World War 2
World War II
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1942 - Blackout Monday Night

One long blast of the fire whistle just before 10 o'clock will announce the beginning of the blackout.  ALL LIGHTS MUST BE OUT BY 10 O'CLOCK.

This includes house and store lights, automobiles, flashlights, cigars and cigarettes - all lights.  At 10:20 o'clock, several short blasts will announce the end of the blackout.

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The blackout set for Monday, December 14, is planned for 10 to 10:20 PM central war time.  The county civilian defense committee will soon issue definite plans and arrangements for Hamilton county.  The statistical and record division of the department of public safety, however, has issued instructions of what to do if driving a car when the air raid alarm sounds.

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Says the department of public safety in a bulletin received by Sheriff E. R. Lear; "During the period of an air raid alarm (actual or drill) either in daytime or nighttime, all vehicles other than emergency (such as fire, police, state police, sheriff's, highway patrol, utilities, ambulances, staff cars and the U.S. Army) must stop and pull to the curb, putting out all car lights.  Passengers may remain in their cars unless in downtown area where shelters are available.  Drivers and passengers must not smoke during such time.  Until such time as blackout driving lenses can be provided, it is necessary to impose during test blackouts certain restrictions such as speed limit of not to exceed 15 miles per hour, vehicles being operated either with parking...."

(from "The Ellsworth News" December 14, 1942)

1942 - Kenneth P. Appelgate

Kenneth Appelgate

College Station, Texas

Dear Joy (editor of the Ellsworth News);

Although I don't know you real well, and you probably know less about me, I feel that I should write to you and put in a word about the Marines, or rather, represent them.

You have had lots of letters in your paper from the Army, Navy, and cadets, but none from a Marine as far as I've noticed, and very few copies I miss or very few articles I miss reading.  So will put in my two cents worth (or however much the Marines are worth.)

I've been in the Marines since last April, and still receiving specialized training.  I've been here at A & M since the first of August taking up a course in communications as a radio operator.  I am practically through here; in fact, just two and a half days left, as I am through on Dec. 24.

I'm anxious to put to use what I've learned here, which has been a great deal.  I'll never be the same to my old friends as I was before I came, as one has to be "wacky" or "crazy" to master the code at a reasonably fast speed - which is what I have done!

Texas is a nice state (although I think we should get paid for foreign duty), but it doesn't have much that good old Iowa doesn't have.

In fact, I think it has less, 'cause they don't have snow at Christmas, which is quite necessary in my opinion.  Instead, they have the custom of shooting fire crackers, which in turn, got us Marines into "hot water" as some of the fellows would bring them into the dormitory and fire them.  About that time the top-sergeant stopped the fun.  However, a large firecracker did make a lot of noise when touched off in a room under someone's bed, who was in deep slumber.

All in all, most of the fellows take their task pretty serious and want to get this thing over with.

I receive lots of letters and of course, write a lot, but am always glad to get them.  I only wish I was as fortunate as a lot of my Army and sailor friends when it comes to getting furloughs.

I must close now, and hope to see all of you soon as circumstances permit.

Pfc. Kenneth P. Appelgate

1942 - Donald Shade

Donald Shade
A.E.F. in Northern Ireland, March 29, 1942

Dear folks,

Received your letter of Feb. 28 today.  Letters are most welcome these days.  Haven't received the package yet Red Groves got two chickens from home today.  They were green.

The fishing is good here.  There are salmon, white trout, brown trout, eel, speckled trout and flounder. I haven't been out yet, but am going soon.  War or no war, I'm still going fishing.  The streams are clear and fast which should make good angling.  Some of the boys get a wild goose now and then.  However, the Major put a stop to that.

Jack and Leo got the Ellsworth News today.  It is really a treat to get a Americn newspaper.  You can tell Joy Hanson that his paper is bigger than the London paper - it has only four pages now.  The largest one is the Empire News.

We are all wondering who won the state basketball tournament.  For all we know, Rose Grove might have won it.  For entertainment here, the boys play poker, blackjack, checkers and bridge.  Obe and I get into some terrible checker duels.

I am enclosing a picture from one of the large newspapers here.  Shaffer of Fort Dodge and I are the only two you would know.  There are so many interesting things that we see and do, but can not write about.

I am in the best of health and spirits.  Am having the time of my life getting accustomed to some odd people with odder habits.  I have never seen such pink complexions.  People look like they have just scrubbed themselves with a stiff brush and strong soap.

At present, I am Battalion Supply Sergeant, but I don't know how permanent it will be.  Everything is rationed here. We get plenty to eat.  All the boys from Ellsworth are here, also George Boeke from Hubbard.

Sgt. Donald M. Shade, Co E, 133rd Inf.

1942 - Earl Farwell

Earl Farwell

July 22, 1942 - Navy life, Co. 492m A.S.
U.S. Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Ill.

Well, here is that long promised card.  I'll convert it into a letter.  Do you object?  We've been here three weeks and are still going strong, I think.  We've had lots of hard work and some entertainment, like a baseball game that was pitched partly by Bob Feller.  The Lakes won 9-5; pretty good game.  We also got to see Tommy Tucker and Horace Heidts' orchestras.

Oh, yes, I receive the "Town Crier," and it's good to receive the news even if I'm not in it.

We get liberty next week.  That's really going to be a good deal, and I don't mean maybe.  There's not much to say only that we worked today and march tomorrow, or visa versa.  Tell everybody hello from me.  Wilber Johnson from Jewell is in our campany, so it's something to know an old friend and be around someone you knew from around your home town.  Have they converted Jewell into a part of Ellsworth yet, or is it still one of our suburbs?  You know since the tower is finished, people will be more able to find their way to and from the surrounding territories.  I'm due to go on guard duty now, so will close, for now.  Be sure and write; let me know how the office is doing, or is it? Oh, yes, have you ever gotten even on the coffee deals with Dutch, sr.?

So long for now: a pal at the counter, and always.
Earl W. Farwell, jr.

1942 - Art Hanson

Art Hanson

November 7, 1942 - Art Hanson writes from Pearl Harbor
This will probably be a surprise to you after going so long without writing a thank you for sending all of us service boys the good old "Ellsworth News."  As soon as the mail arrives, the "News" is read from stem to stern by all the boys here and when they're done, I get to read it.  They all seem to enjoy everything in it as I guess most of them are from small towns and understand the way you write.
Has been quite a good while since I've been home now and probably wouldn't know it with such an outstanding landmark as a water tower.  When do you expect to have the first picture put on the front page of the "News" as I am looking foward to it if it's possible to get it all in one picture.
It's really swell to see how all of you folks back there are pitching in and getting things done and you can be sure we aren't going to let you down.  Have been very lucky in making my rates and have an office jog which involves long hours but eliminates most of the back aches but not the headaches.  Am a member of the N.C.O. club and it's sure a nice club.  We have the best of food and the Marines are a swell bunch of fellows to get along with, just a few slight arguments between us gobs and the bellhops keeps things interesting.
This place is getting better all the time we have a pretty nice swimming pool and movies every night with light lunch afterwards in the club.
It's time to sign off and all the boys here say hello and to keep sending the paper which is enjoyed by all.
Art Hanson Jr.


1943 - Armistice Program Held at Schoolhouse

A very impressive Armistice Day program was given Thursday in the High School Auditorium with Chaplain F. J. Frein of Webster City giving an address.

Taps played from upstairs preceded the program, with Milo Knutson acting as flag bearer.

The audience pledged allegiance to the flag, repeated the American Creed and sang two verses of "America" following which, Rev. C. J. Naglestad gave the invocation.

An instrumental solo "Finlandia" was given by Astrid Knutson.  Patty Olsen sang, "Say a Prayer for the Boys Over There" followed by a community sing of songs from the World War I era led by Miss Anderson.

Lloyd Coates introduced the speaker, Mr. Frein.  After his address, Chaplin Frein read the poem "In Flanders Field" as a salute to those who did not come back from World War I.

The program ended with the audience singing "America" and the sounding of Taps.

(from "The Ellsworth News" November 11, 1943)

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These U.S. War Bonds posters were displayed at most Post Offices in the United States.

1943 - Leo E. Lindebak

Leo E. Lindebak

April 12, 1943
Leo Lindebak writes from U.S. Naval Training Station, Farragut, Idaho

This Navy is O.K.   We'll have to work hard, but it's all for a good cause.  Camp Hill has 13,000 men in it and more and more coming.  There are 6 other camps at this station, so you know there are lots of boys here, and they're all swell fellows.

Our camp has a beautiful setting.  We are completely surrounded by mountains and what I mean is MOUNTAINS. Our trip out here was very interesting, some of the most beautiful scenery in the good old U.S.A.

We are in northwest Idaho, only a few miles from Washington and the Canadian line.  We, that is, we Iowa boys are going to Spokane on our liberty, that is, if we get one.  In the service one isn't always sure until one is given lierty, then not too sure.

We have been drilling awfully hard lately and I mean hard.  We are being pushed pretty hard.  What they had to learn here before in 16 weeks, we have to try to learn in six or seven weeks.  It's really hard.

Weel, it's 16:30 or time to hit our bunks.  I'll try and write more later.  I just wrote to Kuhly also; have you heard from him lately?  Well, try and keep Ellsworth going good.  Write sometime if you can.

Leo E. Lindebak



1943 - Jesse L. (Bob) Nelson

Jesse L. (Bob) Nelson

Bob Nelson
Africa, May 12, 1943

This is station B-O-B, answering your long call from ELLSWORTH.

Sorry to be so long about it, but I have a hard time answering letters.  I receive the Ellsworth News very regular now and read and re-read it; it buoys a guy up.  Last January I received eighteen copies of The News.  I had moved so many times I was wondering if I ever was going to stop, but stop I did, and when the mail did arrive, I was loaded down and for a couple of days, the Army didn't get much work out of me.

Over here, one sees more queer things, for instance, when the native Arab rides a mule or donkey here, he sets himself on top of the back legs and hits his heels together under the donkey's tummy and yells Drrr and Grrr!  Such yelling and talking those Arabs use is beyond me.  Once in a while profane language is heard by us, and we can't tell when the Arabs do: and it's "Cheeses Us Off", "Browns Us Off", (an English expression used by the British meaning to us in America, "Disgusted".

I sure hope by the time your received this, the African campaign is over.  The boys here are sure doing a good job, and the folks at home can be proud of them and also should be glad they are Americans.  Another thing is they should be glad to live in such a wonderful country and that they have a roof over their heads and plenty to eat.

I know that some of the people back in the states don't realize there is a war going on, and they could dig down in their pockets and give more for the soldiers, because after all, the soldiers are all fighting to save humanity and bring peace, etc. and a good many people at home could do a lot more for the boys.

Sorry to have written that last paragraph, but some people had better "open their eyes" and quit grumbling and be content with what they have.

I hear that Lloyd S. and Jasper R. are over here and sure will try to look them up when I get the time. I'm sending you a piece about our Squadron from the Stars and Stripes.  Maybe you have read it, maybe not.

Gosh, I was so interested in writing I almost forgot about chow, so here goes again, but I'll have to cut it short as I must get back on the line.  I'll finish by saying I am proud and glad to have been reared in Ellsworth, and no matter where I go there is no place like home.

Yours, Bob (Jesse L. Nelson)

1944 - Bob Sogard

Bob Sogard

 February 23, 1944 - Bob Sogard writes from Virginia Seebee Camp
 U.S. Naval Construction T.C. Camp Peary, Williamsburg, Virginia
Here's a few lines to let you know that I'm regularly receiving "the only newspaper interested in Ellsworth."  My latest change of address is a little quonset hut accommodating twelve guys.  My bunkmates are a bunch of swell fellows and we have a lot of fun as well as work.  We of the 27th Special Battalion are the twentyseventh stevedore battalion to go through Camp Peary in the last year and a half.
Those already overseas are setting new records all in unloading ships at various Island X's and we're determined to uphold the C.B. tradition of doing the "impossible."
Virginia is an unusual state, especially in February.   It oftens rains at night, snows in the morning; and rains again in the afternoon.  I'm finding that a mud puddle is a very unsatisfactory place to lay in while shooting a rifle, but it makes a bullseye all the more sweet.
Well, here's hello and so-long to all you folks at home.  Thanks for the letters and cards.   I'll try to get them all answered eventually, so good-bye for now.
P.S. I hope the old water tower light is still burning;  I know what a problem replacing it is in the winter.
As ever, Bob Sogard

Wednesday, May 3, 1944 - Bob Sogard 
 Bob Sogard at West Coast See-Bee Port
I've been here at Hueneme since April 9, and have been busy most of the time firing my new rifle and learning the stevedoring trade which is a much broader field than dumping boxes and crates into the hold of a ship as I supposed it was.
I'm driving a hydraulic lift truck and like it fine, especially when it comes to lifting big two-ton crates as easily as you lift that second morning cupajava.
I've been to Hollywood and met some of the stars I used to hike three miles to see on the screen, and contrary to general belief, they were even better in real life than in pix.   Some of them were Red Skelton, John Garfield, Celia Parker, Shelia Ryan, Ann Shirley and Ann Miller.
I'm going to the ball game today, so good-by for now.   Camp Cook is here to challenge the Hueneme nine and they're strong challengers with the team built around veteran Red Ruffing.
As ever, Bob Sogard
1945 - Leo Lindebak

Leo Lindebak

Wednesday, June 21, 1945
Leo Lindebak and Wendell Peterson meet in Southwest Paciv

Believe it or not it's me. It's been so long since I've written, you may have forgotten I even existed.

First, I must tell you who found me the other day.   None other than Wendell Peterson.   I was certainly surprised. We are sitting here together now, writing.  Wendell pulled in about the same time we did, and we were tied to a repair ship. He thought I had been sent to the states, but would see if I was aboard anyway, and certainly glad he did.

Day before yesterday, Wendell and I were talking about the boys from Ellsworth, out here, and today I got mail and news of Merle Marcus and Maynard Nelson.   Certainly too bad.   So far, out here, I've met Mervin Johnson and Walter Sevold of Radcliffe.   I've seen Lavon Peterson's ship, but haven't been able to see him.

It's been some time now since I've heard from Kuhly or Lyle. I hope they don't have to come out here.

This is getting pretty lengthy, so guess it's about time to knock off.   Things are getting pretty rugged out here; that's about all I can say. I only hope, as we all do, that's it's over pretty soon, and we can all come home. After nearly two years out here, the states is something to dream about.

Hope to see you soon, and best of luck to you all,
Leo E. Lindebak


1945 - Lyle Espeland


Lyle Espeland

May 25, 1945 - With the 14th Field Arillery of the Seventh Army, Germany

This article was written and mailed to the Ellsworth News before V.E. day, and although the war with Germany was over, it held great interest. Lyle Espeland was in a well known unit in the European Theatre.

"We do not know when this meeting will take place, but feel confident that the California Grizzly and the Russian Bear will meet soon somewhere in Germany."  This was the sentiment expressed by more than one member of Headquarters Battery 144th Field Artillery Group, a former California National Guard organization, as they crossed the Rhine.

A reconnaissance party led by the group commander, Colonel Clifford B. Cole, 53, of Pacific Grove, California, and including the comanding officer of Headquarters Battery, Captain Merlin M. Anderson, 28, of Midland, Michigan had received a little "88" fire and some strafing while waiting to cross about an hour earlier, but the air convoy made the crossing without enemy interference.  The heavy pontoon bridge and probably half a mile or so of the river was well screened by artificial fog from smoke generators on the near shore so that the Grizzles could see very little of the river.  They didn't need to see much, however, to feel that this was a momentous occasion for each one of them, and one vehicle displayed, fluttering from its radio antenna, the flag of the California Republic, so called "Bear Flag."

Twenty-seven years ago, the Bear Flag was carried to the Rhine by the California Grizzlies of World War I, but this time it is going farther, much farther. As they push into the heart of Germany, the vehicles of Headquarters Battery bear the insignia of the organization, a golden bear, on the background of artillery red, while the flag which was flown during the Rhine crossing is held "in reserve" to be flown again in Berlin.

T-5 Lyle E. Espeland of Ellsworth, Iowa, is an airplane mechanic with the 144th Field Artillery Group.  He has participated in the Normandy, Northern France and Germany campaigns, and has been awarded the Good Conduct Medal and the EAME Ribbon with three bronze stars.  T-5 Espeland entered the service January, 1943, and received his training at Camp Robinson, Arkansas. He left for overseas December, 1943.  His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Levi Espeland of Ellsworth.

1946 - Paul Valde (Discharged)

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Paul Valde

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Honorably Discharged in September of 1946                       (For better reading, click images to enlarge.)


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The Ellsworth Methodist Church has this flag displayed.
It salutes local veterans of World War Two.

  The names of these WWII Veterans are included on the flag:
 Delbert Leming - Army         Donald Reynolds - Army
- - - - - - 
Kenneth Olson - Army 
Melvin Olson - Navy 
- - - - - - - 
  - - - - - - -                   Paul Valde - Army
   Earl Farwell  - Navy       Lawrence Liming - Navy
- - -   - - - -
- - - - - - - -        - - - - - - - - 
 Kenneth Johnson - Navy     Kenneth Appelgate - Marines
Paul Weaver - Navy 
Homer Pitzer - Navy 
Vernon Jacobs - Army 
Russell Bourne - Army 
  Donald Caruth - Army            Wayne Brinton - Army
Richard Appelgate - Army          Wayne Rude - Army 
- - - - 
William Pitzer - Navy        Len Swenson - Army
Of course, there were were more veterans in the Ellsworth area than were listed
on the
display at the Ellsworth UMC Church.  Here is a list of ALL the known veterans:


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