|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.
having been wounded at Brest, France on September 19, 1944, I
enjoyed being in a hospital about 15 miles west of Oxford,
England for several months. When the medics thought I was well
enough, they gave me a choice of going home for a medical
discharge or staying in the war in an S.O.S non-combat unit. I
joined the 343rd Ordinance Company at Looneville, France just
off the southwest German border. Shortly after that, the
Hitlerites surrendered and we were on an eastward trek across
southern Germany making stops at Bad Kissingen, Dachau, Munich
and Salzburg, Austria.
Bad Kissingen, Germany, we were staying in the Kurhaus Hotel
across the street from a park which had a managed mountain
stream flowing through and a stone and mortar wall separating
the park from the stream.
get to my story, the first full day of this stop, several of us
went hunting in the black forest with carbines and a sporting
Thompson sub-machine gun. We bagged a couple rabbits and two
small deer. This accomplished, we cleaned and gave them to the
company cooks. Not
having enough game for the whole company, we were looking for
more game. As we were strolling in the park the next day, we
discovered a multitude of German Brown trout in the stream, so
we decided to go fishing sportingly with hand grenades. This
promised to be a sure strategy for a good catch. Downstream in
the park, the stream was shallow and there was a waterfall
there, where upon we posted several guys across the shallow
stream above the
waterfall to gather the bounty that we were about to establish.
We began to hide behind the stone wall and throw hand grenades
into the water. Upon explosion, the concussion caused the trout
to go belly-up and float down stream to the guys posted there,
where upon they scooped the fish up and we had assurance of the
best meal in the whole war.
If a German game warden reads this and tries to look me up, I
will categorically deny the whole story.
A member of the 29th Infantry Division and the 343rd Ordinance
Donald Schoenwether Morrison
15th AF, 454th Bombardment Group, 736th Bombardment
Killed in Action 19 March 1944 on a mission near Cerkvenjak,
My Father died March 19, 1944, two days after his 25th
birthday. As his only
child and at 8 months old, I have no memories of him. Born in
he was the fifth child and third son in a family of 3 daughters
and 4 sons.
All 4 sons served in WWII. The oldest, Maj. Joseph Wallace
Morrison, was in
the Army at the
Academic Regiment Tank Destroyer School, Camp Hood, TX. Lyle
Edward Morrison was a Navy radioman stationed at Alameda Naval
Base in CA. Dad was Army Air Forces stationed in Italy when he
was KIA. Sgt. Howard Warren Morrison was in the 4th Air Force as a Lower Ball
Gunner on the B-17
and then Right Scanner on the B-29.
Dad enlisted in the South Dakota National Guard in
January 1937, the year he
graduated from Brookings High School. Discharged in January
re-enlisted in June, but received an Honorable Discharge when,
after 3 years
at South Dakota State College, he moved to California to work in
industry. His first college yearbook, the 1938 Jackrabbit, shows
him in a
photo of ROTC's "D" Company.
My Father dreamed of being a pilot and was accepted for
Training. However, this opportunity disappeared when he married
Chambers, on November 15, 1941, since Cadets could not be
weeks after their wedding, Pearl Harbor was attacked and the US
war. Employed by Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank, CA, Dad went from
Aviation Cadet to PFC Army Infantry, with Basic Training
at Camp Roberts, CA.
Still aspiring to be a pilot, as rules eased and perhaps
due to his earlier
Cadet training, Dad applied to and was accepted by the Army Air
Schooling was in Texas, so Mom returned to SD to live with her
before my birth. Four weeks later we joined him in Texas where
his Wings in August 1943. After a month of bomber training in
New Mexico, Dad
was transferred to South Carolina, while we returned to
Brookings to wait for
war's end and his return.
Because of the intensity of the war raging in Europe, Dad
was not allowed a
final furlough before going overseas. Just before Christmas,
1943, he was
sent to a base in Southern Italy where he flew bombing missions
as copilot of
a B-24 (Liberator) bomber. On their fifth mission, the plane was
hit by flak
and then downed by pursuit by enemy aircraft, killing six of the
Crewmembers were 2nd Lt. James R. Peters, S/Sgt. Lynn M. Ripley,
S/Sgt. Melbourne M. Spencer, S/Sgt. Gus Bryan, S/Sgt.
Luther F. Shipley, 2nd
Lt. George E. Wade, S/Sgt. Harry G. Squires, S/Sgt. Thomas A.
Inman, 2nd Lt.
Homer F. Roland, and my father. The four survivors, Ripley,
and Inman, were taken POW and held until the end of the war. I'd
share a letter dated July 7, 1945, sent by 2nd Lt Inman to Dad's
mother as a
tribute to him and the others. It reads,
As I believe you know, I was radio operator and nose
gunner on your son
Donald's plane. Pardon me for not writing sooner, but I haven't
the loss of these boys -- all such fine men and true buddies of
saying this because I'm writing to you, but your son Donald was
one of the
finest soldiers and most respected men I've known. He always
looked out for
his men first and himself last. The whole crew thought the world
of him. The
day we were shot down, it was by German Messerschmidt fighters,
flying tail-end and there were just too many of the enemy for
us. They shot
our tail off and tore up the whole ship. Regardless of the
condition we were
in, Lt. Morrison stayed at his position with Lt. Peters trying
to hold the
ship up so his men would have a chance. I was in the nose, but I
know he was
in position until the end because I heard his orders over the
telling the rest to leave the ship, and he also cut the switches
After that, we went into a spin and in the pilots
compartment they didn't
have a chance to get out. I wasn't able to get out until about
400 feet, so I
know that Lt. Morrison and the rest went down with the ship.
Yes, Mrs. Morrison, your son was a real hero. I'm proud
to have had the
honor of flying with him and his kind.
If there are any
questions, or if I can enlighten you in any way, please
write -- I'm at your service, Mrs. Morrison.
J. Gilbert, MD
Dr. Gilbert. He
graduated from medical school in1941, went to Belle Fourche to
practice, and was inducted into the army in the summer 1944.
He was stationed at Carlile Barracks, PA, andassigned to
Mason General Hospital on Long Island.
Later to a hospitalin New Orleans and then to West
Ashford General Hospital in Virginia.
later stationed at Newton D. Baker Hospital in West
Virginia to care for
returning GIS, most of whom were in need of psychiatric
care along with
their war wounds.He was discharged in 1946 and returned
Korean Conflict returned him to active duty from 1949 to
1950; as a Major in Camp Carson, Colorado and then to Ft
Harry Jean Harper
October 28, 1901 - December 22, 1944
Survivor of Bataan, Survivor of Corregidor
Japanese Prisoner of War
Jean Harper was born October 28, 1901. Jean served in the First
World War for six months at the age of 16. His outfit was ready
to be shipped across when the Armistice was signed. Jean entered
the United States Military Academy at West Point where he
graduated in 1925. From there he went successively to Ft.
Russell, to Hawaii, to Ft. Lewis, to Ft. Sill, and to Oregon. In
October 1941, after getting his family settled at home in
Mitchell, he went off to help hold the Philippines.
an officer in the field artillery, Jean fought at Bataan until
its fall, then escaping to Corregidor, fought there until
surrender May 6, 1942. After the fall of Corregidor, Jean spent
the next two years as a prisoner of war. Although suffering
intermittently from malaria, Jean never ceased to inspire his
comrades, officers, and men with his own courage and hope. He
never talked about how tough things were, but only about the
good, hearty things that were to be done.
was on a Japanese boat headed for Japan, which set sail from the
Philippines December 13, 1944. The vessel was hit by a torpedo
two days later in Subic Bay. Jean was among the survivors who
swam ashore, but the exposure proved too much for his body
already weakened by sickness and malnutrition. Jean died a week
later with his head on the lap of his West Point classmate, Col.
A. Hopkins. Jean's last words were the names of his wife and
Legion of Merit was awarded posthumously to Col. Harper on
September 6, 1945. Colonial Harper was cited for his work in the
defense of Bataan from December 1941, until the fall of the
Philippines in April 1943.
entry was respectfully submitted by Meredith Ann Cash,
great-niece of Col. Harper.
for this entry was provided by:
The United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
Doyle M. "Buster" Chambers, 08697946, died 20 May 1945
of injuries received aboard the USS LONGSHAW. On the morning of
May 18, 1945, following a 4-day period of fire support, the USS
Longshaw (DD-559) ran aground on a coral reef off Okinawa. As
the USS Arikara attempted to tow the ship off the reef, a
Japanese shore battery opened fire. The stranded destroyer
attempted to fight back but, as she opened fire, her bow was
completely blown off by a hit in the forward magazine. Of the
313 men on board, 86 of her crew died with their ship and an
additional 97 were wounded. Buster Chambers died of wounds two
second son of four sons and a daughter born to George Louis
Chambers and Muriel Emily (Felton) Chambers, Marion Doyle
Chambers was born 10 October 1919 in Brookings, SD. Mr.
Chambers' sudden death from an appendicitis attack in 1933, left
his wife a widow with five children ranging from 15 to 3 years
in age. Buster (13), older brother George Wyman (15), and their
mother went to work to support the family, which was forced to
leave their farm in
Bushnell and move in with relatives in Brookings.
for Moxon's Dairy, Buster was exempt from military duty, but
(as Doyle M. Chambers) in the Navy on March 6, 1943. His
remains rest in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific,
Honolulu, HI, in Section M, Grave 1372.
Leland L. Deuschle of Bison SD was
inducted into the US Army on 29 June 1944 at Fort Snelling, MN.
After basic Training he was attached to Co. A 290th Engineering
Combat Battalion and sent overseas arriving in Europe 26
February 1945. He participated in the Rhineland and Central
European Campaigns. He was entitled to wear the Distinguished
Unit Badge #11,Army of Occupation Medal, and the Germany,
European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal. Hr was an
electrician in civilian life and he continued this in his
Military service. Corporal
Deuschle was discharged on 25 June 1946 at the
Separation Center, Camp McCoy, WI. He married Bernice Ingrahm
and the had three Daughters, Paulette, Rochelle and Marci.
by his Daughters
Frank Raymond Anderson was
born in Bixby SD, raised and school in Bison in Perkins County.
He entered the military in 1942, being stationed first at
Camp Barkley TX. From
there he ended up at Camp Stoneman near San Francisco.
It was here he left on the USS HERMITAGE in March of
1943. The ship with
10,000 soldiers made its way to Melbourne Australia and then to
Bombay India arriving in May
1943. Next it was
across the subcontinent to Burma.
During his time overseas Dad worked in the G-3 section as
Clerk and Chief Clerk. G-3
dealt with Plans and Training.
From Shingbwiyand, the Ledo Road made its way through
Burma for the purpose of delivering supplies to the Chinese.
A great many Chinese soldiers served with the Americans
While serving Dad worked under General "Vinegar
Joe" Stilwell and saw Lord Louis Mountbatten and General
Merrill and the "Burma Surgeon" Gordon Seagraves.
When Myitkyina was liberated from the Japanese it was
time to head home. Dad
left from Calcutta aboard the GENERAL W.F. HASE in June 1945,
south and then across the Arabian Sea, through the Red Sea, the
Suez Canal, across the Mediterranean, landing at last at Hampton
Roads Virginia. He
and mom were married at Zeona SD on August 15, 1945.
After they were married Dad went to Ft. Leonard Wood
Missouri from which he was discharged. They then went to the U of South Dakota.
Dad taught high school history for 30 years before
retiring in 1984.
Matt came to the United States in l906 from Finland.
He served in the U.S. Army in WW 1 and eventually lived in Hecla,
S.D. with his wife Laura. They had six sons and two daughters..
all sons served in the military.. 4 of them during WW2. Olaf
Richard was in the navy, Leo Kenneth was in the army, Robert
Bruce was in the navy, and James Harold in the Marines.
In addition, my husband, Harlan Kolden, was in the
army and our two sons were also in the military, marines and
Ruth (Kruse) Adams, was employed by the US Civil
Service with the Board of Economic Welfare in Washington DC from
Feb. 2nd until Ienlisted it the WAVES, USNR on 11/15/42 ONOP
Washington DC. as a Apprentice Seaman. On 12-15-42 I started
Boot Camp at Ceder Falls, Iowa
USNT SchvCollege. Upon completion of this training,
I was sent to US.NTSch at Milleggeville Georgia with a rating of
S2c. I graduated Yeoman 3nd class and was shipped to Washington,
DC where I began my duties that consisted of top secret work in
the Casualties Department as assistant to Commander J.H. Sanders
in charge of the Department. My job was to research the
Jackets(files) of Navy men and compare their records with the
ships Navy Log to see if they were actually on duty at the time
of the disaster of a ship sank or other battle. Then it was my
responsibility to type a letter to the next of kin
and advise the that their Navy man was mission in action or
dead. This was a difficult task.I did some dictation for
Commander Sanders regarding battles and casualties. I’m proud
to have served my country during WWII. I was given an Honorable
Discharge from the US Navy in Washington, DC on 8-26-45.
by Ruth Ell (Kruse) Adams Yeoman 2nd Class 446 26 19 USNR
The Hyde County American Legion initiated a new
segment into its Memorial Day Program Monday with their awarding
of a "Freedom Fighter Award." The first recipient was
Hyde County’s most highly decorated soldier, Harold F.
Buchheim. Here is the presentation as it was read at the
Memorial Day program held Monday morning.
Harold F. Buchheim entered the U.S. Army on April 7,
1942. He received his basic and specialized training in Heavy
Machine Gun at Camp Roberts, Calif., and was assigned to the 144th
Infantry Regiment. He later was assigned to Company ‘D’, 141st
Infantry, 36th Division which entered combat duty in
France on September 1, 1944.
On September 25, 1944, Harold Buchheim received the
Combat Infantry Badge symbolic of combat in major battle. On
October 23, 1944, while on the offensive in the Vosges Mountains
of France, Buchheim and the 1st Battalion penetrated
two and one-half miles behind enemy lines. But that afternoon, a
strong enemy force surrounded his unit isolating them on a high
ridge without rations, water, or communications. The command
post desperately tried to get supplies to Buchheim and his unit
by firing artillery shells filled with supplies and airdrops,
which failed. The 1st Battalion became known as the
Late on the fifth day, the air corps managed to
drop the badly needed supplies to the Lost Battalion. The
evening of the sixth day, Sgt. Edward Guy of New York was on an
outpost when he noticed someone advancing the ridge jumping,
yelling like crazy and laughing. He grabbed the
approaching soldier and hugged him. Pfc. Matt Sakamot just
looked at him, and with a lump in his throat said, "Do you
guys need any cigarettes?" The Lost Battalion had survived.
For six days, without any supplies, Buchheim and his fellow
machine gunners repelled numerous German attacks inflicting
heavy casualties on the enemy.
For his heroic achievements and leadership, SSgt.
Harold Buchheim was awarded the Bronze Star. His Citation reads:
SSgt. Harold F. Buchheim, 37249163, Company D, 141st
Infantry Regiment, for heroic achievement in combat in France.
Sgt. Buchheim was in charge of a heavy machine gun crew assigned
a sector of Company D’s all-around defense. When the enemy
launched an initial assault against his position, he swiftly
opened fire and drove back the attackers. The second time the
hostile troops charged his sector, Sgt. Buchheim ordered his men
to hold their fire and let the enemy advance into a trap. When
the hostile forces reached a point within 100 feet of his gun,
he directed rapid and effective bursts of fire into their midst,
killing at least 10 of them. During the day, the determined
enemy launched three more attacks. Each attempt to overrun the
position was frustrated by Sgt. Buchheim’s courage, sound
judgment, and brilliant leadership. Later in the day, he
personally killed two enemy snipers with accurate machine gun
fire. You are awarded the Bronze Star Medal for heroic
achievement in combat.
During the long, cold winter of 1944-45, while
fighting on Alsace Plain in France, his company encountered the
bitterest fighting and shelling thus far. On December 11, 1944,
while protecting the right flank of Company ‘D’, the man
from Hyde County so distinguished himself in the face of savage
enemy attacks, that Harold Buchheim was awarded the nation’s
third highest military decoration, the Silver Star for gallantry
in action. A war correspondent wrote about the fighting men of
Company ‘D’ this way, "No army had ever accomplished so
much. That these men had managed to stand the grueling beatings
which marked every encounter with the enemy is remarkable.
The Germans last assault was with the elements of two divisions
but they were driven back with massed firepower after 12 hours
of bitter fighting."
His Citation reads: Harold F. Buchheim, 37249163.
SSGT. Company D, 141st Infantry Regiment, is awarded
the Silver Star for gallantry in action. SSGT Buchheim was
assigned the mission of protecting the right flank of Company D
with his heavy machine gun. On December 11, 1944, during a
savage enemy counter attack, the hostile artillery scored a
direct hit on his gun position killing two members of his gun
crew and wounding a third. The traversing mechanism was knocked
off the gun and the water jacket was punctured. In spite of
heavy artillery shelling, SSGT Buchheim recovered the weapon and
moved it through direct small arms fire to another sector.
Although handicapped by a shortage of men and by the damages
inflicted on the gun, he swiftly put the weapon into action and
again directed rapid, effective bursts of fire into the midst of
the hostile attackers. From his new position, he inflicted 18
casualties on the enemy and was largely responsible for the
repulse of the determined flank assault. His gallant actions
reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the
In the spring of 1945, Buchheim and his unit began
their final march against the enemy penetrating the Siegfried
line and advancing through southern Germany into Austria where
the European War ended on May 8, 1945.
During his service to this country, Harold F.
Buchheim was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the
Purple Heart, and WWII Victory Ribbon, the EAME Ribbon with Four
Bronze Service Stars, the Combat Infantry Badge, and the Good
Conduct Medal. On November 23, 1945, Harold Buchheim received
his honorable discharge at Camp Carson, Colo., and returned to
his farm north of Highmore where he still lives.
Harold and his wife, Alice, are the parents of six
girls, Mary, Linda, Shirley, Gladys, Marilyn, and Thelma Jean,
and two sons, Elmer and Melvin.
It is with great honor and with great pleasure that
the Hyde County American Legion Frank Vopat Post No. 3 presents
Harold F. Buchheim with the first Freedom Fighter Award.
Also present at the presentation were his brother
Irving; and sisters, Eleanor Jensen, Alice Sampson, and LaVerna
John Cole was the first to go.
He enlisted in the Army Air Force in 1941 and served on
medium bombers throughout the entire African Campaign.
After a brief rotation back to the States for R&R, he
was then sent to Europe and remained there until Germany’s
completed over 120 missions during his tour.
He was awarded the Air Medal with ten silver oak leaf
clusters, the European, African, Middle East, American Campaign
Ribbon, WWII Victory Ribbon, and the Good Conduct Medal.
He attained the rank of Staff Sergeant and was discharged
in August, 1945.
Curtis Cole joined the U.S. Navy and trained for
submarine duty aboard the U.S.S. Silversides.
After his completion of training, he was sent to the
South Pacific where he served as an Electricians Mate, 2nd
he served 3 years, 8 months of which 35 months were spent
Hobart Cole joined the Army Air Force in 1943.
After basic training, he was sent back to Sioux Falls for
radio training, and then to Yuma, Arizona for gunnery training.
He continued on to Casper, Wyoming and was assigned to a
flight crew for combat training on B-24 Heavy Bombers.
When their training was complete, they picked up a new
B-24 at Topeka, Kansas and began their overseas journey.
He was stationed in Grotaglia, Italy and was assigned to
the 719th Bomb Squadron, 449th Bomb Group,
15th Air Force. He flew 15 missions before Germany surrendered and was then
rotated back to the States.
After a 30-day leave, he was sent back to Sioux Falls
where they were to regroup and go on to the South Pacific.
While in Sioux Falls, Japan surrendered so no further
training was needed. Most
of the crew had enough points to get discharged and Hobart was
discharged at Lowery Field in Denver, Colorado in 1945.
He received 4 campaign medals and 4 battle stars and
attained the rank of Corporal. He presently lives in Hudson, S. Dak.
Coleman entered the Army on August 26, 1942.
After spending a week at Leavenworth, Kansas, he went to
Camp Haan, California for basic training.
After basic training, he transferred to the 78th
A. A. Gun Battalion. He
reported to San Francisco and shipped out on April 14, 1943 and
remained on board ship until May 22nd.
He participated in the Invasion of Attu Island in the
Aleutians and, after the successful invasion, remained there for
the next 21 months. During
this time, he helped build up the Island defenses and continued
to train. At the
end of the 21 months of duty, he boarded a ship and returned to
the States and continued on at several different camps.
He received his discharge in November of 1945.
During his time in service, (31 months) he never received
a furlough. His
present address is: Box 377, Hudson, S. Dak. 57034.
by Bergstrom-Bodeen Post No. 128, Hudson Legion.
Harold Simunek joined the U.S. Army on October 3rd,
1943. He received
his basic training and Auto Mechanics training at Ft. Leonard
Wood, Missouri. He
was then assigned to the 1380th Engineer Petroleum
Distribution Company and his training continued at Camp
Clarborne, Louisiana for the next four weeks.
He left for the South Pacific on August 8th,
1944 aboard the U.S.S. General George M. Randall and arrived in
Australia where they waited for an escort to continue on to
stationed in India, the Company to which he was assigned was
responsible for putting in place all the pipelines and pump
stations from India to Burma, supplying petroleum to the troops
at the front. When
Japan surrendered in September 1945, they took all of their
equipment to China by way of the Burma Road.
Harold was in the last truck in the convoy and was
responsible for repair of any vehicle that broke down on this
long journey. He
was then assigned to the 3731st Quarter Master Truck
Company where he was in charge of the Motor Pool.
On January 3rd, 1946, he was shipped home and
was honorably discharged from active duty on February 2nd,
1946 with the rank of Technical Sergeant.
A few of the decorations he received were the Good
Conduct Medal, and the Asiatic/Pacific Theatre Ribbon.
He has a few pictures from his time in the Army but the
one we all remember and are the most familiar with is the one of
him seated upon an elephant somewhere in India, installing a
presently lives in Canton, S. Dak.
by his children.
Oliver entered the Army March 19, 1941.
After basic training, he was assigned to the U.S. Army
Medical Corp and served with the 48th Surgical
Hospital and the 128th Evacuation Hospital.
His major campaigns include:
D-Day in North Africa, November 8th, 1942,
D-Day in Sicily, July, 1943, and D-Day plus four Normandy,
France on June 10, 1944. He
served all across Europe to include Belgium and Germany.
He served 3 years, 11 days overseas and was discharged on
August 22, 1945 at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin with the rank of
Technician 5th Grade Corporal.
He presently resides on a farm north of Hudson, S. Dak.
by Bergstrom-Bodeen post 128, Hudson
Virgil entered the service on 11/20/1943.
He served in the Pacific Theatre from 10/11/1944 to 0
7/01/1946 including action on Iwo Jima and the Occupation of
John O Randen, White Butte, SD was inducted into the US Army on 9 June
Ft. Snelling MN. After Basic training he was
assigned to CO F 335 Engineering
Battalion and was shipped overseas arriving in NATO on 13 April,
1943. He participated
the Campaigns in Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, Southern
France, Rhineland and
Central Europe. He is entitled to wear the European-African,
Middle Eastern Theater
Ribbons and the Good Conduct Medal. Sgt. Randen was
discharged 17 Nov. 1945 at
the Separation Center Camp McCoy, WI.
last century, Northern students and alums have been called to
serve in every major armed conflict since the school’s
then 400 students, faculty or alumni fought in World War I.
World War II had an even greater impact.
Northern became the home to a U. S. Army school for
glider pilots in 1942, and a navel flight training program
beginning in 1943. Lt.
Cecil E. Harris, a Northern graduate, became the U.S. Navy’s
second-leading fighter ace during the war.
Cresbard native and graduate of Cresbard High School, Harris
attended Northern State Teacher’s College sporadically from
1934 to 1941. He
received his teaching certificate and then taught in Onaka for
three of those years. Harris
enlisted in the Navel Reserve program a year before the Pearl
Harbor attack and completed the Civilian Pilot Training Course
at Northern. He
joined the Navy in 1941, was at Jacksonville, Florida, for
three weeks, then to Corpus Christi for flight training, where
he won his wings in March of 1942.
credited with shooting down 24 enemy planes in South Pacific
combat in less than six weeks during the second world war.
received numerous medals and honors for his heroic acts.
Silver Star Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Five
Gold Stars, American Defense Service Medal and more.
Krueger a Northern graduate Navy for 27 years.
He died in 1981. In
1990, the wartime hero was inducted to the Carrier Aviation
Hall of Fame.
celebration welcoming Harris back to Cresbard from the war in
1944, he said:
you fight in mud and rain and darkness-days of tireless
activity, and you begin to wonder just what it is you are
fighting for. . .
But when you come home, and hear dad and granddad arguing
about who should be president, and mother worrying about a pie
she’s baking, and the youngsters having their kid
fights-suddenly you know what you have been fighting for:
It’s just to see that no nation can come over here
and spoil the fundamental, simple things of life for us”.
spent the last two years researching Harris’ rise to
war-time hero. Krueger
hopes to collect enough evidence to get the now deceased
Harris yet another honor-The Congressional Medal of Honor.
interested in Harris’ life as a member of the northern
started reading some things about him and I thought this was a
real quality guy”, Krueger said.
(Harris) really went up against the Japan’s finest pilots. .
. he shot down 24 enemy planes he must have been so fearless
and so good .” Following
the war Harris returned to Northern State, earned his BS in
education, and returned to Cresbard to teach and later become
the high school principal.
In the fall
of 1951, he was recalled to active duty.
influence of an unassuming college professor has helped head
destruction on Uncle Sam’s enemies over the world’s
State Teachers college’s mathematics professor, N. H.
“Scout” Mewaldt has instructed a host of young flyers in
the rudiments of aeronautics and an exceptional number of
students have become outstanding members of the army and navy
Cecil Harris is one of those who received preliminary training
under Mewaldt. There
are many others too, who have performed heroic deeds and
received decorations for their ingenuity, resourcefulness and
aeronautics class was organized at NSTC in the fall of 1940,
when the civil aeronautics-authority awarded Northern a
contact for civilian pilot training.
President N. E. Steele was named coordinator of the
program and Mewaldt was selected as chief ground school
instructor and supervisor.
class completed 48 hours of ground school instruction under
Mewaldt in navigation, meteorology, aircraft operation and
civil air regulations. Flight
instruction was given by the Huron Flying Service, Inc.
completed its preliminary training here in January 10, 1941,
and eight of the boys entered the service.
first class moved on, the course was changed to war training
service and Mewaldt helped with the instruction of many more
summer of 1942, the army stationed a glider school at NSTC and
Mewaldt was named civilian ground school instructor