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Contributors: Most of the information on this page has been contributed by Shirley Brier (SB) from her research in microfilms of Comanche County, Kansas, newspapers. Other items from Ollie Hackney's Clipping Collection (OHCC) were contributed by her grand-daughter, Bobbi Huck. If you'd like to join me in thanking Shirley and Bobbi for their contributions to this site, please sign the Guest Book. -- Jerry Ferrin
News articles from World War I
The Wilmore News, April 26, 1917.
Food Production Organization
Coldwater, Kansas, April 24, 1917.
Mr. Tom Pepperd,
Governor Capper has asked that a committee be appointed in this county for increased food production. You have been named as a member of this committee. No fixed plan is suggested, but believe it will be well to suggest to neighbors the planting of every acre possible. Help in securing seed where short, have your newspaper give this matter space if they are willing, and other means that will suggest themselves to you.
Chas. E. Allderdice.
The above letter is self explanatory. However, it is suggested that should anyone have any difficulty in securing seed, ground or sufficient help, that they should consult this committee in regard to the matter. --Editor.
The Wilmore News, September 20, 1917.
Fifteen of Comanche county's drafted men left Coldwater Friday morning of this week for Camp Funston where they will go into training at once. Those who went were Vernon W. Pepperd, Nathaniel Weddle, James W. Septer and Albert W. Seaman. (SB)
The Western Star , December 19, 1941.
HERE IS COMANCHE COUNTY'S HONOR ROLL
A List of the Boys From Comanche County Who Are Now In The Armed Forces of the United States.
The Western Star, January 12, 1942.
SGT. ERIC A. SIMS DIES FROM WOUNDS
His Brother's Wife's Sister With Him When He Died.
The Western Star, January 16, 1942, Page 1. Col. 2.
PROTECTION MAN KILLED NEAR PHILLIPINES
Watertender 1st Class Squire Boone Zane, USN.
The Western Star, February 6, 1942, Page 3, Col. 3.
MISSING AFTER TORPEDOING
Mrs. H. Nimmo of Coldwater received word the first of this week that her sister's husband, Orville Cripe and son, Harold, of St. Joseph, Mo., were among the 250 men who were reported missing when the Canadian liner, Lady Hawkins, was torpedoed and sunk on January 19 by a submarine in the Atlantic ocean, probably near the Bermuda Islands.
The men were among a group of 20 recruited at St. Joseph to help build an air base in Bermuda. Fourteen of the 26 from that city were reported missing. (SB)
The Western Star, February 6, 1942, Page 3, Col. 2.
Donald White Enlists in Air Corps.
The Western Star, February 6, 1942, Page 3, Col. 3.
REALITY OF WAR IS BROUGHT CLOSER TO HOME.
Former Coldwater Youth Makes Supreme Sacrifice.
Bertram Nunn, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Nunn of Wichita and a nephew of Mrs. Eddie Metzger of Coldwater, was killed in action during the past week while serving on a tanker in the south seas. Mrs. Nunn, who had been at the home of her brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. Eddie Metzger, during the past ten days recovering from an auto wreck in Missouri the first part of january, was listening to Elmer Davis and the news at 7:55 Tuesday evening when it was announced that the U. S. tanker Neeches, had been sunk by the Japanese. Mrs. Nunn, recognizing the name of the tanker as the ship to which her son, Bertram, had been transferred about three weeks ago, came to thisa city to telephone her husband in Wichita. It was learned that only about an hour before Mr. Nunn had received the following telegram from the Navy Department at Washington, D.C.
"The Navy Department regrets to inform you that your son, Bertram Nunn, has been killed in action while serving his country. His body will be returned home if desired."
It is understood that 56 of the sailors on the ship were lost.
Bertram was born in Coldwater, February 13, 1920, and at the time of his death lacked only a few days of being 22 years of age. He lived in this city until 1923 when he moved with his parents to Alva. He enlisted in the navy in 1938 and had not been home since his enlistment. Mr. Nunnwas a baker.
He is survived by his parents, one brother, Loval, who has been in the army at Fort Riley, Kans., during the past year, and one sister, Faye, who is teaching at Buffalo, Mo.
The sorrowing relatives have the sincere sympathy of all. (SB)
The Western Star, February 13, 1942, Page 2, Col. 1 & 2.
A List Of Comanche County Boys Now In The Armed Forces
The Western Star, February 20, 1942.
WITH OUR BOYS
Bob Lees, who joined the Navy several weeks ago, was sent to the hospital recently suffering from an attack of mumps and now is with another company - Co. 42, at the Naval Training Station at San Diego, Calif.
Mr. and Mrs. Grover Deyoe of Wilmore received word last week that their son, Fred, who had been in training at the Marine base in San Diego, Calif., sailed on February 9 for an unannounced destination.
Norman Todd, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Todd, who is in the medical corps of the Army at Camp Barkley, Texas, writes his parents that he is now attending an 8 weeks' training school while getting his immunization shots. He states that many of the soldiers in his classes at this time are American born young Japs who joined the Army in California to help Uncle Sam. The government has a special use for these youths, he said.
The Western Star, February 27, 1942.
License Required For Explosives.
County Clerk Walter W. Ferrin has been appointed by the U. S. Bureau of Mines as the person who is authorized to issue licenses to all in this county who desire to purchase or use explosives. It is now unlawful to handle explosives without a license. (SB)
The Western Star, February 27, 1942.
"In the months that lie ahead, the bodies of many young Americans will carpet the floors of the seven seas or be left behind on the battlefields we cannot even name. The rest of us must do what we can and never, never squawk. Indeed, in behalf of the armed forces of this counrty and of all those who in these days must go down to the sea in ships, let me give you this message: If in this war you have to give up every comfort you've grown used to, if taxes take every penny you own, yes, if your house is blown to bits in a raid, may I be permitted to inquire - What of it?"
-- Alexander Woolcott, for the Red Cross fund, January 25, 1942. (SB)
The Western Star, March 6, 1942:
DONALD WHITE WILL BE A FLYER
The Western Star, March 6, 1942:
Wounded At Pearl Harbor
The following letter from Jerry Coslett, a nephew of Mrs. E. M. Hamilton of Ashland, tells of his experience in the Pearl Harbor raid.
U.S.N. Hosp. Wd. 79
Mare Island, Calif.
February 13, 1942.
Dear Aunt and Cousins:
Just a few lines in answer to your letter of December 27th, which I received yesterday. I was sure glad to hear form you. The reason your letter took so long was it had to go to hawaii and then back here to the States. I was sent back here because my arm was not doing so well. You see I was flying in that morning to a plane and those little slant-eyed rascals shot me down. I got hit in the right arm four times, once in the shoulder and once across the neck, so I consider myself pretty lucky. That also explains this awful writing you are having such a time reading. So far I have mastered this left hand writing.
Your nephew and cousin.
----Clark County Clipper
The Western Star , March 20, 1942.
ALFRED SEIDEL IS ANOTHER WAR CASUALTY
Protection Young Man on Ill Fated Houston Sunk by Japs
The Western Star, May 29, 1942
FOURTH SELECTIVE REGISTRATION LIST
Registration on April 27 Includes Men 45 to 65 Years of Age
Who Had Not Previously Registered in Comanche County.
The Western Star, Friday, June 19, 1942.
ELWIN E. SMITH KILLED IN ACTION
Is First Known Casualty From Coldwater in World War II.
The Western Star, Friday, June 19, 1942.
RECORDS AND CARDS WANTED FOR SOLDIERS
The boys in our armed forces on board ship and overseas are in need of phonograph records and playing cards to help pass the time away when off duty, and to meet this need the American Legion has undertaken the job of collecting these articles. Any records will do, even broken ones, for the broken material may be used for making new records.
2000 Records Wanted For Men in the Service.
Comanche county's quota has been set at 2000. The records will be melted and used to record music of famous name bands which the boys like. Used playing cards should be clean and with no broken corners, and decks must be complete, except that the joker may be gone. If you wish to contribute cash for the purchase of cards, 15 cents will purchase a deck of cards through arrangements of the American Legion.
Turn in your records, cards or contributions to D. V. Cooper at the barber shop, or Walter Ferrin at the court house in Coldwater.
This article was contributed to this website by Shirley Brier, who commented in her 07 May 2003 email to me: "This was all one article, thought you might like it, honoring veterans must run in the family."
Tho' he isn't listed, so far as I know, on the Heritage Park Memorial in Coldwater, Kansas, my grand uncle, Walter William Ferrin, was a WWI veteran who served in France. I own his Army helmet and will contribute it to the Comanche County Historical Society one of these days. -- Jerry Ferrin.
The Western Star , July 10, 1942
MEMORIAL SERVICE SUNDAY FOR ELWIN E. SMITH
The Western Star, July 17, 1942
A FINE MEMORIAL SERVICE
The Western Star , Friday, July 24, 1942.
HERE'S LIST OF THE 18-20 YEAR-OLDS
Boys Reaching 20 Will Begin Service This Fall
There now remains in the Comanche county 1-A list approximately 25 young men. On August 3, 11 of the 1-A group will leave for service in the army, with 14 remaining in that class. With the June quota being 22 and the July quota 24 inductees, it is likely that practically all of the 1-A class will have been exhausted by September 1. So it looks as though the upper portion of the 20 year old group will leave for camp some time in September and that single men with dependents will begin to be drafted into military service soon thereafter. They will follow the induction of married men with the minimum number of dependents. Following the list of 18-20 year old men in Comanche county, and those who have become 20 years of age since January 1, 1942. In the 19-20 year group there are 26 young men and of this number 9 are now 20 years of age. Of the 82 young men who registered on June 30 forty-six are in the lower group. Following are the June 30 registrants in the order of their birthdays after January 1, 1942:
C - Coldwater
P - Protection
10,235- Alva Jay Swarner, C.
10,236 - Robert Edwin Gilchrist, C
10,237 - Van Cleve Lincoln Sooter, C. (aka George, son of Mrs. Jessie Sooter)
10,238 - Ben James Rainbolt, P.
10,239 - Melvin Robb Keesee, C.
10,240 - Raymond Howard Mills, W.
10,241 - George Howard Herd, C.
10,242 - Claude Raymond Sherman, C.
10,243 - Chester Eugene Dale, C.
10,244 - Weldon Brice McPhail, P.
10,245 - Victor Crawford Bibb, C.
10,246 - Charles Lewis Jackson, C.
10,247 - Jack Vester Ogden, C.
10,248 - Norman Ward Butcher, C.
10,249 - Robert Leo Hough, W.
10,250 - Johnnie Junior Smith, C.
10,251 - Lorin Bliss, C.
10,252 - James Benjamin Wolf, C.
10,253 - Wallace Edwin Cherry, P.
10,254 - Bill Walter Robbins, C.
10,255 - Donald W. Bratcher, C.
10,256 - Robert Wayne Bandy, C.
10,257 - Kenneth Alfred Meadows, C.
10,258 - Calvin Coolidge Arnold, C.
10,259 - Paul Wayne Bird, P.
10,260 - Tom Curtis Carleton, C.
10,261 - Marvel Douglas Johnson, P.
10,262 - Lyman Tracy Cullins Jr., C.
10,263 - Norman Lee Hadley, C.
10,264 - Robert Hugh Tobias, P.
10,265 - Kenneth Arthur Pfeiffer, P.
10,266 - Lemuel Franklin Herd, C.
10,267 - John Nathan Wallace, C.
10,268 - Robert Wade Marks, C.
10,269 - Virgil Charles Henry, C.
10,270 - John Elbert Lenertz, W.
10,271 - Elwood Christian Carlisle, C.
10,272 - Harold Clark Rubendall, C.
10,273 - Stewart Glenn Carthrae, C.
10,274 - Victor Eugene Rowland, P.
10,275 - Loyal W. Rainbolt, P.
10,276 - Harold Ray Veatch, C.
10,277 - James Elvin Zimmerman, P.
10,278 - Carl Junior Robinson, C.
10,279 - Russell Jean Friend, C.
10,280 - Clarence Fred Schenk, W.
10,281 - Edward Stanton Young, C.
10,282 - James Beryl Williams, P.
10,283 - Paul Victor Kropf, C.
10,284 - Lawrence Wiley York, W.
10,285 - John Carl Young, P.
10,286 - J. P. Scholle, C.
10,287 - Norman Dean Jarnagin, C.
10,288 - Kenneth Calvin Reasons, C.
10,289 - Russell Roscoe Zane, P.
10,290 - Joseph Marshall Braly, C.
10,291 - Loyd Doyle Smith, C.
10,292 - John Warren Graue, P.
10,293 - Roy Glenn Hager, W.
10,294 - Dale LeRoy Smutz, P.
10,295 - Robert Lutzie Poltera, C.
18 Year Olds
10,296 - Lee Harold Hecht, C.
10,297 - Warren Lee Petty, P.
10,298 - Ralph Edward Sangster, P.
10,299 - Donald Burgess Dale, C.
10,300 - Martin Parks, C.
10,301 - Robert James Schenk, C.
10,302 - Karl Albert Ehrlich, C.
10,303 - Harry Edward Howland, Jr., C.
10,304 - Clarence Clifford Smith, C.
10.305 - Haden Harry Hughes, P.
10,306 - Arthur Edward Seyfrit, C.
10,307 - Glenn Allen Maris, P.
10,308 - Fred Edward Jackson, C.
10,309 - Walter Guy Crows, C.
10,310 - James Leroy Thompson, C.
10,311 - Virgil Lee Cummings, C.
10,312 - Edward Smith Dunn, W.
10,313 - Howard McKindrey Burghardt, P.
10,314 - Harry Wayne White, C.
10,315 - Joseph James McPhail, P.
10,316 - Grover Cleveland Ellison Jr
(Contributed by Shirley Brier)
The Western Star, August 21, 1942
COMMENDATION FOR BRAVERY in BATTLE
Elwin E. Smith of Coldwater Is Given Posthumous Award
The Western Star, September 4, 1942.
Scrap Drive Response Is Most Amazing
Nearly a Million Pounds Gathered to help Our Boys
The Western Star, November 6, 1942.
COLDWATER NAVY CADET CRASH VICTIM
Herbert Seyfrit Killed Instantly While Landing Plane
The Western Star, Friday, December 11, 1942.
REGISTRATION BEGINS FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11.
As stated in detail in last week's Western Star, registration of all 18-year-olds will begin Friday of this week, December 11, However, registration will be at only one place in the county at the Selective Service office in Coldwater, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Young men born between July 1 and August 3, 1924, will register during the week beginning December 11.
Those born between September 1 and October 31, 1924, will register during the week beginning December 18 and ending December 24.
Those born between November 1 and December 31, 1924, shall register between December 26 and 31, 1942.
Those born on or after January 1, 1925, shall register at the Selective Service office on their 18th anniversary.
High school students who are 18 will be inducted unless request for postponement of such induction until school is out be made. (SB)
The Western Star, December 11, 1942. Page 1, col. 1.
COLDWATER MAN IS JAPANESE PRISONER.
Red Cross Reports Coulson Bogue Interned.
For several months George Hearldson of Coldwater, Comanche county Home Service Chairman of the Comanche county chapter of the American Red Cross, has been carrying on correspondence through the American Red Cross, endeavoring to locate Mrs. Hearldson's son, Coulson O. Bogue, who was reared at Coldwater.
Mr. Bogue, who has been a resident of the Philippine Islands for ten years or more was last heard from in October, 1941, when he wrote his mother that he was a civilian employee at the Cavite naval base ar Manila. he wrote that his wife and two daughters would likely be away for several months, hence they probably were in the hills of the islands when the Japs took over the American stronghold at Manila.
The first of this week Mr. Hearldson received a letter from the American Red Cross which contained the following information.
"The Provost Marshal General of the War Department has received a cable from Tokyo which gives an official list of civilian internees at Santo Tomas Internment Camp in Manila, Philippine Islands. The following name appears on the list: Coulson Oscar Bogue."
"Mail for persons listed may be sent through regular internee and prisoner-of-war channels. We have received no information concerning the possibility of release of above internee and negotiations for a Red Cross relief ship in the Pacific have so far proved unsuccessful."
"The inquirer will be interested to know that former internees at Santo Tomas, who were released to return to this country on the Gripsholm, have reassuring reports of conditions at Santo Tomas as of June, 1942, where a self governing committee of internees functioned efficiently in regard to matters of food, health, sanitation, recreation and education." (SB)
The Western Star, February 5, 1943:
MALONE TWINS NOW TOGETHER
The Western Star, 'The Letter Box', February 26, 1943.
The following extracts are from a Letter written by Hobert Thompson, somewhere overseas, to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harve Thompson:
The Western Star , February 26, 1943:
LIEUT. DONALD WHITE MISSING IN ACTION
Has Been With Fighter Squadron Since December.
The Western Star, March 5, 1943.
LIEUT. DONALD WHITE STILL LISTED MISSING
Had Been piloting P-38s Since Being Commissioned
The Western Star, February 26, 1943.
WOUNDED IN AFRICA
Chester Mahan received word last week that his namesake and nephew, Sgt. Chester Paige had been seriously wounded. On February 11 he sent a cablegram to his mother, Mrs. Bessie Paige of Alexandria, La., that he was well and five days later she received word from the government as follows: " Regret to inform you that your son, Sgt. Chester Paige, has been seriously wounded in North africa. His recovery reported very unsatisfactory."
Sgt. Paige worked during the summer of 1928 on the farm of Walter McKinney northwest of Coldwater and is known to a number of our people. He is 35 years old, married and his a 12 year old daughter.(SB)
The Western Star, March 12, 1943.
LIEUT. H. R. BURNETTE IS DECORATED by NAVY.
Coldwater Youth Deals Out Plenty to the Japs.
The Western Star , March 19, 1943.
Suffers a Head Wound In Tunesian Tank Battle
John Hecht, son of Reuben Hecht of Coldwater, and who had been in training at Camp Swift, Texas, in a tank destroyer unit, went to North Africa soon after January 1 and has been in action in that area. In a letter dated February 1 John wrote his wife, who is a Senior in Coldwater High School, that it looked like there would be "hell a poppin' in a few days."
On February 19 John wrote relatives here that he had just been released from a hospital where he had been recovering from a head wound and infection which set in, but that he was "all right now." He could give no other information in his letter, It is quite certain he was with the American forces which first attacked Rommel's troops several weeks ago.
-- 19 March 1943 clipping from a Comanche County, Ks, newspaper. Ollie Hackney's Clipping Collection. (SB)
The Western Star, March 19, 1943.
CPL. DONALD SATTLER LOSES 25 POUNDS IN BATTLE.
Corp. John Donald Sattler, radioman, 20 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. John Sattler, Jr., of Coldwater, enlisted in the Marine Corps at Kansas City, Mo., July 21, 1941 and after seven weeks of training at boot camp at San Diego, Calif., attended a radio school for three months. He finished his training at the New River, N. C. Marine Base.
Cpl. Sattler then was sent to an island in the South Pacific for training for jungle warfare. He was with the U. S. Marines which took Guadalcanal after bitter fighting. Don, as he is called by his friends, lost 25 pounds while at Guadalcanal.
After five months of active service he was sent to a southern country for several weeks of rest and treatment. Don was promoted to the rank of Corporal the latter part of last month.
He was graduated from Coldwater high school a few months before enlisting in the Marines. He was anxious to get into the service and still likes it. (SB)
The Western Star, May 21, 1943.
PRESIDENT DECORATES LIEUT. H. R. BURNETTE
Navy Communiqué Tells of Coldwater Flier's Decoration.
The Western Star, May 21, 1943.
JACK LEWIS SELECTED FOR V-12 TRAINING
Will Begin Training For Deck or Engineering Officer
Jack Lewis, son of Mrs. Wilma Lewis of Coldwater, was one of the three Coldwater High School Seniors who successfully passed the Navy V-12 test given 18 C. H. S. seniors boys on April 30. About 10 days later, Jack, also Myron McCay and Ernest Lawrence, went to Kansas City for further examination. Myron, who is a son of Mr. and Mrs. James McCay Jr., was too tall for acceptance and Ernest, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Lawrence, did not pass the physical examination.
On Tuesday of last week Jack was called in to Kansas City and the following day was sworn into the Navy with the rating of Seaman Second Class. Under the new V-12 program of the Navy, he will be one of the many boys just graduating from high school who will be sent to college to take training for deck or engineering officers in the Navy or Marine Corps. Jack will enter some college either July 1 or November 1 for at least a year's intensive training, and will be on active military duty and subject to full military regulations. He will be issued a uniform and will eventually be an officer in the Marine Corps, provided he meets the requirements. According to Navy officials, only five boys in 1000 were able to meet the tests required of the V-12 group.
There is no doubt among the home folks but that Jack will qualify. He has been an honor student in school and last year he was the winner of the Coldwater American Legion Boys State Award and was sent by the Legion to the Boys State at Wichita for a week's study in Citizenship. Last week he was chosen by the Legion as the recipient of the 1943 Citizenship Award. He is an all around athlete and one of Coldwater's finest young men. (SB)
The Western Star, May 21, 1943.
WILLIAM FINNEY STILL MISSING
The Western Star , May 28, 1943.
BOB LEES WOUNDED IN BEZERTE HARBOR
Is In North Africa British Hospital With Other Yanks.
In a V-Mail letter to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. R. L. Lees of Coldwater, received on Tuesday, Bob Lees, gunner's mate, 3c, on a P-T boat in North Africa, wrote on May 14: "I had my left leg banged up last week while on patrol duty in Bizerte harbor and am in a British hospital. My leg isn't so bad, so don't worry about me, as I am getting plenty of rest here and expect to rejoin my outfit in a short time. There are plenty of American soldiers here so have lots of company and the Red Cross comes around every day or so with American cigarettes and candy." While Bob did not disclose the circumstances of his injury, it is thought that the fast patrol torpedo boat on which he is stationed was either fired upon by snipers left in Bizerte harbor or was machine gunned by a small boatload of intercepted Nazis who were trying to escape to the islands of Crete or Sicily.
In a letter written May 3, Bob, who left the States April 1, tells of helping to set up a field kitchen in North Africa out in the open, and building tables with tents over them. He writes: " It is al surrounded by wire fence and we put a sign up over the entrance , calling it Central Park. Haven't run into anybody I know yet. On one of our torpedoes I painted "Compliments of Smitty, U. S. M. C.," in honor of Elwin Smith."
A V-Mail letter from Bob on May 6 gives a graphic description of the Arabs as follows:
How is everything on the farm? In case you haven't figured it out, I'm somewhere in North Africa. Sure is a funny place, although it looks like the U.S. The climate ia about the same as New York. The houses and people are the only things that are really different. The majority of the people are French and the rest are Arabs. The Arabs are the dirtiest creatures I ever saw. they eat garbage and almost anything they can get hold of. And I don't think they ever change clothes or take a bath. We have not many facilities on the boat for bathing so I am living about like the Arabs. Ha. Ha. I also am letting my beard grow and look like a bum, but who cares?
A bunch of Italian and German prisoners marched by the other day and we talked to a couple of German who spoke English. They said they were glad it was over for them. I am so mixed up with the money over here that I can hardly stand it.
Your loving son, Bob. (SB)
The Western Star, June 11, 1943.
COMANCHE SAILOR HAS SAILED THE SEVEN SEAS
Protection Youth in U. S. Navy Service Nine Years
Carpenter's Mate 1st Class Tommy Toothaker, USN.
The Western Star, June 11, 1943.
DONALD BETZER A CRASH VICTIM
Dies in Wichita Following Collision of Planes in Midair
The Western Star , June 18, 1943.
PFC. WM. FINNEY ALIVE IN PHILIPPINES
For a Year He Was Thought to Have Been Killed.
The Western Star , June 23, 1943.
LIEUT. RALPH SOOTER MISSING IN ACTION
Was an Army Fighter Pilot in South Pacific Area.
The Western Star, June 25, 1943.
COLDWATER MARINE IN GUADALCANAL LANDING
Cpl. Billy Proctor Home From South Pacific Fighting.
Cpl. Billy Proctor of Coldwater last Friday walked into the home of his aunt, Mrs. J. W. Brewer, and grandmother, Mrs. J. A. Neas, of this city. They had not heard from Billy in months and did not know he was back in this country.
Cpl. Proctor enlisted in the Marine Corps in Oklahoma at the age of 17, and now at the ripe old age of 20 has had more experience than Jack London could crowd into a book. Billy was patrolling a dock December 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor when the Japs came over and began their cowardly bombardment of American ships, and civilians alike. He had previously been on Midway Island six or eight months. He later was returned to Midway, then last summer was transferred to the South Pacific. Billy and a friend, with who he had gone to school in Wilmore, Fred Deyoe, of Wilmore, were among the first Marines to land and take Guadalcanal from the Japs, following the bombardment of the air field by U. S. fliers, among whom were Lieut. H. R. Burnette of Coldwater. Billy says that when their invasion force landed and took the beach, they found warm rice still on the tables where the Japs had left it.
As a member of the anti-aircraft gun crew whose job it was to protect the runways of the captured airfield, Billy saw much fierce fighting. For four days the Jap bombers and land forces sought to silence his gun, and there were some near hits. His unit brought down 32 enemy planes and by allowing only two planes on the runway, drew a citation from their General. At night time Billy drove a truck. While getting complete control of Guadalcanal, the Marines experienced fierce hand-to-hand fighting, booby traps and treacherous attacks. One night a skulking Jap crept up to Billy's tent and fired a bullet through the pillow where he usually slept, but he was not there at the time.
During the landing of troops on the air field the U. S. Navy suffered heavy losses, though less than the enemy, and the Marines were cut off from their lines of communications for two months. Their supply of food soon dwindled and Billy and his buddies had to live on captured rice and barley, together with bamboo sprouts and the roots of plants which they dug, to keep from starving to death, all this while the strikers at home, with their walk-outs, work-stoppages, and slow-downs held up war production until they received a few dimes a day more pay, time and a half for overtime and double on Sundays, knowing that the government officials were afraid even to slap their wrists.
While fighting in the steaming jungles, Billy fell victim to malaria and was sent with many other Marines to New Zealand after six months on the front. There they were made to feel "at home." He was sent back to the States and has regained the 25 pounds of weight he lost in the Solomons, and his clothes now fit. He expects to be sent back to the front, which is O.K. with him as he has escaped being wounded during nearly three years service with the Leathernecks. (SB)
The Western Star , July 23, 1943.
LIEUT. RALPH SOOTER CRASH LANDS ON ISLAND.
The Western Star , July 23, 1943.
WILMORE BOY KILLED OVER GERMANY
Lieut. Truett Barron Shot Down and Killed June 26.
The Western Star, August 27, 1943:
LT. HOBERT THOMPSON IS MISSING IN ACTION
Was The Co-pilot of B-24 Liberator Bomber in Pacific.
The Western Star , September 17, 1943
COLDWATER PILOT MAKES THE SUPREME SACRIFICE
Official Word Comes That Lieutenant Thompson Was
Killed in Action on August 8 in the South Pacific Area.
The Western Star , September 24, 1943.
Home Town Boy Weds Home Town Girl
Frances England Becomes Bride of Staff Sgt. Doyle Coles
Miss Frances England, daughter of Charles L. England, who lives in the north part of this county, and Staff Sergeant Doyle C. Coles, son of Mrs. Lizzie Coles of Avilla Township, were united in marriage at 12:30 o'clock p.m. at the altar of the Methodist Church in San Luis Obispo, California, on Sunday, September 5, 1943. The ceremony was performed by the pastor, Rev. Edwin Kraft, using the double ring ceremony.
The bride wore an ice blue wool gabardine suit and white blouse, with chocolate brown hat and gloves and brown accessories. The only attendant of the couple was Sgt. Alva K. Teem, of Cullman, Alabama, a friend of the groom.
The bride, who during the past year and a half has been employed in the personnel department of the Boeing Aircraft Co. in Wichita, was given a bride's luncheon and shower by 12 of the girls in the office where she is employed. The luncheon was given in the home of the bride's supervisor, Miss Pearl Lee.
Mrs. Coles was born and reared in the Coldwater community and attended Coldwater high school, graduating with the class of 1938. She attended Kansas State College at Manhatten two years where she was a member of the Clovia sorority. Her friendliness and womanly qualities have endeared her to all who knew her.
The groom also spent his entire life in this county, graduating from Coldwater High School in 1939. Previous to entering the service, he was engaged in farming with his father R.T. Coles, now deceased.
Doyle enlisted in the army September 26, 1940, during peace time, and for about eight months was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas. He was sent to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and there trained thousands of recruits. Following maneuvers in Louisiana last year, he was transferred to California in November, 1942, for desert maneuvers, where he continued to train rookies, helping to shape them into finished soldiers. Doyle, tiring of being a drill sergeant, tried about every way to become a private again, so he says, he could have more friends in the ranks, but his officers merely wrote on his papers, "temporarily a private." And back he is a staff sergeant, who, he says, has to stay at the head of the line on the long hikes, with his bunions barking while the privates who drop out are picked up by the ambulance which follows. Sgt. Coles wants to go overseas but because of his efficiency and good record as a soldier the past three years, he is kept in the States to work over the Private Hargrove. But, he still likes army life.
From desert maneuvers Doyle was sent to Camp San Luis Obispo, California, and has since remained there.
The Comanche County friends of this worthy young couple wsh them the happiness which they well deserve. (OHCC)
The Western Star , September 24, 1943.
SOLDIER DIES IN FLORIDA.
(Pvt. Martin B. McMillen)
The Western Star, October 1, 1943.
PVT. MARTIN McCMILLEN'S FUNERAL HELD IN WILMORE
The Western Star , October 15, 1943.
SGT. LEO C. THRALL IS MISSING IN ACTION
Protection Young Man Was On Second Raid Over Germany.
The Western Star , October 15, 1943.
Additional Word Received About Lieut. Ralph Sooter
The Western Star , October 22, 1943:
PROTECTION YOUTH DOWNED OVER GERMANY
Staff Sgt. Leo C. Thrall Was On His Second Raid.
The Western Star, November 19, 1943.
JOHN JENKINS IS MISSING IN ACTION
Is Thought to Be on Overdue Sub in Pacific.
The Western Star, January 14, 1944.
LIEUT. H. R. BURNETTE FEATURED on PROGRAM.
Was Interviewed by Phillip Morris' Ginny Simms.
The Western Star, January 28, 1944.
LIEUT. MONROE HUCK GETS WINGS HARD WAY
Spurned Master Sergeant Rating to Get Into Air Corps.
The Western Star, February 4, 1944,
JACK ELLIS' SUB TAKES HEAVY JAP TOLL
Sinks Nine Big Ships Besides Damaging Six More.
Jack Ellis of Coldwater, a nephew of Roy and Lee Ellis and Mrs. Ira Burditt, is home on leave after four years of service in the Navy. Jack, who is a Motor Machinists Mate, First Class, belongs to that group of unsung heroes, submarine crews, who, although they comprise only 15% of the Navy, have sunk 70% of all ships sent to the bottom by the Allies. When a new U. S. submarine was launched a little more than a year ago, Jack already a seasoned sailor, became a member.
His sub has seen much action all the way from Scotland in the Atlantic to within 15 miles of the Japanese mainland, and 60 miles from Tokyo. Jack's skipper and his men have sunk nine Jap ships, including a 15,000 ton aircraft carrier, a destroyer, a cruiser and several merchant ships, besides damaging six other ships.
Military restrictions will not permit the divulging of any details, of course, but Jack says it was quite a thrilling experience to come up under a 13 ship Jap convoy and "let 'em have it" at close range, with two ships of the "Sons of Heaven" going to the bottom.
Jack enlisted in the Navy March 19, 1940, and could fill a book with vivid descriptions, were the war over now. He says a submarine is safe, if everything goes all right.
He says that when a rope is thrown overboard to Jap survivors swimming in the ocean, they always refused to grab the rope but swam away from the ship. One U.S. sub crew hauled up a wounded Jap, fed him and kept him on the ship as a kind of pet, Jack relates. They put him in the galley as ship's cook and taught him the words coffee, cocoa, beans, etc. as well as how to play cards, and he became adept later.(SB)
The Western Star, February 25, 1944.
STAFF SGT. BERT HILL HOME AFTER 25 RAIDS
Awarded D. F. C. Air Medal And Three Oak Leaf Clusters.
The Western Star, March 3, 1944.
KILLED IN SOUTH PACIFIC
Mr. and Mrs. Dick Wilson, who live on the former W. G. Reed ranch, 21 miles south of Coldwater, recently received word from the War Department that their son, Pvt. Keith Wilson, had been killed in action in the South Pacific. He enlisted in the Marine Corps last year after he graduated from Freedom, Okla., high school and was sent overseas last November or December. He had not been in action long before he became a casualty.
He is survived by his parents and three brothers. A sister was killed in a car wreck about six months ago. The family came from Cherokee, Okla., to the Reed ranch about two years ago.
The sorrowing relatives have the sincere sympathy of all. (SB)
The Western Star , March 10, 1944.
SGT. ERNEST TRUMMEL DOWNED OVER FRANCE
Wilmore Gunner Missing Since January 5th, 1944.
The Western Star, May 12, 1944
LIEUTENANT BILL GILES
Word also comes to Coldwater that Lieut. (Young Bill) Giles a few months ago had a narrow escape from death and has since been confined to a General Hospital in England. For more than two months he has been in a cast from his hips to his arm pits and his right arm is also in a cast.
While returning from a mission over Germany his P38 Lightning fighter plane went out of control at the 30,000 foot level and Lieut. Giles stayed with his ship to the 5,000 foot level, but it had been disabled, so he could not get it under control again.
Bill then bailed out and in doing so, a part of the fast plane struck him in the right shoulder, knocking a section of the bone loose, with the ligaments holding to it. A large gash was also cut in one leg. He was stunned and his right arm was put out of commission, so he had difficulty pulling the rip cord of his chute.
A rescue boat crew which was patrolling the English Channel saw Bill's plane strike the water and made for where they thought he would land, and they were very near, fortunately, when he hit the water. He was badly tangled in his chute and with his heavy flying suit on was sinking in the ice cold water when he was rescued by the patrol boat sailors.
Bill was badly bruised all over his body and both eyes were black.
Bill says he could not possibly have lasted more than two or three minutes in the water.
The slender, smiling Coldwater flier, who has had 50 silk threads in his shoulder, while unable to write or go to the mess hall, is slowly recovering and says he is receiving the best of care, and the surgeons are as good as he could have. His greatest regret is that he has to lie in his cast just when things are really going to happen.
Lieut. Giles' friends in this county are legion, and all join in wishing him a speedy recovery and quick return to his squadron of airmen. (SB)
The Western Star, May 26, 1944.
COLDWATER NAVIGATOR INJURED IN COMBAT
Lieut. Monroe Huck Awarded Two Oak Leaves For 20 Flights.
The Western Star , June 2, 1944.
BEN VONACHEN KILLED OVER ITALY BY GERMANS
Was the Tail Gunner In a Flying Fortress
The Western Star, June 9, 1944.
KILLED IN ITALY
Among the causalities in Italy during the spring was Major Albert DeFehr, who was killed at Cassino on March 15. He was piloting a 4 engine bomber when the plane was downed. A year before, Major DeFehr crashed into the ocean and was unable to fly for several months. He was a son of Mrs. Martha Zielke-DeFehr, formerly of Comanche county, and was a nephew of Herman, Frank and Bennard Zielke and of Mrs. Harry Hagen, of Coldwater.(SB)
The Western Star, June 9, 1944
PROTECTION SAILOR DIES IN PRISON CAMP.
Alfred G. Seidel Succumbs to Inhumane Treatment by Japs.
The Protection Post, June 9, 1944
BETTY BUTTS FIRST AIR WAC
Miss Betty Butts, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R. C. butts, holds the distinction of being the first Protection girl to enlist in the Air Wac's. Last week she took her physical examination in Wichita where she has been employed for several months. After being sworn in this week she will spend several days at home with her family before going to Des Moines, Ia. for training.
The Western Star, July 28, 1944.
PROTECTION SOLDIER KILLED IN ACTION
Sgt. Hugh Melrose
The Western Star, July 28, 1944.
BILL GRIFFITH KILLED IN ACTION
Was on L. S. T. on French Invasion Coast
The Protection Post, July 28, 1944.
News from the Men in Service
Protection friends of Johnnie Casteel will be interested in learning some late news concerning him which came to the Post from his sister, Mrs. E. E. Newtonn. Lt. Casteel has recently received a promotion to the rank of first lieutenant, effective June 23rd. He was among the first American boys to make a landing in France on "D" day. Mrs. Newton sent his address, as well as that of another brother, Cpl. Roby Roberts, which we have on file for any of their friends who wish to make use of them.
A letter was received Tuesday from Lt. Leeper by his wife, Mrs. Chester Leeper, telling her he had received the Air Medal on July 15. To many who do not know what the Air Medal stands for, it is awarded to any person who, while serving with Army, Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard, distinguishes himself by moritortious achivevement while participating in an aerial flight. It ranks after D. F. C. Lt. Leeper is a pilot of a C-47 transport and thinks it is the safest plane in the sir force. He likes his work fine and is very busy carrying troops, supplies and wounded.
Word was receved here this week from Ens. John Webb that he would be sent overseas again soon. He also tells of hearing the big explosion at Fort Chicago, being in Oakland 30 miles away at the time. He said the houses shook like a big earthquake had hit. It sounded like a blockbuster had been dropped about two blocks away, 10,000 tons of ammunition blew up, equivalent to 500 blockbusters. The fort was blown into matchwood. Johnnie said he had also met Bill Lusk. He had just returned from a trip and they met on Treasure Island. Bill and Johnnie were classmates at Hays State College.
The Western Star, July 28, 1944.
WILSON BROTHERS to SEE MUCH ACTION.
Cleo With Marines on Saipan; Cecil Is Pacific Bound.
When Cleo and Cecil Wilson, sons of Mr. and Mrs. M. H. Wilson of this city, attended Coldwater High School, they proved to be among the best athletes C. H. S. has turned out. Especially on the football field they developed the ability to stand up against any opponent and to carry the ball when their time came. It is no surprise that when they became men they developed the same characteristics when it came to accepting their share of the defense of their country.
Cleo Wilson graduated from Coldwater High School in 1928 and for two years attended Friends University in Wichita. There he continued his interest in athletics and became an outstanding mile runner. His team was beaten only once while he was in the University.
He later attended a small college in Alamoso, Colo., for one year. While in Alamoso, he was employed in the Montgomery Ward store as manager of the hardware department.
In September 1937, Cleo was united in marriage with Miss Mildred Benson in that city. Soon after the Pearl Harbor attacks Cleo and his wife moved to Colorado Springs, where Cleo was employed by a construction company doing war work.
In July, 1942, he resigned his position and enlisted in the Navy Seabees, receiving most of his training at Camp Peary, Va., near Norfolk. While at Norfolk Cleo was among a small group of husky Seabees who were transferred to the U. S. Marine Corps, forming an Amphibian Corps for special duties in the conquest of Jap held territory.
In November, 1942, he was sent to the Southwest Pacific. Many months were spent in the thick of things in the Guadalcanal area, later going to new Zealand. In recent months he has been in the Hawaiian Islands, partially recovering from malaria, which he contracted while in Guadalcanal. In June of this year, Cleo, as a Second Class Carpenter's Mate in the amphibian force of the Marine Corps Division left Pearl Harbor and is again after the Japs as the U. S. forces wrest island after island from the Nips as we draw closer and closer to Japan. He writes his parents that he is right in the middle of where happening now. A letter received on Thursday stated he was on Saipan Island.
Cleo and the other Fighting Marines are making a lasting name for themselves in this war.
Cleo's brother, Cecil Wilson, graduated from Coldwater High School in 1926. He attended the Kansas State Teachers College in Pittsburg, Kansas, one year, and returning to Coldwater, began working for G. C. Williams in his store 11 miles south of Coldwater. He was employed there ten years and during that time was appointed Port of Entry Custodian in Avilla township. Later he became the owner of the Salt Fork Store, known as the Buttermilk store.
After his brother and two brothers in law, Bill and Ralph Griffith, were in the service, Cecil decided that it was his duty to serve his country. In October, 1942, he closed up his prosperous general merchandise and oil and gasoline business and said to his many customers and friends, "See you after the war."
On October 16, 1942, Cecil went to Kansas City and enlisted in the Navy and was assigned to the then new Hutchinson Navy base. He was stationed there for 13 months and became a Fireman First Class. Later he received the rating of Water Tender, Second Class.
On February 6, 1944, Cecil was shipped from the Hutchinson Naval Air Station to Houston, Texas, later being transferred to Philadelphia, Penn, for six weeks of special schooling. After the completion of the course, he was sent to Baltimore, Md., and there awaited the commissioning of a new troop transport on July 15. He is now at the big naval base at Norfolk, Va., for the final fitting out of the ship and its crew for duty in the Pacific. He also likes his work in the Navy and is glad to have a part in bringing the war to as early a close as possible.
On August 7, 1937, Cecil was united in marriage with Miss Lorena Griffith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bert Griffith of Coldwater. His wife has for many months been helping the war effort by devoting her time to working in a was plant in Wichita. Their daughter, Erma Wilson, is spending the summer in Coldwater with her grandparents.
The Wilson brothers are among Comanche County's most dependable Navy men and are a distinct credit to this fine branch of the service. (SB)
The Western Star, July 28, 1944.
LAWRENCE YORK JR. AWARDED BRONZE STAR
The Western Star, July 28, 1944.
SGT. AUBREY HOLLAND KILLED on BIAK ISLAND
Leaves Wife and Six Children in New Mexico.
The Western Star, August 4, 1944.
PROTECTION SOLDIER DIES in INVASION of FRANCE.
Pfc. Hugh H. Melrose Leaves Wife and Three Children.
The Western Star, August 18, 1944.
SGT. CHARLES BURT BLACK WIDOW GUNNER
His Night Fighter Plane Bags Nazi Craft in Darkness
Of all the Coldwater boys in the service, none are working with more up-to-the-minute equipment than Sgt. Charles Burt, son of Mr. and Mrs. Chas. W. Burt of Coldwater. Charles is one of a crew of two to three - an extra good pilot and an engineer-gunner-on the army's new Black Widow night fighter planes. These planes are so new none of the details of their construction or equipment was announced to the public until about two weeks ago.
Built into a forward turret is a large amount of radar equipment which enables the black painted U. S. planes to discover and track down, even on the darkest night enemy planes, and its radar equipment automatically aims and fires at the enemy fighters and bombers and brings them down. It is a very fast plane and is larger than a P-38 Lightning. It is powered by two 2000 horsepower engines and is heavily armed.
Sgt. Burt is now on extended service in an unannounced area and is kept very busy and was in London once or twice on a special assignment. As a gunner in the air corps he writes that he has plenty of excitement. Sgt. Burt has been in the army more than three years, enlisting on August 1, 1941. He is now on his second enlistment. However, he did not get overseas until this year, arriving in England on May 26. No Coldwater soldier has been more anxious to go overseas.
Charles has made an excellent record as a soldier. His younger brother, Cpl. John Burt is in training at Eagle Pass, Texas. Charles has flown over much of the territory in France that his father walked over in the mud of 1917 and 1918. (SB)
The Western Star, August 18, 1944.
SGT. LEE HECHT RECEIVES CITATION
Awarded Air Medal And Oak Leaf Cluster.
An Eight Air Force Liberator Station England - Sergeant Lee Hecht of Coldwater, Kans. has just been awarded the Air Medal and one Oak Leaf Cluster. The citation in part reads as follows:
"For meritorious achievement in accomplishing with distinction aerial operational missions over enemy occupied continental Europe. Sgt. Hecht's actions reflect great credit upon himself and the armed forces of the United States. Sgt. Hecht had flown twelve missions over the continent, participating in attacks on Criel, St. Gabriel, Conches Laigle, Guer, Oschersieben, Sarrbrucken, Kiel, Munich, Bretigny, and airfields around Paris. He is, at present, serving as waist-gunner on the big "Liberator" "Time's A Wastin'."
Sgt. Hecht has been in the Army eighteen months. He received his gunner's wings at Tyndall Field, Florida, and completed his combat training at Sheppard Field, Texas, and Pueblo, Colorado. His wife, Mrs. Wilana Hecht, and his father, Ruben L. Hecht, live in Coldwater, Kansas.
When Sgt. Hecht was in high school in Coldwater he was an outstanding player on the football and basketball teams all four years. Following his graduation from C. H. S. in May, 1942, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps at Wichita, December 7, 1942, a year after Pearl Harbor attack. While in basic training at St. Petersburg, Florida, he was in the Army basketball team. At Sheppard Field he was classified as a gunner. He received further training at Tucson, Ariz., Blythe, Calif., and Pueblo, Colo., and after a week or two at Herrington, Kans., flew across, going by way of Brazil and southern Europe to England.
For several weeks he has been attending a special school in England and has completed the course, as well as his 13th mission over Fortress Europe. Lee "has what it takes" and is keeping up the reputation of the Coldwater boys who have the spirit that wins wars and who knock into a cocked hat the Nazi's idea that they are Supermen. (SB)
The Western Star, August 18, 1944.
T. SGT. EDW. WALLER AWARDED BRONZE STAR.
Heroic Acts of Bravery Shown in St. Lo Sector.
The Western Star , September 8, 1944.
PROTECTION SOLDIER KILLED in FRANCE.
Pfc. Melvin Verl Park Died in Battle of Cherbourg.
The Western Star, September 9, 1944.
SGT. EDWARD WALLER WOUNDED IN FRANCE.
The Western Star, September 15, 1944.
SCHROCK BROTHERS UNITED AFTER 4 YEARS.
John Severely Wounded And Has Purple Heart Award.
The Western Star, September 15, 1944.
NOW A LADY MARINE
Miss Helen Sailor, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L. B. Sailor of Coldwater, left Kansas City the first of last week for Camp Le Jeune, New River, North carolina, to begin her boot training in the Women's Marine Corps. She enlisted in the Marines early last summer but could not enter the service sooner because of previous enlistment of thousands of other young women who, after their training, are relieving many Leathernecks for fighting on the war fronts.
Pvt. Sailor has a brother, Master Technical Sgt. Raymond Sailor, who was in the Southwest Pacific nearly two years before being returned to the States a few months ago. He is now on the west coast. (SB)
The Western Star, October 27, 1944.
LIEUT. VICTOR WILLARD BOMBS JAP ISLAND.
Coldwater Bombardier Receives C. O. Commendation.
The Western Star, October 27, 1944.
S. SGT. ELMER SCHULTZ WOUNDED SECOND TIME
Is In Hospital in France After Battles in Germany.
The Western Star , December 1, 1944.
LT. ROBT. CORKHILL SERIOUSLY WOUNDED.
Was in Moselle River Crossing in Northern France.
Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Arnold of Coldwater received a telegram from the War Department Thanksgiving morning stating that their son-in-law, First Lieutenant Robert K. Corkhill, husband of the former Ellen Mae Arnold had been seriously wounded in action in France on November 11.
Lieut. Corkhill has been with Gen. Patton's Third Army in the Metz and Saar Basin area where the fighting has been the most intense. He went into combat only about 11 days before he was wounded and was in the crossing of the Mozelle River in Northern France.
Lieut. Corkhill who is a son of Mr. and Mrs. R. K. Corkhill of Topeka, was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Field Artillery and went overseas last August. His wife is now employed in Washington, D. C. by a prominent law firm..(SB)
The Western Star, December 8, 1944:
LT. DONALD E. WRIGHT STILL MISSING IN ACTION.
His Plane Shot Down in Tarawa Battle December 15, 1943;
a Brother Sgt. Earle Wright, at El Paso, After 30 Months Overseas.
The Western Star , December 12, 1944.
CLAYTON ZIMMERMAN DIES A JAP PRISONER
Former Comanche County Soldier Captured on Corregidor
Mrs. Fenton Zimmermen of Rocky Ford, Colo., a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chas. R. Jackson, now both deceased, visited in this county recently. While in the Star office, she revealed that Robert Clayton Zimmermen, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Zimmerson, had been officially declared dead by the War Department, after having been a prisoner of the Japanese since the fall of Corregidor in the Philippines.
Clayton was born in Freedom, Okla., and lived in this county most of the time until he was 10 years of age, at which time his parents and children moved to Rocky Ford, Colo. He enlisted in the Army March 4, 1941, at Denver, Colo., at the age of 24 and landed at Manila in the Philippine Islands 48 days later.
His parents never saw him again. He continued to serve with the U. S. infantry in the Philippines until the fall of Corregidor in May, 1942, at which time he became a prisoner of the Japs and was listed as missing. The last letter received from him by Mr. and Mrs. Zimmerman was dated November 15, 1941. Information received indirectly by the parents led them to believe that Clayton was sick in a Japanese hospital in August, 1942, and that his limbs were swollen due to the dreaded disease, Beri Beri, caused by malnutrition.
Clayton was still carried by the War Department in 1943 as missing , but in July, 1944, Mr. and Mrs. Zimmerman received word from the War Department that they had information which led them to believe that he was no longer alive, and he was, accordingly, officially declared dead. Pvt. Zimmerman would have been 29 years of age, had he lived until next June.
He is survived by his parents and five sisters, Mrs. Lorene Stephenson of Chico, Calif., Mrs. Mary Spurlock of Alvarado, Calif., Mrs. Ruth Edgecomb of Altural, Calif., and Wynette, of the home, also, by two brothers, Marion of Rocky Ford, Colo., and Dave, of the home. Robert S. Jackson of Coldwater is an uncle of the deceased soldier. The heartfelt sympathy of the entire county goes out to the sorrowing relatives.(SB)
The Western Star , January 19, 1945.
PFC. BLAINE BRADLEY KILLED IN ACTION.
The latter part of last week Mrs. Ida B. Hadley of Coldwater received word that her grandson, Pfc. Blaine Hadley had been killed in action in Italy on December 13. He was reported missing in action two weeks previous to the final word from the War Department.
Pfc. Hadley was the second son of Mr. and Mrs. Floy S. Hadley of Garden City, Kans. He enlisted in the army in 1943 after graduating from the Garden City High School and was a paratrooper before being transferred to the infantry. Pfc. Hadley had been overseas six or eight months and was 20 years of age at the time of his death.
He is survived by his parents, Floy Hadley and the former Gladys Vermillion of Coldwater, and by two brothers, Allen, a bomber pilot in the European Theater of War, and Bryon, of the home; also one sister, Ruth, of Garden City, besides a number of other relatives. (SB)
The Western Star, January 19, 1945.
SECOND SON OF MR. AND MRS. VON SCHRILTZ MISSING
Word was received here recently that Capt. Dick Von Schriltz, a nephew of Mrs. Ethel M. Bosley of Coldwater and son of Mr. and Mrs. Guy W. Von Schriltz of Pittsburg, Kansas, has been missing in action in Germany since December 3.
Dick was born in Coldwater and after graduating from the Pittsburg, Kansas, high school, attending college a while before receiving an appointment at West Point, graduating there from June 11, 1941. The following day he was united in marriage with Miss Anna Harr of Girard, Kansas. He continued to serve in the Army as an infantryman. He was in California at the time Sgt. Huckelbridge of this city was stationed in a camp there.
Capt. Von Schriltz was wounded in November and after a few weeks was sent back to active service. It is thought that he was missing in action soon thereafter. His wife and three year old son live with her parents near Pittsburg.
Mr. and Mrs. Guy Von Schriltz's only other son, Sam, a student flier at the Pittsburg Junior College shortly before the U. S. entered the war was killed in a plane crash near Pittsburg. (SB)
The Western Star, January 19, 1945
FORMER COLDWATER LAD ON DANGEROUS PATROL
Cpl. Wm. R. Canfield In Story In The Current Life Magazine
The January 15 issue of Life magazine carries in it an amazing story, extending over six pages of the publication, of "The Incredible Patrol" in which a half dozen Yank soldiers volunteered for a dangerous mission in order to get valuable military information. It was also hoped to capture a live German in order to secure other information. This handful of daring Americans spent 24 hours back of the German lines in Northern Holland, fired only two shots and came back, not with one but with 32 German prisoners.
One of the six GI Joes who asked to go on the dangerous mission was Cpl. William R (Junior) Canfield of Selman, Okla. he is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Canfield of Selman and a nephew of J. H. Canfield of Coldwater. He was born in this city in 1921. The family lived in this county until Junior was eight years old, when they moved to a farm 40 miles southwest of Coldwater, near Selman, Okla.
Young Canfield's father was in the heaviest fighting with the Germans in World War I and was seriously wounded in the Argonne Forest in Northern France. When he returned from the war he married Miss Laura Dunn, daughter of Harry Dunn. They have two children, the other son, Pvt.. Marion Lyle (Mickey) Canfield, now being on his way overseas as a gunner in the Army Air Corps.
Cpl. Canfield went overseas last March and like Bill Robbins of Coldwater, was one of the paratroopers who landed in France on D Day. Young Canfield wrote his parents that he went swimming in the English Channel July Fourth. He has been in Holland and recently visited Paris.
Cpl. Canfield was with a division which, when almost completely surrounded by Germans near Bastogne, was asked by the Nazis whether to surrender. To which Canfield's commanding General gave his now famous answer: "Nuts." The Krauts did not know what the Yanks meant.
But to go on with the story; The officer and five enlisted men in the single patrol, crossed the Lower Rhine River armed to the teeth with grenades, Tommy guns, sharp knives, pistols, maps, a radio set and with blackened faces, crossing the river in a rubber boat one dark night.
The Life reporter quoting the accounts of the various members of the patrol wrote:
Cpl. William R. Canfield of Selman, Okla., now interrupted the story and told of hearing someone blowing his nose. Moving left he saw a group of Jerries stopped for a minute. He wanted to capture them then, but his officer said not to. The patrol ate carrots pulled from a field, found gun emplacements and a Jerry motor pool. Coming to another house, Canfield and another soldier climbed into the structure through a window and in a few minutes gave the "All clear" signal, but the Yanks went on down the road to find another objective.
Going into another house the Yanks found several Germans asleep. They were awakened and taken prisoner and as other Germans came to the house the number of prisoners was increased.
Finally there were so many prisoners the Yanks needed a truck. Before long they took prisoner a truck driver with his truck and 15 SS soldiers. A tall SS officer drove into the yard and Canfield was off the truck in an instant and brought the officer inside the commandeered five ton truck.
The truck driver stalled around and at times folded his arms and said "Hab ich eine Wur!" (Am I mad!) and he refused to drive. But a gun muzzle in his ribs changed his mind. When the truck finally stalled the Captain bolted and ran into the woods. An American soldier went after him, calling the German officer the only two German words he knew and kicking him in the seat of his pants with every shout as he brought the meek Captain back.
The Germans were marched through German captured villages, getting by with sheer "brass" and all were eventually brought to the American lines.
A picture of Canfield, second from the left is published by Life, along with the well written article. Read it as well as many other informative stories and pictures in the excellent publication. (SB)
(Note: William R. Canfield is NOT listed on the
Heritage Park Memorial.
The Western Star, January 19, 1945.
PFC. WARREN L. PETTY KILLED IN GERMANY
Popular Protection Youth Reported Missing, Then Killed.
The Western Star , January 19, 1945.
PVT. LEWIS HOPKINS WOUNDED IN ITALY
Is in Hospital With One Leg in a Plaster Cast.
Mrs. Lewis G. Hopkins of Protection received word last Saturday from the War Department that her husband, Pvt. Lewis A. Hopkins, had been seriously wounded in Italy on December 29. On Sunday she received a letter from Lewis stating that he was in a hospital with one leg in a cast.
He was close to a shell when it exploded and shrapnel was embedded in one leg both above and below the knee. He is improving slowly and will recover all right, he thinks. He also has a disfigured nose but is thankful to be alive.
Pvt. Hopkins entered Army service April 1, 1944, and has been overseas several months. He will be 38 years of age next March and he and his wife, the former Mae Bachman of Protection, have four sons. Lewis is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Hopkins of Protection.
Last Sunday Mrs. Hopkins received the following letter from her husband, written January 2. Because of Pvt. Hopkin's frankness and his bravery in facing the facts, we print his letter to his wife and his many friends in this county:
"As I haven't written in several days, will drop you a few lines today. I am O. K., not quite as well as usual but considering everything, I am perfect.
By now I know you have heard I was hit so will try to explain somewhat. A shell exploded and I happened to be too close. I got one piece below my right knee, one above the same knee and one in my left ankle, also one in the center of my nose.
I have always spared you as much as possible, but today I wrote the facts so you would not worry too much. I have no broken bones but have a cast on my right leg. I am somewhere in Italy and will be here for some time.
Don't worry about me too much as I am getting along pretty well, plenty of food, best of care and medicine and shots every three hours.
I'll write you a long letter tomorrow, just wanted you to know I am O.K.
Tell everyone Hello and a Happy New Year. As Ever, Lewis." (SB)
The Western Star, January 26, 1945.
T. SGT. WILBUR R. LYTLE HAS SILVER STAR AWARD.
Kills Several Germans And Captures Seven Alone.
The Western Star, February 9, 1945.
PVT. BILL ROBBINS, NAZI PRISONER, WRITES.
Card Received Last Saturday In His Own Handwriting.
The Western Star, March 2, 1945.
COLDWATER MAN FREED FROM JAP PRISON
Coulson Bogue Interned at Santo Tomas Over Three Years.
The past week has been an extremely happy one for Mr. and Mrs. George Hearldson of Coldwater. Last Saturday morning they received the following telegram telling of the release from the Santa Tomas Japanese Prison Camp in Manila, Philippine Islands, of Mrs. Hearldson's son, Coulson Bogue:
Washington, D. C. -- Mr. and Mrs. George Hearldson, Coldwater, Kansas. Am pleased to inform you that information received indicates the rescue by our forces of your son, Coluson Oscar Bogue. Physical condition, good. Formerly interned at Santo Tomas. You may send free through American Prisoner of War Information Bureau this office one only 25 word message. Lerch, Provost Marshal General. Coulson's name was included in a list of eight other Kansans announced by the Associated Press Monday. Others were Lee R. Blassing of Lyons, Posenda Martha Cook of Kansas City, Sonia M. Francisco of Wichita, Elbert Ewing Russell of Emporia, Kester Wuthrich of Whitewater, Mrs. Marian Dryer Newson of Wichita and Jane B. Wick of Abilene.
Mr. Bogue, who is 38 years of age, grew to manhood in Coldwater and attended the Coldwater schools. In 1926 or 1927 he joined the Coast Guard and spent six years in the Philippines in that branch of the service. After his discharge he remained in Manila and was employed at the Cavite Naval base as a civilian, his job being that of seeing that a full stock of necessary parts was kept on hand.
In the fall of 1941, about three months before the Pearl Harbor attack, Coulson wrote his mother that it looked like they were going to have trouble with the Japs, and he sent his wife and two children to be with her parents. Then he wrote that it had "all blown over." But, he added "you can't tell at all about the Japs, they will do you dirt to your back while being nice to your face."
He was in Manila when it was first bombed by the Nips on December 9, 1941, two days after the Pearl Harbor attack, and he became a prisoner when the Japs took Manila January 2, 1942.
Following an inquiry by his mother about Coulson, the U. S. Provost Marshal wrote that they didn't have his name as a prisoner of war. However, about two months later the War Department informed Mrs. Hearldson that they had received a cablegram from the Japanese government with its list of prisoners at Santo Tomas and Coulson was one of them. A dentist from west coast, who had been repatriated from the Jap prison camp several months ago, had remembered seeing Coulson's name on the list of prisoners, but no direct word from her son had come to Mrs. Hearldson for nearly 40 months. So, she now has good reason for rejoicing.
However, no word has yet come concerning Pfc. Bill Finney, son of Mrs. Ida Finney of Coldwater. He was with the Coast Artillery on Bataan when it fell April 9, 1942, at which time 26,000American soldiers were taken prisoners by the Japs.
It is now thought by some that Bill, along with the most physically fit soldiers, was taken to Formosa or Japan, thus they have not been released. (SB)
The Western Star, March 2, 1945.
VICTOR ROBBINS WOUNDED
Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Robbins received word recently that their son, Cpl. Victor Robbins, who has been in the South Pacific 28 months, has been wounded in action on Luzon Island in the Philippines. He wrote there was a nice bunch of fellows taking care of him and not to worry.
His brother, Sgt. Virgil Robbins, who had been in a hospital in Italy with yellow jaundice for two months, is now getting along O.K. and is back in service. He says the weather there is better than it was a year ago. He is in the Fifth Army.
The men's other brother in the Army, Cpl. Ernest Robbins, recently went by train, plane and ship to India from Romulus, Mich. He was 60 days on a boat. He says the war news in India now looks good. (SB)
The Western Star, March 2, 1945.
LIEUT. HARRY LITTLE STILL ALIVE IN GERMANY
After Five Months of Silence, Writes He Is Prisoner.
The Western Star, March 8, 1945.
Frances Parker Finds Coldwater Soldier Wounded
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 Western Star, March 16, 1945.
PVT. JUDE GOODALE WOUNDED in GERMANY.
Is Back in England in A Hospital Recovering O. K.
Pvt. Jude Goodale, son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Goodale of Coldwater, wrote a letter on March 4 from a hospital in England stating he had been hit in the lower left leg and that a bullet had gone about half way through.
"Doc had quite a time getting it out, but I have it and will send it home," he writes. He says that he is getting the best of treatment, the best since he left civilian life.
Pvt. Goodale wrote on February 4 that he was in Belgium and less than a month later he was wounded. He entered army service last fall.
After they had received three letters from Jude telling of his injury, Mr. and Mrs. Goodale received a telegram on Thursday from the War Department stating their son had been seriously wounded in Germany on February 27. It is thought that he took part in the bridge crossing of the Rhine River. (SB)
The Western Star , March 23, 1945.
Sgt. Marion I. Canfield Killed In A Plane Crash
The Western Star, April 6, 1945.
NEWS OF OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM
Lester Blackard is now stationed at Camp Maxey, Texas, where he is in infantry training.
Pvt. Billy Stephens of Beaver, Okla., and who is stationed at Fort Riley, visited last Sunday with his uncle. R. W. McIntyre.
Pvt. Myron Herd, who has been home on furlough visiting with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lennis Herd, has been sent to Fort Ord, Calif., and expects to see service in the Pacific.
SSgt. Delmar M. Horner of Protection was recently awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in Germany on March 4. He is still in a hospital in England.
Pvt. Theodore Baessler, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Baessler of Coldwater, landed on March 23 at Gold Coast, Africa and is on guard duty there as an M. P. Ted's wife, whose home is in San Antonio, Texas is making her home in this city.
Cpl. Eugene Meadows, who has been in training at Camp Gordon, Ga., arrived in France last month. He is with an infantry replacement company. His brother, Pvt. Kenneth Meadows, is stationed at Turlock, Calif.
S1c and Mrs. Harold Veatch arrived in Coldwater Monday on a 15 day visit with Mr. and Mrs. Walter W. Ferrin and other relatives. Harold has been on a net tender stationed at San Francisco since last November.
Pvt. Charles Kopke, who had graduated from another technical school at Chanute Field, Fla., left on Tuesday for the Boca Raton, Fla., Army Field for five weeks more of special schooling. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Kopke of Coldwater.
Dean Hopkins of Protection, who went to Fort Leavenworth on March 8, asked not to be sent home for a later call as he was ready to go into service then. He was sent to Camp Wolters, Texas, where he is in the I. R. T. C. His wife and son plan to continue living in Protection for the duration.
A family dinner was held at the Homer Clifford home in this city last Sunday in honor of Homer's nephew, Pvt. Albert Ellis, and wife of Trousdale, Kans. Other guests were L. J. Clifford of this city and his daughter, Miss Thelma Clifford of Wichita. Pvt. Ellis was wounded last November overseas and has been convalescing at Camp Carson, Colo. He arrived in the States March 1.
Word was received last week that Lieut. Don McInteer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lester McInteer of Minneola and a nephew of Mrs. B. E. Sweeney, Mrs. Ephriam Robbins and Walter and John Thompson of the Coldwater community was missing in action in the South Pacific. Don enlisted in the Navy for pilot training in February, 1940, and had been overseas only a few months before being forced down. He is a graduate of the Dodge City Junior College and one summer worked at the court house in Coldwater drawing maps, etc., for pond projects. His wife and their twin sons, now eight or nine months old, live in Pennsylvania. (SB)
The Western Star, April 6, 1945.
S. SGT. ELMER SCHULTZ WOUNDED THREE TIMES
Is Home on a 30 Day Convalescent Furlough
The Western Star , April 13, 1945.
S. SGT. LEE HECHT IS MISSING in ACTION
Was on His 25th Mission When His Plane Was Downed.
The Western Star, May 11, 1945.
T4 ROBERT L. HOUGH KILLED IN PHILIPPINES
Had Never Had a Furlough Home In 29 Months of Service.
The Western Star , May 22, 1945.
IS LIBERATED FROM GERMAN PRISON CAMP
Pvt. William Robbins a Prisoner Since June 6, 1944.
The Western Star, May 25, 1945.
LIEUT. H. R. BURNETTE AWARDED GOLD STAR
Has Been Missing in Action Since August 4, 1944.
The Western Star, May 25, 1945
PFC. WM. H. FINNEY LIBERATED FROM JAPS.
Was In Corregidor When It Fell Three Years Ago.
The Western Star , June 6, 1945.
Pvt. Bill Robbins Is Back In The U.S.
The Western Star , June 22, 1945.
PVT. BILL ROBBINS INTERNEE, NOW HOME.
Coldwater Paratrooper Had Been Missing Since D Day.
The Western Star, June 29, 1945.
PFC. WM. H. FINNEY DIES ABOARD JAP SHIP
Was Being Taken From Manila When U. S. Sub Sinks Ship.
The Western Star, September 21, 1945
POSTHUMOUS AWARD TO LIEUTENANT CASTEEL
Protection Officer Died In Action August 12, 1944.
The Western Star, September 28, 1945.
PFC. AUGUST METZGER IN THREE CAMPAIGNS
Has Ear Drums Ruptured and Arm and Hand Shattered
The Western Star, October 12, 1945.
PFC. JOHN HECHT HOME FROM THE ETO.
Went Through Much of The Worst Fighting Against Nazis.
Pfc. John Hecht, son of Reuben Hecht of Coldwater, received his honorable discharge from the Army September 26, after three years and three months service. He was inducted June 7, 1942, and was sent to Camp Roberts, Calif., for three months of field artillery training. From there he was transferred to Camp Hood, Tex., for tank destroyer training.
His unit was sent overseas on January 1, 1943, and he worked with the 1st Armored Division at Casablanca, Kaserine Pass and Biserte. At the end of the African campaign the men received three months of amphibious training, preparing for the invasion of Italy. In September they landed at Salerno Beach on an LCT.
The first seven days of that invasion were the roughest he encountered, John states. From there they went on to Naples, up the Volturno River and to Cassino, spending three months with the 34th Division. The tank destroyers of the 776th still working, with the infantry, joined the 85th, going through Rome, up the Anno River, through Florence and Naples, in all, spending about a year in the Italian campaign.
John says he visited the Vatican and the Pope in Rome and went through the Catacombs, and he saw the Coliseum and other ancient buildings and monuments. They had very interesting tours planned for the soldiers, showing them the points of interest. The Catacombs, he relates, were the scene of many of the German mass murders.
With the 44th Division, the tank men went into Marseilles, France, in September 1944. They spent the winter at Bitche, France, in defensive positions. The men were quartered in French homes, which also housed the family livestock on either the first floor or the "next room," as the barns were often built right on the side of the house.
With a little imagination you of a French home with the odors can conjure up the atmosphere of cooking blended with aroma of livestock! The farms were small and nearly all cultivated by hand or by using cattle or horses to pull plows. Grain was harvested by scythe. Can you imagine the Kansas wheat farmer using such methods?
In March, 1945, the 44th was sent against the Seigfreid line. After two weeks they crossed the Rhine at Worms, went on to Monhelm and north to Frankfort on Maine. Then they turned south with the 6th Corps in General Patch's 7th Army drive, going through Stuttgart and the Sarr River region. On May 2, 1945, the 19th German Army surrendered. John was at Brenner Pass in Austria when the European War ended.
Pfc. Hecht spent about three months in Ensbrook, Austria, living in luxury in a resort hotel, with two men to a room, private bath and maid service. Quite a change for these hard fighting soldiers. Some men got passes to go to England, France or Italy. John vacationed awhile at Nancy, France.
The men were demobilized into various divisions, John being sent to Munich with the 14th Army on August 1. From Marseilles, Frances, John set sail for the U. S. on September 7 on the new Navy transport, General Breckenridge. After an eight day voyage, they arrived at Norfolk, Va., and then were sent to various separation centers. John received his long anticipated discharge at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, on September 26, 1945.
Civilian life looks good to him, but it is changed in the last three years, he says. Like most veterans, his plans are not yet made and he is just "looking around" for a job with a future. (SB)
The Western Star, October 12, 1945.
T 4 HARVEY L. MYERS RECEIVES CITATION
Arrives Home with Discharge Tuesday: In Army 5 Years.
Harvey L. Myers, son of Mrs. Ethel Bosley of Coldwater, has received the following citation for the Bronze Star: (from Headquarters, 35th Infantry Division 13 May, 1945).
"To Technician Fourth Grade Harvey L. Myers, Company D, 137th Infantry, for heroic service in connection with military operations against an enemy of the United States in the vicinity of Buer-Erie, Germany on April 1, 1945, when two ammunition laden vehicles were set ablaze by enemy shellfire. Sergeant Myers, despite the imminent danger of exploding ammunition voluntarily aided in moving the burning vehicle into the open where the flames were extinguished. Sergeant Myers initiative, courage and disregard for personal safety prevented destruction of vital material and possible loss of life to members of his organization."
Harvey enlisted in October, 1940 and entered active service the following month. He was sent overseas May 12, 1944, and served in the quartermaster corps in charge of motors and supplies, and also drove the large army trucks. He has received the infantry combat medal and five battle stars. Sgt. Myers arrived home Tuesday of this week after having received his discharge from the Army after five years in the service. He has an excellent record as a soldier. (SB)
The Western Star, December 7, 1945.
LIEUT. VIRGIL NEWBY BACK FROM JAP PRISON
Was Shot Down Near Tokyo Then Beaten And Starved.
First Lieut. Virgil DeLair Newby, his wife and baby and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. V. Newby, who live near Wichita, recently spent a day at the home of Lieut. Newby's grandparents. Mr. and Mrs. S. A. DeLair, who live southeast of Coldwater.
Virgil related his experience of being shot down over Japan and spending 58 days as a Japanese prisoner. He had been an instructor in aviation for two years at Fort Myers in Florida. When assigned to combat duty in the Pacific Theater of War. He left the States on June 17, 1945, eight days later landing in Honolulu flying by plane to Tojimi, a small island 375 miles from Tokyo.
On July 8 he was one of 150 P-51 Mustangs that took off for an air base 20 miles northwest of Tokyo, each carrying 1,800 50 mm shells with instructions to destroy all airplanes on the ground and all small vessels of any character. This was intended as a surprise, and was, as there was no opposition in the air by the Japs.
This was Virgil's first combat mission and he was very much enthused about it. When his turn came, he went in at about 400 miles per hour strafing everything in sight.
He gave them all he had, then as he started to ascend he flew right in the line of fire of the anti aircraft guns of the Japanese. He felt his ship shudder as it received a fatal blow. Lieut. Newby tried to gain altitude as fast as he possible, intending to fly over the mountain nearby and land in the water, but suddenly his engine died and flames burst out. He realized he would have to bail out at once. At his first attempt one pant leg caught and he had to crawl back and get loose. By that time his clothes were smoking. During his second attempt some part of the ship struck him in the breast, inflicting a wound which would have been fatal had it been six inches higher. His parachute worked perfectly. All he could see while going down was the darkness below and his burning plane which he watched until it crashed to earth.
As he neared the earth he made out some Japs waiting to receive him, and strange as may seem, he was close to his burning plane. He landed in a field where a group of Japs were working. They seized him and began taking his valuables, his watch and trinkets, which were passed around for inspection.
All of his clothes except his shoes were then taken off and a Jap struck him over the head with a club, knocking him to his knees. Then each of the others took a whack at him on his body and legs. Just then a policeman came shouting at the top of his voice. They then let him alone. The policeman beckoned for him to follow and he took him to a precinct jail.
Virgil was so depressed he was oblivious to injury, insults, or pain, and was frantic with thirst, he motioned to the guard what he desired, which the guard readily understood, but he only laughed.
In about one hour and a half a military officer arrived and Virgil's shorts were returned to him. He was blindfolded, handcuffed and lead to headquarters for questioning. Being so recently from the U. S. they had many questions to ask him. He again made known his wishes for water to the military guard who quickly departed and returned, placing a bowl of weak tea in his hands, also bringing a basin of water and a rag, washing the blood from his head and face and pouring antiseptic on the wound on his head.
All this was a great relief as the flies were about to make him crazy not being able to use his handcuffed hands.
To his surprise his questioners spoke better English than he could, each having graduated from some college in the U. S. A. He answered all questions truthfully, which later he found out was a mistake. When he was returned to jail he was put in a cell with a Japanese who had talked too much about military rule. This Jap fought in World War I with the Allies against Germany. He told Virgil if questioned to answer them the way they wanted to be answered. "In other words," he said, "if you tell them the truth they will think you are lying and hate you for it. If you lie to them, they think you are telling the truth and like you."
Later Lieut. Newby was given some clothes, tightly bound with rope, was blind folded, and put in a truck and headed for a military prison 20 miles from Tokyo. Here he was put in a cell five by nine feet, which was the size of all cells in that prison. Each cell was filled with six people. At one end of each cell there was quite an "elaborate" arrangement consisting of a hole in the floor with a removable receptacle placed underneath.
Of course the whole camp was afflicted with dysentery and Virgil soon contacted the disease, losing weight and color rapidly. Their diet consisted of cooked maize with about half the hulls removed. This was made up in balls resembling our popcorn balls. Later Virgil found out the maize was just the crooked neck maize like we raise in Kansas. They also received a small bowl of soup. He never knew what it was made of as there was never any substance in it, but it had a slight flavor of turnips. The prisoners three times a week were also given dried fish heads which he could never eat because when he started to bite them, their large bleary eyes were looking right at him, he said.
On this diet they merely got enough to subsist on; never did they have enough to satisfy their hunger. Their bed was the floor with one blanket. The prison was literally alive with all sorts of vermin, to add to their discomfort.
After August 15, some Americans passed the camp and yelled, "Well, boys, the show is over!" but the interned Yanks didn't know what that meant. However new guards were put over them and they did everything to please the prisoners, even to giving them more food. Lights were left on all night and an entirely different attitude was seen.
To summarize, here is what Virgil learned about the Japs: The average Jap has been dictated to for so long that he has no initiative, self reliance or independence. He never enters the house with his shoes on and when they desire a partition they hang a woven grass mat to the ceiling. They carry small babies on their backs and every child up to seven or eight years of age in warm weather only wears a shirt, which comes down to the middle of their stomach. The women have the sweetest sounding laugh he ever heard. The only sound he could compare it to was swiftly running water over pebbles.
On August 29 the American prisoners were delivered by the Navy and were taken out, fumigated and given clothes. When on ship they were asked what they wanted to eat and they all yelled, "Ham and eggs," which they got. Virgil said he never saw so much ham at one time and they all made themselves sick.
Yes, Virgil considers himself lucky for he was one of three pilots shot down in a raid near Tokyo who lived to tell the tale. Lieut. Newby, who is home on a 90 day terminal leave, will report at Miami, Fla., in January and hopes to receive a discharge at that time. He will have been in the Army four years this month. He landed in San Francisco on October 2.
He is now getting acquainted with his baby, born December 7 (sic) while he was in the prison camp. (SB)
The Western Star, December 14, 1945: A Correction
In concluding our account of Lieut. Virgil Newby in last week's Star. We were in error in two instances. Lieut. Newby's mother was formerly Miss Myrtle DeLair, and his baby was born December 17, while he was in a Jap prison camp. We are pleased to make the correction. (SB)
"The Letter Box", The Western Star, December 7, 1945.
FROM Y1c JACK BARNES
Yeoman First Class Barnes, son of Mr. and Mrs. Nat Barnes who live southwest of Coldwater, has been on duty in the Philippines with the Amphibious Group Fourteen, United States Pacific Fleet since going to sea August, 1944.
He writes very interestingly of his observations on Corregidor and Battaan, as follows:
On Friday I went with a party from our ship to spend the day at Corregidor. We arose early and were given a pretty good breakfast, that is for a shipboard breakfast it was pretty good. We had tomato juice, pancakes and bacon. I suppose they gave us such an ample breakfast because we were able to take anything with us for lunch except 2 sandwiches a piece.
At seven a.m. we left the ship in small boats, rode out about 100 yards and transferred to two small ships, submarine chasers. They are sea-going ships, but very small and were used during the war to hunt down enemy submarines.
Our trip to the island of Corregidor was very pleasant. The sun was barely up at that time of the morning, and the air was nice and cool and fresh. I stayed up near the bow and the cool breeze was very exhilarating. It was quite a relief from the hot, sticky atmosphere we usually have. It seemed almost like the spring mornings back home. After enjoying the scenery for a time, I lay down on the deck and took a nap. It took us about 2 hours to make the trip. Corregidor is a pretty small place and lies near the entrance to Manila Bay, just off the tip of Bataan peninsula. It looked to me like it was practically all rock, and yet the greater part of the island is covered with small trees and green vegetation. I guess at one time it was quite an impressive military stronghold, but it was really hit hard by Japs and by our own forces, and the only structures they have there now have been salvaged from the ruins, or are tents and temporary huts placed there in the last three months.
The beach near the pier at which we docked is very nice for bathing. It is pure sandy gravel, and the water is almost crystal clear. Most all of us went swimming after lunch, and the water is quite a bit warmer than at San Diego. I enjoyed the swim a lot and stayed in about an hour. I knew the sun was awfully hot, but didn't realize just how hot it really was until later in the evening when my legs and back began to burn. I was glad that I didn't stay longer than I did.
First of all, after reaching the island, we took a walk through the tunnels. We entered first the Wainwright tunnel which is the largest and the one which they started cleaning out first. There is a Jap P. O. W. camp located near the entrance in which there are about 1100 Jap prisoners. The Army has one company of infantry there as guards. They have the Japs working at clearing the debris from the tunnels and burying the bodies which they find.
I talked with one of the soldiers for quite a while. His entire company had been in Europe, and had gone all the way from France to Berchteagaden. He had been through some pretty rough experiences, and it seemed to me that they had had a tough break in being sent to the Pacific and drawing that type of duty which they have. He seemed very cheerful about it, though, and felt they had been pretty lucky in getting a 30 day leave in the States on the way over.
The prisoners are working with shovels and wheelbarrows. They seem to work fairly fast, but they are small, and the guards say that three of them can't do as much work as one American. Two of them work on one wheelbarrow, one pushes from behind and one pulls from a rope tied on the front. The guard said that they very seldom have any trouble with them, and that then it is only because they are trying to loaf on the job. They are really being treated and fed better now than when they were in their own army and most all of them were glad when the war was over. They certainly have nothing of the look of the "conquerors of the world" about them, and how they ever aspired to such a fantastic notion is beyond me. We had to walk through them as we entered the tunnel. They all had shovels, picks, or sledges in their hands, and I felt a little bit funny as I passed them. However, they made no hostile move of any kind, but just stood by and watched us as we passed through. Of course there were armed guards near by.
The hill under which all the tunnels are built appears to be locate about in the center of the island and is only a few hundred yards from the water's edge. Just how many tunnels there are I am not sure, but there must be a dozen or perhaps more. It appeared that most all of them had been clogged up by the bombardment, and not all of them are cleared yet. The Wainwright tunnel is the largest and must be about 40 feet wide and 20 feet high. Although they seem almost impregnable from gunfire and bombing, I guess the explosions were so terrific that the vibration caused rock's to fall from the ceilings. Also, there were lots of shells, bombs, torpedoes, etc., stored on the inside, and I suppose were exploded by fire. Many of the shell cases, ammunition boxes, torpedo fins, etc., may still be seen among the litter on the floors of the tunnels.
Some of the tunnels connecting with Wainwright tunnel had not yet been cleared, and I imagine they contain many interesting things, but lack of light prevented us from exploring them. Also I have quite a desire to get home all in one piece, and consequently didn't feel very exploratory.
I guess we were fortunate in not seeing any corpses while we were there. The guard told me that two paratroopers had been dug out during the morning before we arrived. He also said that they recovered many Japs each day, and that the tunnels were filled with them when they first started clearing them out. I know that would not have been a very pleasant sight. I certainly do not envy the soldiers stationed there of their jobs. It seemed to me a pretty terrible scene of war's destruction, but it must be only a small fraction of the death and destruction wrought in Europe and Japan.
Well, after walking around in the heat and dust for awhile we went swimming, and the cool, clean water of the ocean was very refreshing. I would liked to have had a camera with which to make a permanent record of the appearance of Corregidor, but I think the things which I saw there will remain long in my memory.
The Western Star, December 7, 1945.
DODGE CITY SOLDIER KILLED IN KOREA
Mr. and Mrs. Claude Myers, formerly of Coldwater but now of Dodge City, received a telegram from the War Department December 4 stating that their son, Sgt. Charles Myers, was killed in Korea, November 23. The telegram stated that a letter would follow. No further information is now available.
Charles is a grandson of Mrs. John W. Bosley of Coldwater and a nephew of Mrs. Everett Chance of Wilmore. He graduated from Dodge City High School at the age of 17 and entered the Army when he was 18. He was 19 years of age November 6.
Sgt. Myers was a favorite of his family and his friends. The sorrowing relatives have the sympathy of all. (SB)
The Western Star, December 14, 1945.
PFC. WM. O. MURRAY IS A PARATROOPERPfc. Wm. O. Murray, son of Mrs. W. O. Murray of Colorado Springs, Colo., and a brother of Ernest Murray of Coldwater, is now in Japan with the Army of Occupation and, like every other GI wishes he were back home, as the Land of the Rising Sun has no charms for this native son of Kansas.
Only Man In His Section To Survive Manila Jump
Bill enlisted in the Army Specialized Training Program at Lawrence, Kansas, in July, 1943, and remained in the A. S. T. P. at K. U. until the program ended. He was then transferred to the infantry.
In the spring of 1944 Bill joined the paratroopers at Fort Benning, Ga., and was sent overseas in NOvember of that year, landing first at New Guinea. >From there he went to the Philippines and was with the first group which liberated our prisoners outside Manila. The paratroopers went in first, and of the men in his section, Pfc. Murray is the lone survivor, he found out when the Manila campaign was over.
Bill feels lucky to be alive. His regiment received the Presidential Citation, the highest honor that a unit can get.
He is now stationed about 40 miles from Tokyo and is living in some Jap officers' quarters. He says they are getting along fine, though they are none too popular with the Japanese people.
Pfc. Murray who was a graduate of Coldwater High School before enlisting in the Army, thinks a lot of the time about folks back home. he writes: "I have noticed that since the war has ended a lot of the guys aren't getting as much mail as they were. I don't need to tell you that I am getting restless. I guess since we aren't fighting any more I spend too much time thinking of home. If I ever get home I'm going to stay. I have a chance to make Tech. Sergeant and go to Europe for a year but would rather stay a private and come home." (SB)
(Note: William O. Murray's name is NOT listed on the
Heritage Park Memorial.
The Western Star, December 21, 1945.
BRONZE STAR AWARD GIVEN POSTHUMOUSLY
Presentation Made Sunday to Parents of T 4 Robt. L. Hough.
The Western Star, February 8, 1946.
SEAMAN ROSS BEELEY BARELY MISSES DEATH
Terrific Explosion of Ship Alongside Kills Many
Ross E. Beeley, S1c, who was a member of the LGT 1414 before it's being put out of commission January 2, 1946 in letters to his wife and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lynn Beeley of Coldwater, writes of a terrific explosion off Okinawa. We quote in part from letters, written soon after the explosion:
"I experienced the worst thing today that I have ever did in my life. I guess you heard of the explosion here at Okinawa. Our ship went up with it. We were right along side the one that blew up. Here's the story.
First, I'm all right. Hardly got a scratch, so don't worry.
We had pulled into the beach for New Year's. There were four LCT's and three LST"s. The one right next to us was loaded with 500 and 700 pound bombs.
As the shells started exploding the order was given to abandon ship and all but the skipper and my buddy left. We were just getting ready to retract from the beach when this ship right beside us started smoking. The skipper ran over and started throwing water on the fire. It hadn't been smoking very long when it all went up at once. It blowed the one beside me into half and almost cleared our deck. The skipper and the best kid I ever knew was on our ship when it blew. I saw the kid afterward and there was an engine on top of him and he was completely burned.
I was walking about 25 yards from where it blew, it knocked me down. I got up and started running. I could see everything flying around me. I got down behind a pile of wire until things stopped flying, then I got up and started running again. I looked beside me and there was our cook with his head bleeding. I got the blood stopped by taking off my T shirt and using it.
They got me to try to identify some of the bodies. One big anchor was found 200 yards from the explosion. I haven't one thing left. I don't even have on a shirt. I have only a pair of shoes and a pair of pants. I am just thankful I am here today, but my buddy isn't. The good Lord just had his hands on me, that's all. Never stop praying for this fellow.
This all happened about 4 o'clock this afternoon. We are staying at a Seabee camp tonight. I hope they send us home, but that is a slim chance. We have no ship to go back to, that's sure.
There was a mass funeral and we carried our own dead. They were buried nine at a time. I don't know when the rest will be buried.
I have now been reassigned to LCT 1266, temporarily.
The Western Star, February 15, 1946
LT. DONALD E. WRIGHT NOW DECLARED DEAD
Was Last Seen Alive December 17, 1943, as Japanese Prisoner.
The Western Star, March 29, 1946.
SILVER STAR AWARD TO LORIN D. BLISS
Extreme Bravery in Taking Strong Fortification Recognized.
The Western Star, May 10, 1946.
S. SGT. LEE H. HECHT NOW DECLARED DEAD
Was on 25th Mission Over Nazis When Downed.
The Western Star, September 20, 1946.
IVAN KESSEE, BM1c BROUGHT BACK IN CAST.
Will Need To Undergo Two Serious Operations.
The Western Star, September 20, 1946
STILL SUFFERING FROM SERIOUS WOUND
Pfc. Carl H. Schenk in Hospital With Total Disability
The Western Star , April 18, 1947.
IVAN KEESEE HAS SERIOUS BACK INJURY.
The Western Star , June 27, 1947.
Lieut. Gerald Lott Awarded Air Medal: Was Fighter Pilot in Pacific on Two Carriers
The Western Star, December 17, 1948.
BODY RETURNED TO U.S.
The body of Cpl. Charles Myers, son of Mr. and Mrs. Claude Myers of Dodge City, former Coldwater residents, was returned to that city the middle of this week and final rites will be read at a service in the First Methodist church in Dodge City Saturday afternoon of this week at 2:30 o'clock. The military service will be in charge of the Dodge City American Legion post. Burial will be in the Dodge City cemetery.
Cpl. Myers met an accidental death while in the U. S. Army in Korea November 27, 1946. He is a grandson of Mrs. Ethel M. Bosley of Coldwater who, with Mr. Bosley, will attend the services Saturday.
The bereaved relatives have the sincere sympathy of all in the untimely death of a fine young man.
SEND TEN SHOTGUNS
The Coldwater American Legion on Wednesday sent to the government ten shotguns which had been brought in to County Clerk Walter W. Ferrin. Those who have brought in shotguns to help give important training to the men in service are: A.E. Barlow, B.J. Herd, W.S. Lytle, Arthur Goodale, Ralph R. Gray, Wilma Lewis, Dorothy Ezell, B.H. Hewitt and Oscar Taylor of Coldwater and Eli S. Harbaugh of Protection.
If you have not turned in your unused shotgun, you will be helping your county to do so at once.
-- Undated clipping from a Comanche County, Ks, newspaper from Ollie Hackney's Clipping Collection.
250 PAIRS OF SILK STOCKINGS FOR WAR
When Uncle Sam asked women to turn in old silk stockings to the government for use in making powder bags for big guns, he hit the jackpot at the Godfrey J. Isenbart home in Wilmore, Kas. Mrs. Isenbart is shown here with 250 pairs of silk hose which she and a daughter, Miss Margaret Isenbart contributed. Mrs. Isenbart and her daughter, who is now a home demonstration agent in Schuyler County, Missouri, had been saving their silk hose for years. The stockings shown in the bundles held by Mrs. Isenbart weighed twenty-six pounds.
The Isenbarts are farmers at Wilmore, which is in Comanche County.
-- Undated clipping from a Comanche County, Ks, newspaper.
Ollie Hackney's Clipping Collection.
Coldwater Men Now High Ranking Officers
Donald Holcomb is Captain And Urven White a Major
Donald G. Holcomb, who since June 15, 1942, had been a First Lieutenant in the army corps' bomber camp hospital at Fresno, California, as an all-surgery doctor, was promoted to the rank of Captain in the Medical Corps on February 28, 1943.
Captain Holcomb, who is a son of Mrs. Maud Holcomb of Coldwater, has had a most interesting climb up the ladder of his chosen profession. He is a son of Dr. F. L. Holcomb od Coldwater, who passed away in January, 1937.
After graduating from Coldwater High School in 1930, Donald attended Kansas University, graduating from the KU School of Medicene in 1938. His internship was in the Santa Barbara General Hospital. He then became the residency physician and remained in that capacity until the summer of 1940. He was awarded a fellowship at the Kansas University School of Medicene, his alma mater, and there lectured and did research work for a year.
In 1942 he accepted a residency in Cottage Hospital, Santa Barbara, California, and there continued his surgical and medical practice until he entered the army. According to the Fresno Air Base newspaper, Captain Holcomb has had an unusually high percentage of success in his surgical practice in the camp hospital. A 1500-bed addition to the hospital will soon be completed. Captain Holcomb is married and has one child, Donald Jr., age 11 months. Donald has earned his laurels the hard way and the folks in the old home town are mighty proud of him.
-- Undated clipping from a Comanche County, Ks, newspaper. Ollie Hackney's Clipping Collection.
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