More Ellsworth, Iowa in the 1940s - Page 4E
The last of World War II


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, 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 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 Pacific

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 veterans:


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