and Loan Association, and past president of Board Chairman of The American Fighter Ace’s Association. see MILLIKAN, Page 12

By TESS GRUBER NELSON

Managing Editor - The Valley News

In serving three tours of duty in Vietnam in the Naval special warfare group, Jim Nye of Shenandoah received numerous service awards and medals. However, his most recent commendations came earlier this spring, 45 years after he initially earned them. Nye, who was in the military for 23 years, served with Seal 1 and Seal 2 doing insertions, extractions, and gunfire support with Mobile Support Team 2 all over Vietnam, including Danang, Vinh Long, Binh Thuy, Nam Cam, Cat Lo, and Can Tho. A few months ago, while searching on warboats.org he stumbled upon citations he should have received in 1968. Nye then contacted Iowa Senator Charles Grassley to see if he could help him obtain the long overdue awards. “I never received any of those awards; we were always going somewhere,” Nye said. Nye explained the Presidential Unit Citation is equal to the Navy Cross, which is given to an individual person. The

Presidential Unit Citation is usually given to a Battalion. However, in this case it was given to those in MST-Two Det Foxtrot (Nye’s group of 6 to 8 crew) who were embedded with a platoon of Navy Seals. “It doesn’t happen very often that a group of six to eight people will receive a Presidential Unit Citation, and that’s one reason why I really wanted to receive it,” Nye said. “But I could not prove that I was in Vinh Long, because we were all over the Mekong Delta.” But as she has many times, Jim’s wife, Marcia, came to the rescue. “We wrote letters back and forth through the three deployments I was on, and there were letters that had ‘Seal Team Two, Det Bravo Vinh Long, Vietnam’ on the return address and that’s the only proof that shows I was ever there during the 1968 Tet Offensive.” On Monday, June 3, Nye received a call from Senator Grassley thanking him for his service and awarding him his newest honors. Grassley, who never served in the military, told Nye, “I always think I would have been a better man if I had served in the military.” However, Grassley said he had two brothers that served in the military and has a grandson currently in the Marines. Nye thanked the Senator for his service as well because of the work he does for the veterans, especially those that served dursee MYE, Page 16

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6 June 2014

we shall not forget

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

Doris Perry Shenandoah

Eugene Wake Shenandoah

Shenandoah’s Perry served in 1940s with Navy WAVES

Wake served in Japan during occupations

By TESS GRUBER NELSON Managing Editor - The Valley News

As a young lady in the Braddyville area, Doris Perry wanted a little excitement in her life and boy did she get it – serving in the WAVES in the 1940s. “It was a good experience, I wouldn’t let go of any of it,” said Perry. “It got me out and away. I didn’t want to leave home, but I wanted to see more than the farm and this area.” A graduate of Braddyville High School in 1940, in which there were 12 in her graduating class, Perry said she enjoyed basketball, singing in the chorus, and participating in the school plays. Following high school, she attended Northwest Missouri State Teacher’s College, now NWMSU, and earned a teaching degree. She taught two years in Percival, as well as in Shenandoah at Central Grade School for one year. Then she decided to join the service, more specifically, the Navy WAVES. “I had been teaching, but that wasn’t my calling. I thought, ‘What can I do, Where can I go where I could get a job?’ Something I would want to do and pay me

enough to make ends meet. Finally it came to me to join the WAVES. I remember walking around the farm; doing quite a bit of thinking about it.” Perry served from June 14, 1945 until July 31, 1946. She joined as WWII was coming to a close and was discharged with the rank of Storekeeper, Third Class. Boot camp took place for six months in New York City at Naval Training School in the Bronx. “They had us marching, but mostly I remember cleaning. We earned our way that way.” Then she was assigned to Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Md., about 60 miles south of Washington D.C. “It was right along a river. It was scenic.” She arrived at Patuxent the day the war ended on VJ Day. She remembers soldiers happily shouting and yelling and going outside to see what was going on. “There were pickups of Navy men celebrating the end of the war.” But not knowing anyone, Perry said she was scared of the men asking women to hop onto the trucks, and instead, went back to her room. On weekends, when not on duty, Perry said she’d take bus to the Capital to sightsee and meet up with friends. “I really did enjoy it. I have a lot of good memories. I made a lot of good friends that I think about often.” She was given a choice on what she’d see PERRY, Page 16

By TESS GRUBER NELSON

Managing Editor - The Valley News

When Eugene Wake was in high school, the United States was engulfed in World War II. However, by the time he graduated from Fairfax High School in1945, the war was winding down and by the fall of 1945, had been declared over. Regardless, in January 1946, Wake, a farm kid from Fairfax, was drafted into the Army, and sworn in, to serve during the Occupation of Japan. Basic training was in Fort Lewis, Wash., in which Wake rode a train for the first time to his destination. “I’d never been on a train before, but rode it quite a lot when I was in the service,” Wake recalled. Following basic training, Wake completed advanced training in heavy equipment. He then received a month’s furlough before going to California, all by rail, in order to be deployed to Japan. “We got on the boat in California and it took us 28 days to get to Japan. There were 5,000 on the boat and they took the long way around, past the Philippines,” Wake said.

Once in Japan, the boat docked in Yokohama. Wake was stationed in downtown Tokyo at the Tokyo Area Equipment Pool. “I was a parts man in a garage. I enjoyed it.” Japan, said Wake, was a nice country with nice people. On the weekends, he and friends would visit Mt. Fuji along with other tourist type destinations or just hang out in Tokyo. “Through the service I got to see places I’d never been to otherwise. I also got to meet a lot of nice people.” In fact, while in Tokyo, Wake met up with a fellow classmate, Dr. Dean Ray. “We had lunch together in the mess tent. He was in Tokyo in the Navy.” When Wake’s deployment was completed, it only took the ship nine days to return to the United States, “taking the Northern route.” Once stateside, Wake took a train to Texas, then to Chicago where he was honorably discharged from the Army. He then took the train from Chicago to Omaha. He had been in the service for 15 months; being discharged in late March 1947. Although he signed up for two years in the Army Reserves, Wake returned to the Fairfax area and farmed with his dad. He married his wife, Evelyn, in 1949 and the two had three children, Larry, Gaylen, and Richard. Eugene farmed until 1969 and then worked at a filling station for seven years see WAKE, Page 12

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The Valley News/Herald-Journal

June 2014 7

Joseph Weaver Shenandoah

Bobby Wilson Clarinda

Shenandoah native retires after 23 years in the Marines

Braddyville’s Wilson served in Navy for 4 years

By KRISTAN GRAY Staff Writer - The Valley News

Joseph B. Weaver, a Shenandoah High School graduate of 1976, retired after a 23 year military career that included service in the United States Marine Corps, United States Marine Corps Reserve, and most recently 10 years of service with the Iowa Air National Guard as Health Care Administrator of the 132nd Medical Dental Group. Weaver was honored during a ceremony held May 5 at the 132nd Fighter Wing base in Des Moines. Prior to the

reading of the retirement order, Weaver was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, as well as a “Brevet” promotion order read by State Adjutant General Major General Timothy Orr, awarding a state recognized promotion from the rank of Lieutenant Colonel to the retired rank of Colonel. Weaver has lived in Omaha since 1985, after he retired from active duty, but remained with the Guard. “The Guard was kind of a part-time or parallel career so my retirement frees up one weekend a month. I’m a full time employee with the pharmaceutical company it will just be free a little more on weekends.” Weaver will retain his employment as an executive sales specialist for Sanofi Pharmaceuticals in New Jersey, while maintaining his home in Omaha. see WEAVER, Page 16

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Editor - Clarinda Herald-Journal

Before the advent of nuclear powered ships, the United States Navy relied on oil tankers like the one Bobby Wilson of Braddyville served on to keep its fleet afloat. Wilson served in the Navy for a little over four years and was assigned to the USS Chemung as an electrician’s mate. During his career, Wilson was deployed to Japan and the Philippines on three occasions. Born in M i s s o u r i , Wilson moved to Braddyville in 1952 at the age of 12. He graduated from Braddyville High School in 1959 and two years later made the decision to enlist in the Navy. “I had two brothers who had been in the Navy, so I went Navy. I enlisted just before I had to be drafted. It was either that or be in the Army. I didn’t want to be in the Army because, if I had been, I would have been in the middle of Vietnam,” Wilson said. In November of 1961 Wilson reported to San Diego, Calif., for boot camp. He then completed a 14-week course to become

an electrician’s mate. As an electrician’s mate, Wilson assisted with maintaining all of the motors and electrical equipment aboard the USS Chemung. During his deployment, the USS Chemung was operating off the coast of Japan at the same time the United States was initiating blockades against Cuba. Wilson said tensions were high aboard the USS Chemung because the vessel was sailing so near the Soviet Union. “We thought we were going to be in a shooting war with Russia. The United States was attempting to prevent Russia from setting up missile sites in Cuba that would have created a threat to the United States,” Wilson said. “Shortly after we returned from that deployment President Kennedy was assassinated. I was still on ship in Long Beach Harbor and everyone took it pretty hard.” Soon after, Wilson embarked on his second deployment. The initial mission was to deliver supplies to Coast Guard survey ship operating off the coast of Alaska. Following a northern route, Wilson said the USS Chemung crossed the article circle and navigated the Bering Strait on its way to rendezvousing with the survey ship near Point Hope, Alaska. “It was suppose to be summer, but it was still awful cold when we got up there,” Wilson said. “After delivering the supplies, we turned south and made our way to Yokosuka, Japan, from the north,” Wilson see WILSON, Page 17

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we shall not forget

8 June 2014

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

Sergy Post 98 hosts membership dinner By KENT DINNEBIER Editor - Clarinda Herald-Journal

With 628 combined years of continuous service, the 10 people honored Saturday night, Oct. 19, have played a significant role in making American Legion Sergy Post 98 what it is today. A crowd of approximately 90 people was in attendance for the Continuous Years Membership Recognition Dinner at the Legion Hall in Clarinda. This was the first time Sergy Post 98 participated in the national program designed to honor Legionaries for their continuous years of service. “What we say and do here tonight can only reflect a small portion of the deep gratitude, respect, dignity and honor that these individuals truly deserve for all they’ve done,� Adjutant Steve Batten said. American Legion Sergy Post 98 presented framed certificates of recognition to 10 members who had at least 50 years of continuous service during the ceremony Saturday. Those honored included James A. Campbell, Lloyd A. Cavner, James W. Harper. Don E. Maxwell, Jessie E. Norris and Kenneth H. Williams. Recognition was also given posthumously to Eldon A. Fine, Paul L. “Pete� Hookham, Lawrence J. “Haunce� McEntaffer and Maurice S. Rarick. Campbell served in the United States Marines Corps, 3rd Division, in World War II and was trained to use a flamethrower. He served in the Marshall Islands, Okinawa and later in Occupied Japan. He served three terms as American Legion Post Commander and has been a continuous member of the post of 68 years. Cavner served in the United States Army with King Company, 279th Infantry, 45th Division, in the Korean War in 1952 and 1953 as an infantryman. He fought on “Heartbreak Ridge� as well as Hill 1052 and Anchor Hill. He also served on the Veterans Board for several years to help give aid to fellow veterans in need. Cavner has been a continuous member of Sergy Post 98 for 58 years. Likewise, Harper fought in the Korean War in 1952 and

1953 as a member of the United States Army. Harper was drafted along with Cavner, but the two Clarinda soldiers were separated during training at Camp Riley, Kan. Harper was trained as a motor pool mechanic and was sent to Augsburg, Germany. He was a member of a battalion service company with the 102nd Infantry Regiment and the 43rd Division National Guard unit. Harper has been a continuous member of Sergy Post 98 for 60 years. A member of the 3rd Army, 2nd Infantry, 5th Division of the United States Army during World War II, Maxwell served in Germany under the command of General George

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S. Patton. Maxwell was the first Iowan to cross the Rhine River. Although he now lives in Apache Junction, Ariz., Maxwell returned to Clarinda for the ceremony Saturday and has been a continuous member of the post for 67 years. Norris served in the United States Army during World War II. In 1944 he was a member of the California National Guard 40th Division and was sent to the Philippine Islands as a second gunner on a 37mm antitank gun. He also served in Korea as part of the occupational force.

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we shall not forget

June 2014 9

Spirit of ‘45 honors World War II veterans By MIKE BROWNLEE OWH News Service

Jim Hayes was scheduled to go to Alaska as part of a buildup for a possible invasion of Japan when news broke that World War II was over in 1945. “I was glad to hear that,” the 90-year-old from Council Bluffs said, before adding with a laugh: “I didn’t want to go to Alaska.” Hayes, a Coast Guard and Navy soldier during his military career, was one of about four World War II veterans at the Spirit of 45 ceremony Saturday at Bayliss Park. With the Veterans Plaza as backdrop, the program featured speeches by master of ceremonies Alan Schenk with the American Legion, Mayor Tom Hanafan and retired Col. Marlin Tillman, past Iowa Commander of the American Legion, honoring the spirit of 1945, when the Second World War ended in August and September. “We want to honor those that gave their lives so that we continue to know freedom,”

said Schenk, who recounted the tale of his father, Earl, encountering Nazi leader Erwin Rommel while a prisoner of war in Africa. Earl Schenk spent 27 months imprisoned before his release. “Rommel said, we will annihilate you,’” Schenk said. “He was wrong.” The event featured a 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps,” with about 50 people in attendance to help remember the men and women who served their country during the war. “My message today is remembering them,” Tillman said. “Not only today, but future generations.” The colonel spoke of traveling the state and finding young people that knew little to nothing about World War II. He gave a brief history lesson while decrying the fact that some have forgotten and encouraging everyone there to carry on the spirit of those that served. “It touched my heart, brought back a lot see SPIRIT, Page 17

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10 June 2014

Civil War shrine to be rededicated By JOHN VAN NOSTRAND

Publisher - Clarinda Herald-Journal

Even 150 years later, it won’t be forgotten. Page County’s memorial to the Civil War will be rededicated during a ceremony at 11 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 6, at the monument on the southwest corner of the courthouse square in Clarinda. During the 150th anniversary of the war, which lasted from 1861 to 1865, the Sons of Union Veterans will rededicate monuments across the state. Page County is one of 95 counties that have a monument. Some counties have multiple monuments. The Page County monument is believed to have been erected in 1912. “It will probably be a 15 to 20 minute ceremony,� said Michael Carr of Carson, a member of the group. “We will have prayers, a musket, backpack, canteen and things the men would have carried during the war. We will have a color guard, too.� Iowa’s contribution to the Union is impressive, according to Carr. “Iowa sent 76,538 soldiers, the most per capita of any state,� he said. “Iowa also had 13,001 fatalities, again, the highest per capita of any state. I’m sure other states would debate that.� Another estimated 8,500 Iowa troops were wounded and may have been helped by Clarinda-area residents. According to Carr’s research, Clarinda donated the most lint to the war effort of any other Iowa town. Lint, in this case, is strips of cloth used to cover wounds. Carr said Iowa troops were beneficial during certain parts of the Civil War. Some saved the Union Army from defeat in Pea Ridge, Ark. Some were with Gen. Sherman as he

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

FRANKLIN Continued from Page 2

marched through Atlanta on the way to the Atlantic Ocean. Another collection of troops, nicknamed the Hornets Nest, fended off the Confederates long enough for General Grant to reorganize his plans. “But a lot of Iowans died,� Carr said. Iowa had 33 soldiers who earned Medals of Honor. Some soldiers were not even sent to the Civil War. Troops from Iowa and other states were sent west to battle Native American tribes at the same time. The Sons organization, which has chapters across the state, started rededicating the monuments in 2011.The sons is a descendant of the Grand Army of the Republic made up of Union soldiers from the Civil War. Carr said the group was very similar to today’s American Legion organization. Grand Army of the Republic ended in 1956. Plans are to rededicate all of Iowa’s monuments before 2015. Clarinda is one of three on Oct. 6 in western Iowa organized by Carr’s chapter based in Atlantic. The chapters are not as big in eastern Iowa compared to the western Iowa groups. Carr said the response at the ceremonies has varied. He said some people have donated American flags to be put on display during the ceremony, while others have had little, if any, viewers. “We get everything including people donating big flags over Main Street. We don’t do this for us. We do this for the guys that serve,� he said. Carr said the Civil War was an important moment in American history, and not just because of the war itself. “Those four years are the pivot for everything we do, from civil rights, women suffrage, all the technology, railroad, the telegraph which led to telephone and modern warfare,� he said.

confirmed that Benjamin is in the cemetery. Therefore in August 2013, Peterson, a retired Sergeant First Class in the Army, made a one-day, 550-mile round trip to Essex from his home in Mountain Lake, Minnesota, and found Benjamin’s grave. However, the grave had no readable inscription and was broken off at the base. He also located Maria’s grave, located between Benjamin and her first husband, G.B. Clark. It was then Peterson decided he’d attempt to get Benjamin a dignified gravestone through the Department of Veterans Affairs. He also managed to get Maria a small stone, with the assistance of Essex Legion and Auxiliary members. At 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 7, Benjamin’s new stone was set, with assistance of Peterson and members of American Legion Post No. 88 of Shenandoah and American Legion Post No. 33 of Essex, as well as Essex city officials. Peterson’s book is 90 percent written at this time, but he will be accumulating more photos, drawings, and maps over the summer. “I hope to have it out in print by late fall. Needless to say the stone setting is a perfect ending for the story,� he said. Peterson added that although Benjamin lived in Essex and Red Oak a rather short time, he’s likely to have some relatives in the area. If anyone is related to Benjamin, he’d like to hear from him or her. He can be contacted at sgtmdpete@hotmail.com. “We are all aware of the heroic struggle the severely injured and disfigured from the current wars are now facing, and the 33 plus years that Ben Franklin spent in the late 19th century as a quadriplegic can definitely be likened to these present cases,� said Peterson. “However, different from today, the 19th century was not a handicapped friendly time to live.� Therefore, it’s only fitting, Peterson said, that Benjamin at least a dignified headstone.





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The Valley News/Herald-Journal

June 2014 11

Legion Post No. 88 dedicates plaque to Korean War vets By TESS GRUBER NELSON

Managing Editor - The Valley News

More than 200 local Korean War veterans were honored Sunday, March 23 at a Korean War plaque dedication at the Shenandoah American Legion Club. The plaque, now on display at the legion, holds the names of 245 brave soldiers who served during that conflict. Those attending the dedication included State Vice Commander of the American Legion, James Kessler, and Donna Barry from Iowa Senator Charles Grassley’s office. The Korean Conflict/War took place from June 25, 1950 until July 27, 1953. According to the data from the U.S. Department of Defense, the United States suffered 33,686 battle deaths, along with 2,830 non-battle deaths, during the Korean War and 8,176 missing in action. South Korea reported some 373,599 civilian and 137,899 military

deaths. The war began when roughly 75,000 North Korean People’s Army soldiers crossed the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, backed by the Soviet Union, and the Western Republic of Korea to the south. As far as American officials were concerned, it was a war against the forces of international communism itself. Finally, in July 1953, the Korean War came to an end. The Korean peninsula is still divided today. Soldiers named on the plaque include: Gerald Walter of Northboro, who served in the final days of conflict as a member of the 40th Infantry, 160th Regiment, Company F. Walter was initially stationed in Kojedo Island off the coast of South Korea. In addition to guarding a large prisoner of war camp, Walter and his company took part in Bloody Ridge in the summer of 1953, in

which he said their main focus was digging trenches and foxholes. “Everyone had a certain area that they worked in. After that, we went to the Demilitarized Zone at Kumwa Valley,” said Walter in a 2008 interview. Fortunately, the Walter, there was a sergeant that took a liking to him and made him a platoon runner. “I went from our bunker to the battalion with information they didn’t want on the telephone or radio. The distance was about a mile. The best part was that I no longer had guard duty in the fox hole.” Eventually, Walter was reassigned to the 2nd Infantry, 9th Regiment, Company G in June 1954 and found himself in the trenches of the DMZ at Chorwan Valley. By then he was a corporal and two months later, he was reassigned to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. He was discharged in January 1955. Charles Irvin of Shenandoah served during the Korean War as a radio operator as a member of the 398 AAA AW BN that was attached to the 8th Army, assigned in Suwan, Korea. “We were around this air base down by Osan. Osan and Suwan were real close together and the air base was in between them,” said Irvin in a 2008 interview. Irvin said he wasn’t stationed on the air base, but rather the surrounding areas of the base about two miles out. “We had 40 millimeter guns and quad 50s out around the base to protect it,” Irvin recalled. “Being a radio operator I was in contact with all those gun sections. They would check in every hour.”

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In October 1954, Irvin left Korea. Keith McCall of Shenandoah spent two years digging bunkers, hauling supplies and driving officers during he conflict as a member of the 7th Infantry Division, 32nd Regiment, 4th Battalion, Company B during the Korean Conflict. The 7th Infantry was stationed approximately 50 to 60 miles north of Seoul. “We worked on the Kansas Line seven days a week, daylight to dark, digging bunkers, trenches and installing barb wire up until the ground froze in late December 1953. The Army was preparing for the war to start up again if negotiations failed,” McCall said in a 2008 interview. Later, McCall was transferred to the Battalion Motor Pool where he was the Jeep driver for Company B and then reassigned as a driver for the Commandant at the ICorps Non Commissioned Officers Academy. He left Korea in October 1954 and was discharged from the Army in November. Thirty-eight months in a patrol squadron as an air crewman on P2V Neptune, was how Don Peterson of Shenandoah spent the Korean Conflict. Peterson flew 54 tactical missions that were top secret along the coast of red China, Russia, and Siberia. Neptune’s were heavily armored bombers used for long-range patrols and since his missions were top secret, he couldn’t talk about them. “We couldn’t talk to our families at home; tell them what see LEGION, Page 18

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12 June 2014

VA Commission dedicated to serving Page County By KENT DINNEBIER Editor - Clarinda Herald-Journal

The Page County Veterans Affairs Commission is charged with coordinating a variety of services to assist approximately 1,450 veterans living in the county. Organized under the section of the Iowa Code dealing with the Veterans Affairs Administration guidelines, the Page County Veterans Affairs Commission consists of an administrator and three commissioners. Rod Riley serves as the Page County Veterans Affairs Administrator and the commissioners are Don Peterson and Sue Regnerus of Shenandoah and Glen Wichman of Clarinda. The commissioners must be veterans of the United States Military and are appointed to a three-year term by the Page County Board of Supervisors. The commission meets once a month to review claims and requests for assistance from local veterans. Provided they meet the eligibility guidelines, local veterans may apply for assistance with such needs as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, food and provisions, medical and dental assistance, prescription medications, transportation, burial assistance and grave markers. “Every claim is regarded as a specific claim by itself,” Wichman said. “They can only receive the maximum amount of assistance set by our police once in a fiscal year,” Therefore, Wichman said the Page

County Veterans Affairs Commission works closely with Page County General Relief administrator Jane Miller to ensure that clients are being served without a duplication of efforts and financial resources. Given the bitter cold temperatures that have been experienced this winter, Wichman said one of the primary requests the commission has received is for assistance with the purchase of propane. “The last time we had a propane request, it cost $485 for a complete fill. That takes up basically the amount we allot for assistance,” Wichman said. “Therefore, other entities like the Salvation Army are being utilized to reduce the strain on the Page County funds.” Dismayed over how the general public viewed veterans, Wichman accepted an appointment to the Page County Veterans Affairs Commission six years ago. Since that time, he said the activities various organizations provide for area veterans have increased the awareness people have for the needs of former military personnel and especially for disabled veterans. “The local person may never see a difference in relation to a veteran who serves in a foreign country in defense of our freedom. They have no idea of the sacrifices and suffering they are exposed to. The immediate effects of the service they perform may not expose itself shortterm, but some of their experiences may be exposed later in life,” Wichman said. A prime example of this, Wichman, said was the use of Agent Orange during Vietnam. Veterans who were exposed to

the chemical are now experiencing cancer related illnesses. “Our current veterans are dealing with the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. At the present time this is one of the major things the Veterans Affairs Administration is addressing,” Wichman said. Since the inception of the Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Shenandoah, Wichman said local veterans have had more immediate access to the medical care they require. To further insure veterans can access the clinic, he said the Veterans Affairs Administration in Omaha, Neb., has repositioned two vans to serve the area. “They transport veterans to either the clinic in Shenandoah or to the VA hospital or other associated clinics. The drivers for those vehicles are all volunteers,” Wichman said. Currently, Wichman said the commission has identified approximately 1,450 veterans living in Page County. Any additional veterans that have not registered with the Page County Veterans Affairs Commission are encouraged to register as a veteran and contact the Veterans Affairs Administrator at (712) 246-4254. “We certainly think there are those who live in the county that have not made it known they are veterans. We want to make sure everyone knows about the services that are available provided they meet the criteria established by the Veterans Affairs Administration,” Wichman said.

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

MILLIKAN

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Millikan passed away at his home in Alexandria, Vir. in 1978 of heart problems. “He was a very down to earth, nice man; your average guy.” Karon and her husband, LeRoy, recently returned from a trip to Washington D.C., where they were given a guided tour of the capital and saw a building dedicated to Major General Millikan, Millikan Auditorium, at Andrews Air Force Base. The building was originally dedicated in his name on Oct. 24, 1987, and then a rededication ceremony took place two months ago in his honor. “We were there for three days and stayed at the Presidential Inn.” The Spears also had a guided tour of the Air and Space Museum, Arlington, Iwo Jima memorial and the Capital, as well as dinner with several military dignitaries, including Brigadier General Marc H. Sasseville. “It was amazing,” Karon said. And about the uncle she only met a few times in person, once at her wedding, she said what sticks out most to her about him was his perseverance. “The US said he’d never make it as a pilot so he went to England and became one of the best around– there’s a motto on his dedication marker that pretty much sums up how he lived his life – ‘There is a way.’

WAKE

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before obtaining a position at Eaton Corporation. He retired from Eaton in 1992. Sadly, Evelyn passed away three years ago. “The Army was a good experience,” said Eugene, who resides in Shenandoah. “I got out of the reserves just before Korea, and was glad I did.”

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By KRISTAN GRAY Staff Writer - The Valley News

The Veteran’s Clinic in Orchard Corners Shopping Center on Highway 59 in Shenandoah offers more than health care. That’s according to Dr. William Shelton, of Clarinda. “This VA can do a lot for people, like pay for handicapped bathrooms to be installed, or provide hearing aids for $50. We can also provide much cheaper eyeglasses or scooters� said Shelton. “We can help make people’s lives much better.� Additionally, Shelton said prescription drugs are offered at a greatly reduced price. “Some psychiatric medicines have an eight-week waiting period at other clinics, but through the VA, they get same-day service,� the doctor said. “I don’t want to make it seem like heaven on earth, but there are things we can certainly do if we just get people signed up with us.� Shelton said the processing period to become a patient of the clinic can take quite a while. “If someone comes to us with a sprained ankle, but isn’t signed up, we won’t be able to help them,� he said. “That’s why it is important to sign up when you’re healthy.� He added, “Afghan vets are eligible, so please sign up in advance; don’t wait until you need something.�

There are three ways to qualify: income based service, the military person’s geographical area of service, or if the military member served in combat at any time. “Particularly if the person has a health related issue while on active duty, we want to help them,� Shelton said. Also, the clinic offers coordinated care with other doctors. “If a person wants to keep their hometown doctor, they can – they just need to come to us once a year to stay eligible. They can come to us for cheaper medicines, for example, but keep visiting their regular doctor,� he said. Shelton has been treating patients at the Shenandoah clinic for one year, but operated a private practice in Clarinda for more than 30 years. “There are a lot of people in the area I care about. It’s really gratifying to me to help people stay home and out of the nursing home by getting them things like a new bathroom,� Dr. Shelton said. “I want to help more people in the area – we just need to get them signed up.� Shelton expressed how much he enjoys working with the Shenandoah staff, saying, “The people that work here bend over backward to help people, and I thank them for that. We like to treat people like they’re in our own family.� For more information, call the clinic at 712-246-0092.

Honoring Their Service & Sacrifice Our respect and gratitude will forever be with our fallen military heroes and their families. Their service and sacrifice are beyond measure, and we will never forget their dedication to our country and our freedom.

Continued from Page 2

ic school in Biloxi, Miss. There Harris, and others, learned how to transmit and receive microwave radio signals off clouds in the lowest atmosphere and have them bounce to radars elsewhere. “From there, I was sent to Vietnam.� The year was 1963 and although the United States was involved in Vietnam, war didn’t escalate within the county until 1964 due to the Gulf of Tonkin incident, where the North Vietnamese fired upon two U.S. ships in international waters. The first ground troops would arrive in Vietnam until March 1965. “In 1963, we were there as advisors. I was stationed in Nha Trang with the 362nd signal corps but I was TDY (temporary duty) in Saigon at Ton Son Nhut. The trailer we worked out of for communications was located in the middle of a rice patty.� While in Vietnam, Harris said he spent his free time touring the area on his Harley Davidson motorcycle. “I bought it when I was over there and went a lot of places I wasn’t supposed to go,� he chuckled. “I went all over the countryside.� In July 1964 Harris returned to the states for about a month. It was during that time he met Nancy Gass, who would become his wife. However before he and Nancy could really get to know each other, Ray was assigned to Pirmasens, Germany. “We worked out of a freudenheim bunker with eight-foot thick walls below and above ground. When you were in there, you didn’t know if the sun was shining or it was raining outside.� Despite the distance, Ray sent Nancy a

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diamond from Europe and in December 1964, the couple married. The newlyweds then returned to Germany, where they remained for two-and-a-half years. “When we came home, Nancy was pregnant with our fist son, Ronald. He was born on November 11, 1967.� Back in the United States, Ray was assigned to Fort Monmouth, N.J. where he was an instructor for the signal corps. He then received word he would be send back to Vietnam, but for him, once had been enough. “I didn’t want to go over there again, so I got out of the service. I was in a total of six years, 8 months, 11 days.� Ray and his family moved to Falls City, Neb., where he worked in heating and cooling and then to Omaha, also for a job in heating and cooling. In 1981, he purchased Standard Sheet Metal in Shenandoah from Wayne Brush. He stayed with Standard Sheet Metal until 2003 when he sold the business. Although Ray should be retired, he said he has a very difficult time not keeping busy. Therefore he volunteers for numerous organizations including the Shenandoah 4th of July committee, where he serves as the firing chief for the fireworks display, as well as American Legion Post No 88 Chaplain, American Legion District 7 finance officer and Page County Commander. He also still manages to help out those in need of heating and cooling work from time to time. “I can’t keep still, I need to be working.� In addition to son, Ronald, Ray and Nancy have two more sons, David and Steve. They also have five grandchildren. “The Army was a great experience. I would do it again if they’d take me,� Ray said.

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Shenandoah CBOC offers more than just healthcare

HARRIS

June 2014 13

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we shall not forget Company E has ulustrious history HIARING 14 June 2014

Continued from Page 3

By TESS GRUBER NELSON Managing Editor - The Valley News

Shenandoah has many things to be proud of including the illustrious Iowa National Guard Company E; founded on May 22, 1878. In those 136 years, Company E has participated in the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II and Operation Enduring Freedom. “Company E has not only played an important role in the military, but Shenandoah as well,” said Harry Pontious, 35-year member of Company E. “At one time we were the second of third largest employer in Shenandoah because of the money we were bringing into town. At one time we had 160 men in the unit.” In 1878 when it began, Company E was a unit of the Fifth Infantry. In 1892, the company became a part of the Third Infantry. Gathered into Federal service for the Spanish American War in 1898, Company E was once again switched to the 51st Infantry and was sent overseas to the Philippines. Most of their service in the Philippines was spent fighting Filipino Nationalists. They returned from the Philippines in 1899. In 1902, Company E was changed to the 55th Infantry and remanded to the Third Infantry in 1915. During the summer of 1916, there was talk of war between the United States and Mexico. Members of Company E were sent to the Mexican border but war did not break out and Company E returned home in February 1917. In early August, Company E was changed to the 168th Infantry, 34th Division and in the fall of 1917, during WWI, Company E and Company F out of Montgomery County (Villisca) were among the first to see action in France. Company E participated in five major offenses during the war. Their service ended in May 1919. When WWII broke out in 1941, Company E was already on active duty, although they were mobilized for war in February 1941. Company E was involved all major land campaigns in North Africa and Europe including Kasserine Pass, Fonduk Pass, Naples, Anzio and the Po Valley. Dale Jones was a member of Company E for 29 years. He said the men in Company E were the best around. “The men in Company E fought for what they thought was right and gave everything they had,” said Jones. “They were dedicated and believed in their country and what it

stood for.” “They had more time in combat than any other unit in the United States,” added Pontious. “They had more than 600 days in actual combat.” Pontious said Company E was one of the first units sent to fight in WWII and the Company was split into different units. “I had three uncles in; one was in Company E and two 168th and 133rd. The uncle in Company E was captured at Faid Pass,” added Pontious. Thirty-one members of Company E were taken captive in North Africa and were held as prisoners between December 1941 and October 1944. During WWII, more than 1,200 men served in Company E. WWII war correspondent Ernie Pyle wrote many columns praising the men of Company E. “He (Pyle) was with them (Company E) for quite awhile. Paul “Tag” Allumbaugh and Jackie Pierson and some other guys are mentioned in his book. Tag is mentioned quite a few times,” said Pontious. In the late 1950s, Company E became Company C. Pontious said during WWII there were Company letters A through Z, but within time it was changed to only A, B, and C; as it is today. “During WWII, Red Oak was Company M, Company C was Clarinda and G Company was out of Des Moines,” said Pontious. “Now it’s all based on A, B and C.” In December 1967, the 34th Division was retired and became part of the 47th Division, but was reactivated to the 34th Division 50 years to the date of its mobilization into WWII. In 1985, Company E became Detachment 1, Company B, First Battalion, 168th Infantry and would later serve in Operation Enduring Freedom in February 2004. Once Company C returned from Afghanistan in May 2005, it was changed to Company B, 1-168 Inf. BN when it went from being a detachment to company headquarters. In August 2010, members of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, which included battalions and companies from across the state of Iowa, were deployed, including the 1-168th Infantry Battalion that encompasses Shenandoah, Denison, and Corning. In fact, more than 2,600 Iowa National Guard soldiers were deployed in 2010, making it the largest single deployment since World War II. They returned in July 2011.

its Asian neighbors, allied itself with Nazi Germany and launched a surprise assault on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor. Though Hirohito later portrayed himself as a virtually powerless constitutional monarch, many scholars have come to believe he played an active role in the war effort. After Japan’s surrender in 1945, he became a figurehead with no political power,” according to History.com. The meeting took place at Elmendorf Air Force Base located adjacent to Fort Richardson. Hiaring was among the 5,000 people that filled a four-story high aircraft hangar for the gala that included a performance by the Alaska Army Band. “It was the first time a Japanese emperor had stepped foot on United States soil. He was only in Alaska for two hours and four minutes,” Hiaring said. “Looking back, it’s a bigger deal now than it was at the time. It was an honor to be in attendance at the meeting and perform for two powerful world leaders.” However, that was not the first time Hiaring had performed in front of Nixon. While Hiaring was still in high school, the Madison Central High School band was selected to play when Nixon made a campaign stop in Sioux Falls, S.D., leading up to the1968 Presidential election. Born and raised in Madison, S.D., Hiaring graduated from Madison Central High School in 1967. He then attended Dakota State College in Madison, S.D. Besides attending college, Hiaring worked construction and during the summers served as a cook at restaurants in California, Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota. Hiaring was drafted by the United States Army and was inducted into military service on Oct. 7, 1970. “The last person from my county that was drafted had a medical issue and that resulted in me being selected,” he said. Hiaring reported to Fort Lewis near

The Valley News/Herald-Journal Tacoma, Wash., for basic training. He also received his Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Lewis. “They asked me what Military Occupational Specialty I was interested in. Since I had worked a several restaurants, I wanted to be a cook. But the Army decided I was going to be an infantryman in the mortar division. I also did some truck driving,” Hiaring said. At the end of his AIT, Hiaring learned that the members of his company would be assigned to one of four duty assignments. Those duty assignments were in Alaska, Germany, Panama and Vietnam. “Prior to our company, everyone with infantry training was sent to Vietnam because the war was still going on. No one went anywhere else,” Hiaring said. “I was very fortunate not to have to go to Vietnam. My whole family had been to Alaska in 1963 on a family vacation, so when I was assigned there I already kind of knew what it was like.” While serving with the 214th Alaska Army Band Hiaring was promoted to the rank of Specialist Fourth Class. With the war in Vietnam winding down, Hiaring was eligible for an early-out. He was discharged from the Army on April 7, 1972, after 18 months of service. “Although I was a soldier during the Vietnam era, I was never in a combat zone. Still, I have a tremendous amount of respect for those that were,” Hiaring said. Following his discharge Hiaring briefly returned to South Dakota to work in restaurants and construction. However, in July, he reunited with two of his bandsman buddies and bicycled from Astoria, Ore., to San Francisco and then on to Yellowstone National Park. Then, in August of 1972, Hiaring moved to Algona to work at the Chrome Country Inn. He and his family moved to Clarinda in 1976. Hiaring initially managed the Truck Haven Café before purchasing the restaurant in 1984. Six years later he sold that restaurant and opened Vaughn’s Café.


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KING

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military with a rifle. The competition is held at Camp Perry and determines the top 100 marksmen from all branches of the military, both active and reserve,” King said. While at Fort Benning, King also attended Airborne School and completed the Infantry Officer Advanced Course. He then spent his final four years of active duty at Fort Stewart, Ga., as a battalion logistics officer and tank company commander. While he was deployed in Europe King had the opportunity to visit Denmark, Italy, Romania and Spain. Then, during his time at Fort Stewart, he was twice deployed to Egypt. “That was very interesting because we were training on the same grounds as some of the key battles of World War II. It was very historic and very humbling,” King said. Finally, in 1997, King left active duty and joined the Army Reserves. He currently commands the 1189th Transportation Surface Brigade in Charleston, S.C. “One of my passions is leading, coaching, teaching and mentoring others. After company command there are not as many opportunities on active duty. The reserves offer more opportunities to lead soldiers,” King said. King has led a civil affairs detachment, a psychological operations company and a military police battalion in addition to his current duties with the transportation brigade. As a reservist, King was twice sent to Iraq as well as being deployed to Afghanistan, Kosovo and the Pacific. In 1999, King led a civil affairs detachment in Albania and Kosovo right after the air wars. The detachment worked with refugees and assisted with the reconstruction of Kosovo. In 2003, King was with one of the lead civil affairs elements in Iraq and later closed Camp Bucca, a detainee internment camp in Iraq, in 2008. After graduating from the Army War College in 2011, King com-

we shall not forget manded a Security Forces Assistance Team from 2011 until 2012 in Logar Province, Afghanistan. “We were with the Third Brigade First Armor Division. During my first tour in Germany I was with that same unit, so everything kind of circled around which is not very common,” King said. During his military career King was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge in 2012 for his service in Afghanistan; received the Purple Heart in 2003 for his service in Tikrit, Iraq; the Distinguished Rifleman Badge in 1999; the Distinguished Pistol Shot Badge in 2002; and has four Bronze Stars. Following his time on active duty with the Army, King has worked in leadership or consulting/mentoring roles with such companies as General Electric, Delfield, Alcoa and Accenture. In May 2013 King joined NSK Corporation and was named the new plant manager for the Clarinda facility. “In the last 10 years I have been deployed as a Reservist for seven years. After finishing my deployment to Afghanistan in 2012 I wanted some more stability in my life while maintaining a leadership role in my civilian life. That is what attracted me to NSK,” King said. “As a leader it is all about developing the team and helping the collective group get better. In the military I learned things are ‘about the command not the commander,’ or more simply about the unit and not the person in charge. As a leader my responsibility is to take any blame and give the credit to others.” Prior to moving to Clarinda, King had been living near Pittsburgh, Penn. King said he is looking forward to living in Clarinda for a long time and becoming actively involved in the community. “The people here are fantastic. Everybody has made me feel welcomed in the community,” King said. “The work ethic is second to none. It’s just outstanding here. I am looking forward to leading and contributing to the team so we all succeed. The biggest thing I preach is that everybody does their share and when asked, everyone has been willing to step up. I appreciate that.”

MARTIN

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up their car and made the long trip back to Iowa driving 500 miles a day. “Our oldest son, Daniel, was seven weeks old when we left Maine.” A brother, Kevin, would eventually join Daniel. “I can’t tell you how extremely proud I am of my boys.” After six years in the Iowa National Guard and

MCCOMB

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to fix military 35 millimeter cameras and all types of equipment associated with photography and the development of film,” he said. After completing his schooling, McComb was assigned to a photographic squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, Calif. The squadron was responsible for maintaining and repairing cameras that were mounted on Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles as well as the equipment associated with processing the film from those cameras. During the course of his six months at Vandenberg Air Force Base McComb said the Air Force conducted extensive background checks. Although he didn’t know the reason at the time, McComb ultimately learned he had been awarded a security clearance of top secret plus and would be able to put his training to use as part of the Reconnaissance Technical Group in Wiesbaden. While in Germany, McComb enrolled in a calculus class through an extension program offered by the University of Maryland in hopes of improving his score on the admissions test for the Air Force Academy. He attended the 12-week course each day on his lunch hour. After completing the course, he retook the test in May of 1971. Although McComb did not pass the entrance exam, he improved his score enough to be offered the opportunity to enroll in the Air Force Preparatory School the following month. The following year McComb received his appointment to the Air Force Academy as a 21-year-old freshman. He graduated in 1976 and received his Air Force commission. “I think the Air Force Academy is one of the greatest learning institutions in the world. I was very fortunate to go there because I was just an average student in high school. I was not a

June 2014 15 four years in the Air Force, Jim said he wasn’t quite done with the military. After a brief hiatus, he signed up to serve in the Nebraska National Guard, where he remained for 17 years. “I spent a total of 25 years, nine months in the service.” Jim farmed and drove trucks for a living, before retiring and eventually moving from a farm in Northboro to an apartment in Shenandoah. Sadly, Delores passed away in June. “I’m proud I served and I recommend the Air Force to anyone,” Jim said. valedictorian or salutatorian. Then, to serve your country on top of getting an excellent education, was a real bonus,” McComb said. McComb spent two years at Grand Force Air Force Base in Grand Forks, N.D., working in the missile field. He was then transferred to Grissom Air Reserve Base near Kokomo, Ind., and served as a computer operations officer. “I assisted with payroll accounting and other duties that involved the use of computers,” McComb said. In 1979, McComb resigned from the Air Force and moved to Clarinda. His father, who was originally from College Springs, had retired to the community. “My father served in the Navy during World War II and later returned to the military in the Air Force after teacher school at Elmo, Mo. I was an Air Force brat my whole life and when I graduated high school in 1969 in Del Rio, Texas, he suggested I pick one of those two branches,” McComb said. “My father actually gave me my oath of enlistment and there was a picture of it in the Herald-Journal.” When he moved to Clarinda, McComb intended to become a teacher and enrolled at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo., to complete his teaching certification. However, his father encouraged him to also apply at some of the other businesses in the area. McComb was ultimately hired by Lisle Corporation in Clarinda and went to work in the purchasing department in May of 1980. He has remained with the company for 34 years. “You can do anything you want if you try hard enough. I went through a lot of trials and tribulations to get into the Air Force Academy, but I never quit. Anything in life that is worth attaining is also worth going through the troubles to achieve it,” McComb said. “I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I’m a lucky person.”


16 June 2014

WEAVER

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Weaver did serve overseas during war-time. “One thing that stayed with me from my service…I’d just transferred to Echo Co 2nd Battalion in Des Moines serving part-time with the Guard when the Gulf War broke out with Operation Desert Storm, so I was brought back to active duty. The highlight was the transition out of civilian life to going overseas.” Weaver said he had a very positive deployment with everyone returning home healthy. The colonel recalled his most outstanding military career memory was during the Gulf War. “Being able to have that experience as a part of that effort…” he paused reflectively, on his life in the midst of a war in the Middle East. “The mood of the country at that time…because there was a visible ending to that conflict…it was a good time to be a part of that.” To graduates considering a military career, Weaver advises an examination of the numerous options. “I don’t know if graduates realize there are full opportunities including medicine as eye doctors etc. I chose the Marine Corps because of the great tradition and the challenge as a commissioned officer.” Weaver chose the Marine Corps over the other branches of military because the platoon leader’s course could be completed in the summer between college semesters. “It was unique as far as the services go,” he said. “The others have ROTC that run parallel with school but the Marines is just in the summer. I looked at the Navy and Air Force. This matched well with my academic requirement. His other deployments included the Marine Corps Base Quantico, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Kuwait, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Alpena ANGB, Michigan, Volk Field, Wisconsin, Ramstein AB, Germany and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Weaver served as the healthcare administrator assigned to the 132d Medical Group, 132d Fighter Wing, Iowa Air National Guard, Des Moines. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Business Administration in May 1981. In August of that year, he graduated from the

we shall not forget United States Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Course and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. After completing The Officer Basic School, Logistics Officer Amphibious Operations and Marine Corps Integrated Maintenance Management, and Basic Amphibious Embarkation courses, he was assigned as Maintenance Management Officer to Third Light Anti Aircraft Missile BN, 2nd Marine Air Wing in North Carolina. Transitioning off of active duty in ’85, he was assigned to Engineer Maintenance Company in Omaha and later Echo Company 2nd BN, 24th Marines in Des Moines, serving in various capacities including assignment as Commanding Officer Engineer Maintenance Company and Executive Officer Echo Company 2nd BN, 24th Marines. In March 2003, Weaver was commissioned a Medical Service Corps Officer and assigned to 132nd Medical Group, 132nd Fighter Wing Des Moines. He was recognized as unit Company Grade Officer of the Year in 2004. Weaver is a graduate of the Health Services Administration Course, Squadron Officer School, and Air Command and Staff College. Weaver’s military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon with two devices, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal with one device, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Organized Marine Corps Reserve Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with four devices, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with one device, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Kuwait Liberation Medal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait Liberation Medial Government of Kuwait. Weaver now resides in Omaha. Joining him at the ceremony was his wife Stephanie, daughter Kara and sonin-law Josh Versaw, also of Omaha, and father Dr. John Weaver of Shenandoah.

PERRY

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like to do for work and she selected working at a BOQ (Bachelor Officers’ Quarters), an office job similar to a receptionist. Her duties included checking people in and out, taking money, answering the phone, bank deposits, typing and so forth. “I wasn’t the biggest person for doing office work, but they never complained so I guess it worked. I did a lot of running for the officers.” On her honorable discharge papers it is written she is entitled to wear WWII Victory ribbon. Once discharged, Perry attended fashion design school for nine months in Chicago, but the program was discontinued.

NYE

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ing Vietnam. The medals and ribbons Nye received for his service in Vietnam include: Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V” for Valor and 1 Gold Star; Navy Good Conduct Medal with 4 Bronze Stars; National Defense Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal with 2 Silver and 1 Bronze Star; Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon with 1 Bronze Star; Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon with 1 Bronze Star; Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon with

The Valley News/Herald-Journal She then returned home and married Glendale Perry in December 1947 at the Braddyville Methodist Church. Glendale had served in the Army during WWII. Once married, the couple lived on a farm north of Norwich and later in the Northboro area. She was a longtime active member of the Northboro United Methodist Church, United Methodist Women, Christian Women’s Club, 4-H leader, and served on the Shenandoah Public Library Board for six years. She and Glendale have two children, Gilbert (Clare) or Portland, Oregon and Deborah Perry Schoenfelder (Jim) of Iowa City, as well as five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Today, Perry resides at Elm Heights in Shenandoah.

1 Bronze Star; Combat Action Ribbon; Small Craft Insignia Command Pin; Special Warfare Combat Craft Crew Insignia; Sea Service Deployment Ribbon; Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960 Device; Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross with Palm and Frame); Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Civil Action Color with Palm and Frame). Fellow American Legion Post No. 88 member and retired Colonel Marlin Tillman, on Grassley’s behalf, will formally present retired Senior Chief Nye with his commendations at the American Legion Post No. 88 meeting Wednesday, June 12.


The Valley News/Herald-Journal

WILSON

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said. During the journey Wilson said the ship had three motors that burned out and had to be taken to a repair ship. Therefore, he said the crew was looking forward to its first night of liberty in Japan. However, that liberty was cancelled along with plans for the USS Chemung to continue south to Australia. Instead, the ship returned to sea after two Navy ships were fired on off the coast of Vietnam. That incident marked the start of the conflict in Vietnam and Wilson found himself sailing toward the destination he had hoped to avoid by joining the Navy. “Visiting Australia would have been a real highlight, but Vietnam vetoed that,” Wilson said. “Every war movie I ever saw showed an oil tanker being blow sky high and here I was on an oil tanker. I’m just glad Vietnam didn’t have a navy or air force.” Wilson said the deployment was initially scheduled to last nine months, but the USS Chemung wound up spending well over a year refueling ships off the coast of Vietnam and the Philippines. During that time, Wilson said his most harrowing experience came during a damage control drill. The oil tanker operated on two generators, but during the drill Wilson was assigned to switch the ship to a single generator, then to the other generator and finally back to both generators. “It was suppose to be simple, but it wasn’t. The ship lost power as we tripped both generators during the drill. After those problems all of the damage control drills were canceled,” Wilson said. Besides helping maintain the operation of the electrical components on the oil tanker, Wilson also assisted with providing entertainment for the sailors aboard the ships the USS Chemung refueled. The oil tanker carried a large supply of movies that were overseen by the electric shop of the ship. Wilson said as ships were refueling they would select four or five movies that could be shown to the

we shall not forget sailors. The movies were stored on reels and were transferred to the other ships by cargo nets. The next time the ship would refuel they would return the borrowed movies and select new ones. Along with maintaining the inventory of movies, Wilson also assisted with checking the condition of the films. When the USS Chemung finally returned to the United States after Wilson’s second deployment, the ship was placed in dry dock for approximately four months. Wilson worked with employees at Bethlehem Steel Yards in San Pedro, Calif., to make extensive repairs to the oil tanker. Finally, with the ship refurbished, Wilson embarked on his third deployment in the early summer of 1965. Wilson was scheduled to conclude his enlistment in November of 1965, but his tour of duty was extended by four months. As a result, Wilson rang in the New Year at sea. Working through the midnight hour on Dec. 31, 1965, Wilson said the USS Chemung simultaneously refueled an aircraft carrier and a destroyer. Finally, in February of 1966, Wilson left the ship at Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines. He traveled overland by military bus to Clark Air Force Base in Manila and then embarked on a 23-hour flight to Travis Air Force Base in San Francisco, Calif. “Three days later I walked off the naval station with my discharge papers in hand. I caught a taxi to the airport and took the first plane to Kansas City,” Wilson said. After returning to Braddyville, Wilson put his knowledge as an electrician to use as he went to work for Braddyville Oil Company. Wilson ran the tank wagon and did appliance repair. Wilson then spent 23 years at Union Gas Company, eventually reaching the position of plant manager, before working in the maintenance department at Pella Corporation in Shenandoah for nine years. “I wouldn’t have been an electrician if I hadn’t been in the military. If I had to into the service again, I would be in the Navy,” Wilson said.

SERGY

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After returning to the United States, he was assigned to the 2nd Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas, and later at Fort Meade, Md. He has been a continuous member of the American Legion for 66 years. Williams served as a cook in the United States Army during the Korean War. He was ready to be shipped overseas when the cease-fire was reached. Williams has 53 years of continuous service with Sergy Post 98. Fine enlisted in the United States Army in 1943. He served as a clerk for the 692nd Ammunition Company in Belgium, England and France during World War II. He was a 50-year member of the Masonic Lodge and was a continuous member of the American Legion for 66 years. During World War II, Hookham served in the United States Army. He joined the Army in 1943 and served until 1946. After training, he was assigned to the Army medical staff and helped organize the admission and treatment of patients

SPIRIT

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of memories,” said Stewart Carlson, a 92-yearold World War II veteran who lives in Council Bluffs with his wife of 71 years, Evelyn. “I see the names of some of my friends on this wall,” he said at the monument. Stewart Carlson served in the European Theater with the Army from 1942-46. He helped free prisoners at the Buchenwald concentration camp, which left images in his mind that haunted his dreams upon his return home. “When I think about those prisoners...” he said, trailing off. During a brief speech Hanafan called the Veterans Plaza hallowed grounds. “You walk along these walls, see the names, people stop for a moment and remember,” he said. “You veterans brought freedom to subjugated nations and ended the horror of the Holocaust. The service, dedication and sacrifice of World War II heroes continues to inspire us.” Hospice of Southwest Iowa sponsored the hour-long event, which was one of many Spirit

June 2014 17 of Schick General Hospital in Fulton, Ill. He was later sent to Fort Lewis, Wash., where he served until his discharge. Hookham was a lifetime member of both the AMVETS and the American Legion. He had 61 years of continuous service with Sergy Post 98. McEntaffer served his country as a member of the United States Army. He served in the South Pacific and the Philippine Islands as a combat infantryman in the 25th Infantry Division. When he returned to the United States, McEntaffer was assigned to Fort Benning, Ga., as a training instructor. He was a continuous member of Sergy Post 98 for 63 years. Rarick served with the 3rd Marine Division of the United States Marine Corps during World War II. He served as a medic in the Pacific Campaign on the islands of Guam, Moen in the Caroline Islands and Iwo Jima. He was later part of the occupation of Japan. He served as Post Adjutant for six continuous terms from 1996-2002, and a promoter of the Hunter Safety Program sponsored by the American Legion. Rarick was a continuous member of Sergy Post 98 for 66 years. of 45 ceremonies held nationwide. Robert Hansen, who served in both the European and Pacific theaters with the Navy as an engineer, called the morning program “wonderful.” “I’m glad I came,” he said, with daughter Teresa Holland at his side. Hansen discussed his service, which ended on his 21st birthday -- Dec. 29, 1945. After traveling the world for his country he could finally have a legal beer. “I remember stopping by a bar in Omaha while on leave, four battle stars on my uniform, and they wouldn’t serve me,” he said with a chuckle. A few of the World War II veterans lingered after the ceremony, sitting on park benches before heading out. Hayes recounted losing a buddy that was a gunner on a sister ship. He felt bad for not being able to remember the man’s name. Various attendees stopped by to thank the veterans for their service on a day meant to honor them. “When people stop me on the street and thank me I say my thanks is for the young people today who serve,” Hayes said. “That’s important. They keep it going.”


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LEGION

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we were doing, where we were. We were told that if we went down they couldn’t help us; we were on our own,” Peterson said in a 2008 interview. “The standard procedure if our plane went down would be to tell the families back home we were lost on a training mission. They couldn’t say we were spying.” If shot down, Peterson also said they were to not allow their planes to be taken by the enemy because of the surveillance equipment on board. “We had destructive charges in some of our electronic equipment that we were supposed to detonate before we ditched the plane.” An ordinance man aboard the Neptune, Peterson took photos and worked the gun turrets. He was discharged in 1956. An Essex resident, Fred Samuelson, saw a lot of action in Korea. In a 2009 interview, Samuelson said he arrived in Korea during the spring of 1952 as a Navy Hospital Corpsman with the Marines. “We were on the main line of defense. I don’t remember the numbers of the hills we were on, but there were a lot of them. I was with Charlie Company and also heavy weapons company. Things worked out pretty good until this raid on August 9, 1952. It was about midnight and we were moving up this hill. About 35 yards from the top, all hell broke loose. There were grenades coming from ev-

we shall not forget erywhere along with rifle fire,” recalled Samuelson. Samuelson continued to say that while fighting on Bunker Hill, a notoriously fierce battle, he was wounded. “I was treating a shoulder injury when I received shrapnel in my shoulder and my leg. I didn’t think my shoulder was too bad; I was more worried about my leg because it was numb. After a few minutes, I received help from another Marine back to the line of defense.” Samuelson had only been in Korea for six months before the wounds led to him receiving the Purple Heart, and papers to return to the United States. Allen Holmes of rural Shenandoah also saw some heavy action while in Korea. Interviewed in 2010, Allen said he served on the front lines in Korea for 11 months. Allen’s unit was Company C, 223 Infantry Regiment, 40th Infantry Division and when he met up with them once in-country, they were preparing to go to the front lines. Five months of the tour was spent in the trenches and the other six months were spent training. Allen got to leave Korea after less than a year in order to escort his cousin, and good friend, Richard Holmes’ body back to the United States. Richard, from Essex, had been killed in action. “The war ended while we were at sea,” Allen said. For more information on the Korean War plaque, contact Ralph Hopkins at (402) 319-0123.

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

‘Rosies’ rolled up their sleeves, fought the war on homefront By JAMES R. BURNETT The World-Herald

“Rosie the Riveter” is the iconic image for women who helped win World War II in factories far from the front, but the real Rosies don’t see their stories as especially riveting. “I had to do something to get my brothers home,” said Wilma Foster of Laurel, Maryland. Said Louise Unkrich of Swedesburg, Iowa, who riveted ailerons at the Martin Bomber Plant south of Omaha: “We just had a job to do, and we did it.” The American Rosie the Riveter Association held its national convention over Memorial Day weekend in Omaha, and some took a half-hour ride Saturday afternoon to the Strategic Air & Space Museum near Ashland, Nebraska, to view the nation’s historic aircraft. “I’m learning history from these women who made history,” said Yvonne Fasold of Eugene, Oregon, whose late mother was a 1940s shipyard welder in Tacoma, Washington. “They set the example for the rest of us by pulling together and working together.” Fasold, the association’s president, said about 70 people are attending the convention at the Old Market Embassy Suites, including 20 “Rosies.” The others are mostly daughters and sons, known as “Rosebuds” and “Rivets.” Just as the number of WWII veterans is fast declining as they approach and surpass 90, so are the Rosies. Fasold lauded the spirit of the women who went to work when men went overseas. “At that time it was unusual for women to work outside the home,” she said. “They did it because the nation needed them.” Whether they intended to or not, Fasold said, they also became forerunners for women who decades later entered the workforce and professions “and for the idea that women can handle any job.” Not all the women who went to work in WWII did so at factories, but many took other jobs traditionally held by men. The association of Rosies honors all of them. Frances Carter of Birmingham, Alabama, founded the association on Dec. 7, 1998, after hearing a speaker say how women had helped win the war from the homefront. “She said we had a legacy,” Carter said, “and I thought we needed an organization to support that legacy.” The founder was a fuselage welder at a plant in Alabama at a time when victory was far from certain. “We were about to lose it,” she said. “We were losing in the South Pacific. Everybody did something to help win the

war.” Among those who left a Burwell, Nebraska, farm to help build airplanes were the Mathauser twins, Amelia and Wilma. Before they did so, they already had lost a brother, Elmer Mathauser, in a Florida training accident. His B-17 with a crew of 10 went missing May 6, 1942, on a flight from Tampa to Miami and was never found. “The worst possible thing,” said Wilma Rees, “was not knowing.” Amelia first worked at a War Department job in Washington, D.C., but her future husband urged her to come to Seattle, where he worked in a shipyard. So she made the Washington-to-Washington sojourn by bus, with a weeklong interval in Nebraska. Wilma eventually moved to Seattle, too, and they worked at a Boeing plant on B-17s — the type of plane in which their brother perished, probably at sea. Amelia Kizer lives in Burwell, and Wilma resides in Sun City, Arizona. Two years ago, as a surprise birthday present from their children, they flew aboard a B-17 in Arizona. The plane, Sentimental Journey, had seen action in the Pacific theater of WWII and is owned by the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force Museum in Mesa, Arizona. Nebraska first lady Sally Ganem welcomed the Rosies, Rosebuds and Rivets on Saturday in Omaha before some headed to the museum in the afternoon. Attendees heard Holocaust survivor Kitty Williams speak at a Friday dinner, and Jim Griffin spoke Saturday evening about the famed North Platte, Nebraska, canteen, which welcomed soldiers who stopped there by train. Omaha was selected as the convention site in part because of its military-related history and present. The Enola Gay and Bockscar, which dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively, to end the war, were among the B-29s produced at the Glenn L. Martin Bomber plant, site of today’s Offutt Air Force Base. The convention ends today after a memorial service. Louise Unkrich, attending with her daughters, riveted at the Martin plant for 18 months, awaiting the return of husband Clarence, who helped set smoke screens for the 1945 invasion of Okinawa. After the war, the couple farmed in southeast Iowa and had been married 55 years when he died. Their family grew to three children, six grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Like the soldiers and sailors who returned, Rosies didn’t talk much about what they did in the war. But Louise acknowledged this much: “We helped get the war over.”


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Stange to sing National Anthem in all 50 states By JOHN VAN NOSTRAND Publisher-Herald-Journal

in April, has increased her visibility. The trick is scheduling when to go where. “I feel like an air traffic controller,” she smiled. “I try and find places that are close to state borders, like what I’m doing this weekend with Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. I have about a two-hour radius.” Performances include singing at a New York Knicks basketball game, Cincinnati Reds baseball game, Pro Bull Riders, the Tennis Hall of Fame, Patriot Tour with Marcus Luttrell, Monster Jam, AMA Supercross event, Los Angele Kings hockey game and Los Angeles Galaxy soccer. Future events are at a NASCAR race in New Hampshire and the

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season opener of University of Hawaii football in August. Even though she has a job in graphic design, she knew it wouldn’t be enough to provide funds needed to travel to all the states. So far, she said she hasn’t had too much trouble paying for rental cars, gasoline, meals, hotel rooms and airline tickets, all from the generosity of others. Donations for her can be made through www.igg.me/at/nationalanthem. “People have donated for the expenses and I’ve been helped by a lot of prayer,” she said. “It’s been miracle after miracle.”

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What Janine Stange does in a couple of minutes celebrate what has been around for nearly 200 years. Stange sang the national anthem to start the Clarinda Chamber of Commerce’s annual golf tournament held Thursday, May 22. Her goal is to sing the song in each of the 50 states leading up to the song’s anniversary in September. Iowa was state number 30. “I’ve been singing the anthem since high school,” said the Long Island, N.Y. native who’s since moved to Los Angeles. “I love the song and want to give back.” Stange explains the importance of the song. “You are leading the audience in honoring people who have sacrificed so much,” she said. And she emphasized how the words in the anthem symbolize a soldier’s work. Her efforts are more than just to honor the song. At her appearances Stange asks for people to write notes of appreciation and thanks to American servicemen. Each card is included in a care package sent by Operation Gratitude, a volunteer-based non-profit that annually sends 100,000 care packages to individually named U.S. service members, veterans and care givers. “I want people to engage their gratitude,” she said. “It’s easy to say thanks and walk away, but with the note, you have to think about the words you use.” She was invited to sing the National Anthem for MetLife Stadium’s inaugural event, the Konica Minolta Big City Classic in April 2010. Her plan to sing in all 50 states started in 2012. Once she got started, she eventually learned about the song’s 200th anniversary was two years later. Francis Scott Key wrote the words Sept. 14, 1814. “It is a great way to honor the people who embody the meaning of the song,” she said about her 50-state tour. Her web site, www.nationalanthemgirl.org, tells more about her story and trips. She is not married. The web site, a growing fan base and a spot on FOX news

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