August Alva Metzger, son of August and Lizzie Tingler Metzger, was born Feb. 7, 1915 at Coldwater. His boyhood days were spent helping his father on the farm.
August volunteered for service in World War II and entered the Army on Feb. 20, 1941. He was stationed at Camp Robinson, Little Rock, Ark. He met the National Guard of Emporia and was placed in the 35th Division, Company B, 137th Infantry.
While in the service, August and Helen Mae Booth were married in Pratt on May 4, 1943. She joined him at Camp Butner, Durham, N. C. August left for overseas duty on May 12, 1944 arriving at Newquay, England. In 30 days plus D-Day, his division crossed the English Channel and went to Omaha Beach in France. He was in battles and campaigns in northern France, Normandy and Rhineland. He received wounds in action in the European African Theater on Sept. 14 and the Middle Eastern Theater on Nov. 12, 1944.
On May 24, 1945 August arrived in New York and received his honorable discharge on May 29, 1945. He earned the Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Ribbon and a Purple Heart with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster.
Returning to Wilmore, August and Helen established their home on a farm one mile west of Wilmore where her grandparents had homesteaded in 1883. In the fall of 1945 August worked for Bowersock Mill and Power and the following year he started driving a school bus. He drove the bus for a number of years. In 1961 August and Helen operated the Wilmore Cafe.
For more than 40 years he was a farmer and rancher. When his son, Chuck, finished school, he joined his father and mother in the operation of the family farm.
August and Helen had three children: Nancy Ann, Mary Jane, and Charles Henry.
August was a Past Master and Past Patron of the Wilmore Masonic Lodge and Order of the Eastern Star. He was a very dedicated Mason and always looked forward to attending meetings.
In 1975, August and Helen had the privilege of accompanying the other members and their wives of the 35th Division on a 17-day trip to Europe. They visited the countries where they had spent their time during the war.
August was preceded in death by three brothers and three sisters. Surviving him are his wife, Helen; daughters: Nancy Zimmerman of Protection and Mary Jane Spurgeon of Dallas, Texas; one son, Chuck, of Wilmore. Also surviving are two brothers, George Metzger of Augusta and Frank Metzger of Wichita; two sisters, Sophia Redwine of Buffalo, Okla., and Emma Parsons of Wichita; three grandchildren, Dallas and Travis Morton and Heather Zimmerman, many nephews and nieces.
August will be greatly missed by his friends and relatives in the Wilmore community.
Pfc. August Metzger Jr., a son of pioneer Comanche County citizens, Mr. and Mrs. August Metzger now deceased, was among the first group of men to be inducted into Army service. He volunteered the latter part of December, 1940 and was sent to Camp Robinson, Little Rock, Ark., where he joined the 137th Infantry Regiment of the 35th Division. The 137th is the lineal descendant of the 19th Regiment formed in Kansas for the Union Army in the Civil War.
The regiment spent more than 11 months in training at Camp Robinson, then left, August 13, 1941 and joined the Second Army Forces on maneuvers in Arkansas and Louisiana. Just seven days after Japan attacked Pearl harbor, the regiment started moving to Fort Ord, California. After less than a month at Fort Ord they moved to Presidio, San Francisco, where they were placed on guard duty and anti sabotage work from San Francisco to Mt. Shasta. For almost a year the regiment was moved to various camps in and around Los Angeles, where they continued their guard duty.
August started as Officer's orderly in September 1945 and continued to do that work until discharged. He liked that work very much. He seemed to be quite lucky in getting furlough. On the 1st of October, 1942, he was home for another 15 days, having had 15 days the year before. Home on another furlough in May, 1943, he was united in marriage with Helen Mae Booth, of Wilmore. He was granted another 15 days on being released from the hospital in October.
The regiment had moved to Capt. Rucker, Ala., the latter part of March, 1943, where they received more training. In November they went on maneuvers for twelve weeks near Nashville, Tenn. In January, 1944, they arrived in Camp Burton, North Carolina for more training. In March the regiment went to West Virginia for three weeks on mountain maneuvers.
After all this training, the regiment was ready to be sent overseas. They sailed on May 11, 1944, landing in England May 20th. On July 5th they sailed for France, landing on the Omaha Beach July 7th. The regiment went into combat July 11th.
August was engaged in three campaigns which were in Southern France, Northern France, and Germany. He was also in the Battle of the Belgium Bulge, and fought east of the Rhine. He fought with the Third and Ninth Armies, being in the Ninth at the time he left for home.
Pfc. Metzger was wounded twice: On September 11, 1944 his hand and arm were shattered by shrapnel and on November 11 his ear drums were ruptured so he could hear nothing for three days. August received the Purple Heart, Oak Leaf Cluster, Combat Infantryman Badge, Three Battle Stars, and the Good Conduct Medal.
August left Elbe River in Germany, April 25, 1945 for a furlough to the United States, landing in New York May 23rd. He left for Leavenworth, Kansas, arriving there the 27th. On the afternoon of May 29, 1945, much to his surprise, August was given an honorable discharge, on the point system. He said that was the happiest day of his life. May 30th he arrived home for good. At the present time, he and his wife are making their home with her father, Henry Booth, of Wilmore. (SB)
Grave marker for August & Helen (Booth) Metzger
Lot 205, Wilmore Cemetery, Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas.
Photo by Bobbi (Hackney) Huck.
AUGUST A. METZGER PFC US ARMY
WORLD WAR II
FEB. 7, 1915 -- JUN 17, 1986
August Alva Metzger was the son of August and Lizzie Amelia Minnie (Tingler) Metzger. For a family history, see Comanche County History, pp. 528, 529.
For the ancestry of August Alva Metzger, based on "August Metzger and His Descendants" by Evelyn Beck & Connie Gray, see: http://www.ronstockton.com/fam01148.htm
The Western Star, June 19, 1925.
Steadman - Case
Levi Steadman, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Steadman, and Mrs. Dora Case, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gus Metzger, were united in marriage on June 10, 1925, in this city, Probate Judge M. M. Cosby officiating. The couple went to Dodge City on the following day on a visit with relatives. They will make their home in this county, the groom having a crop of wheat on one of the Jacob Reiss farms. The Star wishes Mr. and Mrs. Steadman a long, happy and prosperous married life. -- The Western Star, June 19, 1925.
(Dora Case was the mother of Lt. Clifford E. Case, USNR, a WWII F6F Hellcat fighter pilot who won the Air Medal.
Charles Henry "Chuck" Booth, son of Bessie (Bell) Booth; brother of Helen Mae (Booth) Metzger; brother-in-law of August A. Metzger.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news articles to this web site!
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