|As part of
constructing the South Dakota World War II Memorial, we
want to preserve the stories of South Dakotans during
that period. Please share with us a story of your
experience during that time.
meet before the bar at five
Those of us who still survive
A war and five score years
What hair is left is turning gray
Our waists get thicker day by day
But time can never take away
The bond that calls us here
see us yet as strong young men
Who rose to meet the challenge when
Our freedom was in peril
We fought the war on land and sea
To stop the foes of liberty
Who sought the rights of you and me
From our native land
we stand and ponder o’er
Those yesterdays of hard fought war
So many years ago
No one can know who wasn’t there
The sights we’ve seen to make us stare
Or heard the sounds that haunt us still
And surely always will
so we meet before the bar
Apart from all of those who are
Not members of our clan
Aging men we now here stand
Proud of the service to our land
Grateful that fate gave us a chance
To save this nation we adore
But who would think we won a war
showed you my award today
You said “that’s nice” and turned away
To talk of you and things you’d done
What caused you pain and what was fun
And this award so dear to me
Be it for brains or bravery
Was once again with just a glance
Dismissed by the ignorance
Of those who neither care or see
How much this symbol means to me
others did what was required
To hold the job when they were hired
I took advantage of each chance
To achieve the excellence
That wins awards for those who can
Excel beyond their fellow man
for each joy there must be pain
For every sunny day some rain
For what we gain there must be cost
Be it wealth or leisure lost
And so I used some time of life
Endured denial, suffered strife
And this award that I can show
Is all I have to let you know
Of an accomplishment that I
Achieved as life has passed me by
What it means you may not see
But it really is a part of me
A TIME TO GRIEVE BY MAGGIE MALONE IT'S BEEN HALF A CENTURY SINCE
LOST THEIR FATHERS IN WORLD WAR II. NOW THEY ARE READY TO HEAL.
THE LETTERS FROM my father lay at the bottom of the cedar
chest, in blue
airmail envelopes. For a curious girl of 9 or 10, living with
her mother and
sisters in South Dakota, they were a revelation. I knew very
little about my
father. My mother told me he had died in the war when I was 3
and that he
went directly to heaven, a hero. The letters began to make him
real. He wrote from France, Belgium and Germany, telling my
mother that no
matter where he was, he would subtract six hours from the time
what we were doing at that moment back home. ``I can see you
Kathleen and see her out the door and watch her up the street,''
Then, after 65 missives, the letters stop. On March 24, 1945, my
searching a house in Germany when it was hit by artillery. He is
the military cemetery at Margraten, in the Netherlands.
Up until late 1943,
the draft board had spared married men with children. But in the
of World War II, the U.S. military drafted 940,000 fathers
between the ages
of 18 and 35. Many of the new draftees were rushed into battle.
When the war
ended, the victors were welcomed home, the dead mourned. But the
whose fathers did not return were left to negotiate their way in
euphoria of postwar America.``It always embarrassed me,'' says
D.C., psychotherapist Susan Johnson Hadler, 53, whose father was
Aachen, Germany. ``I didn't want to put off people. But we
to them, and everyone wanted to move beyond all that.'' Now many
children--all well into middle age--have begun to speak out,
information about the fathers they never knew. This past summer,
particular, the success of ``Saving Private Ryan'' has rekindled
and inspired these ``quiet victims'' of the last just war to
reach out to
one another. Though exact numbers are frustratingly elusive, a
by the Department of Veterans Affairs found 183,000 ``dependent
had received benefits for fathers killed in the war. ``I thought
to be other people like myself that lost their dads,'' says Ann
of Bellingham, Wash., whose father died at Mongiorgio, Italy,
when she was
3. A historian and writer, Mix created the American WWII Orphans
(AWON) in 1991 to help survivors share information. ``When I
them, I realized how important it was for them to talk to people
themselves, so I began the network.'' That December she attended
at Arlington National Cemetery for the children of the World War
organized by the No Greater Love foundation. The foundation
programs of remembrance for families who lost a loved one in the
by an act of terrorism. It was the first time many of the
thousand who came
had talked to another war orphan. Since the No Greater Love
has grown to more than 1,000 members, many of them in regular
contact on the
Internet (e-mail address: email@example.com). The search for
information can be
maddening. Many servicemen's records were destroyed in a 1973
fire in the
St. Louis archives. But some of the discoveries have been
Rarey, of Santa Rosa, Calif., whose father was shot down over
1944, says Mix helped him locate veterans who had been in his
squadron. Last spring, Mix and Hadler published a book of 24
``Lost in the Victory: Reflections of American Orphans of World
(University of North Texas Press). Some of those interviewed
satisfying lives; others have had tremendous difficulties. All
say they have
felt deeply bereft for as long as they can remember. Since the
out, Mix has heard from many other orphans ``astonished that
alone, that others have experienced the same bewilderment and
isolation has been a heavy burden. ``No one had ever recognized
the needs of
these children to mourn,'' says psychiatrist Vamik Volkan, a
bereavement therapy whose wife, Elizabeth, is a war orphan. ``We
monuments to those who died, but we forget the children who have
with the consequences.'' Volkan accompanied his wife to an AWON
in Washington two years ago. ``I observed that several women had
involved with father figures or had problems trusting that their
would not desert them,'' he recalls. ``The men either identified
hero image or they had pent-up anger toward their father because
missed having an identity figure growing up.'' If those
``Lost in the Victory'' can be taken as a test lot, it seems
mother's reaction to her loss was key to the child's ability to
mothers, abandoned emotionally, physically and financially,
keep going. There were no grief therapists to consult; support
unknown. When a mother remarried, some orphans lost contact with
father's family. Elaine Ricketson Danks of North Hampton, N.H.,
recently found out her father's birth date and the color of his
she made contact with his family after decades of separation.
mothers did not remarry had different problems, both social and
``The war wreaked havoc with us middle-class people,'' says Bill
Kensington, Md.-based journalist whose POW father died on a
mistakenly sunk by American bombers. ``We moved from Los
Angeles, where we
had been fairly well off, to a housing development in
Washington, D.C. We
had a rough go of it for a while.'' Vincent Papke, a Tuxedo,
executive whose father died in France, says, ``My mother didn't
go out. I was a good boy, an altar boy growing up in Queens. But
at 16 I
started drinking, got into a lot of fights. I used to watch war
movies on TV
and miss my father. I'd be tipsy, 17 or 18 years old, and I'd
the heck are you? What happened?' '' In trying to answer that
Papke and Maury have become amateur war historians. Wayne
Colorado Springs, Colo., chose to follow his father more
directly. ``I was
the oldest, the male in a family of females. A boy wants to
break out of
that,'' says Downing, who recently retired as a four-star Army
occurred to me later in life that it must have been tough on my
I was in Vietnam for two tours, but she never said a word about
it to me,
never challenged me.'' For all the attention generated recently,
families of veterans of World War II still do not have a
memorial on which
to focus their grief. That may finallyally be changing. This
National Capital Planning Commission approved a design for a
monument on the
National Mall in Washington, D.C. The finality provided by such
can be therapeutic, says Volkan. ``When someone is truly dead to
can bury them psychologically and you are freer to invest in
new relationships.'' Construction may begin by Veterans Day
2000. In the
meantime, reading letters, looking at mementos, talking with
many of us comprehend our loss. And begin to move on. PHOTOS
BLACK & WHITE): A FATHER'S DRAWINGS Rarey treasures the work
of his dad,
George Rarey (above), who was shot down over France in 1944. He
down veterans from his father's squadron who have helped him
past. PHOTOS (COLOR and BLACK & WHITE): REACHING OUT Mix's
Worthington Bennett (right), died in Italy when she was just 3.
started a national network of war orphans and written a book
experiences of others like her. 'I thought there had to be other
myself,' she says.
from Newsweek Edition: Domestic; Issue Date: October 26, 1998;
Start Page: 64,
Submitted by Maggie Malone, 7/12/01
served in the Navy in World War II.
Adolph, Bill and Paul Sejnoha
and Adolph served in the Army and Bill and Paul served in the
Navy during World War II. They
were all brothers
by their sister, 7/12/01
and Orrin Heacock joined the service after they left South
Dakota. Roy, Harold
(Bud), John and Lloyd (Eldon) all joined from Tripp County.
These 6 brothers represented the Coast Guard, Navy and
Army during World War II.
by their niece, 7/12/01
served in the Navy during World War II.
was a 1st Lieutenant in the Army Dental Corps during
World War II.
was a Captain in the 38th Infantry, 2nd
Army Division. He
was killed in the Battle of the Bulge on December 17, 1944.
C. Bakewell, Jr.
was a 1st Lieutenant in the Infantry during World War
II. He received the
Silver Star, Purple Heart, and Bronze Star.
served in the U.S. Navy from July 1, 1943 to July 6, 1946.
was killed in 1944 in Europe during World War II.
was a PFC in the Army during World War II.
served in the Army in the 2nd Armored Division from
July 7, 1942 through November 17. 1945 in the European Theatres
as an Intelligence and Reconnaissance officer. He received the
served in the Army Anti-aircraft and Infantry from October 20,
1941 to November 2, 1945 in the European Theatre. He received
the Purple Heart.
was Killed in Action on October 9, 1944 on the Siegfred line
near Urbach, Germany. He
served in the Army in the 2nd Armored Division from
July 7, 1942 until his death. He received the Purple Heart.
was a PFC in the U.S. Army during World War II.
served in World War II from December 3, 1941 to September 30,
1945. He served in
the battle and campaigns in the Aleutian Islands, Rhineland and
was a Sargeant in the Marines in World War II.
He was taken prisoner of war.
He participated in the Bataan Death March and was held as
a prisoner for 52 months. During
this time he was forced to build military ships for Japan.
He weighed 97 pounds when he was released.
was a Master Sargeant in the Army Airforce.
He flew approximately 50 missions over Japan as a master
gunner in a B-29.
was in the Merchant Marines and served in the war against Japan.
was killed in action in the Philippine Islands. He is buried in Manila.
was a Tech Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Air Force. He served in the Pacific.
was killed in action in World War II.
Merrill and his wife were working at jobs in Sioux Falls and
were planning on being married "someday". December
7th, 1941, changed their plans and their lives like so many
other young people that day. They made plans to be married on
Christmas Day, 1941. Merrill was called up for the Army in
March, 1942. Many of the young men from Armour and Delmont,
S.D., left for Camp Barkley, Texas, to make up the 90th
trained for several months before going to the Mojave Desert in
Arizona. By then we knew we were getting ready for something
big. From there we went to Ft. Dix, New Jersey, and then were
shipped overseas arriving in England. June 6, 1944, was D-Day,
the Normandy Invasion. I landed on Utah Beach. My war lasted for
320 days. The 90th Infantry Division was on the line 312 days of
the 320. The other days we were pulled back a few miles from the
front to take baths, change clothes, get new equipment, repairs,
or rest. This only happened two times that I remember. Otherwise
we ate C & K rations or we didn't eat at all. Our clothing
was so dirty it could stand up by itself.
Eglise was the first French town we took after we got on the
beach. The 82nd and 101st Airborne dropped on the town and the
90th Infantry converged on the town from the ground. We finally
encircled the Germans 7th Army in the French Falaise Gap. This
battle helped to turn the tide on the German Army. During this
fight an American plane, a P-38 fighter, mistook us for Germans
probably because we had so many captured Germans with us. I
heard the strafing bullets hitting the ground before I saw the
plane. It went over my head so close I could have spit on it.
Apparently the pilot misjudged the rise in the road and got too
close to one of our trucks at the top of the rise. The planes'
propellers hit the truck and careened into the woods and
exploded, killing the American pilot. Four of our men were
killed, and one was wounded. Some of the dead were my best
friends. One, Henry Mall, died in my arms. I picked up all four
men, two with heads missing, and directed those helping me as to
which parts belonged to which man. These were my men. I was
their Sergeant. I have never been able to forget this.
was in the Dash Across France with General George Patton's 7th
and 12th Armored Division. The Infantry Boys rode on the tanks
and trucks. When we broke through the German line it only
increased the German resistance when we began fighting on their
homeland. During the winter in Germany I froze my feet and
fought the rest of the war with my feet in bad condition. After
Christmas, 1944, we traveled most of a day and night with no
lights to Belgium for the Battle of the Bulge. We kept on
fighting and going until we reached a small town somewhere in
Czechoslovakia on our way to Prague when word came down the line
from radio to radio that the war was over. It had ended. I'll
never forget how quiet it was. No one cheered, shouted, or
anything. It was very quiet. Nothing like you have seen on TV. I
moved back through Europe with the army and gradually we were
shipped home. All of the guys thought that when we got to the
States there would be a reception and a homecoming. There was
nothing. I always thought that was strange. It had changed my
life and everyone else's so much. So many did not get to come
by his daughter, 7/15/01
have only seen my father cry twice in his life. Once at his
mother's funeral, and then when he told me about his war
experiences when his men were killed right in front of him. We
are coming to Pierre for the Memorial Dedication in September.
Dad, you will finally get your homecoming and your parade! Those
who didn't make it home to South Dakota will also be remembered
dearly that day."
served in World War II at the 45th General Hospital
in North Africa and Italy.
served in the Air Force in World War II.
He was stationed stateside.
was in the Navy in the Pacific.
He was killed and his body was never found.
was in the National Guards.
He served in Europe and received the Purple Heart.
served in the U.S. Marine Corps
was an Aviation Electricians Mate in World War II.
E. (Bud) Murray
was a Technical Sergeant with the Flying Tigers in World War II.
was a Lieutenant with World War II.
He later attained the rank of Colonel in the South Dakota
was a Lieutenant in World War II.