The last of World War II
1944 - Bob Sogard
February 23, 1944 - Bob Sogard writes from Virginia
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, California 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
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
Wednesday, June 21, 1945
Leo Lindebak and Wendell Peterson meet in Southwest
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
May 25, 1945 - With the 14th Field Arillery of the Seventh Army,
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
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)
Honorably Discharged in September of 1946
(For better reading, click images to enlarge.)
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
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
on the display at the Ellsworth UMC Church. Here is a list
of ALL the veterans:
More Ellsworth in the 1940s