|Dundy County Gold Star Boys
Wilson coined the term Gold Star Mothers after World War I to honor
mothers who sacrificed a son to military service. The mothers
stand as symbols of purpose, perseverance and grace in the face of
the National World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. the Freedom Wall
contains 4000 Gold Stars; each representing 1,000 lives of the 400,000
American soldiers killed in action.
World War II it was a tradition for families to hang a service flag in
their window for each son serving in the military. If a son
killed in action, they were sent a gold star which they
over the top of the blue star on the service flag to let anyone who
passed know they had lost a son. The mothers of fallen
soldier became known as the "Gold Star Mothers.
The spirit and memory of the Gold
Star Mother is preserved in the World War II Memorial with the Freedom
Wall. It is literally an altar to freedom as the Freedom Wall states
"Here we mark the price of freedom."
below are the Dundy County men who gave their lives for their country
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a son of Mr. and Mrs. R. E.
Baney and was associated with his father in the farming business when
for service in the Armed Forces on July 24, 1944. He was sent
Logan for a week, then on to Camp Wolters, Tex., where he took 17 weeks
basic training in the Infantry. From there he went to Fort
and to Ft. Lawton Wash., on his way to service in the Pacific.
further training in the Hawaiian Islands and five weeks of advanced
Saipan, he went into battle on Okinawa on April 12, 1945. It
was there he
made the Supreme Sacrifice when he was killed on April 22, 1944.
received marksmanship medals in rifle, automatic rifle, bayonet and
during his training. John was interred in a temporary
and then returned to the States on the U. S. Sergeant Jack H.
Pendleton, an Army
Transport which brought home 2,061 American war dead. The
brought to Benkelman by rail.
L. Brown was
a son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Brown and lived in the Haigler area.
inducted into the service in September of 1942 and was killed in action
battle of Attu in the Aleutian Islands on May 29, 1943. His
returned to Yuma County and is buried in the Eckley Cemetery.
Carlyle Carlon, "Lyle,"
a son of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Carlon, graduated from the Benkelman High
1931, later attending McCook Junior College. He received his
training at Fort Knox, Ky., and Fort Riley, Kan. He went
overseas in June
1943 and became a tank commander in charge of the Squadron in the
Theatre. He was killed in action on Oct. 23, 1943.
W. Clements, son
of Mr. and Mrs. C. H. "Mick" Clements, grew up in Benkelman,
graduated in 1943, and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at Denver on
1943. After training at San Diego he served as Armed Guard at
Nev., then transferred to Camp Pendleton, Calif., and entered foreign
in Sept. 1944, landing on Okinawa on Apr. 1, 1945. Bob served
Browning Automatic Rifleman in the First Marine Div. His
officer was Col. Edward W. Snedeker, a former Benkelman resident. Cpl.
Koolhof was attached to the same company, with a machine gun unit.
and Lyle enjoyed a reunion with Bill Elliott, who was also stationed on
Okinawa. Bob was killed in action on June 2, 1945.
||Cecil Garland Colvin
(known as Bobbie) was
a son of Madeline Fletcher and a
step-son of Ray Fletcher. Most of his childhood years were
spent on the
Pringle Ranch. He attended school in Parks and Benkelman.
joined the Navy in 1936. In March 1942 he fell into Japanese
his ship, the USS Pope, a destroyer with the USS Houston, was sunk in
Sea. After three days afloat, he was captured with other
members by a Japanese destroyer, and taken ashore in Macassar, Celebes.
In June of 1944 they were moved to another camp south of
all living conditions--housing, accommodations, food and sanitary
were exceedingly poor and the health and general welfare of the men
suffered. On Jan. 19, 1945, Bobbie was taken to the Camp
Hospital, and on
April 8, 1945 he died of malnutrition, starvation and diseases of the
Lt. A.J. Fisherk, of the Navy who was with Bobbie wrote of
"...Bobbie was a real shipmate. In camp he was the librarian
outfit and through his efforts did much to keep up our morale.
talked of his plans to attend the University in Oregon...He was at all
credit to his home and his country..." Bobbie's sister,
Babicky, has attended several of the Ex-POW reunions, and has become
acquainted with some of the members of his crew who survived the POW
||Harold W. Cooper
with his aunt, Iva DeGarmo, and attended High School in Haigler.
enlisted in the Marines on April 1, 1942, and was a member of the 2nd
Division as a tank driver. He was engaged in the battles of
Saipan, and was killed in action on June 16, 1944, on Saipan.
He had been
in the service 14 1/2 months.
||Mervin B. DeGarmo was
the son of Glen and Iva DeGarmo and graduated from Haigler
High School in 1942. He was inducted into the Marine Air
Corps on October
16, 1942, and went overseas in March, 1943. He was serving at
Harbor when he was killed in an airplane-truck accident during training
August 19, 1943. Mervin was 18 years old and had been in the
ten months. He had chosen the Marines, as his father had
served in that
branch of service in World War I. Mervin was buried in Pearl
National Cemetery, and later returned to the States for burial at Crown
Cemetery in Denver, Colo.
Kitchin Douthit was
a son of Mr. and Mrs. F.R.
Douthit, and was reared in the Highland District north of Max, Neb.,
graduated from Benkelman High School. He was working at a
in Salt Lake City, Utah, when he was inducted into the Army in May 1944
Douglas, Utah. He received his training at Camp Fannin,
Texas, in the
Army Infantry Replacement Command where he qualified as an expert
He embarked from Ft. Meade, Maryland, for overseas in
No word was received from him until February 1945, when his
notified that he had died on Jan. 12, 1945, aboard the "Santa Rosa"
at sea in the European area, as a result of a heart attack.
The body was
laid to rest in St. Ande, U.S. military Cemetery at Normandy, France,
April 1949 was returned to St. Francis, Kan.
||Glenn E. Druliner a
son of Mr. and Mrs. R.D. Druliner
Sr., and graduated from Benkelman High School in 1940; later attended
University at Lincoln. He entered the Air Service of the U.S.
July 27, 1942, and his Naval training took him to Mr. Vernon, Iowa; Del
California; Norman, Oklahoma; and Corpus Christi, Texas, where he won
on March 15, 1944. He received his advanced training at Ft.
Florida, and at Great Lakes, Ill. Glenn was serving in the
Theatre as Pilot of a Grumman Avenger, a large torpedo bomber,
the decks of the USS Franklin. His plane was waiting its turn
the ship when it was hit by a Japanese bomb. Glenn made the
sacrifice for his country on March 19, 1945. He was married
(Anderson) of Parks.
||Phillip H. Freemyer
was a son of Roy and Lily Freemyer
of Haigler, and graduated from the Haigler High School in 1941.
volunteered in the U.S. Air Force in December 1941 and received his
training at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, later to Columbia University
Basic Aeronautics Course. He was stationed at Santa Ana,
and Merced, Calif., as an Aviation Cadet. He earned his Wings
Commission as 2nd Lieutenant at Luke Field, Ariz., in August 1944.
war's end, he re-enlisted in the Air Force and attended Finance School
Indiana. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant before going
August 1946. He was first stationed at Johnston Field in
Korea, then sent
to Misawa Air Base in Japan. His continued interest and
training led him
to qualify to fly all the planes before becoming a jet pilot.
killed on duty on Honshu Island on July 26, 1948, in the crash of a P51
||Alonzo Harry Greene, son
of William Greene and Marie Denny, lived in Dundy County all of his
except two years when he lived near Charolon, Kan. He became
a member of
the armed forces on April 5, 1943, at Fort Logan, Colo., and received
training at Camp Mackall, North Carolina, where he was a member of the
troops. In March 1944 he was transferred to Camp Forrest,
Tenn., and on
June 5, 1944, he volunteered for the airborne paratroops.
later he had completed his five jumps and was awarded the coveted honor
wearing the wings and boots of the paratrooper. He embarked
duty at Boston, Mass., on Aug. 29, 1944; received his combat training
England and went into combat duty in Belgium in late December 1944.
was a member of the Seventeenth Airborne Division which helped
lower Rhine bridgehead. His division was rushed into the
battle of the
Ardennes as part of Lt. General George S. Patton’s Third Army and
fought in the
Bastogne area, helping relieve the siege of the One Hundred First
division which fought gallantly and held that major Belgian road
The Seventeenth Division is the Eagle's Claw Division
commanded by Major
General William Miley. It landed on the Westphalian plain as
Major General Mathew Ridgeway's Eighteenth Airborne Corps, fighting
the British Sixth Airborne Division. Only the Seventeenth and
Divisions have been mentioned in cross-Rhine airborne operations.
after helping the Third and First Armies erase the Ardennes Bulge, the
Seventeenth was in the vanguard of Third Army troops which cracked
Siegfried line opposite Luxembourg. In the battle near
Cleaveauz on the
Siegfried Line, he won his advancement from PFC to Staff Sergeant, was
for gallantry in action and awarded the Bronze Star decoration.
also awarded the Badge of the Order of Purple Heart, the last award
posthumously. On March 24 he was reported missing in action,
his body was found near Wesel, Germany. At the time of his
death he was
serving as a squad leader in Company A of the 194th Glider Infantry.
was buried in an American Military Cemetery in Holland. He
was married to
Ida May (McCoy) of Max.
||Albert Haas was
a son of Mrs. August Gunther,
and spent most of his younger life in Dundy County. He was
the Army in November 1943 as an Infantryman. He went overseas
1944 and was killed in action in the Battle of the Bulge on December
His body was returned to his home town in the State of
||John F. Hollinger
a son of Mr. and Mrs. John S. Hollinger, and grew up in Benkelman.
moved to the west coast and was working in Eugene, Ore., at the time of
enlistment on Feb. 3, 1944. He entered foreign service in
and was engaged in battle on German soil when he gave his life for his
He was stationed in the same area where his father had served
War I. John was a member of a tank crew in the 3rd Armored
had crossed the German border about the 15th of September.
married to Irma Adams of Haigler.
F. Humphreys was
an adopted son of Mr. and Mrs.
Emory Miller, and lived in the Pleasant Valley neighborhood in his
Upon the death of his parents, he was adopted by Mr. and Mrs.
who lived in the South Divide of South Chase County. Bernard
service in May 1941 at Meridian, Wyo., and after two months of
sent to the Philippines for duty. He was among American
prisoner by the Japanese as they invaded and captured the island.
reported missing in action in May of 1942. The following
word came from the U.S. government that he was a prisoner of war held
Japanese at a military prison camp in the Philippines. Six
were received from him by his parents from the time of his capture
24, 1944. On June 19, 1945, official word was received of his
occurred on October 23, 1944. Bernard was aboard a Japanese
from Manila, carrying 1,775 prisoners of war, apparently being moved to
location. It was reported that the prison ship was without
refused to halt or be identified when it was sunk by submarine action
South China Sea. Bernard had been a Japanese prisoner for two
one-half years. In the photo: William Humphreys
Humphreys (center), and a friend.
||Henry Eugene Krause
in Haigler, graduated from Haigler High School in 1941, but was working
west coast in defense work when he was inducted into the Army on April
1943. He received his basic training at Boise, Idaho, and
served at San
Francisco and at Ft. Lewis, Wash., where he was in the Medical Corps.
was transferred to Camp Berkley, Texas, after he volunteered for
and was sent to Camp Leonard Wood, Missouri, for training as a machine
He left for overseas duty in November 1944. Eugene
was killed in
action on the battle front in France on Jan. 3, 1945.
||Marshall D. Long
son of Ted Long of Haigler. He graduated from Haigler High
1941. He enlisted in the Air Corps on September 23, 1943.
a radar expert, serving on one of the B-29's, the Super Fortresses
attacks on Japan. Marshall was killed in action over Japan on
1945. In photo, Marshall is kneeling, third from right.
||Elbert Leroy Mathis was
the son of Albert W. Mathis of Benkelman. He was killed
in action in Germany on September 28, 1944.
||John Marlin McKie was
born at Haigler to Mr. and Mrs. Louis McKie. He grew up
and Wray, Colo. He was married to Minnie Mae Hamil, also of
John made the supreme sacrifice for his country in the
invasion of France
when he was killed in action on June 14, 1944. He was
awarded the bronze star for bravery in action. John's body
from overseas on Feb. 10, 1948 to Green City, Missouri where interment
a son of Mr. and Mrs. Bert Medlock of Haigler, and entered the service
8, 1943 at Denver, Colo. He embarked for France in August
1944 and was
killed in action in the 3rd Army in the Battle of the Roer on Dec. 3,
Earl was married to Clara (Blecha) and was a brother to
who also lost his life in the service to his country. The
bodies of Earl
and Leonard were returned to Haigler where a double military service
for them, and then taken to Stratton for burial.
a son of Mr. and Mrs. Bert Medlock of Haigler. He was called
service in September 1944. He embarked for overseas and was
the South Pacific where he made the supreme sacrifice on the Ryukyu
battle of the Okinawa campaign on May 17, 1945. He was
married to Jessie
(Stafford). Leonard was a brother of Earl Medlock, who also
lost his life
in the service of his country. The bodies of Earl and Leonard
returned to Haigler where a double military service was held for them,
taken to Stratton for burial.
||Edgar H. Nordhausen
the service on March 13, 1942, serving with the Armored Infantry.
received his training at Camp Cooke, California; Camp Campbell,
Fort Meade, Maryland. He embarked in November 1943, and
served in Africa.
On January 5, 1944, he left for Italy and took part in the
invasion. He was killed in action on February 11, 1944, in
Italy. He had attained the rank of Staff Sergeant.
Edgar was a son
of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Nordhausen.
||Everett C. Phifer
a son of William and Mable Phifer and grew up in the Parks area.
engaged in farming when he enlisted in the Navy on Jan. 21, 1942.
earned the rating of Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd Class and qualified as
aerial gunner. He was stationed at a land base on Guadalcanal
aerial patrol duty. It was in the performance of this duty on
1944, that he made the supreme sacrifice for his country.
killed as the plane in which he was flying crashed soon after takeoff.
is buried in the Benkelman Cemetery. He was married to Fern
||Clarence Pursley Junior
was a son of Clarence and Pearl
Pursley and received his education in the Benkelman Schools.
into the Marine Corps on May 15, 1943 In January 1944 he went
a member of the 4th Marine Division and immediately took part in the
island assault. His second landing was made at Saipan and
before his assignment at Iwo Jima. It was here that Junior
supreme sacrifice for his country on Feb. 19, 1944. In his
Iwo Jima, Junior had won three Battle Stars and the Combat Infantry
His body was returned to Benkelman in March 1945.
Junior and his
three brothers, Thelman, Malvin and Raymond, were all engaged in
campaigns at the same time.
L. Robinson was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Lee
Applebey of Haigler. Prior to his enlistment he was employed
Creek Hatchery. He enlisted in the Marines on Jan. 2, 1941,
at Denver and
went to San Diego for his boot training. In addition to
he studied radio repair. He entered foreign service in
January 1943 and
took part in the battle of Midway, later was moved to Pearl Harbor for
duty. He was awarded the ribbon for Defense of Pacific, one
Star for a
major battle, the Asiatic Pacific ribbon and marksmanship medal.
died in the service of his country at Stockton, Calif., on Oct. 9,
1945, as a
result of a car accident.
a son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Sampson, and was raised north of Parks, graduating
from the Parks High School. He entered the Medical Corps of the U.S.
Army, and attained the rank of Lieutenant. He was serving in the
Philippine Islands and lost his life on Leyte Island on March 10, 1945, as a
result of injuries sustained in an airplane crash. Bert was a brother of
Alta Teel of Benkelman.
"Mathew" F. Unger was
a brother of Al and Andrew Unger, who operated a grocery store in Benkelman at
one time. Mathew enlisted in the Army Air corps in December of 1940 and
was serving in the Alaskan Theatre, his work being principally aircraft
maintenance. He had been in the Air Corps for 20 months and had attained
the rank of Staff Sergeant, when he was reported missing in action on July 5,
1942. Three months later his death was confirmed with the report that his
plane had been flying in foggy weather and it had struck a mountain.
V. Willis entered
the service on October 21, 1941. He received his training at Camp
Wolters, Texas, and two camps near San Francisco. In April of 1942, just
a few months after Pearl Harbor, he was sent to the Central Pacific area.
In the Gilbert Island campaign, Perry was wounded and awarded the Order
of the Purple Heart. He volunteered for his last mission, and made the
supreme sacrifice to his country in the Battle of Okinawa on April 30, 1945.
Perry was a son of Mr. and Mrs. L. H. Willis, and lived in and around
Benkelman previous to his induction.
H. Wooters was
a son of Edward and Bertha Wooters and graduated from Parks High School in
1933. He was living in Oregon at the time of his enlistment on July 15,
1943. He was assigned to the Infantry and received training at Fort
Lewis, Washington; Fort Benning, Georgia; and Camp Shelby, Mississippi.
He entered foreign service in December 1944 and was killed in action in
Germany on April 7, 1945. He is buried at Butzbach, Germany.
War Years, A 50th Anniversary Album, Dundy County Nebraska", 1992.
Corrections, suggestions and submissions to Dundy
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