Clarence Lee Oller
Clarence L. Oller
Staff Sergeant, US Army.
Killed In Action February 2, 1945.
"Clarence Lee Oller, son of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Oller, came into this world on March the 25th, 1918. He was born in Avilla township, one and a half miles West of Buttermilk, Kansas. He grew up on his parent's farm where he helped his father with the farming activities; he attended the country school "Avilla" for eight years, going on to high school at Coldwater, Kansas. He was very active in sports and received many letters in Football, Baseball and Track. He graduated from High School with the class of 1937.
He then attended Northwestern State College in Alva, Oklahoma. During his slack time on the farm, Clarence worked in Coldwater in the Burton Drug store. He loved working with his cattle, farming the ground, and breaking and training his horse "Cap", which fell with him, breaking Clarence's leg.
While his leg was still in a cast, Uncle Sam decided he needed him, and on Dec. 26, 1941, Clarence left Coldwater for Camp Roberts, California. He spent 13 weeks there but in April of 1942, he and his buddies boarded a ship at Ford Ord, Calif. for destination unknown, never receiving a furlough home. But on May 4, 1942, he found he had landed in Australia, but he didn't get to stay there long, for he then found himself on a ship again only this time he landed in New Guinea, where we Americans were at war with the Japanese. He stayed there till they ran the Japs off, and then he and his buddies loaded up on a ship again and headed for the Philippine Islands. On January 15, 1945, he wrote his parents that he wouldn't be writing for a while, as the Japanese were keeping them pretty busy. On February 2, 1945, Clarence was killed in action. At the time of his death, he was 26 years, 10 months and 8 days of age. -- author uncredited, CCH, p. 581.
"On Thursday of last week Mr. and Mrs. Roy Oller received a cablegram from their son, Clarence, that he was in the hospital with a broken bone in one ankle. Last Saturday they received another message that he was getting along O.K. On Monday of this week the Ollers received a letter from Clarence, written December 5. While he did not say whether his ankle was injured in an accident or in battle, he stated that while he had been in New Guinea, he was back in a hospital in Australia and his ankle was in a cast. Clarence was one of the first of the Yanks to go to Australia." --Undated clipping from a Comanche County, Kansas, newspaper, Collection of Ollie Hackney, courtesy of Bobbi (Hackney) Huck.
The Western Star, March 9, 1945.
STAFF SGT. CLARENCE L. OLLER KILLED OVER LUZON
Had Had No Furlough Home Since Entering Army in December, 1941;
Was in New Guinea and Philippines Battles.
The hearts of our people were saddened recently when it became known that one of Comanche County's finest young men, S. Sgt. Clarence L. Oller, had been killed in action in the Philippines on February 2.
His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Oller, who live in Avilla township southwest of Coldwater, received a telegram on February 24 telling of the loss of their son.
Last week they received from the commanding officer confirmation of Clarence's death. The letter follows:
13 February, 1945
Roy W. Oller, Coldwater, Kans.
Dear Mr. Oller,
It is with regret that I write concerning your son's death and sincerely wish it were possible to do more than express my sympathy to help alleviate the suffering you are undergoing.
I know that I am expressing the opinion of every man in the company when I say that he was respected and loved both as an individual and as a real soldier in every sense of the word. Clarence's death was a great blow to us as an organization and I wish to add that he was by far the most efficient Mortar Observer Sergeant ever to serve in my command.
Clarence will always be remembered by us as an exceptionally brave and cool fighter when under fire. He was killed 2 February, 1945, by enemy artillery shrapnel while fighting on Luzon, Philippine Islands, when our position was heavily shelled. He died instantly when an artillery shrapnel penetrated through his helmet.
Clarence was buried with full military Honors in our American Cemetery at Santa Barbara, Luzon, P. I. and laid to rest by his Protestant Chaplain.
If I can be of any assistance to you, please feel free to write to me.
Florian C. Plachinski, First Lieut. 127th Inf. Commanding Co. G.
Clarence Lee Oller was born March 25, 1918 in Avilla township, where he grew to manhood, attending Coldwater High School and graduating with the class of 1937. His classmates, as well as his many friends, remember him as "Clancy," He received many letters in football, baseball and track while in high school and was a favorite with his classmates.
He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Roy W. Oller, and by two sisters, Mrs. Abe Darroch of Protection and Imogene of the home; also by many relatives and friends.
He was engaged in farming and raising cattle with his father and for a while before he was inducted into the army on December 26, 1941, he was employed in the Burton drug store.
Clarence completed his 13 weeks of basic training at Camp Roberts, Calif., and in April 1942, he went overseas, and in the three years and two months he was in the service, he never got a furlough home.
He landed at Adelaide, Australia, May 4, 1942, and after finishing his training there, left for New Guinea the latter part of November where his division took Buna and Gona. Shortly after he landed in New Guinea he broke an ankle and was taken back to Australia.
The last of January, 1943, a plane leaving Australia had room for a few more combat soldiers and Clarence volunteered to go back to his division in New Guinea. The first of March his company, which had seen much heavy fighting, was evacuated back to Australia for a rest period.
On November 10, 1943, they again left Australia and landed in New Guinea where Clarence was in the invasion which took Sadlar and Altake, continuing their advance along the coast in Dutch New Guinea as the Japs continued to be eliminated after bitter resistance.
On November 17, 1944, Clarence, then promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant in a Mortar Company, wrote that he was in the Philippines and had been in battle on Leyte Island. After the battle of Leyte was over he wrote on January 15 that he wouldn't be writing for some time. He then landed on Luzon Island, where Manila is located.
Although Clarence didn't exactly like army life, he never complained, even of his life in the tropical jungles abounding with treacherous Japs, and he wrote home at different times saying that he felt that it was his duty and wouldn't want to be at home with all the other boys gone.
Clarence was converted, baptized and taken into the Antioch church in 1929 and often wrote about going to church on Sunday mornings and how he enjoyed the sermons of the different chaplains. At the time of his death he was 26 years, 10 months and 8 days of age.
He was clean cut, honorable and efficient Christian gentleman and soldier. His bravery and his unflinching fidelity to duty is worthy of the highest acclaim
The sorrowing relatives have the heartfelt sympathy of "Clancy's" hundreds of friends.
(Thanks to Shirley Brier for transcribing this news article.)
The Methodist church in Coldwater was filled at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, September 7 when funeral services for Staff Sgt. Clarence L. Oller, son of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Oller of this city were held following shipment of his body from the Southwest Pacific. The service was in charge of George Brown, pastor of the Christian church in this city. In a masterful sermon he told of the sacrifices of our brave young men who made the Supreme Sacrifice, and brought a challenging message to the living.
Raymond and Lee Roy Cline sang "There'll Be No Disappointment in Heaven," accompanied on the organ by George Wolf. The pallbearers were Virgil McIntyre, W. N. Parsons, Jay Overocker Jr., and Roscoe Williams of Protection, Clifford Blount and Jim Wolf. Honorary pallbearers were Jay Overocker, Ben Wolf and Harvey Thompson of Coldwater, Ivan Miller of Long Beach, Calif., and Carlin Whitmore of Hennessey, Okla. The latter two were buddies of Sgt. Oller in the 32nd Division, and they were together in the Philippines.
The burial service at Crown Hill cemetery was in charge of the V. F. W. and the American Legion members stood with the V. F. W. in the military body.
Clarence Lee Oller was born March 25, 1918, in Avilla township, where he grew to manhood, and was graduated from Coldwater high school in 1937. He received many letters in athletics and was a favorite with his classmates.
He is survived by his parents and by two sisters, Mrs. Abe Darroch of this city and Miss Imogene Oller of the home; also by many other relatives and a host of friends.
He was engaged in farming and cattle raising with his father and entered the army December 26, 1941. After his basic training at Camp Roberts, Calif., he was sent overseas in April, 1942. In the three years and two months he was in the service he did not receive a furlough home.
Clarence landed at Adelaide, Australia, May 4, 1942, and left for New Guinea the following November, helping to take Buna and Gona.
In January, 1943, a plane leaving Australia had room for a few more combat soldiers and Clarence volunteered to go back to his division in New Guinea having recovered from an ankle injury. He was in the invasion which took Sadair and Altake and continued their advance along the coast of Dutch New Guinea in the face of bitter resistance.
On November 17, 1944, Clarence, then promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant in a mortar division, wrote that he was in the Philippines and had been in the battle of Leyte. He later landed on Luzon Island. There he was killed in action February 2, 1945, at the age of 26 years, 10 months and 8 days.
He was a clean cut, honorable and efficient Christian gentleman and soldier. His bravery and unflinching fidelity to duty is worthy of the highest acclaim.
Clarence Oller was the grandson of William & Elidah (Heaton) Oller
For information about other men from Comanche County, Kansas, who gave their lives in service during the war, see World War II Casualties
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news articles to this web site!
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