Share Your Story

 

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.

 

Paul H. Anderson, Tracy C. Jarrett, Erle J. Hubbard and Arthur B. Schuck

The four men were employed by the American Hammered Piston Ring Division of Koppers Company for the manufacturing plant in Baltimore, Maryland.  In the early years of World War II many United States military airplanes were boxed in crates and carried to England on ships across the submarine infested waters of the Atlantic.  The big problem was engine failure due to piston ring breakage.  Our problem was to improve the quality of the piston rings.

Tradiitionally piston rings were made of gray cast iron; they still are.  Erle Hubbard worked with variations in the pouring and casting techniques in the cast iron foundary.  Arthur Schuck manipulated the alloy control for the small percentages of chronium, nickel, and molybdenum balanced with silicon. Control of praphitic carbon in the piston rings was very important, and Schuck was responsible for testing the mechanical properties of tensils strength, wear resistance and hardness.

Paul Anderson controlled the heat treatment furnace temperatures to which the piston rings were heated (1700 degrees F) and the rate at which they were cooled to room temperature thereby producing the interval microstructure that assured the desired mechanical and physical properties of the piston rings.  Tracy Jarrett as chief metallurgist, coordinated the work of Hubbard, Schuck, and Anderson.

This group of metallurgical engineers from South Dakota did produce an alloyed cast iron piston ring that made it possible for pre-jet United States bombers and fighter planes to extend their operating ranges so that non-stop ocean crossings were possible as well as longer flights over Europe. 

American planes over the Pacific Ocean were safer because their engines were more dependable.  The bomber that dropped the big one on Hiroshima was equipped with our rings. 

One day during the summer of 1942, Arthur Schuck and Paul Anderson, tiring of civilian life in a Navy town, went to the Navy recruiting office in Baltimore to inquire about the advantages that might be gained by enlising. 

The following day a Lt. Commander came up from the Navy office in Washington, D.C. to chat with Jarrett and to remind him of the Navy investment in our manufacturing facilities and that the Navy was responsible for Schuck and Anderson having deferments.  That was news to us.  It did not take Jarrett long to relay the Navy message to us.  The individuals were awarded the Navy Silver “E” star.  All of the individuals were graduates of the SD School of Mines and Technology in metallurgical engineering.

Submitted January, 2002

Roy William Lenerville

Roy William Lenerville was born March 25, 1925 at Sourm, South Dakota. He was inducted into the US Navy on September 27, 1943 at Lemmon, South Dakota and entered into active duty on October 3, 1943. He took his boot training at the NTS Farragut Idaho and NTS San Diego, Calif. He was later attached to the USS Charleston (PG51).He was Honorable Discharged as a Fireman 2C from the USN PerSepCen Minneapolis, MN on 5 April 1946.After a few month he reenlisted in the US Navy on 29 March 1947 and after serving twenty years and three daysin the US Navy he was given his final Honorable Discharge on 7 June 1965. He had attained the rating of Chief Machinist Mate.

Submitted January, 2002

Roy Tohms

In 1941 and 1942, he worked in the War Department in Washington, D.C.  He enlisted in the Air Corps in May of 1942 and was called into duty in November, 1942.  In 1945, he was separated from the service in November as a P51 Fighter pilot with the rank of Captain having completed 86 missions in Europe.  He was awarded 5 Battle Stars.

Submitted January, 2002

Melvin O. Evenson

Melvin O. Evenson was born 9 August 1923 to Martin and Emily Evenson at White Butte, SD. He was inducted into the U. S. Army on 29 June 1944 at Ft. Snelling Minn. His Army specialty was Truck Driver, Heavy 931. He qualified with the MKM Rifle. He left the United States on 6 February 1945arriving in the European Theater on 19 February 1945.. In Europe he was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division which used mules to transport equipment over the Mountains.. He is entitled towear the European-African-Middle European Service Medal, the Army of Occupation of GermanyMedal and the Good Conduct Medal. He left the European Theater on 22 June 1946 arriving back in the United States 2. July 1946. He was Honorable Discharged, a Tech 5, from the U.S. Army on7 July, 1946 from the Separation Center at Camp McCoy,Wisc.

Submitted February 2002

Richard Formanack

Richard F. Formanack, of Miner County, SD is a 1934 graduate of Fedora High School. He enlisted in the US Army Air Corps on Feb.6, 1941 at Chanute Field, IL. He received his basic training and attended aircraft and engine mechanics school there. Upon completion of the classes he was assigned to Shepherd Field, TX as an instructor in 1941. In 1943 he was sent to Hamilton Field, CA. He worked as an engine mechanic on C-54 aircraft. In 1945 he was assigned to Harmon Field on Guam. When the war ended he was again assigned to Hamilton field. While there he married Dorothy Ford, a WAC in the base hospital. 1946 found him assigned to Hickham AFB, Hawaii as an engine mechanic on C-54 aircraft. Then returning to the Z I in 1949 to Chanute AFB as an engine mechanic's instructor. In 1956 he and his family were transferred to Kaufbourn AFB in West Germany. then he also served at Spangalam AFB also in Germany. His European duty also included a stint at Phalsbourg, France. In April 1959 he returned to Seymore Johnson AFB in North Carolina to work in the wing training office. He retired in 1961 as a M/Sgt. He moved to AZ and worked, as a civilian, for the Air Force on F - 15 engines until retirement in 1978.

Submitted February 2002

Marcella Formanack

Marcella L. Formanack of Miner County, SD is a 1939 graduate of Fedora High School and joined the U.S. Navy WAVES in 3 March 1944 after working at aircraft plants in the Los Angeles area. She went to boot camp at Hunter College in New York, and then to Storekeepers School at Milledgeville, GA. She then had duty stations at the Navy Training Center in Farragut, ID, the 13th Navel District Headquarters in Seattle, and Astoria Naval Air Station at Tongue Point, OR. She was discharged with rank of Storekeeper 3rd Class at the Great Lakes Navel Center 22 March 1946.

Submitted February, 2002

Robert Hammond

Robert R. Hammond of Miner County, SD is a 1936 graduate of Fedora High School and joined the National Guard while attending South Dakota State College in September 1940. He was in Company B of the 109th Quartermaster Regiment of the 34th Division, which was called to active duty 10 February 1941 at Camp Claiborne, LA. The Division later moved to Ft. Dix, NJ where it was reorganized in February, 1942. At that time Bob's unit was detached to form the 135th Quartermaster Truck Company. During the remainder of 1942 and 1943 the company supported training operations at Ft. Jackson, SC, Camp Pickett, SC, and Camp McCall, NC. It moved to Camp Shanks, NJ, in early 1944 and embarked on the Queen Mary 12 February 1944, arriving Gourock, Scotland on 18 February. For the next four months it was part of 3rd Army at the Bracknell Depot near Altenham, England. Bob crossed the Channel to Utah Beach on D+34, with the company now attached to12th Army Group Headquarters. From July through September he crossed France via Periers, St. Sauveur Lendelin, St. James, Laval, and Versailles, stopping at Verdun 17 September 1944. VE Day found him stationed at Wiesbaden, Germany. From there he made a trip to see the Dachu Concentration Camp near Munich very shortly after the camp's liberation. Bob remained based at Wiesbaden until returning stateside in October, 1945 on a Liberty Ship via Antwerp and Boston. He was discharged with rank of Staff Sargent on 31 October 1945 at Camp McCoy, WI, and returned to South Dakota. In June 1946 he married Marcella Fomanack in Roswell, SD, and on 17 February 1947 Bob re-enlisted in the Army at Portland, OR, this time in the Medical Corps. He was assigned to Madigan Army Hospital at Ft. Lewis, WA as a Public Information Writer until transferred to the 361st Medical Station Hospital in Tokyo, Japan in November 1948. He returned to the U.S. via Ft. Laughton in October 1949 and was discharged 14 November 1949 as a Sargent First Class. Bob and Marc then farmed near Roswell until their retirement to Longmont, CO in 1976.

Submitted February 2002

Floyd Fred Farris

Floyd was a native of Murdo, SD.  He served in the United States Navy from December 16, 1943  to January, 1947.  He received training at NTS Farragut, Idaho and served on the USS Vahuma.  He received the Asiatic Pacific Ribbon with four stares, the American Asian medal, the Victory medal, the Phillippine Libration medal and the Good Conduct Medal.

Submitted February 2002

Elmer Gordon Hauge

Elmer Gordon Hauge was born July 26 1923, to Alfred and Esther Hauge, in Lemmon South Dakota. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on 9 Sept. 43 in Minneapolis, MN. He took his Boot training at the Marine Training Center, Camp Peneldon, Calif. Weapons qualification, Rifle ER 10 Feb 44 and Bayonet ,7 Feb 44.. He was in the Pacific area from 26 April 44, assigned to U.S.S Monterey, an Aircraft Carrier on 8 August 44 serving until 26 Oct 45. He participated inaction against the enemy while serving aboard ship. Corporal Hauge was Honorably Discharged from Marine Separation Center, NavTra Cen, Great Lakes Illinois on the 7th of September 1945.

Submitted February, 2002

Clarence W. Katt

Clarence W. Katt was born on the family farm 14 miles south of Kimball.  He had two brothers and one sister.  He went to country school at the Gullickson school through the Eighth Grade.  He then worked for his uncle Otto Katt until he was drafted for the service.  He arrived in England in March.  He served in France where he was killed in action on August 9, 1944 at the age of 25 years. 

Submitted February, 2002

Walter H. Diekman

Walter is a native of Clear Lake, SD.  He was in the army and was a Tech Sgt..  He served in Germany during World War II. 

Submitted February, 2002

Forest W. Coles

Forest W. Coles was born 1 July 1913 in Brown Valley, Minnesota.  He enlisted in the U.S. Army on 6 March 1942 in Los Angeles California.  After Boot training he was assigned to the USAF where he was trained as an Airplane Armorer.  He was assigned to the 455th Bomb SQ (M) 323D Bomb GP.  He departed the United States 5 May 1943 arriving in the European Theater 11 May 1943.  He was involved in the Air Offensive against the enemy in Central Europe, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland and Ardennes.  He as entitled to wear the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal with Four (4) Overseas Service Bars.  He spent 30 months in the European Theater and was credited with six battle stars.  He returned to the United States 7 August 1945.  Cpl. Coles was Honorable Discharged from the USAF on 15 October 1945 at the Separation Center Camp McCoy Wisconsin.  While in England he met and fell in love with Cpl. Barbara Sykes of His Majesties Royal Services.  They were in the process of getting permission to marry when he was sent back to the United States.  He had to wait until she joined him in the States.  They were married 24 September 21 1947 in McLaughlin, South Dakota.

Submitted March, 2002

Barbara Sykes

Barbara Sykes was embodied into His Majesties Royal Services on April 2, 1943.  We were taken to a training Camp outside of Harragate, Yorkshire where we given medical examinations, shots and vaccinations.  We were issued Uniforms, shown to our barracks, the next day and every day after that for the next three months we received vigorous training drills, how to use gas masks going through gas chambers filled with mustard and phosgene gasses.  We had lessons on how to recognize various ammunition and artillery, on how to recognize our and our allies' airplanes and also the enemy's planes.  After all of this we were recognized as soldiers and were transferred to a regular Army Camp where we had additional training.  We were trained as Aircraft spotters.  It was here that I learned that I had a problem with my right eye.  It was here that I went into the Quartermasters Corps, buying and issuing commodities to various sites around us.  I was in this unit until the War was over and was then assigned to Military Dispersal unit working on discharges for Soldiers.  I worked here until I was discharged on August 31, 1946.  I had met Forest Coles, and American Soldier and we were engaged to be married.  He was sent home before we could be married.  I joined him in McLaughlin, SD and we were married on September 24, 1947.

Submitted March, 2002

Robert J. Formanack

Robert J. Formanack of Miner County, S.D. is a 1941 graduate of Fedora High School and joined the U.S. Navy 14 June 1943. He trained at Farragut, ID for boot camp followed by radar school at Point Loma, San Diego. He then was assigned to Destroyer Escort 43, the USS Mitchell, as a radar operator, and left San Francisco 9 February 1944 for duty in the Pacific Theater. The Mitchell and crew first went to Hawaii for anti-submarine training. Afterwards DE-43 escorted various ships and convoys all over the Pacific, and participated in Task Forces under the Fifth, Third and Seventh Fleets. The Mitchell was assigned primarily to tanker groups but also conducted sub patrols and support of invasion forces. Some of the areas the Mitchell operated in were the Marshall Islands, Marianas, the Admiralty Group, Carolines, Guam and the Philippines. Many stops were made at Eniwetok, Tinian, Saipan, Majuro, and Ulithi. The USS Mitchell anchored in Tokyo Bay shortly after the Japanese surrender, and returned to the States 8 October 1945. Bob was discharged 4 April 1946 from Great Lakes Naval Station with rank of RDM 2/C. He married Darlene Wagner in 1952, and spent 28 years with the Aviation Department of Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing (3M), where he supervised the electronic, electrical and instrument shop supporting 3M's corporate aircraft fleet. Bob retired from 3M in 1987.

Submitted March, 2002

John Emmett Wells

John Emmett Wells was born October 3, 1922 at Fort Yates, ND He enlisted in the US Marine Corps on 3 October 42 in Minneapolis, MN. He qualified the Rifle MM and the Bayonet 25Nov42. He was trained as a Radio Operator. He arrived in the Pacific Area 5Jun43. He participated in action against the enemy at; Vella LaVella, BSI, 8 Oct 43-3Dec43, at Bougainvillea, BSI. 4Dec43-15Dec43, Consolidation of Northern British Solomon Islands, 15Dec43-12Jan44. at Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands 19 Feb 45-27 Mar45. He was honorable discharged from the Marine Separation Center, Naval Training Center, Great Lakes IL, on 21 Nov. 1945.

Submitted March, 2002

Noble E. Peterson

He was born 26 November 1915 in New England, North Dakota. Noble first enlisted in the U. S. Army in November of 1936 and was assigned to the Infantry and was stationed in Hawaii for two and one half years. He was discharged from the Army in 1939 and returned to New England North Dakota where he went to work at an Elevator. After Pearl Harbor was bombed he re-enlisted in the Army and was assigned to the Tank Corp at Fort Knox, KY where he was tested to become a Pilot. In September of 1942 he became a Cadet in the Air Force at Nashville, TN. After training he was assigned to the 258th Squadron of the 255th Fighter Group. He left the USA18 Jan 44 and arrived in England 26 Jan of 1944. He had two tours of Duty overseas. He came home in August 1944 and returned to England 12 October 1944 coming home again 19 May 1945. All together he flew 106 missions over Germany amassing over 500 hours of Combat time. He engaged the enemy in Air Battles off Europe, N France, Central Europe, and Normandy. Rhineland and Ardennes. He was awarded the Unit Citation by Lt. Gen. Doolittle, he Air Medal with 9 Clusters, and Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 Clusters by Major General Kepner. He was Honorable Discharged from active Duty on 10, December 1945 at the SFAAF, Sioux Falls, SD.

Submitted March, 2002

Stephen Vetter

Stephen Vetter was born 11 Aug. 1921 to Peter and Mary Vetter in Bison, South Dakota. He was inducted into the US Army on 29 June 1944 at Fort Snelling, MN. After basic training he was assigned to Company K 184thInfantry. His Military Occupational Specialty was Automatic Rifleman 746 He left the United States 24 Dec 1944 arriving in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater 4 Jan 1945. He engaged the enemy in the Southern Philippines Ryukyus G0105WD45. and in Okinawa where on 19 April 1945 he was gravely wounded. He spent the next year in various Hospitals until he was Honorable Discharged on 8 May 1946 from O'Reilly General Hospital, Springfield, Missouri. He is entitled to wear the Combat Infantry Badge, Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Ribbon with two Bronze Stars, The Purple Heart GO162 HqCPBC 15 May 45,Good Conduct Ribbon and the American Theater Ribbon.

Submitted March, 2002

Lorin R. Catchpole

Lorin R. Catchpole was born January 25, 1922 in Eckly, Colorado. When he was 18 years old he joined Company H 157th Infantry of the Colorado National Guard on August 1, 1940 at Fort Collins CO. He was discharged from the National Guard when he joined the Army of the United States on 21 February 1942 where he was assigned to the 168th Field Artillery Battalion and was shipped to the Pacific Theater. He supervised the activities of 12 men in loading and firing of a 155-mm gun. He received and passed on the Fire orders and was directly responsible for the equipment of the Section. He also trained green troops as replacements. He spent almost all of his enlistment time in the Pacific Theater. He was Honorable Discharged at the Separation Center, Fort Logan, CO. on 17 December 1945. Upon completing College he started his teaching career in Buffalo SD where he also served as Harding County Veterans Service Officer. He then came to the Lemmon SD School System where he stayed until he retired in 1987.

Submitted March, 2002

Arthur Kern

Arthur Kern was born on December 7, 1919 at Watauga, South Dakota. Arthur was inducted into the U S Army on 27 February 1942 and entered into active on the same date at Fort Des Moines, Iowa. After basic training he was assigned to the 791st Ord. (LM) Co. of the 91st Infantry. His Military specialty was Sheet Metal Worker, 201. He qualified with the Carbine rifle MKM. He went overseas on 12 April 1944 returning to the US on 10 September 1945. He entered into combat with the enemy in the Rome-Arno, the North Apennines and the Po Valley Campaigns. He entitled to wear the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal, The American Theater Service Medal, Two Overseas Service Bars and the Good Conduct Medal. He was Honorable Discharged from the US Army on 29 October 1945 from the Separation Center Camp McCoy, Wisconsin.

Submitted March, 2002

John C. Hess

John C. Hess was born April 24, 1917 in Lemmon, South Dakota. He was inducted into the US Army on 6 Feb. 1942 at Fort Snelling, Minn. After Basic Training he was attached to a Field Artillery Unit. He departed the US on 20 Feb. 1944 arriving in the European Theater 1 March 1944. He engaged the enemy in the Normandy Campaign where he was severely wounded on 11 July, 1944. He would spend the rest of his time in the service in Hospitals being Honorable Discharged from the Percy Jones Hospital Center, Fort Custer Mich. on 13 December 1945. He was entitled to wear the Purple Heart Medal, American Theater Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, and the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Ribbon with one Bronze Campaign Star.

Submitted April, 2002

Colonel Robert E. Pulfrey

Colonel Pulfrey was born on August 16, 1916 at Claremont, SD. When Hitler order his German army to attack Poland on Labor Day, 1939, Robert Pulfrey predicted a repeat of World War I and voluntarily enlisted in the US Army Air Corps as a Flying Cadet.  Because of a shortage in flight training facilities, his flight instruction began late, whereby he was pushed through his one year of flight training in seven and one-half months.  He was graduated from pilot training and commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army Air Corps on November 15, 1940.  The next week he was a basic combat flight instructor in the 64th Squadron at Kelly Army AirField near San Antonio, Texas.  When a drunk driver in an automobile accident killed Earl Pulfrey on August 10, 1941, Robert obtained emergency military leave to return to South Dakota to bury his father.  Before returning to Texas, he married Alta Mae Davidson on August 19, 1941. 

When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the tiny US Air Force was ill trained and badly equipped with mostly old obsolete combat airplanes.  Because of the severe shortage of Flying Officers, 2nd Lt. Robert Puffery became the Commanding Officer of the 64th Basic Combat Training Squadron nine days after Pearl Harbor.  Hordes of civilians were conscripted and assigned to the few existing Air Squadrons for all aspects of both military and aircraft maintenance training.  While doing maintenance of active aircraft, airplane mechanics were expected to train raw recruits.  After Pearl Harbor, flight instructors had seven cadet students instead of three.  There was a shortage of everything including barracks, beds, uniforms, tools and aircraft repair parts.  Training aircraft were flown all day and all night.  Inadequate time for proper maintenance, inexperienced mechanics and exhausted overworked personnel accounted for many aircraft training accidents and deaths.

During the summer of 1942, flight training at Kelly Army Air Field was discontinued and now 1st Lt. Robert Pulfrey was transferred to Lubbock Army Air Field at Lubbock, Texas where he became Squadron Commander of the 61st B-26 Bomber Squadron and soon thereafter, the Director of Flying Training for the entire Air Field.  More than two thousand B-26 pilots were trained at Dodge City.  He received his first honorable discharge on April 16, 1946 at Fort Douglas, Utah.  During the “Cold War” with Russia, Colonel Pulfrey served in Headquarters, 8th Air Force and Headquarters, 2nd Air Force. He retired from active service in the US Air Force on April 28, 1970.

Submitted April, 2002

SSgt. Ronald Roy Pulfrey

Ronald was born April 25, 1920 in Brown County, SD and enlisted in December, 1942 and served in the 520th Engineer Maintenance Company, 24th Corps, 10th Army.  Many Japanese strongholds on islands in the Pacific had airfields, which were damaged during invasion and occupation by American military forces as they battled their way across the Pacific toward Japan.  Soon after seizure, Army engineers constructed or repaired airfields on successive Pacific Islands for use by American warplanes.  SSgt. Ronald Pulfrey operated bulldozers, scrapers, graders, loaders, cranes and other heavy machinery to construct the necessary airfields for US Pacific air operations.  His final two airfield repairs were completed on Okinawa and Korea.  He received an honorable discharge in February, 1946.

Submitted in April, 2002

Eileen Pulfrey

Eileen served as a Medical Tec 4 in the Women’s Army Nurse Corps.  She was born November 6, 1913 at Claremont, SD.  She enlisted on January 15, 1944.  She had previous nurses training and while in the WACs she served in Army hospitals where casualties from battlefields were returned for medical treatment.  She received an honorable discharge on February 17, 1946.  A drunk driver killed her on a highway on January 15, 1972.

Submitted in April, 2002

Mary Alma Pulfrey

Mary was born September 21, 191 at Claremont, SD and enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps on April 15, 1944 at Fort Des Moines, IA.  She was a Sergeant and clerk in an Ordnance Supply Company, which moved guns, ammunition, and explosives to the battlefield for use by American soldiers in combat.  She served in the European Theatre of Operations.  She was honorable discharged on February 17, 1946 at Fort Sheridan, IL.

Submitted in April, 2002

Sgt. Howard Elden Pulfrey

Howard was born on August 25, 1920 at Claremont, SD.  He enlisted in June, 1942 and served in the 95th Infantry Division, 377th Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Company H, Heavy Weapons.  He was severely wounded and left as dead on Omaha Beach in Normandy on June 6, 1944.  He later received medical treatment and then returned to service in his Company in the ETO.  He was honorably discharged in June, 1945.

Submitted April, 2002

Sgt. Irwin Scott Pulfrey

Irvin was born March 24, 1922 in Brown County, SD.  He was a Sergeant in Headquarters Battery, 175th Artillery Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment, 34th Infantry Division, US 5th Army.  He carried a portable radio on his back when he crawled forward near German positions to direct artillery fire at enemy targets. He served in North Africa, Crete, Salerno beach, Anzio Beach, Abbian Cassino, Trieste, Alpena Mountains, Northern Italy and Brenner Pass.  He had many military decorations and was honorably discharged on November 11, 1945 at Camp McCoy, WI.  He died on January 5, 1994 in Brown County, SD.

Submitted April, 2002

Sgt. Louis Walter Pulfrey

Louis was born December 24, 1917 in Brown County, SD. He enlisted in the US Army Air Corps on April 6, 1942.  Sgt. Pulfrey was an aircraft mechanic in the 8th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group.  He was assigned to the refueling crew, which filled warplanes with gasoline and oil.  Sgt. Pulfrey served in Australia, New Guinea, other Pacific islands and the Philippines.  He died November 7, 1999 and is buried at Detroit Cemetery, Brown County, SD.

Submitted April, 2002

Sgt. Theodore Roosevelt Pulfrey

Theodore was born December 28, 1919 in Brown County, SD.  He enlisted in the US Army on November 5, 1941 and attended the Army School for Bakers and Cooks.   Sgt. Pulfrey was a cook in the 33rd Fighter Con. Squadron where he prepared meals for aircraft mechanics and combat flight crews.  He served on many islands in the Southwest Pacific Theatre of Operations and the Philippines.  He was honorably discharged on November 30, 1945.  He died November 29, 1988 in Brown County, SD.

Submitted April, 2002

Mildred Grace Pulfrey

Mildred was born January 6, 1918 at Claremont, SD and served as a Supply Clerk at Dodge City Army Air Base in Kansas.  She died Decemer 16, 1997 in Aberdeen, SD.

Submitted April, 2002

John R. Ziegler

John was a civilian instructor in aircraft engine maintenance at Chanute Army Air Base near Rantoul, Illinois.  He was originally form Aberdeen, SD.

Submitted April, 2002

James Vernon Spelbring

   James Vernon Spelbring was known as Vern because his father was Jim.  Vern was born September 26, 1918 at Ethan, SD.  His parents were James and Mable (Ferguson) Spelbring.  There were four other children, a baby who died and Charlie, Donald and Dale.  The parents move rather often and the boys attended several different schools in Sanborn County.

One of Vern’s most vivid memories was the spring of his first grade in school.  One of the children looked out the window and saw that the Spelbring’s house was on fire a mile away.  The teacher who boarded with the Spelbring’s, told the big boys to watch the little ones while she went to the fire.  Vern knew his home was burning but the big boy’s thought they were being kind wouldn’t let him look. 

  Vern entered the Army from Jerauld County because his folks were living west of Woonsocket in Jerauld County at that time.  But he hadn’t been living with them for several years because he was working for other farmers and also on road construction. 

    Vern went into the 27th General Hospital and was trained as a medic or a male nurse or an orderly in a hospital at Ft. Lewis, Washington.  But upon going overseas found the sea voyage had transformed him into a truck driver/mechanic.

    After one night of merrymaking while at Ft. Lewis, Vern woke up in the morning with an inflamed arm and a tattoo on it.  The men had been warned not to get tattoos so he tried to hide his but the head nurse figured it out.  She treated it and scolded but didn’t report it to the doctor.

    When Vern first went overseas, he went to Australia then to New Guinea.  While in New Guinea, he had his only experience of being shot at.  They were in their trucks going down a road through the jungle in a truck caravan after dark.  One little red light under each truck box so it could only be seen from behind.  They had been given orders to “follow the red light in front of you.”  If it disappeared they were to speed up and get in behind the next truck.  The truck ahead of his veered off into the jungle after he’d heard a gun shot. 

    When the war was over Vern was on a ship going to Japan.  The whole shipload was unloaded in Manila. To give Vern and another man something to do, they had them run the ice machine.  This was to be ice only for the army.  However most days they had a surplus of ice and would sell or give it to the local people.  They got caught at it and each lost a stripe. 

    When he was discharged his folks lived on a farm north of Forestburg.  Vern started farming and attended what every one called “GI” classes.  The went once a month to learn farming methods and received a stipend from the government.   Later he worked for a number of years of road construction.

    Vern married Frances Geddes Jones in 1957, she passed away in 1974.  They had no children.  He then married Geneva Parker Mager in 1976.  She had six grown children and three grandsons.  Before Vern died he welcomed another grandson and a granddaughter.  He died in 1981 and is buried at Fulton, SD.

Submitted by his wife, May 2002

William C. McCone

William went ashore at Normandy during World War II.  He was a professor at SDSU. 

Submitted May, 2002

Maurice Folkestad

Maurice entered the service on February 21, 1941 and served until August 15, 1945.  He served in French Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily, Southern France and Central Europe.  He was born at Bradley, SD.  He passed away November 22, 1980.

Submitted May, 2002

Damen V. Eining

Damen Eining was born July 4, 1917 at Artesian, SD.  He was inducted into the Army May 6, 1941 at Fort Crook, Nebraska.  He went on to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and then to Camp Walters, Texas.  He received six weeks of basic training in Texas.  He also spent six weeks attending Mechanics School.  He joined the 804th Tank Destroyer Battalion at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. 

Damen left New York and landed in Ireland where he received three months more training.  He received additional schooling in England. 

He was sent to Northern Africa where he joined the M.P. unit guarding POW’s on two different trips to the United States.  Returning to Africa, he was sent to Italy where he joined the combat engineers traveling from Southern to Northern Italy.  For two years he spent time locating mines and building pontoon bridges.  He spent much time in the Liri Valley of Italy.

Damen received five campaign stars and a Presidential Citation Badge.  He was discharged with a rating of T-4 on June 19, 1945 at Fort Snelling, Minnesota.  Shortly after returning from the war he purchased some land and returned to farming.  On August 10, 1965, he married Ange Schmit at Artesian, SD.  The Einings lived on the farm until 1986. 

Submitted May, 2002

Ralph C. Pitsor

Ralph is a native of Dupree, SD.  He was wounded in action and received a Purple Heart.

Submitted May, 2002

David W. Doak

David Wayne Doak was drafted on March 29, 1942.  He trained with the 90th Infantry Division at Camp Barkley, Texas.  He had a sister who was a flight nurse and brother who was a pilot.  He wanted to fly also.  He took the flight test in December, 1943 and went to Minnesota State Teachers College in Moorhead, MN for pilots training.  He was just starting to learn to fly when the Battle of the Bulge took place.  Anyone with previous training in other areas was called to duty.  He went to Camp McVay, Wisconsin.  He was called overseas in September, 1944 and joined the 33rd Armored Infantry Division as a replacement in Belgium. He went into a European Combat Zone on December 16, 1944.   He was a Sergeant and led a troop of soldiers.  When one of our soldiers would get hit or killed, we were called into replace the soldier until a replacement could be sent up.  We carried BAR or Browning Automatic Rifles or Bozooka.  They were at the front of the line and had a 90% casualty replacement rate. At Christmas, 1944, his unit was surrounded by the enemy.  They could see American planes overhead and could hear the Germans around them.  They would ride on a tank as far as they could and then they would walk.   Our troops got into a mine field and he ended up in a hospital in Leeds, England. His injuries included a concussion and shoulder nerve injuries.  He was sent home from the hospital in June, 1945.  He was discharged from service on November 2, 1945.   He received the Purple Heart, the combat infantry badge and the European Theater badge. 

Submitted July, 2002.

Neil Raymond Davison

Neil Raymond Davison was born 2 Feb. 1922 in Lemmon, South Dakota. He was inducted into the U. S. Navy on 5 March 1944 and entered into active duty the same day at Hettinger, ND. He tookhis Boot Training at the Navel Training Station, San Diego, CA. He was assigned to U.S. Naval Ammunition Depot, Hawthorne Nev. where he served until his Discharge. He was Honorable Discharged a SeamanSecond Class 12 Nov 1946 from the Receiving Station US Naval Station, San Diego, CA.

Submitted by his Wife Eva

FIVE MOLITOR BROTHERS

These five Brothers were the Sons of Philip and Ada Molitor of Lemmon, South Dakota

Edward L Molitor was born June 11, 1910 in Lemmon, SD. He was inducted into the US Army on 10 Dec. 42 and entered into active duty on 17 Dec 42 at Fort Snelling MN. He was sent overseas on 29 Dec 43 arriving in Europe on 7 Jan. 1944. He participated in the Battles of Normandy, Northern France, Rhinland and Central Europe. He was entitled to wear the European, Africian and Middleeastern Theater Service Medals with three Overseas Service Bars.He was a Automotive Mechanic TEC5. He arrived back in the United States on 15 Sept 45 and was Honorable Discharged from the Army on 24 Sept 45 at the Separation Center, Camp Mc Coy WI.

.Raymond M. Molitor was born 29 Jan 15 in Lemmon, SD. He enlisted in the US Army and entered into active Duty on 8 April 42 at Aberdeen, SD. He was attached to Squadron I AAFBU (U) He served outside the ContinentalUnited States from 8 Dec 42 to 24 Dec 44. He was entitled to wear the European and American Theater Medals with overseas Bars. He was a Marine Engineer. He was Honorable Discharged from the Army as Cpl. on 29 Oct 45 fromHunters Field, Georgia.

Roland S. Molitor was born 4 Oct 15 in Lemmon, SD. He was inducted into the US Marine Corps on 21 April 44at Omaha, Nebraska. He took his boot training at the Marine Corps Base in San Diego, CA other training at CampPendleton, Ocean Side CA. From December of 1944 he was in the Pacific Area. He participated in action in action against the enemy at Okinawa and the Ryukuy Islands from December 44 to the end of the war. He was a qualified Sharpshooter as well as an Amphibian Truck Crewman and Truck Driver, Heavy. He was Honorable Dischargedas a Pvt 1st class on 8 Dec 45 at San Diego, Calif.

Donald A Molitor was born 16 March 22 at Lemmon, SD. He enlisted in the US Navy on 8 Oct 42 in Los Angles CA.He took his Boot training at the US Naval Training Station in San Diego, CA. He went through a Aviation Machinist Mate school in Calif. after which he was assigned to VC Squadron 41 on 1 April 43 and served with that Squadron until 1 Oct 44 when he was transferred to the William Jewel College, Liberty MD. He was awarded theAmerican Area, the Victory and the Good Conduct Medals As an Aviation Machinist Mate 2C he was Honorable Discharged from the US Navy on 6 April 46.

Maynard F. Molitor was born 7 Feb 26 in Lemmon, SD. He enlisted in the US Navy on 19 June 44 in Omaha, Nebraska. He took his Boot Training at the Navel Training Station, Farragut, Idaho, He took further training at SCTC,Terminal Island CA. He was then assigned to the USS Bosque 135 which was assigned to the South Pacific.As a Seaman First Class, He was given an Honorable Discharge from the US Navy on 6 June 1946 at the USN Personnel Separation Center in Minneapolis, MN

Submitted by their Sister, Eva Davison

Arthur Junior Olien

Arthur Junior Olien was born on 18 December 1924 in Bison, South Dakota to Arthur and Lucile Olien.He was inducted into the United States Marine Corps on the 28th of January 1943 in Minneapolis, MN.Weapons qualification; Rifle Marksman 11 march 1943. Special military qualifications, Radio Operator.Service; Period; 25 July 45 to 20 May 46 Hawaiian Island Area , Midway Island; China, Participated in the occupation of China 9Jan46 to 30April46. Was awarded the Good Conduct Medal 25Jan45. Sergeant Olien was Honorable Discharged from the United States Marine Corps on the 28th day of May 1946 at the Marines Barracks, TreasureIsland, San Francisco, CA.

Submitted 08-06-2002

Oscar Stanley Holdahl

Oscar Stanley Holdahl was born 30 July 1922 to John and Ragnild Holdahl in Lemmon, South Dakota.He was inducted into the US Army on 22 January 1943 and entered into active service on 29 January 1943 at Fort Snelling Minn. He was attached to the 97th FA BN. He left the US on 8 June 1943 arriving in the PacificTheater 2 July of 1943. He was a Gun Crewman Light Artillery and an expert with the Carbine. He engaged the enemy in New Guinea and the Southern Philippines. Decorations and Citations; Philippine Liberation Medal with one Bronze Star, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the Victory Medal He departed the Pacific Theater 8 December 1945 arriving back in the United States 24 December 1945. He was Honorable Discharged from the US Army on January 10, 1946 at Separation Center Fort Lewis Washington.

Chester Ronald Smith

Chester was a Signalman Third Class in the United States Navy.  He entered the service on January 7, 1942 at Omaha, Nebraska.  He was born on June 26, 1921 in Newell, South Dakota.  He received his basic training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Base in Chicago, Illinois.  He served at the US Naval Reserve Station in New Orleans, Louisiana and at the USN Sec Base, Burrowed, and Louisiana.  While at this station he served on a signal tower and witnessed several U.S. ships going from the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico being blown up by a German U Boat in the Gulf.  One time the captain of the U-Boat called to the tower for them to "douse that light or we will blow it out for you!" so the light went out, needless to say.  He also served on the USN YP406, a Navy tugboat sent to the harbor in Gulfport, Mississippi to assist LST's in and out of the harbor.  It is where he met his wife.  Other ships he served on were the USN SIG Station at Port Eads, La. and the USS Daniel DE 335.  On the Daniel, he made one trip to Europe and was preparing for another trip when VE happened.  From there he went to the Philippines where he was waiting with many others.  He was assigned to the USS Mouronia waiting for the invasion of Japan.  This did not occur because of V-J Day.  He was discharged on October 15, 1945.  He was married to his wife on May 30, 1945 when he was enroute from the East Coat to the West Coast. 

Submitted by his wife, September 2002.  

The Four Neeman Boys

The four Neeman boys George, Mike, Fred and Mark were born to Albert and Lena Neeman on a farm northwest of Wolsey, SD, in Beadle County.

When entering the Armed Forces in WWI they all listed their sister Mrs. (Ora) Sylvia Parker of Wessington, SD, as their next of kin.

George entered the Army from Lennox, SD.  Mike from Miller, SD and Fred from California.  Mark was in the Navy prior to the start of the war, somewhere in the Pacific.

George’s time in the military was spent in Texas.  Upon being discharged he married Elana Bartel of Wolsey, SD.  They lived in Lennox, SD, for a short time and then in Huron, SD.  They had three children. Elana still lives in Huron.

Mike served in the Army Air Corps in China-Burma-India as a mechanic.  He received a medal for saving the life of a pilot by pulling him from his burning plane which had crashed on base coming back from a mission.  After discharge he lived at Miller, SD.  His wife Gladys still lives in Miller.

Fred was a mechanic in the Tank Corps.  He spent the war in Hawaii.  After discharge he lived in Hand County, SD, for several years and then lived out his life in Iowa.  He married and had three children.

After discharge Mark lived in Georgia and Florida.  He married and had two children.

Staff Sergeant  Henry J. Hantz

My father never talked much about the war itself, but he did about the men he was with.

Dad was in the fifth army in Africa, then latter to the seventh army as they were in Sicily, Italy, France and then Germany

Never knew what a hero he was till a couple of years ago i looked at his medals and ribbons. 2 arrowheads and 7 battle stars. He has given several hours of taped memories for the cafe here in Odessa, Texas.

I wonder if they make men like that anymore

Dad broke his leg during the  " Battle of the Bulge " he refused a purple heart because he wasn't shot.

Staff Sergeant  Henry J. Hantz
336th AAA   Battery B   7th  Army

The Meyer family

The Meyer family of Mitchell has a war record that so far as we know is not surpassed in the State. 

Louis Meyer, 0-885 370, first enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force in September 1940, went overseas in 1941 and was a flight pilot of a Wellington bomber, which crashed on its 12th trip. He later flew a fighter (Spitfire) on British Isle coast defense missions and on October 1st 1942, was transferred to the U.S. Army Air Force and was killed while flying over Africa with U.S. forces on January 14, 1943 (actually this is the date that he was declared MIA and declared KIA one year to the day later). 

Son Francis G., 11-098 816, first enlisted with the RCAF in August, 1941, got his wings and transferred to the USAAF in April 1942 and was killed in a crash (Francis was a test pilot, and crashed a test plane [crew of two] that had a gunner on board who also died in the crash) at Ajo, Arizona, July 26th, 1942. 

Cletus F., 17-026 313, was a T/SGT in the USAAF and drowned or died of a heart attack at Coolangatta, Australia on May 4th, 1945. 

Martin L., 37-490 298 became a Corporal in the USAAF.

D.W. Meyer, 37-553 801, enlisted in March 1943 and became a CPL, seeing service in the Pacific for nearly 18 months. 

Three of the five died in the service.

A textbook on Escaping by LT./Col.Edward W Appel

 
    I was first pilot of a B-24 which we flew from the states around the southern route up to England in Feb. of 1944.
    After flying 29 missions, I had one to go before my tour was completed.  My original crew had already completed their 30 missions by volunteering to fly with other crews when we were not scheduled to fly, so this time I would be flying as command pilot with Lt. Frazee's crew, a crew I had never met.
    It was Sept. 5th, 1944 and the target was the Marshalling yards.  We were to fly deputy lead and I remember we were flying on formation instruments nearly all the way.
    Just before reaching the IP we broke into the clear.  We had just started our bomb run when the 88s hit.  We took a monstrous hit on the right wing which knocked out the right two engines.  The left two engines were still going strong but we had no turbos and the fuel cells were ruptured.  The rudder cables were also cut, so we had no rudders.  The windshield had come in with the first blast and with gas flowing around I thought we were going to burn.  We managed to get turned around using the ailerons and headed back, holding direction with ailerons but losing altitude fast.  Two engines out on the one side, and without turbos and rudders a B-24 so ;like a falling rock.  At this point I was feeling sorry for Capt Paul Anderson who was a friend of mine from my home town of Redfield, SD, who had elected to fly my mission with me.  He took up a position between us pilots.   Being an ordinance officer, he wasn't supposed to be on the mission with us and now we were in a position where he, and us, might not make it.
    First we salvoed the bombs, (must have scared the hell out of some cattle on the ground) then had the crew throw out anything loose in order to lighten ship.  We were at 24,000 feet, but within 25 miles we were down to 10,000.  At that point we knew we couldn't make as our front lines were 100 miles away.  Time to bail out, which we all did.  When my chute opened it was only seconds until I hit the ground in a plowed field.  I found out much later that we had lost four men.  The Navigator had jumped before we did and never got his chute open..  Also, two of the crew hid out at a French farmhouse (this was in Alsace Lorrain) for about a month, but then decided to get out.  I understood they got in with the French Underground, put on civilian clothes and tried to make it through the line.  They were caught and shot by the Germans as spies.  My friend, Capt. Paul Anderson, took up residence in a Stalag Luft.
    After landing in the plowed field, I shucked my chute and looking back about a half mile, I could see the last two men running towards each other, but there were farmers running toward them , so I didn't go back there.  I hid in a vineyard for awhile, then decided it wasn't a very good hiding place, so I started to get up.  I should have looked up first.
    As I started to get up, there was a lot of yelling.  "Halt!"  I looked back and there in the line abreast across the field were German soldiers with rifles.  They could have shot me easy, but they kept yelling"Halt!" so, I pretended not to hear them and kept walking away.  I didn't look because then they certainly would have shot me.  I walked into a clump and then ran like a scared rabbit to the side and down into a slew where I jumped into the water and hid among the rushes.  They knew I was in there because they kept walking on the edge of the water.  They would all get together and fire burp guns through the weeds.  Scared the hell out of me!
    Finally they all left except for one man.  I could see him standing and watching the place.  After awhile they all came back and went through the same procedure - shooting and all.  Finally they left and I stayed right there until dark when I sneaked out.
    I traveled at night toward the west and the front lines and hid in the daytime using any cover I could find.  When I got hungry I would feast from a farmer's field.  I also had my escape kit with concentrated rations which helped.  Drinking water was another matter, but I found if I walked into a village after dark and stomped around as if I belonged there, I could go up to a pump and pump water into a bucket and carry it out of town and nobody paid attention to me.
    Finally after about ten days, I started walking across a field in daylight.  There was a farmer and hi wife picking rutabagas and putting them in a wagon.  They asked if I was an American and I said yes, after which they motioned me to get into the wagon.  I was so darned cold and hungry by that time that I didn't figure I had much to lose.  I still had to get over the mountains to the west where both sides were dug in and shooting anything in sight.  After getting in the wagon they covered me with gunny sacks and took me to their home in a little village.  They hid me out with their son in a hayloft (they were French) as the son was also hiding out from the Germans.  We stayed right there until the end of November when the Germans were pushed out and our tanks and trucks came down the road.  I was out!
    I went back to England and while orders were being cut to send me back to ZI, I decided that instead of going home I would stay and try to hook on with a Fighter Group.  I guess I was a little flak happy!  I took off for the 56th FG and told Col. Dave Schilling I wanted to fly fighters.  He said, "Sure.  Come on down"
    That was quite a kick getting out of bombers and into fighters.  Like getting out of a truck on to a motorcycle.  After checking out in the P-47 I flew 16 live bombing, strafing and escort missions.  My last, the 16th of April 1945, saw me busily strafing Muldorf Airdrome 50 miles east of Munich.
    I came in on the deck and was shooting into ME 109s sitting on the field when I picked up a lot of ground flak and remember seeing holes appear in the wings.  Then the engine started running rough and losing power.  I started to pull up, which I shouldn't have done over an enemy airfield, and then they really started to get in the hits.
    I was soon out of range, but at full throttle I still wasn't getting any power and the airspeed continued to fall off.  I tried to get over one last hill before  bellying in but as I started to clear the hill the right wing stalled and went under.  The plane cart wheeled across the countryside and I thought school was out again.  The wings broke off along with the tail, but by some miracle it came down right side up.  I cut my knee and elbow a little bouncing around in the cockpit.  At first I thought I was all bloody, but it was just hot engine oil from the ruptured oil tank.
    I left the May West and parachute in the seat and crawled out.  Some farmers were watching but they didn't do anything so I took off running.  I ran into some trees and beyond there was a little village strung along the road.  I had to get past this village as German soldiers were coming from the airfield I had just strafed and were behind me shooting.  As I came to the village two German soldiers came out and drew their guns hollering "Halt!"  With all the shooting going on behind me I thought I'd pretend I was a German running away from the Americans.  I yelled back "NICHT HALT,AMERICAN COMEN'.  They turned and looked back where I came from with wide startled eyes and kept on gong.  Then they swung back towards me again pointing their guns and yelling "HALT!"
    I Stopped and waved an arm back towards the woods and yelled  "NAY,NAY NICHT HALT, AMERICAN COMEN!"  They again turned around and watched the other woods for the Americans they thought were coming, and I made tracks.  I ran into the woods and actually sat down and laughed, thinking how they would catch hell when the German soldiers came and found out that they had let me get away.
    I couldn't find a good place to hide in the woods as the underbrush was all cleaned out, so I climbed to the top of a big tree and just sat there.  The Germans soon came a line abreast again, hunting around under the trees with rifles, but they kept right on going.  I stayed in the tree until dark then climbed down and took off northwest toward the front lines.
    I walked at night and hid in the day as I had done before.  I had a couple of escape kits along with compasses, maps, hacksaw blades and concentrated rations in them.  I also had my .45 which was a big consolation even if I didn't fire it.
    I came to the Danube river at night and used the hacksaw blade to saw a chain that moored a boat.  The boat was on a cable to a pulley on another cable across the river.  I jumped in and used the tiller to get across because of the terrific current coming down out of the Alps.  I came to another river and did the same thing to get across.  I came to what I thought was a third river and gave a repeat performance only to find out that I was in the middle of a lake.  I could have walked around it.  I felt like a sitting duck out there on the lake but nobody saw me.  So far, I was home free.
    I came to someplace in the mountains that looked like a big hotel or hospital.  I did not see anybody around and on a closer look saw that one end was a barn with a horse in it.  The rest of it was the inn or hotel and between the two was a driveway.  I walked into the driveway and opened a door into the barn part.  I took the blanket from the horse and filled my pockets with some
potatoes and started back out.  Just then some German soldiers came out and walked right past the door where I was hiding.  After they left I ran as fast as I could for the woods.
    Another time I was just sitting in the woods in the daylight waiting for night when I heard a noise behind me.  Turning around I saw two civilians with axes raised coming towards me.  I pulled my .45 and drew down on them hollering "HALT!"  They would not stop and I hollered some more.  One finally did stop but the other kept coming.  Now he was only a few feet away and would not stop.  I was already aiming between his eyes and starting to squeeze the trigger before he split my skull.  The other one said something to him and he finally stopped.  The first one left and the other stayed there to watch me.  I supposed he was going to get more help.  I didn't want to kill anybody if I didn't have to because if I did I would be in big trouble if they caught me.
     I took off running with the guy behind me hollering "HALT!"  I outran him and kept on going.  After that I would go up to a house right after dark and knock on the door.  Usually the man would come to the door and I would tell him straight out that I was an American flyer and that I needed food.  Many times they would have me come in and sit at the table and give me bread, meat and coffee.  I wouldn't let anybody leave the house while I was there.  I would lay my gun on the table and keep everybody at a distance.  Then I would leave and make many  miles that night so they wouldn't catch me.  Actually some families would give me
some food to take along.
    I finally got up near the front lines where there was a lot of shooting.  I hid under some small thick evergreens in a hollowed out spot.  Looked like an old WWI foxhole, and probably was.
    One night the German Army moved over me and then for two days I was between the two lines that were shooting at each other using mostly artillery.  The shells that hit the trees would really blast things around there. 
    One night the shooting went to the east so the next morning I crept out to the edge of the woods and watched the roads.  Finally I spotted weapon carriers and tanks that were definitely ours.  I came out of the woods with my hands held high as I didn't want to get shot by our own army.
    I went back through an Artillery outfit that was the same outfit I came through the first time.  The same officers, the same Colonel.  The Colonel was a little suspicious of me by this time and thought maybe I was spying for the other side.  HOME FREE AGAIN! 
    By the time I got back to Paris the war was over so I rode an LST across the ocean along with a  whole load of ex POWs.
    I was home on R&R helping my dad harvest in the summer of '45 when over the hill comes Capt. Paul Anderson.  They had just freed him from a POW camp.  His first words were "You son of a gun.  You take me on a trip over Germany and you dump me out!"

Jacob Woods

 I never had the opportunity to know my biological grandfather. Jacob Woods was killed in action.  My father was only 10 months old when grandpa was drafted, and he was two years old when he died.  Even though I never knew my grandfather, I am very proud to say I am his granddaughter.  Each year, during out annual pow-wow, I am very proud to have his flag raised to remember and honor him.  My grandmother still has the original flag she recieved when he passed away.  I love my grandfather, even though I only have his picture, medals and flag.  God bless.

Submitted by Rebecca Lynn Woods-Herald, Jacobs oldest granddaughter

John H. Kvale

John H. Kvale was inducted into the Army Air Corps 14 April, 1942 at 24 years 8 month of age. He went by rail from Aberdeen SD to Ft. Leavenworth , KA where he was issued articles of clothing and a uniform. From there he was assigned to the Lubbock Army Flying School, Lubbock TX He received basic training and attended Ground School for servicing and inspecting the type of Aircraft that were stationed at the Airbase, primarily the Curtis AT 9 and the Cesena AT 17. On 1 Oct 42 he became a non-commissioned officer with the rank of Sergeant and continued to work on the flight line and checking aircraft brought into the hanger for their regular inspection. In March of 1943 he applied for flight training and after passing preliminary tests he was accepted for training as an Aviation Student, and was transferred to the Army Air Central Training Command on 13 April 1943. He was then sent to the Aviation Cadet Classification Center San Antonio, where over a six week period the candidates received intensive Military Training and tests and were classified as trainees for Pilot, Navigator, Bombardier or Arial Gunners He was classified as and Aviation Student and was sent to the preflight Aviation Cadet Center in San Antonio, TX. After completing nine weeks at preflight school he was sent to Hicks Field Fort Worth, TX for primary flight training, Perrin Field at Sherman TX for Basic and LAAF, Lubbock TX for Advanced Training He Graduated from Advanced training on 7 Feb 44. He received his wings and was commissioned a 2nd Lt on 8 Feb 44. After Graduation he was sent to the B-24 Co-Pilot transition School at Harlinggen, TX. He was then sent to the Lincoln AAF Base and was assigned to a Bomber Crew as a Co-Pilot. His crew was then sent to the CAAF Base at Casper, WY for combat training. They were then sent back to Lincoln to a staging area. They were ten put on a troop train for Camp Kilmer, NJ where they were put on a ship which as a part of a large convey bound for Liverpool, England. After arriving in England they spent a short time in a Airforce Reception Center. They were then flown to Casablanca and then on to Naples, Italy. After a brief stay at the 15th AF Reception Center they were assigned to the 826th Bomb Sqdn, 484th Bomb Group of the 15th Air Force near the town of Cherignola, Italy. Kvale completed 33 missions over Europe when the war ended on VE day. He had departed the US on 11 Aug 44 arriving in the European Theater 22 Aug 44 . He Departed EU 19 May 45 arriving back in the US 23 May 45. He was awarded the EAME Theater Service Medal, The Disunited Flying Cross, the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters. After returning to the States he was assigned to the 207th Base Unit, Deming, NMHe was separated from the Service at the AAF Separation Center, Sioux City, Iowa on 17 Nov 45 with the Rank of 1st Lt His MOS was B-24 Pilot.

Reuben Alexander Schroeder

Reuben Alexander Schroeder was born December 28, 1919 at Nisland SD to John and Katherine (Konrodey) Schroeder. At the age of sixteen he enlisted in the US Army at Fort Meade, SD. After the Army found out he was sixteen the Army kept him on as a civilian, driving Officer's Wives around , doing yard work and other odd jobs around Fort Meade. He again enlisted in the US Army on 9 January 1939 and was attached to the 4th Calvary which was later attached to the 8th Infantry. He was a Demolition Specialist and Armorer. On 5 Dec 43 he departed the US arriving in the European Theater on 16 Dec 43. He was in the initial wave to go in on the Normandy Invasion. He also engaged the enemy in Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe. He earned the European-Africian-Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal with three Service Bars , the American Defense Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal . He departed Europe on 4 Oct 1945 arriving back in the US on 9 Oct. 1945. He was Honorable Discharged on Oct. 20, 1945 at the Separation Center Camp Mc Coy, Wis.    Submitted by his Daughter Penny Gilpin

Christ P. Hoff

Christ P. Hoff was born October 21, 1922 in Mandan, ND to Nick and Frances Hoff. He was inducted into the US Army on Feb 22, 1943 in Lemmon, SD and entered into active duty March 1, 1943 at Fort Snelling, MN. His military occupational speciality was AP & ENG Mechanic 747. He qualified with Carbine MKM.. After Basic training he was attached to the 3010 USAAF SU WMS Fld Ariz.. He departed the US 9 Oct 43 arriving in UK 15 October 43. He was involved the the Air Offensiveover Europe including Normandy 2 Feb 45, Northern France 30 March 45, Rhinland 14 Feb 45, Battle Ardennes 21May 45, and Central Eurpoe 13 June 45.. He is entitled to wear the European Ribbon with 4Bronze Stars and one Silver Star. His unit was awarded the Presidential Unit Award He departed the UK 27 May 45 arriving back in the US 2 June 1945. He was Honorable Discharged from the USAAF 11 Oct 1945 at the USAAF Base in Sioux Falls, SD