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WWI Soldier

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I really do miss the pictures you use to post from the Freedom rodeo. Maybe someone would like to share what they have. I know Phillip Schultz. Our family lived near his parents, Ben & Edith Schultz. I also went to school at Moundridge.
 ~Marthesia (Marty) Myers regarding Okie's story from Vol. 11 Iss. 34 titled UNTITLED

The name LOMAN is interesting since there is a Dr. Steve LOMAN on the staff at NWOSU/Alva. I was talking with him this (Sat, 28 April) at the Spring Banquet. I asked where he was raised and he said on a farm SE of Alva - out toward Dacoma. Just thought it was worth a comment here. James Bradley
 ~James E Bradley regarding Okie's story from Vol. 9 Iss. 17 titled UNTITLED

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NW Okie's Journey

Vol 16, Iss 38 Bayfield, CO - Have you ever traveled over Wolf Creek Pass between South Fork and Pagosa Springs, Colorado, stopping at the scenic overlook that overlooks the beautiful valley north of Pagosa Springs?

The images on the left were taken on a dirt trail at that overlook of some aspen trees that set beside, where travelers have carved their initials into the trees. Are your initials on these famous landmarks at the scenic overlook?

This week we pay tribute to Armistice (Veterans) Day (11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, in 1918, when World War I came to an end with much to the disgrace of Germany and loss of lives of British and European soldiers. My Great grand Uncle (Robert Lee Warwick) enlisted with British forces and thought in that war. Read more concerning Armistice Day, 11 November 1918 in this week's The OkieLegacy Weekly Ezine/Tabloid.

I am still searching for a clue to connect the two following MCGILL pioneers. It is not easy am trying to find that needle in the haystack to connect my MCGILLs To the Mcgill-Hallock-Lusk family. You can view Mcgill-Hallock-Lusk Family Tree. This last link is the MCGILL lineage I have NOT made a connection to at this time. My Paris Pioneers-Master over at If you have an account, just look, search for paristimes.

Before I turn things over to Sadie Sadie, the Pug Editor, I want to share a clipping my friend, Joel Berg, sent me of an interview he made concerning a recent Sun City Anthem TV station recorded broadcast interview he took part in for a series, "Freedom Is Not Free," as a salute to veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. Joel said It was a fun experience for him, and he hoped that you would enjoy it also. Here is the link to that interview: Interview with Joel Berg, a Retired Quartermaster, Sergeant Manny Peven Post #65, Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America ~

Good Night, Good Luck! Here is to our Veterans of All Wars since then (WWI)!
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NW Okie's Corner

Vol 15, Iss 13 Bayfield, Colorado - We hope we have pulled another interesting histories into this week's "OkieLegacy Ezine" for you all. Do not forget to check out the WWI Native American soldier, Sgt. George Baker (1893-1918), who was Killed In Action (KIA) over in France, 1918. We wish the Baker family the best in achieving their goals to get the "Purple Heart" for their relative Sgt. George Baker.

Has Hemp been given a bad wrap from another variety of the Cannabis plant? We have done some research into this Industrial Hemp plant that is related to the Marijuana plant. The Industrial Hemp stalk and seed was used for textiles (linens, fine and coarse), foods, papers (especially early 1900s postcards), body care products, detergents, plastics and building materials.

With Hemp producing four times as much fibre per acre as pine trees, you would think that you could save a few more the pine trees from distinction, huh? Hemp (tree-free) paper can be recycled up to seven times, compared with three times for pine-pulp based papers. They say that Hemp actually conditions soil where it grows.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers and pioneers were a part of those Hemp farmers and plantations that were order to grow Hemp. It you refused to grow it back in the 17th & 18th centuries, you were arrested and jailed. And we did find where Jefferson smuggled Hemp seeds from China to France then to America. Do not forget about Benjamin Franklin owning one of the first paper mills in America that processed Hemp.

The next time you are going through your grandmother's (or great-grandmother's) old postcards from the early 1900s check and see if any of them were made from the Industrial Hemp.

Good Night & Good Luck throughout your research and life! View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe

Oakie & Duchess' SW Corner

Vol 6, Iss 52 HAPPY NEW YEAR 2005!

Since this is the last day of December, 2004, we thought perhaps we could catch many of you tonight before, after and/or at midnight to ring in the New Year for 2005. I guess you could say that this is a No frill or "vanilla" version of the OkieLegacy in Summary.

The Pilgrim Bard (Scott Cummins) says it best in his 1926 poem about New Years Eve & New Years:

"Another year its shuttle threads
The twelve month spool we all unwind;
Fate's calendar hangs o'er our heads,
Time's scythe is mowing close behind;
Yet enter we the glad New Year,
Filled with fond hope devoid of fear"
-- by The Pilgrim Bard (Scott Cummins)

We saw where last year at this time that our OkieLegacy visitor counter clocked a total of 200,000 visitors. I believe our counter today was something like 325,000 plus.

January 2004 -- Remember Fort Reno, Oklahoma? Fort Reno - - a military camp in 1874 -- was established as a military post in 1875 with construction of permanent buildings began in 1876. The Fort and Darlington Agency served the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians across the Canadian River. Together they preserved the peace and directed the orderly transition of that part of Indian Territory from reservation to individual farms and ranches. Troops from Fort Reno supervised the first Great Land Run of 1889 that opened the Unassigned lands for settlement. Buffalo Soldiers of Fort Reno (Companies of the 9th & 10th U.S. Cavalry) were made up of Six black regiments, two of cavalry and four of infantry, and were authorized by congress in 1866 and stationed at Fort Reno. The name was given by the Indians to the black regiments for the color and texture of hair between the horns of the buffalo. The Buffalo Soldiers had the reputation for effective, consistent fighting against the lawless whites, Mexicans and Indians.

Then later in mid January we experienced the Red Hat Ladies (Okie Dokies) in Alva (Oklahoma). It was their monthly group gathering for dinner at the Alva Bowl Cafe. The ladies included in this "Red Hat Club" are: Barbara Case, Liz Stanaway, Ginny Hubbert, Eleanor Ring, Rose Elmore, Verla Vogts, Viola Marquette, Betty Cushenbery, Joan Nelson, Agnes Pemberton, Doris Marcus, Phyllis Devery, Leona Corbin, Dottie Gatz, Emily Rathgeber, Jane Gaskell, Jean Rose.

Also, in January we learned of another NW Oklahoma mystery of an abandoned boy in Waynoka between 1939 or 1940. Nancy Eddy was wondering, "If anyone had ever heard any stories about a small boy being abandoned in Waynoka, Oklahoma? I now live in Topeka, Kansas and just started doing some Genealogy work. My step-father, Jack Beaman, is from Waynoka. He was adopted about 1939 or 1940. He was abandoned by his father with last name Ray when Jack was about 3-years-old. We know they came from California and stayed at an apartment in Waynoka for about 2-months. One morning little Jack Ray woke-up and his dad was gone. He never heard or saw his father again. The people who owned the apartment had the last name of Beaman which they gave to Jack at age 13 or 16 when they adopted him, thus he became Jack Ray Beaman. Maybe there might be old registers around somewhere? I know at some point Jack went into the airforce, his social security number comes from Kansas. Even his own children don't remember anything. To them that was in the past. I don't know if I told you he was a twin. He also remembered that they (he and his dad) came from California and his mother was a concert piano player. Now... how hard would it be to find a concert piano player who gave birth to twin boys." -- Nancy Eddy -- Email:

January brought us a new connection via a descendant of Harry Short. Harry had played on the Austin Senators (South Texas League) baseball team at the same time as our grandfather (Wm J. "Bill" McGill) in 1906. The great-grandson of Harry Short was Andrew Short that had contacted us. This is what Andrew had written, "My name is Andrew Short. I believe my great-grandfather, Harry Short, was a teammate of Will McGill's on the 1906 Austin Senators. I wanted to send you a note to thank you for the wonderful website you have put up - - honoring among other things your grandfather, his life, and his baseball career. In trying to do some research on my family history, I found your website and with it a great deal of history about my great-grandfather as well. I was wondering if it would be okay for me to download a copy of the 1906 team photo (backside of photo with names of players) so that I might be able to add it to the documents I am collecting about our family history? There is a story in my family that, like Will, my great-grandfather at one time was called up to play with St. Louis in the Major Leagues. Although, for which St. Louis team I'm not sure. When he told his wife, she refused to move to St. Louis, thus ending Harry's Major League baseball career. He became a player/manager in the Texas leagues instead, in addition to other careers. I have at home some newspaper clippings and stories from various Texas newspapers in the early 1900s about Harry's baseball career. I will go back and review them to see if any of them mention Will McGill as well. If they do, I would be happy to copy them and send them along to you. In addition to playing baseball in Texas, I know that my great-grandfather and other relatives also lived for awhile in Oklahoma. Again, I simply wanted to thank you for all the hard work and effort you've put into your website. In doing so, you have allowed me to reclaim a piece of my family history. Best regards." -- Andrew H. Short

February 2004 -- We thought we had found the whereabouts of the old Woods County fountain that once graced the downtown courthouse square, but it was not the three-tiered big fountain after all. It turned out to be only the Dragon Head fountain that now resides in a prominent Albuquerque, New Mexico private courtyard. We found out from one of our readers, "It (Dragonhead fountain) was a drinking fountain that stood on the walk outside the west steps of the courthouse and adjacent to the goldfish pond. The fountain, pond and dragonhead drinking fountain were located on the westside of the old Woods County courthouse square in downtown Alva, Oklahoma. We do NOT know where the towering, three-tiered fountain that once graced our courthouse park is located today? Jim Barker sent us a picture of his brother and sister (Bill & Ruby) posing on the railing of the courthouse fountain.

The 75th Anniversary of the Great Race/Run of 1893 in Oklahoma Territory brought back memories when we shared tidbits from a local newspaper printed in Alva, September, 1968, commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the "Great Race of 1893. --

Remember when one of our readers sent us a doc-file of his father's memories during WWII when he was stationed at the prisoner-of-war camp in Alva, Oklahoma from September 28, 1944 to September 17, 1945. Memories of Cpt. Miles W. Kelly's Year in Alva... "After service in North Africa and Italy during World War II, my father, Dr. Miles William Kelly, was stationed at the prisoner-of-war camp in Alva, Oklahoma from September 28, 1944 to September 17, 1945. He was one of the medical officers at the facility. For the most part, this account is based on the letters that he wrote home to my mother. At least one local history, newspaper articles, and a small amount of government documents also added much to this narrative. Before relating his story, however, a few words must be said on the history of the prison camp itself. The following paragraphs are largely a paraphrase of a section of the camp in Alva, Oklahoma: The First 100 Years, 1886-1986 (1987) by Seekers of Oklahoma Heritage Association augmented by some of the government documents mentioned above. -- Bruce - Email: -- Year.doc

Towards the end of February we learned from a 1939 news article in the Waynoka News, dated Thursday, June 15, 1939 about the biggest privately owned man-made lake in the state that was in the Dust Bowl of area of Oklahoma's Panhandle, on the 3200 acre farm of O. W. Tucker, in Cimarron County. It's dam was 45 feet high and would hold 900 acre feet of water and would irrigate 300 acres of alfalfa (started in 1937) through ditches running from both sides of the dam. The 1939 news article mentioned that C. T. Sturdevant was extension service engineer of Oklahoma A & M College back in 1939 and was assisted by someone called "Uncle Bill" Baker (Cimarron County agent) and Tucker's two sons when they made the original survey for the lake, dam.

Remember the link to the 1930's Dust Bowl Stories with excerpts from The Dust Bowl, Men, Dirt and Depression by Paul Bonnifield. The 1930's Dust Bowl was a term born in the hard times from the people who lived in the drought-stricken region during the great depression. The term was first used in a dispatch from Robert Geiger, an AP correspondent in Guymon, and within a few short hours the term was used all over the nation. The Dust Bowl Days, also known as the Dirty Thirties, took its toll on Cimarron County. The decade was full of extremes: blizzards, tornadoes, floods, droughts, and dirt storms. Early Thirties Economy -- In 1930 and 1931, the decade opened with unparalleled prosperity and growth. NATION'S BUSINESS magazine labeled the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas as the most prosperous region. The Panhandle was a marked contrast to the long soup lines of the Eastern United States. --

April 2004 -- Alva was in the process of beginning another mural (Castle on the Hill) at 5th & Oklahoma Blvd. with local artists, Jim Richey, Warren Little and Rod Dunkin. They began by outlining the design for the Castle on the Hill mural at the corner of Fifth Street and Oklahoma Boulevard.

It was in April 2004 when K101 Radio Early Morning Show, 20 April 2004, talked about the OkieLegacy and the Ann Reynolds Story mysterious fiery death in 1956. --

May 2004 -- The artist, Don Gray, and the Alva Mural Society finished the Charles Morton Share Mural on the Professional building in downtown Alva, OK.

July 2004, Waynoka, Oklahoma celebrated seventy-five years (July 8, 1929) when transportation history was changed for travelers from the east and west coasts when a 2-day air and rail trip was established that would take them across America in 48 hours. Charles Lindbergh was an officer in Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT). TAT was the company that developed the service and selected Waynoka as the western terminus of the eastern division. It was a place where passengers would switch between trains and planes, morning and evening -- eating breakfast, dinner at the Harvey House. It began in June and continued into July when we made our move from Oklahoma to SW Colorado. This was one of those months that found us on the move between Oklahoma andColorado. Duchess' favorite spot outside was sitting, waiting by the pickup door for hints of our next journey.

September 2004, We received 1926, 1937 and 1938 Northwestern State Teachers College yearbooks that we began transcribing shortly afterwards (beginning with the 1926 yearbook). We are still transcribing on the '38 yearbook from Northwestern's College, in Alva. Check out our Old Albums -- --

We did finish scanning the 1926 NSTC Ranger Album. We learned that 1926 was the first year of the Junior High School (7th, 8th, 9th grades) on the campus of Northwestern with Miss Ann K. Wilke as Director & Principal. The large room on the second floor of the Science Hall was formerly occupied by the library and had been assigned as a study hall for this department. October 2004 -- We started transcribing the 1937-38 Student Directory of Northwestern State Teachers' College and found our mother's name, address where she was living in '37 & '38 while going to College. We also recognize lots of other names listed in the student directory. We had started transcribing the 1937 Ranger album. By mid-October we were still transcribing the 1937 Ranger annual. -- -- files/StudentDirectory37-38.doc

We finished the transcribing of the 1937 Ranger yearbook, learning that the Northwestern Alumni Association was established in the spring of 1934? A banquet was held at the Presbyterian Church to organize an alumni organization to include the alumni back to 1921. In the spring of 1935 the alumni association enlarged the group to include the classes receiving degrees, diplomas each year from 1900 to 1937. In 1936 the alumni held its annual banquet in the Bell Hotel dining room, and included all the graduating classes from 1900 to the present day in the mid-1930s. They held their alumni banquets each spring and sponsored the biggest event of the year for Alva and Northwestern -- the annual Homecoming event.

Remember When Thelma DeGeer Lippincott celebrated her 100th year in June, 2004 and past away Oct. 28, 2004 as her family and friends gave celebration to her 100+ years.

November 2004 -- The latter part of November we were trying to find the descendants/families of the 1930s NSTC Students so we could return the original photos taken at Ellis Studio in Alva and Saunders Studio in Woodward, in NW Oklahoma during the 1930s. Most of them have a firstname signed on the photo while others might have a first and lastname. BUT there are two photos that had NO names on them - unknown male and unknown female. We hope someone out there can help us locate their descendants. We did find a couple of homes for a few of the photos. --

December 2004 -- We did have some success in finding a home for the Roberta Edwards and Reo McVicker 1930s photos with descendants of the Edwards and McVicker families.

Also, in December we found out that the 1st graduating class of Northwestern High School (NWHS) was 1937? It was located in the NEW Horace Mann building on Northwestern's College Campus. We found this little tidbit in the 1937 Ranger Album when she was reading about the Training School they had on the Northwestern State Teachers' College campus to train future teachers. You can read more about the Demonstration School & Class History of NWHS over at our NW OkieLegacy website - 1937 Ranger Album.

We didn't get started transcribing the 1938 Ranger yearbook until around mid-December. We also put the 1926, 1937 & 1938 Ranger yearbooks into a pdf file for your Christmas present to share with you all. You can now view them over at by clicking on the "Old Albums" link. We are still in the process of scanning the 1938 Ranger yearbook. -- -- -- --

Duchess and The OkieLegacy family would like to wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year 2005. We thank you for sharing your Okie Legacies throughout the past year and hope to hear from you in 2005. See you next weekend and next year with our regular HTML format. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe

Duchess' SW Corner


Vol 6, Iss 45

Oakie tells me that some of you missed last week's newsletter and were wondering if your email program or ISP had screwed up again. We are here to tell you that your ISP/Email program did NOT screw up.

We usually take off around Thanksgiving or Christmas. We know it is neither of those holidays yet, but with adjusting back to standard time, ghost & goblins and post election blues. We hope this hasn't inconvenienced anyone too much, but we are trying something new out here this weekend -- changing the day we send this newsletter to the wire. Hope Saturday evenings appeal to Y'all.

This week Oakie has been in NW Oklahoma helping count, tag, sort, move horses to greener pastures before the wet weather pours out here in NW Oklahoma. After this we hope things get settled back down and into any easier rhythm for us all. Thanks for you patience and understanding.

Daylight/Standard Time Adjustments -- We lost an hour in the Spring. By the time we got our body used to those new times, we found ourselves trying to get readjusted again in the Fall. Does that affect this Pug? Woof. I don't know! I do notice that the deer come down an hour earlier in the evening to graze in the yard.

November Deer Watching in SW ColoradoSpeaking of Deer Shots... this photo was taken in the early morning hours in SW Colorado in the pasture north and east of our house. While the deer were grazing in the pasture, the higher elevations of the mountains near our house were getting a slight dusting on the upper half of the mountain in the background of this photograph. Click on the smaller image to see the bigger picture.

Duchess' Deer Drive -- Whew! Was Oakie ever cross and pissed-off with me last week! It all began when I made my evening woof at the front door. That is Oakie's cue to open the door for me. Well! Oakie let me out one evening last week when I was doing the scratching, woofing thing at the door. You see, that evening I was already in third-gear while standing at the door. When the door was open, I made a mad dash, woofing towards the deer grazing a hundred yards or so in front of me. Boy howdy! How those deer did bounce and scamper off yonder to the trees in the lower pasture with this Scoutin' Woofin' Pug on their furry white tails. Can you just about imagine this small little pug (barely two-years-old) driving these huge wild, graceful creatures?

Can you guess who was scurrying and cussing behind me in her stocking feet? Yep! Oakie was talking "Bad Dog" to me all the way out and back. I ran as fast to the house as I ran out of the house after the deer. The next evening I tried the same thing, BUT got a stunned, jerked response after I had scouted about 6-feet out the door. Oakie had hooked this dang old, thin-line, 6-foot, wirey link of some sort onto my collar and off I went, at least until I was jerked back in a choking, woofing flip causing my frontside to halt abruptly and my backside to jump ahead. Whoa! What the heck!

The deer still come around at dawn and evening hours, but this Pug has to watch them from inside the house, on the stool, in front of the window. Oakie doesn't let me out that much anymore unless there is an all-clear of outside wildlife. Darn-it! I guess I blew that privilege, huh?!

Veterans Day, Nov. 11 -- "If you forget my death, then I have died in vain" -- Have you forgotten? Have they died in vain? We haven't forgotten and do NOT want you to forget either! So... this Veterans Day this last Thursday we are saluting -- remembering ALL Veterans/Soldiers that have given their lives in past and present Wars. Even the "Unknown Soldier."

We have started a list of Soldiers who have died in the Iraq War. May they always be remembered and rest in peace. May their memories be kept alive for the sacrifices that they have made. May their deaths be remembered, nor be in vain. The names keep growing every hour, every day, every week. YOU can help by clicking on the "Comments" link at - OkieLegacy Soapbox - In Memory of Veterans - to add the soldiers names that you know. Thanks for helping us all remember our Veterans/Soldiers of ALL the Wars on this past Veterans Day (11 Nov. 2004)! Do you have a Veteran's story, poem? We would love for you to leave your Veteran's stories and poems in the "Comments" section under the above posting... It can be for WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, or the present War in Iraq. Thanks for helping us keep the Veterans Memories alive. They ALL deserve our honor and respect for the sacrifices that they have made for us ALL! Don't let their deaths be forgotten, nor let their deaths be in vain! Thanks!

The Gleaners by Jean Francois Millet, 1857The Gleaners painting by Millet.

Oakie found this great print of a famous oil painting done by a French painter, Jean François Millet, born Oct. 4, 1814, died Jan. 20, 1875. Millet was a French painter noted for his depictions of peasant life. In 1857 he painted The Gleaners. This somewhat faded print that Oakie's Grandmother had is only about 8-inches by 6-inches or so. On the back of >The Gleaners print is written in pencil "The Gleaners - m2302." What do you suppose the m2302 means?

P.W. Camp 126 -- Where was it located? Tennessee? Nebraska? We received an email from a gentlemen looking for information concerning P.W. Camp 126. This person found an decoish aluminum ashtray at a flea-market in Tennessee. The ashtray has a camel and a palm tree (or something) on it. It also has "NORTH AFRICA" on it. On the underside it says P.W. Camp 126 and on the one side is engraved M/Sgt H.R.Smith, U.S.Army. Does this ring a bell with anyone out there? Maybe you might know of someone out there can help shed some light on P.W. Camp 126. Was it in Tennessee or neighboring State?

See Y'all next Saturday evening with more Okie Legacies! ~~ Linda "Okie" & Duchess ~~ View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe

Oakie's NW Corner

NW Okie (Linda)

Vol 5, Iss 3 OKC, Oklahoma -

The 1941 era brings us to a time when young couples were scurrying to the altar before young servicemen were sent off overseas to fight in WWII. Some other young men were working on their Master degrees at Oklahoma Agricultural & Mechanical College in Stillwater. One such young man was Wm. Hankins Hughes that wrote his thesis on Old Fort Supply.

It was a bitter, chilly second-half of this week that found this writer doing some transcribing of this 1941 Thesis concerning the history of Old Fort Supply written by Wm. H. Hughes for his Masters in History at Oklahoma Agricultural & Mechanical College. Mr. Hughes wrote in his preface, "... the history of life on the Great Plains furnishes some of the most interesting reading in American History. The colorful lives of the plains Indians, the ruggedness of the scouts and soldiers, and the dogged determination of the frontiersmen combine to present an unending source of adventure, bravery and endurance....."

I have been transcribing more NW OK Marriages that occurred around 1941 amongst the young in the northwestern community in Woods County, Oklahoma.

we have some Unknowns that we could sure use your help identifying.

Before I head out of here and leave you to explore -- one of my new readers family grew up in a northwestern community called Abbie, Oklahoma. I am NOT quite sure where it is, but believe it to be in the vicinity of the Moundridge School District and near Lookout somewhere. If you have any information on Abbie, Oklahoma or old photos to share, we would love to hear/see them. Also, does anyone out there know where the Hobart Oil Mill was located? Thanks!

No matter what you hear in the coffee (gossip) shops -- There is always another side to the story. Keep an open-mind! The Eagle still soars above it all! See you next weekend with more Okie Legacies! ~~ Linda "oaKie" ~~

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Thanks For the Memories

Vol 9, Iss 6 We want to thank all those that recognized some of the names of the World War I soldiers KIA while fighting for the Canadian/British expeditionary forces during 1914-1918.

If anyone else out there recognizes any of the the WWI soldiers "Killed In Action (KIA), please email either Sidney J. Clark directly -- OR.... you can email this NW Okie ( We will forward your information along to Sidney J. Clark. If any of the names of WWI soldiers listed in last week's OkieLegacy Ezine (dated February 3, 2007) have a memorial monument, we would love to have a digital photo to share, preserve their memory. Thanks to everyone for your help.

Thanks to Charles Cook in the Louisiana Bayou country for finding us this obituary for James Hiram Mondy in the "Footprints Across Woods County" history book, pg. 475-476. It reads as follows:

  • The Obituary - WOODS COUNTY BOY WHO FELL AT VIMY RIDGE -- "Captain J. C. McCary, of Alva has just received notice of the death of his grandson Hiram Mondy, who fell in action March 30, in the assault on Vimy Ridge, near Lens, France.

    Hiram was born on a farm near Alva in 1896, as son of E.(Elwood)T. and Ida McCary Mondy. He attended the public schools of Woods County until the family moved to Paynton, Sask., Canada ten years ago, where he grew to manhood......"
Before we head out of here to let you explore this week's OkieLegacy Ezine, here is something to jog some of those northwest Oklahoman's memories. Especially up around Waynoka, Oklahoma.

Have you ever heard about a Rodeo grounds on the west side of Waynoka, near Hutchinson's slaughter house? We believe it was called the Phillips Rodeo. Does that ring a bell with any of you NW Oklahoman's out there? Send us your memories and old photos of anything that you might find concerning northwest Oklahoma legacies. We love hearing from you!
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Those Oklahoma Hills

Vol 9, Iss 4 Those Oklahoma Hills - Many a month has come and gone - Since we wandered from our home - In those Oklahoma hills where we were born. - Many a page of life has turned, - Many a lesson we have learned.....

Even though months, miles have past since we have wandered from our Oklahoma Hills where we learned many lessons, we have not forgotten from where we were born and raised. That's why we gather these OkieLegacies to leave behind for the future generations to find in the future.

We hope we can jog a few memories this week. There is a gentleman in Wales, UK, doing research on Oklahoma soldiers that might have fought in WWI for the British & Canadian forces. Mr. J. S. Clark is searching for information on J. H. Mondy, Pvt, who was in the Canadian army. Clark would like to know if you know about this soldier, and is he entered on any Roll of Honour or town memorial. Clark's interest is on a non-commercial research and he writes short stories on soldiers from the USA who served in the British or Commonwealth forces during the 1st World War.

We have heard from several Oklahoman's about your low gas prices in Oklahoma. WOW! Oklahoma's gas prices are lots better than here in southwest Colorado. Our gas prices in Bayfield, Colorado were ranging around $2.359 for awhile until it finally dropped to $2.259 a week ago.

We heard from another northwest Oklahoman that Dub Garnett died this week. For those of you who might not know Dub Garnett, you might remember the Garnett Conoco gas station on 6th and Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, Oklahoma.

Finally... We are searching for memories of an Alva business, a medical center on the east side of college Avenue called "Youngs clinic." We understand that besides being a regular doctor's clinic, it also had hospital rooms. Anyone out there have any memories of Young's clinic in Alva, Oklahoma? Thanks again for sharing your memories and inquiries with the OkieLegacy this week. View/Write Comments (count 5)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe

148th Coast Artillery Corp WWI

Vol 11, Iss 39 The 148th Company of the Coast Artillery Corp (CAC) was in operation during WWI. The photo on the left shows a baseball team with the emblem of the 148th CAC on their shirts and equipment laying down front of the seated group of men.

Since the photo was amongst some of our grandma's keepsakes, we assume that one of the young men is Robert Lee Warwick. BUT... Alas! We are not sure which one that is, because we have no recollection or photo to compare it with.

Is there anyone out there that remembers the Coast Artillery Corp Company & the soldiers that fought in WWI with the Canadian/British forces?

Robert Lee Warwick enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary forces, April 12th, 1917, serving in France.

We know Robert Lee Warwick was with the C.A.C. in 1914 before he joined the Canadian Expeditionary forces. He enlisted at Fort McDowell, California, January 19th, 1914 and furloughed to the western department in Class A reserve, 18 January 1917, Fort Terry, New York. About four months later he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force under the name of "R. Lee Warwick."
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Looking Back - OkieLegacy Issues of 2007

Vol 9, Iss 52 We began January 2007 by switching from a PC to a Mac computer. AND... we are glad we did. If I ever buy another computer it will NOT be a PC! It will be a Mac!

AND... everyone knows that with the new Mac Operating System Leopard with built in Bootcamp, you can partition your Mac hard drive and install Microsoft Windows on one side of the hard drive and run Mac OS Leopard on the other with the intel core duo chip. I hear tell that Windows runs faster & better on a Mac computer. This ain't a paid advertisement! Just a former PC -- NOW a Mac Lover's observations!

The first week of January, 2007, Clayton, NM was getting drifting, flurries of snow that created one lane of traffic that continued up towards Walsenberg and northward towards Denver, Colorado.

Snow and ice reached as far as Pauls Valley, Oklahoma the second week of January 2007 and things were getting underway to celebrate Oklahoma's Centennial for their 1907 statehood, November 16, 2007, across Oklahoma.

Gasoline prices in Oklahoma during January were at $1.899 per gallon of regular unleaded gas.

We learned that there is a gentleman in Wales, United Kingdom, doing research on Oklahoma soldiers that might have fought in WWI for the British & Canadian forces. Mr. J. S. Clark was searching for information on J. H. Mondy, Pvt. and others who were in the Canadian army. With the help of our OkieLegacy readers, we found some relatives of Mondy's that are living in the Perry, Oklahoma area.

We learned that NWOSU's Lincoln Bust sculptor and creator was created in 1914 by Frank Ingels and he donated it during the Spring commencement of 1915 graduating class when his brother Roland Ingels graduated.

In Vol. 9, Iss. 5 of The OkieLegacy we learned a bit more about Woods county, Oklahoma Terriotry newspaper legacies with the information we retrieved from the Oklahoma Historical Society in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. There was also a list of Oklahoma WWI Soldiers that served and died in the British & Canadian forces 1914-1918.

In Vol. 9, Iss. 6 of The OkieLegacy we learned that the Old Miller Hotel in Waynoka, Oklahoma was owned by Wm. E. Miller and his wife, Cordelia, who came to Waynoka in the Run of '93. The Millers built the hotel on the north end of their property near the Santa Fe rail yards, expecting the town to build near there. However, the town was built nearer the train station, south of the rail yards about a half mile.

That was just the first few weeks of January, 2007. You can visit our Journal Archives & Volume 9 Archives for a more detailed look back at The Okielegacy Issues of 2007.

For those of you just now getting onboard with The OkieLegacy, a BIG Welcome is extended your way.

We have enjoyed hearing from many of you -- sharing your stories -- learning your legacies throughout the last nine years. We hope to see you next year, 2008, and share more family legacies, genealogy and stories with you. In 2008 we will be changing our weekend publishing of our FREE weekly OkieLegacy Ezine from Saturday to Sunday.
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Robert Lee Warwick, WWI Soldier

Vol 9, Iss 4 My grandmother, Constance Warwick McGill had a younger brother, Robert Lee Warwick, that fought in WWI with the Canadian forces.

In 1914, Robert Lee Warwick enlisted in the U. S. Army where he served three years with the Coast Artillery Corp. 5th Company. Warwick then joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force at Toronto, Canada and was sent to France with the Canadian Army. Robert Lee Warwick served through World War I and received his discharge June 29, 1919. He came home broken in health and after a few years entered the Fort Supply hospital in Fort Supply, Oklahoma.

The image on the right is a worn copy of his discharge papers from the Canadian Forces. See the backside - CLICK HERE. This Clipping is a letter from the King for Warwick's service in the Canadian forces and signed by King George V. We also have an old photo of Robert Warwick's Costal Artillery Corp group that we will include in next week's newsletter. We only wish we knew what Robert Warwick looked like back then. We never really knew him. View/Write Comments (count 2)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe

Obituary - Edward Theodore Hodgden, 03/13/1926 to 05/28/2006...

Vol 8, Iss 22 Services were held Friday, June 02, 2006 at 10:30 AM, Wharton Funeral Chapel, Alva, Oklahoma. Edward Hodgden, age 80, longtime resident of Alva, Oklahoma, died Sunday, May 28, Ascension Sunday. Funeral services for Mr. Hodgden were held at Wharton Funeral Chapel on Friday, June 2, at 10:30 a.m., with rites following at the Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery. A vigil service was held Thursday, June 1, at 7 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Fr. Shane Tharp presiding at the services.

Edward Theodore Hodgden was born on March 13, 1926, in Enid, Oklahoma, to Theodore William (Ted) and Rose Dora (Hudnall) Hodgden. Ed's grandparents were Walter Perry and Ella (Nagle) Hodgden. Walter Perry Hodgden was twenty-one years old when he joined other Kansas men making the Run into the Cherokee Strip. Walter left his home in Ellsworth, Kansas riding his horse to Arkansas City and was ready to race into the Strip when the gun was fired, September 16, 1893. The line broke early, and though the soldiers were shouting and calling people back, they all just raced on, so the gun was fired so all could go.

Ed's grandpa, Walter Hodgden, rode that day with Billy Morton, a blacksmith from Ellsworth. Their horses "lasted too long" and when they stopped on Black Bear Creek, they found they were in Indian country. Not getting a claim they rode on into Enid and Walter took up school land southwest of Enid. Billy was to spend the rest of his life on the Hodgden ranch, dying in 1936 at 85 years.

Walter Hodgden operated land at his home in Garfield County and Walter began ranching in Woods County in 1897, starting in Section 36-Twp23-Rge13 and later acquiring Section1 and 2-Twp22-Rge13 and other acreages. This land is in the southeast corner of Woods County and on the south by the Cimarron River.

In may 1897 Walter returned to Ellsworth to marry Miss Ella Nagle, then returned to his home where they both continued to live until their deaths. That summer he harvested his first wheat crop, having been "hailed out" the three previous years. On a trip to Iowa he purchased seven Registered Hereford cows and a Registered Hereford bull. This was on of the first Registered herds in Oklahoma and surrounding states. Especially did northwest Oklahoma benefit from this improved blood and herds in Garfield and Woods Counties continue to show its influence.

Walter Perry Hodgden was born in 1872, died in 1921, but Mrs. Hodgden and her sons Theodore and Walter continued to operate the ranch. Mrs. Ella (Nagle) Hodgden died in 1960 and Theodore in 1973. Walter Perry and Ella (Nagle) Hodgden had three children: Theodore, Walter and Mary.

Ed Hodgden, son of Theodore William "Ted" and Ella (Nagle) Hodgden, was raised and educated near Drummond, Oklahoma, and at Ft. Hays, Kansas. Ed attended St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School in Enid, Oklahoma. He served in the Navy during WWII in the Philippines.

Ed married Joan Wagner in 1949 in Blairstown, New Jersey, and they were married 37 years, until her death in 1986. Their surviving children are Susan Belinda and her husband Jim Nance; Maura Bethann and her husband Larry Leslie; Melissa Joan and her husband Eric Nuttall; and Amy Melanie Hodgden. Also surviving are 7 grandchildren and 2 great-grandgirls; a sister and brother-in-law, Mary Agnes and Thomas G. Romine; one brother, Francis Hodgden, two brother-in-laws and their wifes, Lou and Kay Wagner and David and Linda Wagner and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Ed began his career in the oilfields of northwest Oklahoma as a roughneck and worked on the first oil well to be drilled in Woods County. He continued several businesses in the oil and gas industry until the age of 79. Throughout his 53-year career in the oil and gas industry he and his family served this northwest community well and he will be greatly missed.

He leaves behind his present wife, Donna. He was preceded in death by his wife Joan, his parents, and his infant daughter, Nora. Contributions may be made in Ed?s memory to the Alva Senior Citizen Center. Click here to leave your condolences at Wharton Funeral Guestbook.
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148th Co. - Coast Artillery Corp

Vol 9, Iss 5 We need help identifying these young men of the 148th Company of the Coast Artillery Corp (CAC), during WWI. Notice the baseball equipment laying down front of the seated group of men. We really need your help in finding more information about this 148th Co. CAC during WWI era. Can you help us?

Since the photo was amongst some of our grandma's keepsakes, we assume that one of the young men is Robert Lee Warwick. BUT... Alas! We are not sure which one that is, because we have no recollection or photo to compare it with. That is sad!

Is there anyone out there that remembers the Coast Artillery Corp Company & the soldiers that fought in WWI with the Canadian/British forces?

Robert Lee Warwick enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary forces, April 12th, 1917, serving in France.

We know Robert Lee Warwick was with the C.A.C. in 1914 before he joined the Canadian Expeditionary forces. He enlisted at Fort McDowell, California, January 19th, 1914 and furloughed to the western department in Class A reserve, 18 January 1917, Fort Terry, New York. About four months later he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force under the name of "R. Lee Warwick."
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Operation Overlord

Vol 16, Iss 20 Normandy, France - General Dwight D. Eisenhower, supreme commander of Allied Expeditionary Forces in WWII, launches Operation Overlord, 6 June 1944, known as D-Day, while Gen. Patton was used as a ruse to keep the enemy forces off-guard. Back in America, President Franklin Roosevelt waited for word of the invasion's success.

The first week of June 1944, Nazi Germany controlled most of Western Europe. 156,000 Allied forces were posed to travel by ship or plane over the English Channel to attack the German army dug in at Normandy, France, on June 5, 1944.

Eisenhower had a window of only four days of decent weather in which an invasion would be possible. Bad weather hit the channel on June 4, 1944, as Eisenhower wrestled with the idea of postponing Operation Overlord. It was predicted that weather conditions would worsen over the next two weeks and Eisenhower had thousands of personnel and thousands of tons of supplies that were in his words, "hanging on the end of a limb." It was after a promising but cautious report from his meteorologist at 9:45 p.m. on June 5, 1944, Eisenhower told his staff, "Let's go."

Ike (Eisenhower) composed a solemn, inspirational statement that was delivered the next day as a letter into the hands of every soldier, sailor and airman set to embark on Overlord. Eisenhower displayed the confidence and leadership skills, reminding the men that the eyes of the world were upon them and that their opponents would fight savagely. Exhorting his men to be brave, show their devotion to duty and accept nothing less than victory. Eisenhower wished his troops good luck and sought the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking. Eisenhower had also scrubbed a note in which he accepted all blame in case the mission failed. The note remained crumpled up in his pocket.

President Roosevelt sat in his office waiting for word of Operation Overlord, writing on a speech that was turned into a prayer entitled Let Our Hearts be Stout. First lady Eleanor tried to go about her daily business, but felt suspended in space. At 3 a.m. Eastern time on June 6, Roosevelt received the call that the invasion had commenced. He notified the nation by radio that night, saying at this poignant hour I ask you to join with me in a prayer.

FDR's D-Day Speech June 6, 1944:

It was on 8 June 1944, after years of planning, preparation and placating egos among his military peers, Eisenhower was able to report that the Allies had made a harrowing and deadly, but ultimately successful, landing on the beaches of Normandy. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe

65 Years Ago

Vol 11, Iss 23 This weekend, June 6, 2009, was the celebration of the 65th Anniversary of D-Day at Normandy Beach, on the coast of France. This is the online link that has more information about D-Day, June 6, 1944.

My Uncle Bob McGill did not storm the beaches of Normandy on that day. Uncle Bob was about to graduate from Officers candidate school and five days earlier had just married Helen Louise Soper, 1 June 1944 after obtaining a marriage license on 31 May 1944 and they were married in Alva, Oklahoma 1 June 1944 with Gene McGill (Bob's brother) as a witness. Bob & Helen's marriage was just another of those pre-war romances before the soldier got sent overseas to war. Uncle Bob and Aunt Helen were Divorced 22 June 1948.

Back to the 65th Anniversary of D-Day ... It was June 6, 1944, when as described at The National D-Day Memorial Foundation, "150,000 Allied soldiers clambered aboard heaving landing craft and braved six-foot swells, waves of machine gun fire, and more than 6 million mines to claim a stretch of sand at a place called Normandy. Their mission was to carve out an Allied foothold on the edge of Nazi-occupied Europe for the army of more than one million that would follow them in the summer of 1944. This army would burst forth from the beachhead, rolling across Europe into the heart of Germany, liberating millions, toppling a genocidal regime, and ending a nightmare along the way. But it all began on this beach in France, with an army of teenagers on a day called D-Day."

The youngest D-Day and WWII veterans turned 82 years of age today ... or this year. D-Day was a turning point in the course of WWII and signaled the beginning of the end of the age of fascism and the return of hope to millions in occupied nations globally.

Did any of your ancestors storm the beaches of Normandy, June 6, 1944?
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The WWI Stammering Song

Vol 10, Iss 33 Remembering K-K-Katy! Many of you out there might remember this song once sung by the WWI soldiers and Sailors as they were saying goodbye before they headed off to war in France. Do you remember singing this stammering song in your youth?

One of the reasons I am writing about it this week is because I ran across an old Pathe Phonograph record that my grandmother had collected in the early 1900's. This particular phonograph record of mine was published by Pathe Phonograph Company and sung by Louis Winsch. Louis Winsch enjoyed modest success as a Path? recording artist during the World War I era, but wisely kept his day job at a Philadelphia phonograph store. --

K-K-K-Katy sung by Billy Murray was considered a comic song, with words and music by Geoffrey O'Hara. It was written in Kingston, Ontario. It became one of the most popular songs of the World War I era, especially among the troops. Published 16 March 1918 by Leo Feist with the subtitle The Stammering Song, it sold over a million copies in sheet music form and was recorded with great success that same year for Victor (18455) by the US tenor, Billy Murray.

Ten other vocal and instrumental recordings of 'K-K-K-Katy' from the 1920s are listed in Roll Back the Years. In 1940 the song was revived by Jack Oakie in the movie Tin Pan Alley.

The song has been done by Mitch Miller, Bill Murray, Buddy Clark, Jon English, Charlie Mariano, Cliff Edwards, Alice Fay, and Louis Winsch, among others.

It was billed as The Sensational Stammering Song Success Sung by the Soldiers and Sailors.

It was regarded as something of a 'goodbye' song. The 'Katy' in the song was Katherine Gertrude (Craig) Richardson of Kingston, Ontario and was composed at Richardson's house in 1917 by Geoffrey O'Hara. O'Hara was originally from Chatham, Ontario, taught music at Columbia University and the University of South Dakota, and died in Florida on January 31, 1967, at age 84. During his career, he composed a great many songs, mostly hymns and other sacred music, but none so far have lasted like K-K-K-Katy.

The song was first played at a garden party fund-raiser for the Red Cross in Collins Bay on Lake Ontario.

Here are the complete lyrics to K-K-K-Katy
Jimmy was a soldier brave and bold,
Katy was a maid with hair of gold,
Like an act of fate,
Kate was standing at the gate,
Watching all the boys while on parade.
Kate smiled, with a twinkle in her eye,
Jim said, m-m-m-meet ya by and by.
That night at eight,
Jim was at the garden gate,
Stuttering this song to K-K-K-Kate.

K-K-K-Katy, beautiful Katy,
You're the only g-g-g-girl that I adore;
When the m-m-m-moon shines,
Over the c-c-c-cowshed,
I'll be waiting at the k-k-k-kitchen door.
K-K-K-Katy, beautiful Katy,
You're the only g-g-g-girl that I adore;
When the m-m-m-moon shines,
Over the c-c-c-cowshed,
I'll be waiting at the k-k-k-kitchen door.

No one ever looked so nice and neat,
No one could be just as cute and sweet,
That's what Jimmy thought,
When the wedding ring he bought,
Soon he'll go to France, the foe to meet.
Jimmy thought he'd like to take a chance,
See if he could make the Kaiser dance,
Stepping to a tune,
All about the silv'ry moon,
This is what they'll hear in far off France.

K-K-K-Katy, beautiful Katy,
You're the only g-g-g-girl that I adore;
When the m-m-m-moon shines,
Over the c-c-c-cowshed,
I'll be waiting at the k-k-k-kitchen door.
K-K-K-Katy, beautiful Katy,
You're the only g-g-g-girl that I adore;
When the m-m-m-moon shines,
Over the c-c-c-cowshed,
I'll be waiting at the k-k-k-kitchen door.
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Ghostly Spirits of Alva's Old Hospital

Vol 9, Iss 42 With Halloween just a few weeks, days away, we thought we would throw in some mention of possible ghostly spirits that may, may not roam the halls of the Old Alva General Hospital.

One of Alva's most famous ghostly, haunts of ghostly spirits is the Old Alva General Hospital that sets at the top of Fourteenth & Maple Street, looking East down Maple Street. Actually, it is about three blocks up the hill from my house.

Is it haunted? The old hospital, that is? How did the red spot get on the old hospital's hall black & white tiled floor? How come it keeps coming back after they clean it? What is the story of how it got there?

I don't have those answers, BUT... I do know that the old Alva hospital was built in 1932, Alva, Oklahoma. It was used as a hospital until.... I'm not sure exactly what year they built the new hospital in the South part of town, South of the University Campus.

I've never experienced any ghosts up at the old hospital, but I hear others have felt the cold, leery stares of the ghosts from the past.

I remember when I was just a young girl, say about 5 or 6 years old, and had my tonsils out. At least I think it was around that age. That's been over 50 years ago. What I do remember those infamous backless gowns that loosely tie in the back at the neck and somewhere else down the back. Instead of rolling down the hall to the surgery room on a rolling bed cart, Dr. Travis gave me a piggy back ride on his back. Of course, you probably all expected that this five year-olds tiny bare backside was showing, mooning all those we passed in the hospital hall on the way to the surgery room! BUT... being only five years old, what did I know of being embarrassed! I was just thrilled with the piggy back ride. What a treat for a five-year-old!

I another memory I have about the old hospital was around February, 1954, when my Uncle Bob McGill was in the hospital and Dad took all of us up to visit Uncle Bob in this small, dark room. That was the last time I saw my Uncle Bob McGill alive. He died shortly afterwards of lung cancer. I never really got to know my Uncle Bob, but from reading some of his old letters to family members and his WWII memorabilia that Grandma Constance McGill saved, I got a special glimpse of this good looking gentleman, WWII Major and soldier.

Another old hospital memory I have takes us back to August, 1968, when my grandmother Constance Warwick McGill died.

All these memories of visiting the old hospital to visit dying relatives seems kind of morbid, doesn't it? Are they some of those spirits souls that haunt the old hospital? Do you have any memories or heard any ghostly talk about the "Old Alva Hospital?"
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Fort Reno & Fort Sill - WWII...

Vol 6, Iss 2 Fort Sill's telephone line installed in 1879 soon linked Fort Reno and the Darlington Agency and eventually Fort Supply; Amelia Earhart landed her autogiro at the Fort Reno airstrip in the 1920's; During WWII the famous Lipizan horses were held at the Fort Reno riding hall for a period of time; Black Jack, the riderless horse in President John F. Kennedy's funeral procession was born and raised at Fort Reno.

The German WWII internment camp was erected in 1943 on the eastern edge of the Fort property. Prisoners began arriving July 4, 1943. By August 30 of that same year, 1000 prisoners arrived at Fort Reno POW Camp. It included 65 temporary structures including an administration building, barracks, hospital, canteen, guardhouse, shops and mess halls. Originally the POW Camp was intended for Japanese soldiers, but the increasing numbers of German and Italian prisoners captured by the Allied Forces in North Africa changed the nationality of the occupants. The 435th Military Police Escort served as guards for the camp and included 130 men and two officers. The only remaining landmark of the Fort Reno POW Camp is the concrete water tower. There were over 1000 Germans who were captured in North Africa that were imprisoned at Fort Reno. It was during this time that the German POW's were hired as laborers by local farmers and worked as farm hands for the Remount Station, and built the Fort Reno Chapel located on the north side of the Parade Grounds. The west side of the Fort Reno Post Cemetery is the location of the POW Cemetery where 70 former prisoners are interred. 61 of the 62 Germans came from POW camps located in Oklahoma. The 8 Italians came from the POW camp locaed in Herford, Texas. The most famous German buried at the Fort Reno POW Cemetery was Johannes Kunze of the Tonkawa Camp. Kunze was beaten to death by fellow POW's who accused him of being a traitor. Those charged with Kunze murder were found guilty, executed and buried. The death of Kunze is the subject of a novel by Vince Greene entitled Extreme Justice.

The WWII POW's worked at a variety of locations and were paid 80 cents per day. Many worked as farm laborers at Fort Reno. Local farmers paid the government $1.50 per prisoner per day. The government paid the prisoners 10 cents per hour in script money which could be used to purchase items from the Canteen. The farmer provided transportation to and from the camp for the prisoners and a guard. Other prisoners worked at Tinker Field and Douglas Modification Plant in Oklahoma City. 250 to 260 German prisoners each day performed jobs at Fort Reno that included carpentry, bakery, shoe repair, auto mechanics, tailoring, butcher, and hay hauling. The prisoners constructed two buildings at Fort Reno... Lucas Hall, the Chapel and enlarged the Officers' Club. The German POW's planted trees on both side sof the entrance road to the Fort Reno post. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe

Human Statue of Liberty - 1918, Iowa

Vol 10, Iss 10 I received this 1918 photograph of a Human Statue of Liberty in my email inbox this week, but have misplaced who sent it to me. Here is what I found out about this TRUE Event.

As the web site of the Iowa National Guard explains, the displayed photograph of a "human Statue of Liberty," formed by 18,000 posed soldiers, was taken in July, 1918 at Camp Dodge, Iowa, as part of a planned promotional campaign to sell war bonds during WWI:

    "On a stifling July day in 1918, 18,000 officers and soldiers posed as Lady Liberty on the parade [drill] grounds at Camp Dodge. [this area was west of Baker St. and is currently the area around building S34 and to the west.] According to a July 3, 1986, story in the Fort Dodge Messenger, many men fainted -- they were dressed in woolen uniforms -- as the temperature neared 105 degrees F. The photo, taken from the top of a specially constructed tower by a Chicago photography studio, Mole & Thomas, was intended to help promote the sale of war bonds but was never used."
You can read more about this TRUE 1918 Human Statue of Liberty over at Snopes Urban Legends - Human Statue of Liberty:
    "The design for the living picture was laid out at the drill ground at Camp Dodge, situated in the beautiful valley of the Des Moines River. Thousands of yards of white tape were fastened to the ground and formed the outlines on which 18,000 officers and men marched to their respective positions ..... From the position nearest the camera occupied by colonel Newman and his staff, to the last man at the top of the torch as platted on the ground was 1,235 feet, or approximately a quarter of a mile....."
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Among Other Things...

Vol 7, Iss 30 We received an email this week from Mario, whose grandfather (Karl Wegmann) was a German Air Force soldier in North Afrika during WWII. Karl came to Camp Alva in 1943 as a prisoner and worked in the camp kitchen. Karl was from Theilheim, near Wuerzburg, Germany and died in 1982. Mario is looking for anyone that could share stories and information concerning Karl Wegmann. Mario's Email address is listed in the Mailbag Corner. Thanks for any stories, information that you might be able to share with us and Mario.

We have also made contact with Dewey Charles Mosshart the fourth Great-grandson of D.C. Mosshart and William Dee "Doy" Julian of Alva, Oklahoma, concerning the Old Postcard of Ora F. Mosshart that was sent to our Grandmother Constance (Warwick) McGill.

Hope Y'all are keeping cool during these Dog Days of Summer. It can't last much longer. Hang in there. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe

WWI Native American Soldier, Sgt. George Baker (1893-1918)

Vol 15, Iss 13 Kellyville, OK - Thanks goes out to Sarah and the Baker family for the information concerning The Indian Leader. We wish them the best in their application for the "Purple heart" for their relative, Sgt. George Baker.

The Indian Leader, dated 10 May 1918, in Lawrence, Kansas, and found online at Google Books, The Indian Leader, mentions Sgt. George Baker, a Native American Indian (Euchee). Sergeant George Baker was the great-grandfather of Sarah Kristine Baker.

Sarah contacted this NW Okie on Facebook a few days ago with information of her great-grandfather and said, "I noticed an article on your website seeking WW1 KIA's from Oklahoma and would like to pass on the information about my Great-Grandfather Sergeant George Baker.

"George Baker was a full-blooded Euchee Indian from Kellyville, Oklahoma. He reported to Camp Travis in August of 1917. There is an article in the book titled "The Indian Leader" that was dated May 10, 1918. In this article, it speaks highly of the Native Americans at Camp Travis, noting the high numbers of NCO's within the 358th Infantry (where my Great-Grandfather was attached). Also, the 358th Infantry received the most Native Americans. At the end of the article, it mentions my Great-Grandfather again: Sergeant George Baker, Euchee, is a valued member of the Camp Travis baseball team. His unit assignment (Army) was: 358th Infantry, 90th Division, CO L.

"My great-grandfather was KIA (Killed In Action) at the Battle of St. Mihiel in France on 12 Sept. 1918. He was buried there on the battlefield. Later, the U.S. Government contacted my great-great-grandma, Sallie Baker (his mom) to ask what she wanted the Government to do with his body. She wanted him brought back to our "Baker Family Cemetery" in Kellyville, Oklahoma. My uncle received his Burial Case Files from National Archives a few years ago. These files included his autopsy report, how he actually died, the condition of his body, etc. He is currently buried at the Baker Family Cemetery in Kellyville, Oklahoma (about 8-miles southwest of Sapulpa, Oklahoma on U. S. Route 66).

"As this moment, the DOD along with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation (we are Euchee and Creek Indian, all enrolled with the Creek Nation) are working on getting my Great-Grandfather awarded with the Purple Heart. Also, my family's cemetery, the Baker Family Cemetery, is on the list to officially become Protected Historical Site due to the Native American Graves Protection & Repatriation Act.

[grave marker reads: "Sergt. George Baker, Aug 6, 1893-Sept 16, 1918, CO L 358 Infantry, killed in action in France.]

"I am attaching a picture of his grave marker, the article on him in the book and our family cemetery. Thank you for reading this, please all or message if you have any further questions.
Air Battle of st. Mihiel
First World War - Battle of St. Mihiel
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Great Uncle Robert Lee Warwick

Vol 13, Iss 34 Oklahoma - Our great uncle Robert Lee Warwick was the younger brother of our grandmother, Constance Estella (Warwick) McGill. During WW I, Robert Lee Warwick joined the Canadian Expeditionary (WW I 1919) and the C.A.C. (Coast Artillery Corp 1914). I know have written about this before in the archives of the OkieLegacy Ezine, but for those just now coming on board, I will reiterate this part of the family story.

In an old family bible we found a rather delicate, worn and taped WWI Reservists Descriptive Card; a letter from Buckingham Palace; and a Canadian Expeditionary Force Discharge certificate for R. Lee Warwick dated June 29, 1919. Robert Lee Warwick served in Canada Force Corps in France. He enlisted in the Canadian Corps, April 12th, 1917. The demobilization of the service was the reason for his discharge in Toronto, Canadian, June 29, 1919. Here is the rest of the story at Great Uncle Robert Lee Warwick & WWI.

I am still trying to verify if the pictures of the two football players and the CAC could be photos of my great uncle, Robert Lee Warwick. Robert was born November 5, 1887, Monterey, Virginia, son of John Robert and Signora Belle (Gwin) Warwick. In 1914, Robert L. Warwick enlisted in the U. S. Army where he served three years with the Coast Artillery Corp (CAC) 5th Company. He then joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force at Toronto, Canada and was sent to France with the Canadian Army. He served through World War I and received his discharge June 29, 1919.

Inscription on the old time football players in the photoreads as follows:

  • "Pillow Top, manufactured by The Harry M. Muller Co., Mfgs of Photo Pillow Tops, 411-413 Montrose Ave., Chicago, Ill." Agents Name - Phillips; ship by mail; town & state - San Francisco, Cal.; remarks - Zenobia satin. The football has "Pug Ugly Twins" written on it. Is the writing on the backside of photo, at the bottom "(either 104 or P04) Kanis 148 CO?" Could this "148 CO" have reference to the "148th CAC CO?"
  • The football uniforms are similar to U of Washington's 1903 uniforms and 1903 Tampa. The city and state are San Francisco, Cal.

    148th Coast Artillery Corp (CAC) 1914 In our OkieLegacy Ezine, Vol. 11, iss. 39, dated 2009-09-28, we showed a photo of the 148th Company of the Coast Artillery Corp (CAC) was in operation during WWI. The photo on the left shows a baseball team with the emblem of the 148th CAC on their shirts and equipment laying down front of the seated group of men.

    Since the photo was amongst some of our grandma's keepsakes, we assume that one of the young men was Robert Lee Warwick. BUT... Alas! We are not sure which one that is, because we have no recollection or photo to compare it with.

    Is there anyone out there that remembers the Coast Artillery Corp Company & the soldiers that fought in WWI with the Canadian/British forces?

    Robert Lee Warwick enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary forces, April 12th, 1917, serving in France. We know Robert Lee Warwick was with the C.A.C. in 1914 before he joined the Canadian Expeditionary forces. He enlisted at Fort McDowell, California, January 19th, 1914 and furloughed to the western department in Class A reserve, 18 January 1917, Fort Terry, New York. About four months later he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force under the name of "R. Lee Warwick." READ MORE. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe

    Wewoka, Seminole County, Oklahoma

    Vol 12, Iss 26 Wewoka, Oklahoma - Homer sent us this link to Oklahoma Historical Society's Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History & Culture concerning information on Wewoka, Oklahoma. Did you know that Wewoka was a Seminole word meaning "barking water?"

    Wewoka was located in east-central Seminole County, at the the junction of State Highway 56 and US Highway 270. It states that Wewoka was originally located in the Seminole Nation, Indian Territory (I.T.) and was the location of the sEminole national capital.

    have you ever heard stories of a "whipping tree" (pecan tree) located near the council house where Seminole and African Americans who broke the law were suspended from the tree while being whipped?

    A Timeline of Events around Wewoka, Oklahoma:
    * 1849 - Gopher John (a.k.a. John Horse) and other Seminole slaves were located near present Wewoka.

    * 1866 - Elijah J. Brown, a white trader, was selected by the government tolead SEminole refugees from Kansas to I.T. and they settled near Wewoka where Brown established a trading post (Wewoka Trading Company, 1891) and was postmaster when the post office was established May 13, 1867.

    * 1866 - Rev. James Ross Ramsey, Presbyterian missionary, founded Ramsey Mission (first school in present Seminole county.)

    1867 - Federal government established a remount station nearby for soldiers traveling between Fort Gibson and Fort Sill.

    * 1877 Seminole Gvoernor John F. Brown unified tribal factions and had a log house erected at Wewoka as the Seminole capitol.

    * 1895 - Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad (Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway after 1902) ran its line from McAlester to Oklahoma City passing through Wewoka.

    * 1897 - Seminole National Council decreed that the town lots were reserved for American Indians only.

    * 1902 - Settlement of the town was opened to white settlers.

    1907 - After Statehood the population was at 794.

    * 1908 - Wewoka was elected as county seat in special election.

    * 1910 - Population at 1,022.

    * 1920 - Another election was held, because Seminole and Konawa towns people contested Wewoka as county seat. * 1923 - March 1923 Roland H. Smith drilled Wewoka's first commercial oil well (Betsy Foster Number One).

    * 1927 - Seminole county courthouse was completed.

    * 1928 - May 1928 an amusement park had been added for recreation near Lake Wewoka.

    * 1929 - Junior college courses were offered at the high school.

    * 1930 - Wewoka's population peaked at 10,401 with the oil and gas industry. Post WWII -- Wewoka lost residents.

    * 1950 & 1960 - Census reported 6,747 and 5,954.
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    An Okielegacy Centennial Moment

    Vol 9, Iss 26 This is an old WWI photograph that Roy Kendrick shared with us. It is the Truck Company #6, 110 Motor Supply Train, 35th Division, at Camp Doniphan, in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, taken October 26, 1917.

    It is not very often that you can view such an old photo with the last name (in ink) of everyone in the picture. Incidentally, I am told by Roy that the man kneeling at the far right is probably Fred Madden of Perry, Oklahoma.

    This is a list of names in the photograph. Beginning with those standing (left to right): Elliot, Tays, Hanke, Hudson, Casey, Revery, M.Castle, Worland, Weihl, McCoy, Tooey, Neville, Brown, McKinney, O.Castle, Jackson, Jager, Drummond, Wiley, Schmitt, Sohaff, Lee, Madinger, Steidel, Beihl, Allan, Muster, Kaucher, Farris, Harmon, Starmer, Hinde.

    Those kneeling (left to right): Marcell, Hopkins, Knudson, Hedges, Sherwood, fisher, Vinburg, Lt. M.P.Habecker, Ogden, Herndon, Banes, Bova, Walters, Bower, Hemenover, Madden.

    Here is another old photo of WWI soldiers in training at Auxiliary Remount Depot, No. 333 and Troops in training at that Depot. Major Stanley Koch, Comdg, Camp Joseph E. Johnston, in Florida. I couldn't read the writing that great to tell if that was Jose or could it have been Camp Joseph E. Johnston? Maybe someone with better (20-20) eyes could get a better read.

    The photo was taken by S. Silverstein Photos., 320 Park Ave., W. Savan, GA.

    If any of these names, photos ring a bell, jog old memories cells, we would love to hear from you. You may leave your "comments" below this issue item -- OR ... send your WWI, 1917, Ft. Sill soldier & Auxillary Remount Depot, No. 333 memories to Linda - Email: Thanks for sharing your legacy and memories!
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    Doughboys & Doughnut Girls of WWI...

    Vol 6, Iss 13 Remember the "Doughboys" of WWI? What about the "Doughnut Girls?" Another reader sent us a story they found online concerning the Doughnut Girls of WWI. It seems the Doughnut Girls were a part of the Salvation Army that were sent across the ocean -- feeding, caring for the soldiers fighting in WWI. Did your father, grandfather, great-grandfather, etc... ever talk about the doughnuts and the Doughnut Girls of WWI? We would love to hear about it.

    We hear that there is a Wild West Oklahoma June 11-13, 2004 coming soon to Northwest Oklahoma at the Selman Ranch. If you are into Photography and experience life as it was back in the old days, this might be an opportunity that you can NOT resist. An opportunity to capture the Northwest territories and the great scenery, people, places, etc... that exist around these parts. Come visit the Northwest and bring your camera.

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    More WWII POW Stories

    Vol 17, Iss 3 Kiowa, Kansas - Kiowa, Kansas Veteran Talks of WWII POW Experience - (story from the Alva Review Courier, Nov. 10, 1995, by Yvonne Miller) -- As a prisoner of war in Germany, this American Lt. (Mike Rose) lost 100 pounds in his 100 days of captivity. "There was lots of marching and very little eating," Rose said as he recalled those horrid days.

    When the POWs did eat, Rose said it was usually on a very thin, unseasoned soup made from barley or whatever was available to the Germans. Larvae floated atop the soup which Rose admitted he ate in a desperate attempt to take in some protein.

    "They also fed us meat from horses that had been dead and bloated for quite awhile," he recalled in disgust.

    "We slept on the ground or in old buildings just like hogs and dogs."

    The Road That Led To Rose's Captivity As a 1937 graduate of Kiowa High School, Rose was one of eleven children, eight of whom were boys. Two of the brothers served in WWI while two of them fought in WWII.

    Rose entered the US military in the later part of 1940 as one of the first drafts to attend camp in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he earned $21 per day. He trained on the West coast and at "Little West Point" in Georgia where he graduated fourth in his class and was named lieutenant. He entered the 9th Armored Division at Ft. Riley, Kansas, where he became a company commander. At Ft. Knox, KY, Rose became a first lieutenant. He returned to Ft. Riley where he commanded Company L which consisted of 300 men and seven officers.

    When his company heard of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Rose said, "We knew we were finally in." They left for New York, their port of embarkation to go overseas.

    He commented that he was thrilled to death to set sail and was in love with what he was doing. Aboard the Queen Mary, Rose and his men made a six-day trip across the Atlantic, landing at a bay area known in Europe as the Firth of Clyde.

    The troops journeyed across England. "From the white cliffs of Dover to South Hampton the sky was covered with all types of US fighter planes. The sight had hair standing up on my neck," Rose recalled.

    In a storm on the channel, his company landed on the Omaha Beach of Normandy in liberty ships. He remembers braving water chest high from the ship to the beach. They were there at the tail end of the Normandy mess and were there to clean up.

    Rose admitted, "Anyone who has been in that kind of mess cannot say they weren't scared." He said there was "comfort in numbers," but he lost even more men going further inland.

    After crossing the "Sigfried Line" he led his men into enemy territory to spy under the cover of darkness.

    Meeting General Patton...

    Rose had the privilege to set across the table from renowned General Patton during a strategy session over the Battle of the Bulge. Rose described General Patton as the finest officer and man and he tried to pattern himself after him.

    After the strategy session with General Patton, Rose said his company was given a tank destroyer battalion, medium and light tanks, engineers and medics. By the cover of darkness they traveled 18 kilometers northeast of Bastogne, Germany.

    That's when they met a German 3rd Panzer Division that stormed and bypassed them. They were annihilated and lost lots of men. The survivors took off in every direction hiding wherever they could. He and one other soldier hid in a manger in an old cow shed, but the Germans found them anyway.

    "It was snowing . . . a blizzard," Rose remembered as German soldiers led eight American POWS to an unknown destination. Eventually they joined a group of nearly 300 POWS of both American and British descent.

    One POW recommended they run for it. Rose vehemently disagreed because he feared the consequences of being shot as they ran. The two leaders fought. "The one leader was going to have me court marshaled," Rose said. Most agreed with Rose, and none of the soldiers ran.

    The POWS marched up a mountain following a snow plow deeper into German territory. "We met a bunch of German tanks and those 'krauts' actually waved at us because we waved at them."

    All of a sudden American P38s flew overhead and fired, not realizing they were killing their own. Rose said once those pilots understood what they had done they often flew in low "to check on us." "Hitler Youth" took charge of the POWs.

    General Patton's son-in-law Colonel Waters was taken as a POW so Patton sent in troops. Rose said the troops shot the guards and "liberated the camp." Soldiers scattered everywhere.

    Rose left with two other POWs. They traveled on a main road Germans used to go to the front. "We followed them in line and hid in the bushes when needed," Rose said. That worked for a while, but finally the Germans figured them out. They were transported in old trucks to another POW camp.

    The POWs were in sorry condition ... "We were covered in lice," Rose said. The men were actually thankful to arrive at the next POW camp. An old bakery building that was heated had been converted into the camp. There the men were stripped of their clothing and their heads were shaved. The clothes were baked in the ovens to kill the lice.

    For the first time in nearly three months, Rose was able to take a shower, but it was in ice cold water. The soap burned his skin and they dripped dried.

    The Germans strictly told the men not to go outside the barracks. "One guy went outside to the latrine and got shot in the head," Rose said grimly.

    Although he was still a POW, Rose said he felt good as he started out on another march, this time to Mooseburg, Germany to a different camp. To his surprise a man came looking for him. It turned out to be Tom Logan, a classmate from Kiowa who was also a POW.

    A German who spoke fluent English approached Rose, who was then a Captain. The Germans were picking out American officers to be in charge of their peers because soon the camp would be liberated. The time was 1945 and the war was about over. "The Germans wanted us to be organized," Rose said.

    During those days before liberation, Rose remembers playing poker with the Germans. "We played for cigarettes," he said with a chuckle. "On the day of liberation when the US flag went into the air, we cried like babies," Rose said. With a very big friend at his side, Rose talked a German officer out of his new pair of boots and his saber.

    Finally free, the Americans traveled to Camp Lucky Strike in France in preparation to go home. Rose was in charge of taking 150 high point enlisted men and 150 POW officers home to Leavenworth, Kansas. Aboard the S. S. Daniel Heister, the Americans sailed for 31 days. Rose said the food was bountiful, but after their starvation ordeal, they had to learn to eat again.

    Upon seeing the Statue of Liberty, the men cheered. Rose said there were "bands and beautiful women" waiting to greet the soldiers. The group endured a two-day train trip to Leavenworth which Rose said "seemed to take forever."

    When we finally returned home, Rose anxiously threw his arms around that son who was already two years old. "we got to be pretty good pals," he said of his son who as an adult lost his life to cancer.

    Rose was in the service station business until his retirement. Before his release from the military, Rose became a Major. He wished his military career could have advanced further, but thinks his time as a POW hindered his advancement.
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    World War II POW Camp Stories

    Vol 17, Iss 2 Alva, OK - Alva's German Prisoner of War "POW" Camp, Alva, Oklahoma, Woods County, June, 1942 - November, 1945, "Hitler's Hard-Core Troops Held in Alva."

    In the Alva Review Courier, Sept. 10, 1995 Helen Barrett wrote an article concerning the POW tower and VFW Post. According to Helen Barrett, "In June 1944 the United States had nearly 300 prisoner of War camps in secret locations. By 1945 that number had increased to 666."

    She goes on to say, "Camp Alva, called 'Nazilager' by other German prisoners, provided housing for the dedicated Nazis, SS and Gestapo stalwarts and confirmed troublemakers. Many of the men were from Field Marshall Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps, the German force that fought in North Africa."

    In the Time-Life Books publication titled "Prisoners of War" by Ronald H. Bailey, the author wrote, "Camp commanders tended to send to Alva anyone who proved troublesome regardless of his political bent."

    Because Alva was so far from either coast, it was ideal just in case prisoners tried to escape. Some tried, but only one nearly succeeded in his attempt to return to his homeland. Helen reported that, "The Aug. 9, 1946, issue of 'The New York Times' reported the capture of one German prisoner of war from the Alva camp."

    The United Press article datelined Aug. 8, 1946, Metz, France, stated, "A German prisoner of war who escaped from a prison camp in Oklahoma and made his way around one-fourth of the globe was arrested today on the threshold of Germany by French police. The prisoner was taken into custody at Forbach, near here. He said he had stowed away on a Portuguese cargo boat to Lisbon. From there he entered Spain and crossed the border to France. The trip across France took 78 days."

    Leo Meyer Stationed in Alva

    An Alva resident, Leo Meyer, manned the switchboard for fourteen months at Camp Alva during WWII. People from Alva who served at this location include former guard Richard Kirkham, the late Dub Myers, and others now deceased.

    Meyer was quoted as saying, "They asked me if I could operate the switchboard. I told them I'd never looked at one before, and they said 'You're just the man we need.'"

    Meyer and two other soldiers, manned the switchboard in eight-hour shifts, two on, four off. Although he knew some of the incoming calls were undoubtedly highly confidential from defense officials in Washington, DC, he was very careful not to listen to any of the conversations.

    "We would ring an officer's phone and a light would come on when they picked up," he explained. "When that light came on, we had to close the key."

    "If we were caught with the switch open, it would be the end," he said. "You'd better not do that to an office!"

    Few Escapes

    Meyer remembers prisoners attempted to escape by tunneling under the barracks. Dirt from the tunnel was either spread over the ground beneath the buildings or flushed down the toilets creating a plumbing nightmare. One escapee made it as far as the Texas border.

    One German escapee became hungry after days without food and found an area farmhouse to wait for it's occupants to return home. The Alva family, of German descent, was able to communicate with the prisoner. Soon he was back in custody.

    "One made it as far as the Texas border," Leo recalled. "About 2,000 POW's were continuously hosed at the camp, which had a capacity of 5,800 men,"

    Meyer's only contacted with the prisoners was when he helped show movies in the camp theater. "The German enlisted men couldn't understand the films, but they sure enjoyed them and laughed a lot. The Officers didn't even smile. They thought it was a waste of time." Meyer said.

    It has been reported that, "The German POW's were innovative in their attempts to make home-brew. Potato peelings were hoarded from the kitchen and blended with smuggled fruit and raisins to make a form of wine or beer."

    Meyer's also got to take a few of the prisoner's photographs as they were being processed when they came in by the trainload. He was known as the camp photographer.

    Prisoners at the Alva site were segregated into groups of officers and enlistees. Meyer recalls that some of the German Officers were really mean.

    Meyer was sent to the German officer's quarters once and caught a glimpse of the seven foot tall walnut Swastika eagle statue the prisoners had made. The seven foot tall walnut wood Swastika eagle statue that a German SS troops imprisoned at the camp, hand carved from wood scraps and glued together. it is now housed at the Alva Cherokee Strip Museum along with other artifacts from the camp.

    [The hours at the Cherokee Strip Museum are 2pm-5pm, Saturday and Sunday. During the Weekdays, Clubs and Organizations coming through can call ahead to make appointment to view during the weekdays if necessary.]

    Meyer's commented that he felt so uneasy the entire time he was in the officer's building that he asked his captain not to send him there again. His request was honored.

    Helen also reports, "Records show five prisoners died at Alva, including one man shot in an escape attempt. One prisoner died of a heart attack, one from complications from an appendectomy, and two prisoners committed suicide by hanging themselves."

    [Other sources report that the two suicides were questionable, but no facts to back it up were ever disclosed. Do we have any investigative reporters out there that need an assignment.]

    The camp site closed November 1945. All that remain of the camp site is the now remodeled VFW Post, the concrete water tower, and scattered throughout the Alva area are homes remodeled from buildings formerly serving as barracks at the camp.
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    1960s Politics In Oklahoma

    Vol 16, Iss 33 Little Dixie, OK - Remember the 1959 "prairie fire" and "Big Red E" campaigns of J. Howard Edmondson, who was inaugurated in January 1959? Edmondson won the general election by the largest majority ever given a governor in the state of Oklahoma. He was also the state's youngest governor in history, at age of 33 years.

    Back in the 1960's, even though the country had repealed Prohibition years earlier, the state of Oklahoma was still "dry." But the state did not enforce the law. Edmondson promised he would either enforce or repeal Prohibition, and ended up doing both. Edmondson said that "every Oklahoman who votes dry will drink dry." It was a time when Law enforcement officials raided bars and nightclubs which illegally served liquor. The law enforcement also targeted bootleggers for breaking the law.

    For the first time, citizens knew what it meant to be "dry." The people learned what true Prohibition meant. The actual enforcement of Prohibition was expensive. Most sheriffs and police were busy full-time with busting bars. But who was going after the real criminals?

    Any teenager, previously, with the right information and enough money could buy alcohol. Adults began thinking regulations might protect teenagers better. Legislators wrote a referendum for a Liquor Control Act. They suggested an Alcoholic Beverage Control Board could license liquor stores. It was on 7 April 1959, the question went to the people in an election. It carried 386,845 votes to 314,830 votes, and added the 27th Amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution. The first package (Liquor) stores opened on 1 September 1959.

    In 1960, the voters approved Question 391, forming the Oklahoma Industrial Finance Authority, that allowed it to issue up to $10 million in bonds to develop industry, and also approved a $35 million bond issue for state buildings.

    The "winds of politics" changed directions midway through Governor Edmondson's term. And opposition to his programs began to grow. Because of the population shift from rural to urban areas, the governor asked for reapportionment. Gov. Edmondson wanted to re-map congressional districts to give urban areas more votes. Edmondson also asked for a highway commission set up by the State Constitution. It would have administered funds and handled other matters usually handled at the county level. The legislature refused these proposals, and the governor took them to the people. The voters turned down Edmondson's ideas, too.

    The governor and legislature reached a stalemate or stand-off. Edmondson became less active. Legislators made changes to weaken the State Merit System and Central Purchasing System, but the programs survived. A federal court ordered reapportionment of the state.

    Senator Robert S. Kerr died in 1963, and the Oklahoma Governor had the power to appoint someone to finish the senator's term. First, Edmondson resigned from the governor's office. The lieutenant governor, George Nigh, succeeded him. Then, as governor, Nigh appointed Edmondson to finish the senator's term in Congress. Edmondson served two years as a U.S. Senator. Then he ran for the office in 1964, and was defeated.

    The youthful energy of Governor J. Howard Edmondson appealed to many Oklahomans. When President John F. Kennedy won the presidential race in 1960, he was a great contrast to his predecessor, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Kennedy urged young people to make the world a better place through programs like the Peace Corps overseas and VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) at home. Kennedy also challenged America to enter the Space Race and put a man on the moon within 10 years, and made the younger generation feel hopeful and powerful.

    In the 1960's political passions ran high in Oklahoma. At one point, a near riot occurred in a confrontation between Democrats and Republicans. It was on 5 November 1962, Republicans marched through downtown Oklahoma City in a pre-election, torchlight parade. They met up with a group of Democrats, and both sides jeered at each other. There was pushing and shoving, and the police reported two hundred people involved.

    Then there was the time that the Republican party unloaded three elephants in front of the democratic headquarters. This, naturally, angered the democrats and helped stir the battle, and the police arrested the elephants and held them in a local garage until Clyde Brothers Circus reclaimed them.

    Henry Bellmon achieved, accomplished what many people thought impossible in Oklahoma in 1962, he became its first Republican governor.

    It was during Bellmon's campaign that he told a story about a farmer with a cow for sale. It went something like this, "The first man who looked at the cow wanted to know about her pedigree. The next fellow inquired about the butterfat content of her milk, and another one asked about her annual milk production. 'All I can tell,' said the farmer, 'is that she's and honest, hard working old cow, and she'll give you all the milk she's got.'" Bellmon promised to be like the cow - honest and hard working.

    As for the democratic primary, it had several candidates, including former governor Raymond Gary. Gary lost to W.P. "Bill" Atkinson, who became the Democratic candidate. Atkinson supported a one-cent increase in sales tax. Bellmon preached no new taxes and won the election.

    It was on 14 January 1963, when Bellmon took office, He was younger than all but one previous Oklahoma governor, J. Howard Edmondson.

    Gov. Bellmon did prove to be hard working, even though he served with a Democratic legislature, he signed more bills than any of the three previous administrations. One was a public housing bill. Despite pressure, Bellmon kept his word about no general tax increases. But Bellmon did increase the cigarette tax as a fund raiser for education.

    Many changes in the legal field as a result of the work of the 30th legislature. It replaced the county attorney system. The new system divided the state into 27 districts, each one hired a district attorney, instead of having 77 counties with their own attorney.

    Scandal also shook the State Supreme Court in the early 1960's, when a federal court convicted Vice-chief Justice Nelson Corn of income tax evasion. Corn gave evidence of other justices accepting bribes. Justice Earl Welch resigned from office to avoid impeachment, but was later convicted. Justice N. B. Johnson was impeached, convicted and removed from office.

    Gov. Bellmon inherited the problem of reapportionment, and with the legislature tried to work out a solution. They passed a law in 1963, but a three judge panel ruled that it was unfair. The judges themselves divided the state. The first elections under the new plan were in September of 1964.

    The Oklahoma schools operated in the Bellmon years by getting a lot of attention. The Oklahoma Education Association (OEA) called for a $1,000 raise for teachers. The legislature refused. The OEA asked the NEA (National Education Association) to investigate the state's schools. NEA report placed Oklahoma on a national blacklist. It imposed professional sanctions, saying working conditions were sub-minimal. The report also pointed out that Oklahoma was fortieth among states in spending per student and 37th in salaries for teachers.

    It was during Gov. Bartlett's term, the OEA specifically demanded statewide kindergarten system. But Bartlett vetoed that plan. The OEA asked for more funds for a special education program. They asked the state to improve school libraries and to require smaller teacher-student ratios. The OEA again sanctioned Oklahoma because of what was a disinterested legislature. Bartlett and several legislative leaders were later able to pass a program to improve the schools, including a $1,300 annual salary increase for teachers.

    It was during Governor Bellmon's term that nationally, the most controversial issue was civil rights for African-Americans. President Kennedy won election during Edmondson's term of office. Kennedy pushed for a bill granting equality of Citizenship and rights to African-Americans. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, but Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    A young African-American minister named Martin Luther King Jr. urged people to use non-violence to claim their rights, and whites began to join their cause.

    Clara Luper continued leading students in local protests. It was 5 years after their first sit-in at the Katz Drug Store, all restaurants in downtown Oklahoma City were integrated. Bishop's restaurant was the last one.

    The protests, marches began drawing attention to all kinds of civil rights as women and sexual minorities spoke out against discrimination. Latino migrants organized a union to protect their rights. Their efforts were peaceful but controversial as they angered some and gave hope to others.

    The 2nd republican governor was Dewey Bartlett. Bartlett became the second Republican governor in 1967.

    The court scandals in the early 1960's brought about the legislature wanting to reform the courts. It sent proposal to the public soon after Bartlett took office in 1967, and the measure passed. It eliminated the justice-of-the peace system in Oklahoma. It also created nonpartisan election of judges.

    Bartlett's administration was on of investigation. It charged several officials, including State Corporation Commissioners, with conflict of interest. Bartlett vetoed a bill to increase salaries for state officials.

    Mike Monroney was a long time senator from the 5th district. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives form 1939 to 1951. He served in the U.S. Senate from 1951 through 1968. He also received Collier's award for distinguished congressional service in 1945. Monroney had a great personal interest in aviation, and sponsored legislation to protect, develop the industry.

    By 1963, there were thousands of American advisors in South Vietnam, but the general public barely heard of the place. It was in 1964, the Maddox, an American ship, was attacked by North Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin. The Viet Cong (communists from North Vietnam) thought the ship had been sent to assist the South Vietnamese. In truth, the ship was only on a scientific mission.

    As a result of the attack, Congress sent a message to President Johnson to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the force of the United States, and to prevent further aggression. The American involvement escalated. Within the year, Johnson sent 30 thousand troops to Southeast Asia.

    When Gov. Bartlett took office, in 1967, Vietnam was a household word in Oklahoma. In 1968 there were 540,000 Americans fighting the war, part of an international force of 1.6 million soldiers. But the U.S. officials were committed to "limited involvement." It was the same kind of policy that had existed during the Korean war. The draft called up more and more young men.

    Since the war was a central issue of the presidential campaign of 1968, the Democratic Convention in Chicago was disrupted with a week long protest. That protest brought on more protest, and bonfires were lit so young men could burn their draft cards; musicians played anti-war songs. Veterans of WWII could not understand how people could criticize their own country, but the opposition was too large to ignore in the 1960's. The tension in America grew worse, as did the gap between the generations.

    It was in 1968 and 1972 that Nixon began the first and second terms as President of the United States. Nixon's administration was riddle with scandals, as his running mate Spiro Agnew was investigated for accepting bribes and not reporting income while governor of Maryland. Agnew resigned in 1973, and Nixon appointed Gerald Ford as new vice-president.

    Nixon's campaign for re-election in 1972 included authorizing a break-in at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC. It was a series of dirty tricks that became more obvious, and Congress had to consider impeaching the President. Instead, Nixon resigned in August of 1974.

    In the midst of those dramatic events, leaders of great integrity stood out. One was Carl Albert from Bugtussle, Oklahoma, who achieved the highest office ever attained by an Oklahoman. In 1971, Albert became Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

    Carl Albert was a man of small stature that held great power. Albert was known affectionately as "The Little Giant from Little Dixie." Albert retired in 1972, but continued to be influential in Oklahoma political circles until his death in 2000. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe

    Capt. Miles W. Kelly's Year In Alva (1944-45)

    Vol 14, Iss 26 Alva, OK - Captain Miles W. Kelly's Year in Alva, September, 1944-September, 1945, written by Bruce A. Kelly. The doc file can be viewed at Year.doc -

    After service in North Africa and Italy during World War II, my father, Dr. Miles William Kelly, MD, was stationed at the prisoner-of-war camp in Alva, Oklahoma from September 28, 1944 to September 17, 1945. He was one of the medical officers at the facility. For the most part, this account is based on the letters he sent home to my mother.

    At least one local history, newspaper articles, and a small amount of government documents also added much to this narrative. Before relating his story, however, a few words must be said regarding the history of the camp itself. The subsequent description is based on the following sources. Some of it is largely a paraphrase of a section on the camp in Alva, Oklahoma: The First 100 Years, 1886-1986 (1987) by Seekers of Oklahoma Heritage Association. Also used here are various government reports based on visits to the camp. The first followed a September 21-22, 1943 visit by Rudolph Fisher, representing the Legation of Switzerland in charge of German interests and does a good job of describing some of the physical layout of the camp. The report, written by Carl M. Marcy, Special Division of the U.S. State Department, who accompanied Fischer on the tour, chronicled the visit which took place less than two months after the first prisoners arrived and thus at a very early stage in the camp's development. Another report of more uncertain origin (there is a line in the report alluding to it possibly being a Red Cross visit) adds a little information about the camp. This one followed a visit by Mr. Paul Schnyder on September 27, 1943, a few days after the above-mentioned one. Who he was and for whom or what he was visiting the camp is not shown. A January 26-28 visit resulted in a February 19, 1944 reported written by Major Frank L. Brown, CMP, but it doesn't indicated who he was. Fischer evidently came back for another visit February 9-11, 1944, though this report is referenced little here. The report of an April 18-19, 1945 visit obviously came later. Visiting the camp then were Mr. Othon Goetz, representative of the Department of German Interests of the Swiss Legation, accompanied by Mr. Van Arsdale Turner of the American State Department. It is hereafter referred to as the Goetz-Turner report.

    Though there were other prison camps in Oklahoma during the war, the one at Alva was thought by many as being the most important. Known as the "Nazilager," it has often been referred to as the Alcatraz or Devil's Island of such camps, that is to say known for its rigorous conditions. These conditions eventually gave rise to complaints among prisoners of Alva being a "punishment camp." Many felt they had been moved from another camp to Alva as a form of retribution for their behavior in the from which they were transferred. A 1943 report discussed later argued that German spokesmen at other camps "are evidencing a tendency to be fearful that they may be sent to Alva." This could in turn affect the manner in which prisoners were treated once they arrived at Alva. The report "noted that the American officers at Alva realize that they are receiving men who are not wanted at other camps and, therefore, have a justifiable tendency to view their prisoners with more suspicion than ordinarily." Thus, some American personnel might come to view the prisoners as "criminals" rather than prisoners of war. This could result in all sorts of difficulty somewhat unique to Alva.

    Containing German prisoners, generally Nazis, the prison camp to which my father was assigned was located some two-and-one-half miles south of Alva on the west side of Highway 281. The Alva Regional Airport and the Woods County Fairgrounds currently occupy the location where the camp stood nearly sixty years ago at this writing. The only remains of the camp today are a brick chimney, a building now used as a VFW post, and a large concrete conduit-type structure serving as a base for the water tower. Authorized on June 30, 1942, the camp was envisioned to house 4,800 prisoners, though the eventual capacity was 5,910. The scheduled opening date was December 15, but no prisoners were there then. In late-1942 and early-1943, military police units began to arrive to guard the eventual population of the camp. The first nineteen prisoners did not appear until July 31, 1943, while the camp was still under construction. Though the first prisoners were likely trucked in, later ones were brought to Alva by train and marched out to the camp. By February 23, 1945, as the war was ending, 1,002 officers, 2,477 noncommissioned officers, and 1,478 enlisted men occupied the camp, they being guarded by five companies of MPs. The camp contained four POW compounds, three for noncoms and enlisted men and another, furthest toward the east and built later, for officers. Each of the compounds for the noncoms contained thirty-two one-story wooden barracks and a mess hall and other buildings. Each barracks could hold fifty men. The eventual officer prisoners' compound contained one-hundred-and-fifty buildings, about three times as many as each of the others, though they were fewer in number. A large amount of space is the privilege of rank, it would seem. Although there were escape attempts, eight-foot high fences and thirteen guardhouses successfully contained the best of the remnants of Rommel's Afrika Corps, among others. In organizational terms, the camp was under what was called then the Eighth Service Command which was headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Dad mentions it periodically.

    Though V-E Day brought the release of many prisoners, 2,192 of them remained on September 16, 1945, the day before my father left Alva. By October 1, only forty-five were left. The last camp commander, Harold H. Richardson, Colonel, Infantry, announced on September 20 the camp was to close. All of the POWs were gone by October 15, and the camp was officially decommissioned on November 15, 1945. Thus, the camp existed for only two months after my father left, though for all practical purposes it was no longer functioning thereafter. As a result, this brief history will comprise the last year of the camp's existence. When one considers, however, the camp's "real" existence was a two-year and two-month period from the time the first prisoners came in late-July, 1943 until it was closed essentially in September, 1945, my Dad's tenure there comprised nearly half of the camp's entire life span.

    While the prisoners' compounds were located south of the still extant water tower, the quarters for the American personnel and the administrative buildings were essentially north of it. As mentioned above, the only building remaining today is used as a VFW post. The history from which this information is taken identifies the building as having been the Officers' Club, with their quarters located across the street to the east. Some newspaper articles this writer has found, however, claimed the building was actually a mess hall. A large recreation building, eventually moved to Kiowa, Kansas, stood near the abovementioned building.

    Though somewhat lengthy, the following excerpt from the report of the September 21-22, 1943 visit by Rudolph Fisher, does a good job of describing some of the physical layout of the camp. Marcy began his report by describing the camp as

    an independent establishment situated about two and one-half miles south of Alva, Oklahoma. The terrain in which the camp is located is flat and predominantly agricultural. The camp is at an altitude of 1,454 feet; the average temperature in July is 84 degrees; the average temperature in January is 38 degrees and the average annual precipitation is 32 inches.

    The military reservation covers an area of one square mile. The prisoner of war enclosure which forms a part of the reservation is divided into three compounds, 680 feet by 1025 feet, each compound being designed to accommodate four companies of 250 prisoners each. Construction has just begun on an officers compound which will accommodate 1,000 prisoners. At the time of the visit the officers were held in Compound A in which the ordinary type of enlisted men's barracks have been altered to provide five three-room apartments to each barrack building. Each compound has a work shop and each company within the compound has a recreation room.

    Barracks are of theater of operations construction, 20 by 120 feet, and are faced with sheet rock covered with tar paper. The principal differences noted between the interior of the barracks at this camp and at other camps was the fact that the ceilings were somewhat lower than elsewhere. The result was that the upper bed of the double bunks, which are now used, was so near the ceiling that a prisoner can not sit upright on his bunk without hitting the ceiling. Another variation in the layout of the barracks was the fact that the beds were placed horizontally by the 120 foot axis of the building rather than cross-wise as at other camps. This gave the barracks a very crowded disorganized and unattractive appearance resulting in narrow aisles and in general unsatisfactory to the prisoners. The representative of the Swiss Legation after consultation with the prisoners suggested that a trial be given to rearranging the beds in one of the barracks to conform with arrangements which have been seen at other camps in the belief that such arrangements would prove more satisfactory. The camp authorities said, however, that they had instructions from higher authority on this matter and that they could not vary this internal arrangement.

    This was the only camp of five visited by Dr. Fischer in which bed sacks had not been issued to the prisoners. Dr. Fischer pointed out that failure to issue sacks caused the comforters to soil and that they are very difficult to clean.

    The September 27, 1943 Paul Schnyder report noted the officers' area was separated from that of the non-commissioned officers and enlisted men by barbed wire, though the 1945 Goetz-Turner report did not indicate this was still the case then. Also, the Schnyder report went on, each of the "apartments" for the officers contained a bedroom and a small living room. The prisoners have access to hot and cold water "at all times." According to this report, each "sector" (compound) contained 4 buildings for showers, toilets and basins; 4 buildings for kitchens and mess halls; 1 building for the canteen; 1 building for the infirmary; and 1 building for the recreation hall. With regard to the mess facilities, the Schnyder report said "the kitchen and mess halls are in the same barracks, separated by a counter to which the prisoners come to serve themselves. Everything is immaculate."

    The Marcy report went on to say the camp's water supply came from city wells and the city also took care of sewage. There were twenty-four lavatories for each company of 250 men, and thus the latrine facilities were "considered adequate." The laundry facilities were "inadequate," however, as there were only two wash tubs available for each company. The Schnyder report indicated the "soldiers do their own laundry in large concrete tubs located in the shower barracks." The sheets belonging to the officers are washed outside of the camp, but their linens are done by soldier prisoners for which service they are paid. With regard to the dining facilities, prisoners considered the food to be satisfactory, though they expressed a desire for more potatoes and bread. "The kitchens were well equipped," the Marcy report concluded, "with the exception of metal pitchers." It is difficult to determine if these were wanted or not wanted.

    The prisoners had adequate clothing then, the Marcy report went on, though the reader will recall the camp's population was still small at the time. Winter clothing was then being issued. The 1945 Goetz-Turner report reported excess clothing, especially civilian clothing, was confiscated. This produced complaints on the part of some prisoners who had actually bought the clothing and saw its confiscation as a "hardship."

    The Schnyder report said there were also canteens in the camp, though Marcy pointed out there were separate ones for officers and enlisted men. The Marcy report states these canteens were first opened on September 3, 1943, so they had been open for less than three weeks when the visits took place and were thus "inadequately stocked." The Schnyder report noted the prisoners could buy "paper, pencils, tobacco, and toilet articles" in the canteens. Those for the American guard personnel were better stocked than the others, and it was the source of goods for the prisoners' canteen, though they complained they were not able to buy such things as sweets, writing materials, art supplies and clothing items. This seems in partial conflict with the Marcy report. The prisoners evidently bought their products with something called "canteen checks."

    The Goetz-Turner report made an interesting comment on what prisoners could not buy. What was called Regulation Change No. 6 to the Prisoner of War Memorandum No. 1 dated March 31, 1945, the report tells us, "prohibits the sale by canteens operated for non-cooperative, non-commissioned officers of war of beer, candy, soft drinks and manufactured cigarettes after present stocks of these items are exhausted. Enlisted men and officers other than non-commissioned officers are allowed a few cigarettes and a bottle of beer each week."

    Prisoner officers and enlisted personnel had also been provided with tools, which were being used to build furniture.

    In terms of prisoners' recreational opportunities, the September, 1943 Marcy report revealed such activities "have not been greatly developed." This was doubtless partially because the camp was relatively new. However, this report tells us the undeveloped condition of such activities was because "there has been plenty of Class II labor." What this means is unclear at this point. Schnyder reported the prisoners had "some alma games, Chinese checkers, cards, etc. but they do not have many diversions yet as they have not so far been able to organize theatrical performances or concerts." According to his report, the prisoners had also asked to have "moving picture shows." The report showed the prisoners had "several small fields," but the equipment was not adequate for the number of prisoners. The report of the April, 1945 visit, again occurring seven months after my father had arrived, pointed out each compound had a "sports field and highly organized recreation program." Each compound had a theater, though the one in the officers' compound lacked benches, the 1945 reported noted. As you'll see, Dad appears to bear this out, as he mentions sitting on a box to watch movies.

    There were books in the officers' compound but "practically none" in the enlisted area, though according to the Schnyder report, there was no library. Though the prisoners had no access to newspapers with a national circulation, they were able to read the local Wichita paper "at irregular intervals." The Schnyder report related, perhaps with a certain amount of humor, "(t)he prisoners would also appreciate receiving the New York Times." Interestingly, books on the history of ancient art were prohibited by censorship regulations, for whatever reason. The lack of books doubtless retarded any educational efforts, at least at first. The Schnyder report revealed only English and French classes were under way when the September, 1943 visit took place. This had apparently changed by the time of the April, 1945 visit. "School work has been organized by the prisoners of war," Goetz and Turner observed, "and a number of flourishing classes are in swing."

    Though the Marcy report mentioned nothing about religious services, the Schnyder one noted in late-September, 1943, a Protestant service was held each Sunday. There was at the time no Catholic service, however the report indicated "from the following Sunday," mass would be said by a Catholic priest who would come to the camp, presumably from Alva. The following Sunday would have been October 2, 1943, and thus we can assume the Catholic services began then. By February, 1944, when the Frank L. Brown report was written, religious services were being conducted "in a building which is outside of the compounds but within the fenced area," though it doesn't seem to make clear if both Protestant and Catholic services were being held in the same building. At the time of the 1944 visit, there was a German chaplain and "several priests" in the camp to provide services. "Supervision of religious activities," the 1945 Goetz-Turner report explained, "is given by the American chaplain of the camp and by a civilian Catholic priest from the town of Alva." In addition to church services, the report indicated a "theological study group is active." A January 28, 1944 officer roster mentions there being an American chaplain, the position then being held by Lieutenant Verner T. Jordahl. Dad's mid-October, 1944 letter mentions a chaplain, but it's hard to know if this was Jordahl. Another roster dated September 17, 1945, about the time the camp was closing, listed no chaplain. As an editorial note, from now on these rosters will be referred to as the 1944 and the 1945 ones. Remember, though, these rosters are not necessarily complete nor really reliable. In passing and for future reference, the following are the only officers who were on both rosters, thus the only ones there during the entire period from January 26, 1944 to September 17, 1945. They are listed here with their ranks according to the 1945 roster: Captain Walter W. Rollins, Captain Bennett C. Lambert, Captain Thomas Laughlin, Jr., Captain Roland J. Howe, 1st Lieutenant Garnette Janssen, and Captain Merle Kay.

    The camp hospital where my father worked was located just north of the prisoner compounds and west of what was referred to as Washington Avenue, now Section Line Road. According to the 1943 Marcy report, it was a "regular, completely equipped, cantonment type hospital." There were then "five wards set aside for prisoners of war with a total of 151 beds." Another ward comprising 26 additional beds was authorized, and, indeed, the report of the April, 1945 visit identified six wards, though at the latter date, three were unused for reasons not explained. This would seem to bring the hospital up to a capacity of nearly 180 beds. The latter report indicated each ward contained "ten private rooms and twelve beds in an open ward." The hospital was fully-equipped, including X-ray equipment, operating rooms, and dental facilities. The 1945 report also mentioned "out-clinic and laboratory" facilities, though it is difficult to say if these were added later on or simply not mentioned in the earlier report. There was also an infirmary in each compound, and they were open twenty-four hours a day. We'll get to Dad's description of the medical facilities later.

    In terms of medical personnel, the September, 1943 visit found there were three American medical officers and one dentist in the camp. Though it doesn't mention who the other physicians were, the camp surgeon was Colonel Cecil E. Tolle, and the dentist was Major I. W. McQuone. There were no German doctors in the camp then, though thirteen German enlisted men worked as orderlies in the hospital. When the April, 1945 visit took place, there were four American doctors, including my father by then, and a dentist. Though the name of the dentist was not included in the report, the "medical officer" was shown to be Major Arthur D. Sewall, of whom more is mentioned as this story progresses. Among the reports I have, Tolle was last listed as the camp surgeon in February, 1944, and Major McQuone was still listed as the dentist then. In a February, 1945 letter, Dad mentions a dentist by the name of Captain Berry. More will be related specifically on the names of the medical personnel when we get into my Dad's letters. As of April, 1945, there were also four German prisoner doctors working in the hospital and four others working in the compound infirmaries. At the time, there was also a German enlisted man working as an optometrist. This writer could only wish his father were alive today, as his prodigious memory could add much to the above description of the camp and its personnel, especially regarding the hospital.

    Before relating my Dad's story, some caveats must be made. First of all, he was at Alva during roughly the last year of the camp's existence, so his experience there reveals nothing about its first one-and-a-half years or so. Second, he was a medical officer, and therefore many other aspects of camp life would not be revealed in any detail in his letters. This also means he related very little of the activities of the enlisted men other than as a doctor. Third, whatever he included in his letters home would comprise his perceptions of events and people, and other people present at the time would possibly differ with his view of things. Lastly, he was not as detailed and descriptive in his letters as my mother was in hers to him, and thus what he does say should not be viewed as containing exhaustive information about even his area of the compound. With all of these qualifications in mind, my father's contemporaneous observations of Alva can be a valuable, if limited, glimpse into life there. Following his North African and Italian service, Dad was stationed for a short time at Camp Barkley, Texas, his duty there extending from May 31, 1944 until his transfer to Alva in September. He first informed my mother of his impending move to Alva on September 15 of that year. The next day, he wrote, "it doesn't sound like too good an assignment but it is in the U.S.A. and not Camp Barkley." His first letter from Alva recounted leaving Abilene, Texas on Wednesday, September 27, staying overnight in Kiowa, Kansas, about twenty-two miles north of Alva, and arriving in Alva at about 10:30 on the morning of Thursday, September 28, 1944 by staff car. A late train accounted for his circuitous journey to Alva. His September 29 letter contained his first impressions of the camp:
    It is a large P.O.W Camp and has at the present time about 4000 prisoners. We have a very nice small hospital (about 200 beds) to which I have been assigned. Counting myself there are four medical officers, one dental, one veterinary, two medical administrative and two nurses. The CO is Lt. Col. Gill and (he) seems to be very nice. Capt. Greenfield and Lt. Wichman are the other two. Altogether there are about forty officers here at the camp, most of whom are married and have their families in Alva. We have a very nice club, average quarters and mess, god (sic., good) theater and a very good post exchange. . . . Everyone is very friendly and I'm sure I'm going to like it. Haven't had time to check on the housing situation although have been told it isn't too good. There has been a rather rapid turn over in medical officers and it is difficult to know how permanent this assignment will be.

    The Lieutenant Colonel Gill mentioned above, of whom more is written hereafter, is not listed on the 1945 roster, doubtless the last roster before the camp closed. He was probably gone by the time it was compiled, thus, I cannot give his first name nor any other official military information on him. Also, Google came up with nothing on him. Dad mentions him as this narrative goes along, which would place him there during at least some of the time Dad was at the camp, but it's impossible to be very specific in terms of when he was there. It should be emphasized here Gill was the CO at the hospital not over the entire the camp.

    An October 4 inspection tour gave Dad the opportunity to describe his new duty station more:
    The camp is divided up into four compounds each enclosed in barbed wire. In each compound there are four companies of prisoners and (each) contain(s) 100-1200 men. Two of the compounds are for non-commissioned officers, one for officers and one for privates. They have three square meals a day, a good place to sleep and only the privates do any manual labor outside the compounds.

    When he used the 100-1200 figure above, it was likely a mistake, and he probably meant 100-120.

    In a letter written on September 30, he identified his duties as "ward officer on two wards, and responsible for all of dispensaries in the camp area and the sanitation of the prisoners' area." His responsibilities being mainly supervisory, he went on to write he wouldn't be as busy as those duties might indicate. He suggested there were about twenty German doctors in the camp who did almost all of the medical work on the prisoners, however the February, 1944 report said there were only four. Dad was to oversee them in their work. His two wards included only American patients. The opportunity to once again practice medicine appealed to him after having had so many essentially administrative jobs before. In an October 1, 1944 letter, he went into some detail describing the hospital, writing the following:
    There is a good surgery, X-Ray, Pharmacy, laboratory and Dental clinic. It is built on the same general plan and type of buildings as the new hospital at Fort Devens and is much better constructed. The floors including the corridors are all oak and they keep them waxed. With all of the prisoners there is plenty of help and everything is kept spotless. It is a pleasure to see a place so clean after some of the places I have been in.

    In describing what I assume to be the officers' club, he wrote in early-October, "(w)e have a very nice club for a small post. One large room with easy chairs and bridge tables and the mess is out on a glass enclosed porch. There is a small bar, pool tables, piano and is quite attractive." In his October 27 letter, he made a parenthetical reference to the library being in the colonel's office. It will be recalled the 1943 Schnyder report revealed there was no library. In his May 31, 1945 letter, he commented "(o)ur tables in the mess hall hold ten each."

    He had been at the camp for a month before he got around to describing for our mother the town of Alva and the surrounding country. Its population, he estimated, was about 5,000, and the town was "not very attractive." Though there was "a fairly good G.I. bus service," he saw little point in going into town. It was about two miles from the downtown to the camp, he explained. In describing the area surrounding the camp, he felt "(t)he country here is 'not so hot.' It is mostly flat as you might expect and not very pretty. It is good farming country and the people seem quite well off." With regard to his difficulty in finding a place for the family to live in Alva, he added, "the people are quite particular about children as usual," though this seems unclear. His October 28 letter described the community's "strong feeling against renting to people with children." As we will see, he would ultimately not find accommodations in town for his family. The first chance he had to actually see the town of Alva came on October 6, ten days after his arrival. His main objective in going into town was to find a place big enough for his family to join him. Again, he was unsuccessful, as all he was able to locate were two- and three-bedroom apartments, too small for his family of six.

    In describing the hospital commanding officer and the other medical staff, Dad wrote that Lieutenant Colonel Gill, the hospital head at the time of his arrival, let the physicians "do what we think is right and he doesn't interfere in any way." The surgeon, Lieutenant Wickman, was described by Dad as "quite competent in general surgery." Regarding the camp psychiatrist, Dad blended a little humor with some anti-Semitism in writing, being a psychiatrist, Captain Greenfield "is a bit screwy. . . . I guess they have to be a bit nuts to take up that field of medicine. He is a typical Jew although a bit better than average and I get along with him very well." As you'll see, though, this will change. In a subsequent letter written on October 26, he said Greenfield "is not liked very well." Neither Wickman nor Greenfield are listed on the 1944 nor the 1945 roster, and therefore I cannot give detailed information on them. But, it does narrow down a bit when they might have been there.

    The camp seemed to have a good deal in the way of entertainment. Dad described the camp theater as a "rough old thing" which showed movies on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. It was not air-conditioned, which made for uncomfortable movie-watching in the summer. On October 1, 1944, he suggested he might go to see Greenwich Village, which he indeed did. This was a 1944 film starring Carmen Miranda, Don Ameche, and William Bendix, among others. In terms of other forms of entertainment, he informed his wife on October 3 they were to have a U.S.O. show that evening in addition to a movie. The next day, he opined the show "wasn't too bad but would have never gotten to Broadway." The movie on October 5 was Arsenic and Old Lace with Cary Grant, Peter Lorre and Raymond Massey, and Dad said he "laughed myself sick." On October 7, there was a dance at the officers' club with a juke box substituting for an orchestra, though Dad didn't go. Attendance at such events was compulsory, but, he explained, "I have been in the army too long to be told how to conduct my purely social activities." The movie on October 12 was Since You Went Away, which starred Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotton and Shirley Temple, among many other contemporary stars, though Dad didn't go to this one. It was too long and sad, he concluded. "My spirits aren't too high anyway and would rather not be depressed artificially."

    He also played bridge a good deal, as well as chess. On the evening of October 16, he mentioned playing bridge with a Major Draper, whom he identified as one of the compound commanders; a Lieutenant Loughlin; and Captain Greenfield, the psychiatrist. Draper is not listed on either of the officer rosters, and a Google search came up with nothing on him. With regard to the second name mentioned, the 1945 roster identifies a Captain Thomas Laughlin, Jr. In his letter, Dad refers to him as "adjutant at the hospital." The Laughlin listed on the 1945 roster was identified as Registrar, Station Hospital, among other duties. These two names are very likely one and the same, despite the spelling difference. He was also listed on the 1944 roster as a 1st Lieutenant and was then also Adjutant at the Station Hospital, so he was apparently at Alva during much of its existence doing pretty-much the same job. "Lieutenant Loughlin is very good (at bridge) having played a good bit of tournaments around Philadelphia," Dad opined, "the rest (being) average." In an October 20 letter, Dad made reference to the "usual foursome," so it seems likely the above four men played bridge frequently. They played two or three times a week, an October 24 letter indicated, though occasionally others joined in. He also reported playing pinochle. His October 24 letter claimed he was "about eight dollars ahead."

    Dad gave a number of examples of the medical cases with which he dealt. On September 30 at 9:30 PM, he was called to the hospital to deal with a German complaining of stomach pains. Dad "(f)ussed around with him until about midnight and finally decided that he didn't have appendicitis." At around midnight on October 1, "a drunk came in and needed a few stitches after having been in a fight. He was one of our American personnel and a bit difficult to handle." On October 12, he mentioned an operation that morning for the removal of a tumor, though he didn't indicate if the patient was a German or an American. Two "small operations" took place the following morning, the beginning of a "very busy day," and they "got along very well."

    Related to the weather, he mentioned on October 2 it started raining "pitchforks and hammer handles" in the morning. One of the enlisted men loaned him a coat so he could get to breakfast relatively dry. "It stopped during the day," he added "but is still quite cold and it will feel good when we can get into wool clothes again about the 15th (of October)." Indeed, the following day, Lieutenant Colonel Gill and Lieutenant Wickman went to Enid to procure winter clothing. "I suppose that we will get some more warm weather before winter sets in," Dad thought, "but it certainly looks like fall now."

    Judging from his letters, my father had O.D., Officer Of The Day, quite frequently, giving him the opportunity to write letters. For those untutored, this duty involved him staying at the hospital all night.

    The first bit of excitement after Dad arrived came on October 5. As he described the incident, during the 5:00 prisoner count, one of the German enlisted men was discovered answering for one of the officers. The missing officer caused the siren to blow. A "complete shake-down count" resulted, and the officer was located in one of the other compounds around 8:00 that evening. Two men were still unaccounted for, and "it is thought that they are hiding out in one of the compounds. . . . I got pretty hungry," Dad confided, "by the time we could finally go to supper."

    There was a change of command in the camp on October 4, 1944, when Lieutenant Colonel Harold H. Richardson took over. The September 17, 1945 roster of the camp identified him as Colonel Richardson, so either Dad had his rank wrong, which I would doubt, or he was promoted during his tenure as commander. The post commander from at least September, 1943 to at least March, 1944 was Colonel Ralph Hall, Infantry. An April 8, 1944 Army memorandum, however, identifies Murray F. Gibbons, Colonel, Infantry, as the post commander. According to sources on the Internet, he may have been the commanding officer of the Roswell, New Mexico Prisoner of War Camp earlier. It would seem likely this was the officer whom Richardson succeeded, but more research needs to be done.

    Shortly thereafter, Lieutenant Wickman's name was submitted in response to a request from higher headquarters for a medical officer qualified for overseas service. His departure would leave the compound with only three medical officers until Wickman could be replaced. It would also leave them without a surgeon, Dad commented, meaning a civilian one from Alva would be summoned in case of emergencies. Wickman left the evening of October 10, though he had not received his orders yet. He was able to get ten days leave, which, Dad commented, "is quite important because he is going over-seas and his wife has recently had a baby that he hasn't seen yet." On October 10, Dad and the chaplain were invited to the home of 1st Lieutenant Dorst F. Baumgartner, Assistant Executive Officer, for dinner. "His wife," Dad opined, "is rated as a very good cook." Baumgartner is listed on the September, 1945 roster so evidently was there when the camp closed, though he wasn't on the 1944 roster. Dad subsequently gave no details of the evening's activities. Throughout his letters, Dad never identifies the chaplain by name, but it might have been the Verner Jordahl mentioned earlier.

    In mid-October, Dad had what seemed at the time a good opportunity to see his family in upstate New York. Though it didn't work out, it is more interesting because of how he made the announcement in his October 12 letter. "I have a little good news," he began. "We have an officer prisoner of war who went insane the other day." Though Dad was doubtless not euphoric at the man going insane, he did see it as a chance to get home for a while. It was planned for a medical officer to accompany the man to Mason General Hospital in Brentwood, Long Island for treatment, and Colonel Gill said Dad might be able to go. This was a psychiatric hospital operated by the War Department from 1944 to 1946 mainly to deal with American soldiers suffering from psychological problems related to war. He planned to meet our mother in New York (City?) and then go on to Avoca if it all worked out, which it didn't. The prisoner was not taken to New York after all.

    In his October 20 letter, Dad made reference to there being an "officers' school" at 7:00 (AM?) every Monday and Friday. Officers apparently took turns discussing different sorts of topics. His subject that day was to "review the current events for the week," a rather vague description. Though he was evidently prepared for his presentation, "(s)everal of the officers asked to be excused to go to a football game and at the last minute they called the meeting off entirely so yours truly was lucky."

    On Tuesday, October 17, Dad was invited to dinner at the home of Captain Arnim and his wife. An inspection tour required Arnim to postpone the dinner until the following Thursday. According to the 1945 roster, Victor T. Arnim, Corps of Engineers, was the post engineer, the same designation Dad used in his letter, though he wasn't there when the 1944 roster was complied. He described Arnim and his wife and the dinner in some detail:
    They are both very nice, in their early forties and have no children. I'm sure that you would be very surprised to see Mrs. Arnim because she could be a twin sister of the girl Kitty who worked at the I-R (ED: Ingersoll-Rand plant in Painted Post, New York). She has the same premature grey hair, facial expression and jovial manner. Incidently (sic) she is a very good cook and we had an excellent meal. Roast beef, brown potatoes, cauliflower, black-eyed peas (beans to us damn Yankees), hot biscuits and a baked apple (pie?) for dessert. We sat around and chewed the fat until about eleven and they brought me back to camp.

    Dad mentioned in his October 20 letter, "the past week or so" had been very busy. Colonel Gill had evidently been away often, leaving just two medical officers to keep up with the work. On that evening, a new officer arrived, probably Wickman's replacement. He was a major, and Dad identified his name as Goeth though pronounced Gate. He was a surgeon, and though only having seen him for a few minutes, Dad commented "he seems very nice." The September, 1945 roster mentions no one with anything like his name, so he was probably gone by then. Three days after Goeth arrived, Dad was invited to Colonel Gill's for a chicken dinner "and all the fixings." However, he was called back to the camp in the afternoon to help with an appendectomy on a German prisoner. "It was Major Goeth's first operation (since arriving)," Dad observed, "and he did a very nice job. From first appearance we are going to like him a great deal." Needless to say, Dad appreciated his presence, because it cut down on the work for all of the medical staff.

    In his October 23 letter, Dad talked about vague problems with some of the GIs. "We have a good bit of America personnel that (sic) aren't much good for anything," he declared, "and we are going to try to get rid of some of them." The officers' board convened to deal with these men was composed of Major Goeth, Captain Greenfield, and Dad. Nothing else came through about the matter in his letters.

    Something with which people, both civilian and military, had to contend during the war was the limited supply of certain commodities. Much of the country's productive capacity had to be diverted into war production. As many know, one of the restricted and scarce items then was rubber. Most of the available rubber was used to make tires, treads, etc. for military use. This meant such things as rubber bands were hard to find. Dad included a few of them in his October 24 letter to my mother. "Some of them are off the edge of rubber gloves," he explained; "(o)ne of the nurses gave them to me and said that they were better for holding hair in place because they are smooth." He sent more to her on later occasions.

    October 26 was a busy day. In the morning, Dad had to follow a sanitation inspector around the camp. In the afternoon, the board of medical officers had to examine some "supermen," i.e., Germans, who had requested repatriation back to Germany under the Geneva Convention. Later in the day, he had to make his last rounds at the hospital before going to bed.

    On November 9, Dad's October 27 letter reported, they were expecting a demonstration by the prisoners commemorating Hitler's 1923 Beer-Hall Putsch, his failed attempt to take power from the Weimar government. "Tomorrow morning," he revealed, "it is planned to have a big shake-down inspection of all the compounds to see what preparations they have made for the celebration." No serious trouble was contemplated, but it was better to be safe, they felt. It was at this point, he explained "(t)his camp has the reputation for having the worst element of the German army," a statement oft repeated in other descriptions of the camp I've read, as indicated above. He went on:
    This is due to the fact that when they have trouble with a prisoner in another camp he is transferred here. On the whole they are very easy to handle and don't cause much trouble. One has to be here awhile in order to sense the undercurrent of subversive activity and it is fairly strong. When you first arrive it is calm and peaceful and you have no idea that there is anything going on. As far as I can see there is nothing to be afraid of and it never worries me in the slightest.

    His October 28 letter related they had one more medical officer than they were entitled to, and one of them would probably be transferred soon. He went on to say, "(s)ince Capt. Greenfield is not liked very well (he is the only Jew here) and if they simply request any one officer he will probably go." Needless to say, Dad hoped any transferring of medical personnel would result in him being closer to home, which did not happen.

    There was a dance at the officers' club on October 28. Dad didn't go, as he rarely did, if his extant letters are an accurate indication. Major Goeth was OD but was anxious to attend the dance, so Dad said he would take Goeth's calls so the major could go. "That gave him the opportunity to tie one on for himself and from all reports he did a good job of it," Dad recalled later. He went on to explain the dance was a birthday celebration for Colonel Richardson, the post commander. Colonel Gill also evidently tipped a few. Goeth wanted to tell Gill Dad was taking his calls so he, Goeth, could go to the dance. Consequently, Goeth told Gill there had been a change in the O.D. roster. "Without waiting for the explanation," Dad related, "the colonel immediately said, "Gosh, you didn't put me on call tonight, did you?'" Later the same evening, one of the cooks, a sergeant, invited Dad over to the mess hall "for a snack," which turned out to be a tenderloin steak sandwich, coffee, two glasses of milk and cookies. Dad worried about his weight if too many such repasts took place.

    The last movie of October, 1944, on the 31st, was National Barn Dance.

    As October, 1944 drew to a close, Dad reported they were having wonderful fall weather. "The days are warm," he described, "with plenty of sunshine and the nights cool enough for good sleeping."

    At this point, an editor's note must be made. While Dad sent Mom a letter nearly every day during October, 1944, thus providing much of the detail for this narrative thus far, for some reason there are few letters for November extant. There are specifically only three, those being for November 3, 9, and 11. Given my mother's penchant for saving letters, where the others are, I cannot imagine. Part of the reason for the paucity is Dad was evidently on leave during much of late-November. Nevertheless, scant details of the month's events were the result. The reader should not conclude from this little was happening in the camp. Indeed, much may have been going on but the details cannot be drawn from Dad's letters. Though not as plentiful as in October, letters from December are numerous enough to give some details.

    Other than mentioning it rained all day and a nice fall was becoming what appeared to be a cold winter, Dad's November 3 letter related nothing of interest about the camp. The rain was the first since shortly after he arrived in late-September. He indicated he had tried to get leave to come home for Christmas, but Colonel Gill had arranged his leave for then which meant Dad would have to come home before then.

    On November 9, the medical staff had to examine some new German prisoners who were officers fresh from France and who had come directly to the camp. In this regard, it might be mentioned the September, 1943 Marcy report indicated "(a)ll prisoners are given a physical examination at the time of their arrival and are given a check-up examination once each month thereafter." Echoing what he had said before, Dad explained their arrival directly from France "is a bit unusual because we usually get them here after they have caused trouble in some other P.W. camp." Interestingly, he described the medical examination given to them as "the same type as we did the other day" and "is highly secret." He told my mother she would learn more about it when "I don't have to put it down on paper." Being so hush-hush, it would be interesting to find out what the nature of the examination was. As far as I know, he never mentioned to our mother what the secrecy was all about.

    Only two items of any note appear in Dad's November 11 letter relating to non-personal matters. First of all, he agreed to take Colonel Gill's O.D. that evening so the colonel and his wife could go to a dance at the officers' club. Gill said he would take one of Dad's the following week. The other item in the letter was a rather cryptic reference to a "rather sick boy" on his ward, whose ailment he had thus far been unable to diagnose. The reader will recall Dad was on leave for much of the remainder of November, and thus there are no letters to describe the goings on at the camp before early-December.

    The narrative regarding Alva picks up again with Dad's December 7 letter, evidently the first he'd written since arriving back from leave. That evening, he reported, there was an alert caused by two missing men. The identity of the two men was known, Dad went on, but "they are pretty good at hiding." There were rumors, however, they had been killed and secretly buried, by the Germans he seems to imply, though he doesn't say. While he was away, two other men were picked up by the FBI even though the camp authorities did not know they were gone. "All of this doesn't set very well with the C.O.," Dad revealed, "so that is the reason for all the search. Confidential."

    On Saturday, December 9, Dad got what appears to be his first non-leave opportunity to get away from Alva. He had written on the 7th of a need to go to Glennon General Hospital fifty miles southeast of Tulsa to deliver a "Kraut Colonel" as a patient there. A Google search today brings up nothing on this hospital. It was a six-hour ride, and he planned on being back on Sunday. "Will get six dollars a day extra for the trip," he commented, "and can ride in a nice staff car." He arrived back in camp about 4:00 Sunday, afternoon, December 10 and the trip went well. His return found the weather "has turned quite cold here and there is a little snow."

    The movie that evening was Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, but Dad didn't go. "Can't stand war pictures anymore," he concluded.

    The socializing among some of the camp personnel continued, and this gives the opportunity to provide a little more detail about some of them. On December 6, Dad and Major Goeth were invited to Lieutenant Wolf's for dinner. Going by the September, 1945 roster, this is a reference to now-Captain James W. Wolf, the compound's veterinarian. He was also listed as the Agricultural Officer. Wolf was not on the 1944 roster. Goeth was unable to attend as he had an emergency surgery on one of the German prisoners. Dad was served what he called a "fine" waffle supper. Both Captain and Mrs. Wolf
    are in their middle thirties and after being married a long time they finally had a daughter. She is four months old and they are scared to death that something will happen to her. If she even whimpers the slightest bit in her sleep they both jump to see what is wrong. Most of the evening was spent in answering questions about every phase of baby care. It is very funny to see them.

    Judging from Dad's December 14 letter, things had been busy in the camp for the previous few days. The Swiss legation had visited the camp on an inspection tour and to hear any complaints by the prisoners. Any report of this visit is not among the documents in my possession. "They went away satisfied that we are carrying out the provisions of the Geneva Convention and that everything is under control," Dad commented. Soon, thereafter, what he called the Mixed Medical Commission arrived. Composed of two Swiss doctors and one American medical officer, they examined the prisoners for possible repatriation to Germany. At this time, I do not have a copy of the report of the visit either. Some sixty prisoners went before the board, and the medical personnel in the camp had to do what Dad called the preliminary work. He reported only eleven of the sixty were approved for repatriation. All of this, needless to say, added to the medical staff's workload.

    There was a bond drive at the camp in December, and Dad bought $100 worth.

    As Christmas, 1944 drew closer, it was not surprising all of the officers and men wanted to have it off so they could be with their families. However, this wouldn't have been realistic. Dad's reference to the "smug people" who had decided they would have their leaves at Christmas seemed to be a veiled reference to the camp commander. On December 15, the camp received a letter from the 8th Service Command Headquarters in Dallas informing them, "due to the volume of travel during the holidays, all leaves between Dec. 15th and Jan. 8th would be canceled." Colonel Richardson was going to call to see if this was really serious. "If he can't get it changed," Dad worried, "there are going to be a bunch of disappointed officers and perhaps I was the lucky one after-all." This is apparently a reference to his leave happening earlier. As it turned out, Dad wrote on December 17, "everyone" was able to get their leaves. When the colonel called, he was told the aforementioned instructions had been rescinded. "However," he added, "they called him back later in the day and said that his 15 days had been cut to 10." Needless to say, the colonel was disappointed, however Dad "wasn't particularly sorry for him as you can imagine."

    Mid-December saw two humorous occurrences take place, both of which are better told in my Dad's words. The first related to a rather unorthodox medical treatment for an American enlisted man.
    A sergeant came in my office and told me he had a stiff neck. It had appeared when he got up in the morning and was causing a bit of trouble. I examined his neck and the muscles seemed all right and the cause was apparently in the spine itself. I took him in to see Major Goeth to get his opinion. He tried to get it back in place and in so doing hurt the boy some. We decided that he needed a heat treatment so walked out leaving the patient standing there. No sooner than we were out of the room and there was a crash and (we) look(ed) back to find the patient had passed out and was lying on the floor. In falling he struck his head on the door. When he got up he found that he could move his head perfectly in any direction and was completely cured. We have taken a good bit of riding from the other officers about our methods of treatment and they all swear that they will never dare come in the hospital.

    The other incident related to Dad's efforts to deal with his dandruff.
    The other morning I wrote a prescription for some stuff to try to clean up my scalp. When the enlisted man in the Pharmacy gave me the bottle the label read "Capt. Kelly's Sure Shot Dandruff Remover." I thought it was a good joke and had quite a laugh about it. Then I found that he had recommended it to a couple of the other officers and had dispensed it with the same label. Now everyone accuses me of being in the patent medicine business, and don't know whether I can live it down or not.

    On the evening of December 17, the film was Together Again with Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer followed the next night by None But The Lonely Heart with Cary Grant and Ethel Barrymore. The latter one was "a bit too long and dramatic for me," Dad criticized, "Would rather see something funny." The movie on December 21 was Meet Me In St. Louis." The next to the last film of the year was Wilson, an epic about the former president starring Alexander Knox. Dad said he would have enjoyed it if it weren't quite so long. The last picture of 1944 at the Alva camp was Something For The Boys starring Carmen Miranda and Phil Silvers. Both of the last two films were in Technicolor, which must have been a treat then.

    Colonel Gill left for his Christmas leave December 18, so the remaining medical personnel would be busier and have O.D. more often. Dad explained each would have an O.D. every third day. So many officers being on leave at the same time, the workload on those who remained must have been somewhat great.

    The colonel evidently came to the conclusion in December the officers weren't getting enough exercise, and Dad agreed with the conclusion. Colonel Richardson scheduled volleyball twice a week. Dad played some on December 18, though not many other officers turned out. Later during his time at Alva, he mentioned playing softball a good deal.

    On December 21, Dad got into some sort of a row with Captain Greenfield. The reader will recall Dad had made a number of comments in his letters regarding Greenfield's Jewish ethnicity. In at least one subsequent letter, Dad used the plural "rows," which seems to indicate this was not the only incident between the two. The argument was "on an old subject of policy and it was a beauty," though Dad wasn't specific about the policy difference. "He called me a hot-head," Dad went on, "and I told him (that) if he had better manners and didn't shoot his mouth off so much he would be able to get along with people."

    Christmas Eve was "about the same as any other Sunday night," Dad lamented then. "I am O.D. and things are very light," he added. There was a Christmas dance at the club the previous evening, but he didn't go. "They said the liquor flowed very freely and it turned out to be quite a party," he recalled later. They also had a Christmas party for all of the children on post on the afternoon of the 24th. When telling our mother about the plans, he had written on December 15, "I think they said that they are going to mail presents to the children that aren't here." Christmas carols were sung, and Santa Claus gave out presents to the kids, and "ice cream and cake was had by all." On Christmas Day, he said he could participate in two dinners, one at the hospital at noon and another at the officers' club at 6:00 in the evening.

    As will come as no surprise to anyone who has ever been in the service away from home, Dad bemoaned Christmas at the Alva camp "wasn't very exciting." He made his rounds, went to church and then had the two aforementioned Christmas dinners, both of them being turkey. In a subsequent letter, he reported two days before Christmas they received more than 5000 pounds of turkey, "which made a pound apiece for our dear Christmas P.O.W.s." He played pool in the evening and then read. "You can see it wasn't much of a day," he concluded. He was planning to send our mother another package and saw some handbags at the PX she might like.

    As is the case wherever armies have gone, Dad had some experience treating GIs for venereal disease. In late-December, a soldier was admitted with syphilis, which he had gotten from a girl in Alva. As a result, Dad and the provost marshal, 1ST Lieutenant Garnette E. Janssen, had to go into town to see the sheriff on the 27th. A local physician had given her a clean bill of health, but this evidently did not end the matter. She came out to the post later in the evening, Dad went on, to find out why she had been barred from the camp. He put the matter into context by writing, "as usual these things kick up a good bit of stink and this one is no exception," continuing with "(i)magine she is married, her husband is overseas and she has five children. The deputy sheriff said he served the warrant when this fellow was forced to marry her when she was fourteen years old. Nice people. Join the medical profession and see how the other half of the world lives." He did not go on to say how the situation was resolved, but it is probable she remained barred from the post.

    As the reader will recall, during this general time period the Battle of the Bulge was going on in Europe, and consequently the war news was not good, at least from the Allied point of view. "It is interesting," Dad commented sarcastically on the last day of December, after the German counteroffensive had failed, "to watch their reaction as the news changes from day to day on the western Front. When the news of the German counteroffensive came in they all became quite arrogant, held their heads high and seemed very happy. Right at the present time they are a bit down in the dumps, again and I certainly hope they stay there"

    Dad reported on December 29 the hospital had been very busy lately, and he had worked until 10:00 that night. They had to give all of the American enlisted men examinations and classify them according to their physical condition. "We finished about eighty today and have around four hundred yet to do," he explained to Mom. The process went well, and out of the first group only three were qualified for overseas duty, "so you can see the type of soldiers that are here." His January 5 letter gave some more details about the examinations they were doing. He said it had been discussed in that week's edition of Yank magazine. The type of physical exam they were giving was called "The Profile." The purpose of the physical was
    to examine the individual in a more or less superficial way and grade him according to his physical ability in each of the following categories: eyes, ears, arms, legs, psychiatric and general physical stamina. In each category he is placed in either Class I, II, II or IV and this is plotted on a rough graph. The resulting line determines whether he is in general service, limited service (either here or overseas) and below the minimum requirements. It sounds as if it were a big job but it is really not too bad, there are just a lot of them to be done.

    The year 1944 was to be rung out with a dance at the officers' club, but Dad was O.D. and didn't go. "The party will probably be a brawl," he predicted, "as nothing special has been planned and the music will come from the juke box." It was listed as being informal, the only distinction being in the formal dances, a small orchestra plays. "That is just how tough it is to find entertainment in this neck of the woods," he concluded.

    The new year of 1945 began on a busy note. Things were evidently already hectic at the hospital, and Dad mentioned Major Goeth was to begin a fifteen-day leave on January 5, which would, needless to say, increase the workload on the other medical officers. On New Years Day, he "worked until almost eleven (PM) getting ready for our physical examinations today. Tomorrow will see most of that job done and the few that are left we can get from time to time." His January 4 letter explained they
    operated all morning until one o'clock, had a late dinner and began physical exams at one-thirty. The rest of the afternoon was full until five-thirty. There is at least four hours work on my desk which I planned to get partly done this evening. Finally decided to chuck it all and relax at the movie. It was "Hollywood Canteen" and good relaxation. I don't know what tomorrow is going to be like. Col Gill hasn't returned from leave. Major Goeth has left and the adjutant is going away for the day. This leaves me in command and under ordinary circumstances it would be alright, however, there is an Inspector General from Washington in camp. He may decide that he wants to take a look around and bother us a while.

    Probably as a result of the busy schedule, on January 8, Colonel Richardson ordered the staff not to "take any more half days," Dad recounted, adding, "so we will have to find some excuse to get down town." Presumably this meant they couldn't obtain half-day passes to get off-base.

    In early-January, relations between Dad and Captain Greenfield were still "far from cordial" since their argument of December 21. Dad felt the only way to avoid difficulty was for them not to speak at all. "All of our professional contacts are carried on by means of an intermediate officer," he explained. "Have you ever heard anything more childish?" According to Dad, Major Goeth was also fed up with Greenfield and called him "that Jewish bastard." They hoped Colonel Gill would get rid of Greenfield as soon as he arrived back from leave. On January 5, however, Dad reported he and Greenfield carried on a "small conversation," so he hoped the situation might be improving. Three days later, Dad went into another aspect of the conflict telling something about the camp's operation and also affecting the organization of the medical staff and thus Dad's role in it. During one of their "rows," Greenfield had "said that I (Dad) didn't know how to handle Garman P.O.W.s." He said Dad
    considered them too much and should get more hard-boiled. He was, of course, completely off the beam as usual and today's events were quite ironical. The Colonel called me in as (sic, and) said that due to the fact that Greenfield caused so much friction on the German wards that we were to change places. He will now have the American ward and I well supervise all the German medical wards. I guess he doesn't like having it thrown in his face but there isn't much he can do about it. I'm getting a bit of free amusement out of it and it is very enjoyable. Nothing like a small place to have petty troubles. This evening I came over to get the ward ready to turn over to him. . . .

    This is all important for at least two reasons. First of all, it means Dad would have more contact with the German prisoners than had been the case in the past three-and-one-half months. Thus, what we get from his letters might change in terms of its focus. Unfortunately this was probably not the case. Secondly, it raises the issue of a Jewish doctor supervising wards populated with German prisoners. In other words, to what extent was the colonel motivated by the row between Dad and Greenfield in making the staffing change, and to what extent might he have been motivated by the racial-religious issue? This is something almost impossible to clarify now.

    On the morning of January 5, Dad reported another shipment of prisoners had come in. He explained to our mother that American personnel, possibly including him, had to "go down and pick out the potential Gestapo as I told you about doing before. There were 16 good possibilities out of 70 so you can see the percentage is quite high. Greenfield is doing another bunch that came in tonight."

    Dad's failure to write Mom during the four days from January 8 to 12, 1945 was caused by another spurt of heavy work then. He was "going every minute." Major Goeth, the surgeon, was on leave, so Dad had to take the emergency surgeries, and he was not a surgeon by specialty. On the evening of the 11th, a strangulated hernia came in. Dad didn't feel fully qualified to perform the operation, so he called in one of the surgeons from Alva, something apparently not out of the ordinary. The previous night there was an emergency acute appendix, which Dad did with the aid of one of the German doctors. "Everything went off alright," he recalled after all of this, "and the patients are doing very well." He didn't say whether the patients were Americans or Germans, but one might assume the latter. He looked forward to Goeth returning from leave so he could take over the surgeries. "The days have been very full," he commented, "and I'm pooped at night."

    On the morning of January 12, 1945, Dad reported there was "a little trouble in one of the compounds," though he wasn't more specific. The result, however, was the entire compound being on bread and water. As a result, all of the American officers and enlisted personnel were restricted to the camp. Colonel Richardson was evidently concerned there might be more trouble and didn't' want to be caught unawares. A further result was the officers' club being unusually full that night. The restrictions evidently also applied to married officers living off post, because in his January 14 letter he mentioned, "(t)he officers are . . . getting a bit anxious to go to their respective homes." "It seems strange," Dad wrote in the January 12 letter, "to see so many officers here in the evening." He casually commented to our mother that everything about which he was writing her was "confidential" but went on to say "there was nothing to worry about. It (is) just the sort of thing that happens every once in a while."

    He elaborated on this difficulty on January 14, and I shall let him describe it in his own words. He began by writing, "(t)he following information is confidential and please don't repeat it."
    This morning they ordered the Germans in Compound #1 to go to the recreation area in preparation for a "shake down" inspection of their barracks. They (we) had just made a previous inspection about three days ago and the Krauts didn't like to have it repeated. In order to get them out the C.O. mobilized the entire guard and gave each man a good supply of tear gas grenades. At about 10:30 this morning we evacuated all the American patients and personnel out of the hospital so (that) if the wind changed they wouldn't get the effect of the gas. Then the show began and they really turned out in record time. It was fun to see the "square-heads?" making for the recreation area. After they cleared the barracks a very thorough inspection was made and I imagine it will take some time to get them back in order. As a result of the events today the "Krauts" agreed to cooperate and they are back on three meals a day. Never a dull moment in a P.O.W. camp.

    Again, he didn't specify the nature of the difficulty, nor did he say what, if anything, was found as a result of the inspection.

    On January 18, he told of a German prisoner being admitted at 10:00 AM with abdominal pain. The condition had some of the symptoms of acute appendicitis, but they weren't sure. The next morning his temperature was normal, so he assumed it must have been something else. Major Goeth returned from leave on Saturday, January 20, 1945, and Dad turned all of his cases back to him. "It seems good," he mentioned with relief, "not to have the responsibilities of the surgery on my shoulders. We had an appendix (operation) this afternoon so I guess he got back about in time." Dad felt the strain was beginning to take its toll on him and was glad to have Goeth back.

    In terms of entertainment in late-January and early-February, the movie on January 23 was Walt Disney's The Three Caballeros. On the 27th, there was a March of Dimes dance, and they sold chances on a war bond. Proceeds from the event totaled about $70.00. "From all reports," Dad observed, "it turned out to be the worst drunk that has been put on yet so I'm glad I didn't go." While all of those festivities were going on, Experiment Perilous with Hedy Lamarr was playing at the theater. On February 1, the movie was Winged Victory, "strictly corn on the cob," Dad critiqued. The film starred Lon McCallister, Jeanne Crain, and Judy Holliday, among others. "I hope they don't make the poor boys overseas see in it addition to all their other hardships," he commented wryly. The movie on February 4 was Can't Help Singing with Deanna Durbin.

    Dad was invited to Lieutenant Carter's for dinner on January 24. The 1945 roster identifies a 1st Lieutenant Floyd J. Carter as the Post Exchange Officer, the same designation Dad put in his letter. He was not listed on the 1944 roster. The occasion was a surprise birthday party for Carter's wife. In addition to the aforementioned Provost Marshall, Lieutenant Janssen, and his wife, a Captain and Mrs. Howe also went. The rosters for both 1944 and 1945 list a Roland J. Howe, AUS. In the former, 1st Lieutenant Howe was POW Camp Canteen Officer, and in the latter, Captain Howe was Personal Affairs Officer in addition to a long list of other duties. A Lieutenant Mack also went. Dad identified him as Special Service Officer. The 1945 roster included 1ST Lieutenant Arthur F. Mack, Infantry, identifying him as the "Cpd O O's Cpd," whatever that means. However, the same roster also listed a 1ST Lieutenant, CAC, Albert C. Fankhauser as Special Operations Officer. There seems to be some confusion here as to who had what jobs. Perhaps Mack was Special Operations Officer then but was reassigned later, and Fankhauser took over the job. Neither Fankhauser nor Mack was listed on the 1944 roster. Google came up with nothing on these men. With regard to the festivities, because his focus was on a migraine he had developed toward the end of the party, Dad mentioned nothing about its activities, only writing they "(h)ad a lovely dinner."

    The town being currently off-limits, a significant issue was the availability of various kinds of commodities on the post. In various letters, Dad gave isolated examples of what could be procured, though this recitation should not be considered neither complete. "It is possible for us to get eight (packages of cigarettes) a day, four at the Px and four at the club. Someday that good thing may end," he explained on January 8, 1945. Four days later, he commented "(t)he supply of Kleenex was bought up immediately and hope(d) they get another shipment soon." Judging from the number of times he mentioned it, Kleenex must have been hard to come by. Later, in a March 27 letter, he opined "I am sure it is a very scarce item in the stores." He seems to have sent Mom a good supply over the months. "Our supply (of cigarettes) is still good and you may as well have the advantage of it," Dad remarked on January 12, 1945; "I guess I have about twenty packages at the present time." He also explained he was continuing to get the brand she liked. Two days afterward, "(o)ur Px officer says that he is expecting a new shipment of watches and perhaps there will be something good in the next few days."

    In a rather unusual exchange, Dad's January 25 letter recounted asking a Mrs. Weilenmann, whom he identified as the wife of the Commissary Officer, if she could procure some women's hose for him to send to Mom. Though Dad's spelling of this name is questionable, there is no officer on the 1945 roster who bears a name anything similar to it. The roster lists no commissary officer, though, again, Lieutenant Carter was the PX officer. The 1944 roster, however, has a 1st Lieutenant Charles Weilenmann who was Salvage Officer and Sales Officer then, and this was probably the man to whom Dad referred, but he was gone by the time of the January 25, 1945 letter. It is further puzzling why he would direct such a query to the wife of the Commissary Officer rather than to him directly, but there's probably a logical explanation. "This evening she brought out two pairs of 45 gauge," Dad wrote Mom. "She said they looked good in spite of it and will get some 51's when they come in."

    Dad was also able to get "a large box" (emphasis added) of Kleenex. He commented in his January 25 letter he soon might find himself in Tulsa, to take another prisoner to the Glennon General Hospital, and would do some shopping there. A two-day school of some kind would take him to Oklahoma City, and he might find some items there, too. A February 5 letter made reference to sending his children some candy. "I can always send more if you want it," he went on, "as there is plenty here although the choice is not too broad." In the same letter, he also reported, "(o)ur Post Exchange has a shipment of "Samsonite" suitcases and are (sic) selling them at quite a reduction from the usual price."

    Also in the January 25 letter, Dad gives some illuminating information on Colonel Gill and leads us to a humorous anecdote. Once again, Gill is not mentioned in the September, 1945 roster, so information on him is scant other than being the CO at the hospital. Thus, what Dad includes here is helpful. Gill had begun another two weeks leave after receiving news his mother, "somewhere up in her eighties," was "quite ill" in San Antonio. "He is getting very fed-up here," Dad explained,
    and I guess it was a good excuse to get away. I think he is going to stop at Service Command Headquarters in Dallas and try to get a transfer. He was in the Regular Army for several years and apparently has some good connections. He would like very much to be a civilian especially when his brother, a doctor, wrote and said that he had to pay $13,000.00 income tax last year. Well, wouldn't we all like it?

    The tax comment is puzzling. Does he mean were Gill a civilian, he would pay less in the way of taxes?

    For some time, Dad had been making comments in his letters about the worsening weather as winter progressed. "It snowed quite a bit," he observed of January 27, "and the ground is white this morning (January 28). The sun came out quite warm and it is practically gone now."

    In his February 1, 1945 letter, Dad made a parenthetical reference to something he had started that, as far as I can tell, had not been mentioned previously. He remarked of a "soldier's dependent clinic" he had started and which "seems to be growing all the time." He speculated it would probably slowly grow and eventually "become a fair part of my regular work." He enjoyed it, and it also provided him the opportunity to refresh his knowledge of the diseases of women and children. In addition, he was also going to start a small prenatal clinic, though he wouldn't do deliveries. "It's good experience," he concluded, "that is going to come in handy as I was getting very rusty." In other words, when he returned to private practice after the war, the skills he was developing there would be of help.

    A February 1 anecdote of a relatively inconsequential nature in itself is important here because it introduced a camp term with which I was not familiar. Dad was eating either in the mess hall or more likely the officers' club. The facility was evidently small and people were closely placed to another, as he said there were but "three good-sized tables." The wife of an officer who was sitting at his table began complaining about the food, causing Dad to move to a different table, sitting with Colonel Richardson. Dad felt the food was not so bad, and the woman was simply a "constant griper." At any rate, he described her as living on "soap-suds row." In parentheses, he identified this with the phrase "former regular army enlisted man" housing. His February 3 letter adds a little in the way of explanation. He begins by mentioning three officers were being transferred. "It is welcome news," he opined, "because they were three old regular army sergeants who had been given commissions." They are more highly paid, Dad said, because of their length of time in the service. "These 'soap-suds row' officers are the poorest group of officers that I've ever seen." Thus, the term evidently refers to enlisted men who were given commissions.

    Dad mentions very little in his letters about chapel. He attended services on Sunday, February 4 "like a good boy." The chaplain "has a rather poor turn out as a general rule," and Dad felt sorry for such sparse attendance. You'll recall the 1944 officer roster indicates 1st Lieutenant Verner Jordahl was the chaplain then, though it's hard to know, again, if this is the man to whom Dad is referring here. As you know, the 1945 roster lists no chaplain, though whoever it was when Dad was there, like him, he must have left by the time the roster was compiled.

    A new shipment of prisoners came to the camp on the afternoon of February 4, and Dad gave them physical examinations. Immediately after mentioning about the examinations in this letter, he wrote he had "(w)orked up a couple of cases that are to be transferred on Tuesday so guess I'm already (sic, all ready) to start out a fresh week." The assumption here is the "couple of cases" were from among the new prisoners.

    There was a U.S.O show at the camp on February 7. Dad didn't provide much detail, though he did like the entertainment. It "turned out a little better than some of the others," he concluded. One of the acts involved doubletalk, and another "did a very good imitation of a "Zort Snit Hep cat(?)." Perhaps this relates to some comedic skit or person of the day, but nothing turned up on the Internet.

    On the morning of February 7, the camp veterinarian, Lieutenant Wolf asked Dad to accompany him on an inspection tour of some dairy farms in the area. Even though he had more important work to do, Dad decided to go along. On the way back for lunch, Wolf wanted to visit one more farm, so they took a short-cut over a very bad country road. The car became stuck in the mud, and they had to call the camp to have someone come and pull it out. They didn't get back to camp until 12:45 PM, and Dad once again busied himself with his duties. "It seemed like old times in a country practice," he reminisced of the incident.

    Due partially to some leaves and personnel changes, early February, 1945 became evidently rather busy for the medical staff. Major Goeth was transferred to Fort Sam Houston and left on Sunday, February 11. Because Colonel Gill was still gone on leave, Dad was the "big boss" at the hospital. The adjutant, according to the 1945 roster a Captain Dwight E. Slavens, was also gone, which made them three officers short. Slavens wasn't on the 1944 roster. The medical officer who was to replace Goeth arrived February 13, he being a Captain Francis X. L. Baurichter. The 1945 roster cryptically identified his primary duty as Ab Sk Borden GH, Chickasha. Though the first part eludes me, the last is in reference to Borden General Hospital. According to the Oklahoma Historical Society website, it was established in 1942. Dad reported Baurichter lived in Ohio and came from a P.O.W. camp in Huntsville, Texas. Dad also said he graduated in 1929, though it's unsure if he meant from undergraduate school or medical school. At any rate, this would make him older than my father who graduated from undergraduate school in 1931 and medical school in 1935. Though I'm not sure what he based it on, Dad observed, "(h)is training is apparently none too extensive so guess he is the average G.P. who did some surgery among other things." In a February 15 letter, Dad commented Baurichter was "a fair surgeon although he probably won't set the world on fire."

    In his February 15 letter, Dad identified the dentist as a Captain Berry but doesn't give his first name nor any details about him. The 1945 roster identifies no dentist, though this doesn't necessarily mean he wasn't there. You'll recall the dentist according to the 1944 roster was Major I. W. McQuone. He had probably left by the time of Dad's letter and been replace by Berry. He, in turn, was probably gone toward the end of the camp's life and thus no listing for him in the 1945 roster. In subsequent letters, Dad mentioned dental work Berry did for him for which Dad paid just $5.00.

    Colonel Gill, the hospital chief, returned from leave on February 16, and Dad was glad to turn the responsibilities back over to him. As he had predicted, Gill had stopped at the 8th Service Command Headquarters in Dallas, evidently on his way back. Dad thought the colonel had "set the ball rolling" to obtain a transfer (for himself) and thus would not be at the camp much longer. While in Dallas, Gill also talked to "some General from Washington" who told him doctors who had served overseas wouldn't be sent back over again, to the obvious relief of my father who was not anxious for another overseas tour. Any of the other doctors in similar situations doubtless felt likewise. Dad also stated, "a good share of the medical officers will be retained on active duty for some time after the war," which, as you'll see, Dad would be, and some of the other medical officers had probably already reconciled themselves to being away from their families even after hostilities had ended. We will return to this issue later.

    In the meantime, on February 20 Dad and Captain Arnim, the post engineer, went to Oklahoma City to attend the two-day school mentioned above, among other activities. Dad's letter of that date was written to my mother from the Will Rogers Air Base in Oklahoma City. They had left Alva about 1:00 PM and arrived there around 5:00. "They let us use the sedan so we had good transportation," he noted. After signing in at the headquarters, they found their quarters. "The room isn't bad," he explained, "and since it only costs $.50 a night we can't complain." It appears dinner for the two of them at the officers' club was only $.45. The conference began at 8:00 AM on the 21st, and they would be there until Thursday night. The only hint of what the conference was about was a comment in Dad's February 23 letter indicating, "(i)t is going to help things here this summer now that we know how to control flies and mosquitoes." Following the conference, they were to go to the Branch Camp at Chickasha for a day's worth of inspections. Chickasha is a few miles southwest of Oklahoma City. Not a very exciting trip but "at least away from Alva," Dad concluded. They arrived back there on the evening of Friday, the 23rd, one day early.

    There is a gap in Dad's letters for the rest of February and possibly the first couple of days of March, because he was on leave. Thus, we cannot recount the goings-on in Alva from his perspective during the near-week period. He arrived back in camp on March 6, and a good deal of work had piled up in his absence.

    Gill was not back for long before he was indeed transferred. Within no more than three days of his return, he was on his way to Fort Sam Houston. The most immediate result of this from Dad's point of view was the possibility he might be able to get Gill's house and move his family down to Alva. This he thought unlikely because of the children and indeed did not occur. It also raised the issue of who would replace Gill, Dad thinking it might be him, though this, too, wouldn't happen. If I am reading his handwriting correctly, a Major Sunall, M.C. reported on February 19 to replace Colonel Gill. There is no such name on the September, 1945 roster. At first, I thought he had meant Major Sewall, the surgeon, but his actual words were "(a) Major Sunall (spelling?) reported today," appearing not to be in reference to the already present Sewall. The 1945 roster, however, lists Major Sewall as "CO STA Hosp and Cp Surgeon." This remains an area of confusion. In his February 19 letter, Dad expressed some disappointment at not getting Gill's post, writing "that leaves me out again."

    In an experience I'm sure many of us could relate to, once he was there, the new major summoned the medical staff to his office and said he was going to make some changes. "He thought the place needed some organization," Dad related, "all though (sic, although) he frankly admitted that he hadn't much experience in operating a hospital." Dad commented he was much too "bull-headed" to understand things would be better left the way they were. Dad informed him of his disapproval of the changes he was making. "Unless he takes a different attitude his days are numbered here," Dad concluded, adding "(t)he service command headquarters (in Dallas) knows that this hospital has functioned smoothly in the past, and if it doesn't in the future the responsibility can be easily determined." If my father's comments are any indication, the new hospital chief was not getting off to an auspicious start. Time would only tell how things would pan out. Regardless, the camp would only exist for a few more months anyway.

    In mid-March, Dad took two trips to Arkansas to deliver prisoners, though it is unclear if both trips were to the same place. On Sunday, March 11, Major Sewall was to have taken some prisoners to an unspecified camp in the state. Before he could leave, some inspecting officers came in from Dallas, and Sewall couldn't go. Dad was the only other medical officer available, so he went in his place. He gave no further details of the trip, simply writing it had been a "rough trip." The March 17 letter written during the second trip bore the address "Railroad Siding, McGehee, Arkansas." The town is in the very southeastern part of the state just west of the Mississippi River. Dad described the trip writing, "(w)e left Alva yesterday morning at 10:00 A.M. (March 16) with a special train and 166 P.O.W.s. We delivered them to Jerome, Arkansas about noon and they brought our (railroad?) car back here to await transportation." According to The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, a prisoner camp was there which, as of October, 1944, had become one to house Germans, though previously it had been used for the internment of Japanese Americans. It's hard to imagine they made so long at distance in two hours; perhaps he means they arrived at noon on the 17th. In addition to himself, two other officers and seventeen enlisted men as guards went on the trip. "This trip has been much nicer," he wrote on March 17,
    as we have the same Pullman (car) both ways. Will wait here until 8:30 tonight at which time a regular passenger train will pick up the car and will take us to Little Rock. We lay over there until 2:00 P.M. tomorrow and will get into Alva Monday evening. It is like having (a) rolling hotel room. No messing around with baggage or changing trains and it is a very easy trip. Now that the prisoners have been delivered there is nothing to do until we get back.

    In his March 19 letter, Dad recalled they did indeed leave McGehee at 8:30 PM on the 17th and arrived in Little Rock around midnight. Their car was put on a siding, and Dad didn't wake up until 8:00 AM on Sunday. They didn't leave Little Rock until 3:30 PM, thinking they would go to Wichita. However,
    (a) freight train had had a wreck ahead of us and it was necessary to travel over the Frisco Lines (we were on the Missouri Pacific) and were four hours late getting into Grand Junction. We thought that we were going to have to wait until 3:00 A.M. tomorrow morning even to get out of there. Instead they sent down a locomotive and hauled our car to Wichita where we made the same connections on the Santa Fe. There wasn't any time to spare and everything was swell. You would have thought we were very important people the way the railroads took care of us.

    Doubtless, such trips were welcome opportunities to get away, but he was also probably glad to get them over. Among the documents I procured from the National Archives, one appears to confirm this trip. Written by Captain Slavens, the Adjutant at Alva, it has the following prisoners being transferred to Camp Dermott on March 16, 1945: Major Kurt Bettlewski, Captain Helmut von Gauerstadt, and 1st Lieutenant Martin Masberg.

    Late-March brought a new twist to the matter of Captain Greenfield, the camp psychiatrist with whom Dad had had many run-ins. On March 26, Greenfield received orders transferring him to the Borden General Hospital "as a patient." This may not have been unusual, as Dad mentions at least two other officers being treated for physical problems. "It is felt," Dad surmised, "that Col. Richardson got completely fed-up with him and sent him down there for observation. I've heard him say several times that he thought he was mentally unbalanced." Dad concluded it was rather a "dirty trick," but "I suppose he had it coming." It was not expected for Greenfield to return to Alva, leaving the medical staff one officer short. Captain Baurichter was to go on two weeks leave beginning on March 28, which left Dad and Major Sewall the only medical officers left to do all the work. With regard to Greenfield, Dad's letters don't mention him again from this time until Dad left Alva in September. Thus, presumably Greenfield was gone for good.

    Indeed the ensuing days were busy. On March 31, Dad commented, "Major Sewall does a great deal more than I thought he would and it is not too tough. We are O.D. every other night but since we are usually here anyway it doesn't make any particular difference." On April 3, Dad "had to go over to the compound and make a special examination of 250 Krauts. It's the extra stuff that really takes the time." Captain Baurichter came back from leave sometime in early-April, meaning O.D.s only occurred every third night.

    In addition to his official duties, Dad also kept himse lf busy with his civilian dependents clinic. On Wednesday, April 4, he saw the pregnant wife of one of the enlisted men. His diagnosis was of a ruptured entopic (tubal) pregnancy, and he referred her to a local Alva physician, presumably an obstetrician. If I am reading Dad's handwriting correctly, the local doctor's name was Franesse. The diagnosis turned out to be correct, and Dad helped him in the resulting operation, which was performed on April 5 at the Alva Hospital. "They have a nice, new well-equipped little hospital and it was a pleasure to go down." he observed; "(i)t seemed almost like being a civilian again." Today the hospital is a museum.

    On April 3, Dad was invited to Lieutenant Janssen's, the provost marshal, for dinner. The chaplain was also invited but couldn't go for some reason. After a "delicious steak" dinner, they spent the evening putting together a jigsaw puzzle.

    They "had a rather good movie," Dad opined on April 17, "Molly and Me" with Monty Wooley and Gracie Fields that night. It appears from the dates of these films, they were getting first-run ones.

    On April 18, the chaplain stopped into Dad's quarters, and they had "a little bull session." As mentioned before, there is no chaplain listed on the September, 1945 roster, and Dad never mentions this man's name. His only comments in terms of the man's personality were he "is very broad-minded and has a good sense of humor." Sometime before then, he, the chaplain, had gone to one of the compounds to talk to a group of Germans. "When he went into the room they all snapped to attention and he asked them to be seated," Dad recalled him saying. After a few minutes of conversation, one of the American guards came in and saw them in a seated posture. According to the chaplain, the guard blurted out, "Hey! You sons-of-bitches, stand up in the presence of an American officer." Both Dad and the chaplain got a kick out of his actions.

    It was at this time, April, 1945, the aforementioned inspection visit took place, and the resulting report gives some insights into the camp's operation. Though much of what is related here comes from a report in which my father had no involvement, it still adds meaningful information which describes his year there in fuller terms. They noted little change had taken place in the physical aspects of the camp since the last visit on December 13-14, 1944, but two new guardhouses had been built. The report said the main purpose of the new towers was for "lighting the spaces between the fences which separate the non-commissioned officers' compound and the enlisted men's compound. This has been done to prevent the continuance of fence cutting at night." It went on to say the current prisoner population of the camp was "slightly less than that shown in the last report." When this visit took place, there were 465 officers, 2,505 non-commissioned officers and 1,292 enlisted men.

    "The health of the camp has been excellent all winter," the report concluded; "(l)ess than one percent of the prisoners of war have succumbed to illness." No deaths had occurred since the camp was last visited in December, but "a prisoner of war at the Chickasha side camp had committed suicide on November 17 (of) last year." There were no "serious cases" among the 29 prisoner patients in the hospital when the visit took place. The report indicated serious cases were transferred to the Glennon General Hospital at Okmulgee, this borne out by some of Dad's comments in his letters home.

    The latter portion of the report gives some interesting detail into the camp's operation. In a section entitled "Discipline," Goetz and Turner note there were no courts martial since the last visit in December. However, he went on,
    two are pending, those of Max Wolff and Franz Helm who escaped over a year ago and stole an automobile. These prisoners are now at Tonkawaka but will be brought back for trial which will come up in May. These prisoners have been the source of much trouble to the Camp Commander and the security officers because they went into hiding within the camp shortly after their sentence (sic) last summer and before they could be sent on to Leavenworth. It was only on the Third of March (1945) that the prisoner Wolff was finally found in a tunnel located under one of the buildings in the officers' compound. Another incident described in the report related to the beating of one prisoner by some others "for listening to a radio." Though the report didn't say why the prisoners would do such a thing simply because the man was listening to the radio, it did indicate the incident "will probably lead to a court martial." The incident was being investigated, the report said, and if the actions were repeated, the camp commander would remove all radios from the compound. My guess is it was not so much the man was listening as it was what he was listening to. Goetz and Turner also reported in April, 1945 "all plaques, swastikas and other political emblems have been removed from the compounds" because prisoners had stolen metal in order to make them." Photographs of national leaders had also been removed though this was not the case with personal photographs. When the April visit took place "26 prisoners, including two officers, were in the guard house for minor offenses." Despite all of this, the report concluded "the morale of the camp has greatly improved since the transfer of Colonel Paul Konrad, ace troublemaker, and certain of his colleagues. The appointment of a new spokesman for the officers' compound has also helped." The German listed in the Goetz-Turner report as the camp spokesman was Colonel Joseph Irkens. This may be another one of my many long-shots, but a book entitled Rommel's Desert Commanders by Samuel W. Mitcham lists a Colonel Joseph Irkens and identifies him as "the last commander of the 8th Panzer regiment."

    In their "Observations," Goetz and Turner concluded the improved morale in the camp was attributable to the new camp commander's changes in "an unusually troublesome camp." This would seem somewhat of a slight against the previous commander and refuted Dad's suspicions about change. This resulted from both specific policy changes and the removal of "ring-leaders" of difficulty among the prisoners. Still, problems remained, and the camp commander and other personnel were "under an unusual amount of strain which has had its effect upon the atmosphere of the entire camp." Adding to the administrative difficulties was the inability of the camp commander to obtain an Assistant Executive Officer to carry out a "reorientation program." Though I'm not sure to which position they're referring, according to the 1944 roster, the camp's executive officer was a Major H. C. Trembly, and on the 1945, one it was Major Elmer H. Gibson.

    On April 20, Dad made some confusing comments about quarters telling a little about staffing and quarters. I'll allow him to explain it in his own words.
    We have our rooms back in the hospital again, and it was rather peculiar the way we got them. The nurses' quarters are vacant now that we don't have any nurses. The building is air-conditioned and Colonel Richardson has had his eye on it for some time. He wants to use it for himself and the other officers who don't have their families here. If he could dispose of the medical department there would be just about enough room for the remaining. In order to get it accomplished he gave us authority to come back over here and everything is settled. It will be a good deal for all of us now that the dog in the manger got a bone of his own.

    This can be interpreted to mean Dad and the other doctors were consequently living in air-conditioned quarters. Also, it appears from this the nursing staff had been discontinued by this time, though how long the nurses had been gone cannot at this point be determined. Neither the Goetz-Turner report nor the 1945 roster listed any officer nurses.

    Going back to the issue of supplies, Dad reported in his April 21 letter cigarettes becoming scarce, and effective May 1 they would be rationed. "We don't know yet how many we are going to be allowed," he explained to our mother, "but they are going to give the (ration) cards out Monday. I'm going to get one for you and think I will probably be able to keep you in cigarettes on about the same quantity as in the past." His April 27 letter, however, said he had been unable to get a card for her. Two packages a day was the limit they could buy, he added. Also, the selection of brands was not broad. He had also alluded in earlier letters to Kleenex being harder to buy. The candy he had been sending back to his kids, he concluded, "isn't very good quality."

    April 20, 1945 was Hitler's fifty-six birthday, and his last, though no one knew it at the time. This and other German national holidays were often the impetus behind activity among the prisoners. Dad reported there was no trouble. "Some of them got off in a corner and sang 'Deutschland Uber Alles' and I heard a few 'Heil Hitlers' in the distance," he recalled, "but everything else was under control."

    At 6:30 on the evening of April 23, Dad was called over to the hospital, because they had found a dead German. "He was dead on admission," Dad noted the following day, "and we spent the rest of the evening making the necessary investigations and doing an autopsy." There was, he went on, no evidence of foul play, and the man appeared to have died of natural causes.

    Late April and early May appears to have been another busy time in the hospital. "My desk is piled so high with files, regulations and other papers that I can hardly see over it," he complained on April 25. An afternoon spent with an inspector from the 8th Service Command Headquarters that day related to a new round of examinations of all of the American personnel being planned. This had been done in December and January, Dad went on, "but they have some new ideas regarding classification." Adding to Dad's work and responsibilities, Major Sewall was at the Glennon Hospital for an unspecified time and didn't arrive back in Alva until May 1. Dad didn't necessarily mind the extra work but didn't want to take the responsibility of making decisions in Sewall's stead. "He is bull-headed," Dad concluded, "and has very little experience." On May 4, Dad reported a German with a broken leg coming in.

    Also, in late-April, the entire camp was put under a general alert. Though he didn't write specifically when it started, nothing was mentioned about it in his April 27 letter but was in the one for the following day. Thus, its announcement can be narrowed to this small window. Also, in his April 30 letter, Dad mentions a pot-luck party on Saturday, April 28. They had their meal, but "(d)ue to the alert the party broke up at nine." Thus, we can make a tentative guess the alert began at 9:00 PM on Saturday, April 28. Though he didn't know the exact reason for the alert, "(t)he prisoners were told this afternoon that they can no longer use the Nazi salute, exhibit any Nazi emblems or pictures of any of their leaders." Dad surmised it was a precautionary measure, with the European phase of the war so near its end. The reader will recall the Germans surrendered on May 7, 1945, just nine days after Dad mailed his April 28 letter. The alert was lifted at noon on April 30, and any restrictions on the American personnel were ended. "The prisoners apparently have decided that it is better to obey regulations than live on bread and water," Dad speculated. He went on to write "I think most of them are getting a bit fed-up with their own petty gestapo and being told what they can do."

    There was a dance at the club on Saturday, May 5, and Dad took calls so Captain Baurichter could go. "I am told that it was a rather loud affair," Dad recounted secondhand the following day, a Sunday, "and the Colonel began laying down the rules of conduct this morning for the future," this appearing to indicate the attendees must have gotten rather tanked up. There was a good turnout at church the Sunday Dad wrote, though it probably had nothing to do with the party. "More of the officers go now and the enlisted men follow suit. The chaplain is a wonderful man in every respect and it seems a shame that he isn't better supported." Again, it would be wonderful if the identity of this man could someday be tacked down.

    The day after Dad sent the Sunday letter, the Germans surrendered, and the war in Europe was over. May 8 was declared to be V-E Day. In his May 7 letter, he makes surprisingly little reference to the event. After writing of playing softball and the occurrence of a thunder storm during the movie, he declared, "the news is wonderful and we are all looking forward to the proclamation of V-E Day tomorrow. It has been a long time in coming and will be very welcome." He recalled in his April 8 letter they had listened to President Truman's speech on the radio, though he had mentioned nothing of President Roosevelt's death in mid-April.

    On April 8, Dad reported the Chief of the Surgical Service from the Borden General Hospital in Chickasha came to the camp, and "he saw all (of) our surgical cases." Dad was quite busy and didn't get a chance too see him a great deal. "He appeared to be a rather nice chap," he commented, "and helped Capt. Baurichter out a great deal." Dad went on to say someone from that hospital came up to the camp each month "and it makes it much easier for us."

    The movie on May 10 was Without Love with Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn.

    On May 10, Dad reported the personnel officer, Captain Howe, was in Dallas attending a conference related to a new point system that had been announced for determining which people would be discharged from the service as the war was winding down. Howe was due back May 13 with details of how the program was to work. "There is a question," Dad pointed out, "as to whether it applies to officers and even more questions regarding medical officers." With the exceptions of some highly-trained personnel, enlisted men who had accumulated 85 points were eligible for discharge, he explained. He figured, based on what he knew at the time, he had 123 points. But, again, it was still up in the air as to whether this new discharge policy applied to officers.

    Sometime around mid-May, a new regulation came down regarding cigarettes. Effective June 1, Dad explained, they were to be issued new ration cards allowing them six packs a week. Civilian dependents would also get cards, but he explained in the May 16 letter he didn't know if he could get one for our mother. In his May 31 letter, he admitted he could indeed not get a card for her, so he decided to start smoking a pipe and save his cigarettes for her. "I have about thirty packages on hand," he explained, "and a pound of tobacco so we ought to manage in good shape."

    As usual, the movie fare in mid-May included some good and some not so good films. On May 15, it was Enchanted Cottage with Dorothy McGuire and Robert Young, "a little screwy," Dad felt, but he seemed to like it. "Tonight we are going to see the great master-piece of all time, 'Salome, Where She Danced,'" Dad indicated with obvious sarcasm on May 20. "Life magazine reports that it is so silly that it turns out to be rather good entertainment. My hopes aren't very high and I probably won't be disappointed." The film starred Yvonne De Carlo and Rod Cameron.

    On Monday, May 21, Dad was to accompany four prisoner patients to Glennon General Hospital. He mentioned in his May 18 letter he would come back the following Tuesday. As Major Sewall had taken the last group down, now it was Dad's turn. "It isn't bad when we can go in a staff car," he added, "but the ambulance isn't too good." One could thus speculate on whether or not this was the normal means through which prisoners were delivered there and elsewhere. Before he left, however, it was necessary to get enough work done so when he returned from the two-day trip he would not be swamped. He later reported leaving about 8:30 AM on Monday, May 21 and getting to Glennon at 3:00 in the afternoon. "Delivered the patients and then came back into Tulsa," he remarked. He stayed in the Adams Hotel there. He then informed Mom he was going to leave Tulsa about 10:30 AM the next morning and mentioned later he had gotten back to the camp around 5:00 PM the next day, May 22. He reported after the fact that "(i)t was a rather hard trip in an uncomfortable ambulance and (that he) was a bit tired around the posterior."

    Before he left for Glennon Hospital, Dad recounted a humorous anecdote to our mother in his May 20 letter I will allow him to relate in his own words.
    On of the American enlisted men who is a patient in the hospital has been considered as a gold-bricker for some time. He told me that he had had an ear infection about two years ago and couldn't hear with his right ear. I tried him out with various tuning forks and he could (sic?, couldn't) hear any of them. The whole thing looked very fishy so I decided to try him out with low conversational speech at a distance of twenty feet. I asked him to repeat numbers after me and received no response. Finally using the same tone of voice I asked him if he could hear me and he said "No". I hustled him out of the room in a hurry, so that I wouldn't split something trying to keep from laughing. As you can imagine he isn't going to get much sympathy from now on.

    On Sunday, May 27, Dad had dinner with Lieutenant Wolf, the veterinarian. Once again, the 1945 roster identifies him as Captain Wolf, and, as we will see, he was indeed promoted. Dad consistently spelled it Wolfe, though the spelling in the roster was Wolf. The meal consisted of fried chicken and fresh peas. Wolf and his wife apparently had a 10-month old daughter, and "she is very sweet," he commented.

    In the May 27 letter, Dad made some interesting comments about the kind of air-conditioning they had. That Sunday was evidently especially hot. "The air-conditioners are going full blast," he wrote, "and it isn't too bad in here." When he says "here," it can be only assumed he means in his quarters, though he doesn't specifically say where he was writing the letter. However, in his June 29 letter he does say "(t)he whole hospital is air-conditioned." A July 24 letter states the officers' club was also air conditioned. "This type of air-conditioning," he explained, "consists of a fan that draws air through a dampened screen. The evaporation of the water reduces the temperature quite a bit but obviously raises the humidity." Thus, it worked best when the weather was hot and dry. "At least it does some good," he concluded. The theater was not air-conditioned, so it "is going to be very hot tonight so I may only stay for the news reel and comedy. That is another place that really needs an air-conditioner."

    For the first time, on May 23 Dad speculated on the Germans' fate and thus the camp's, the war in Europe being over. "We are all of the opinion," he said then, "that the prisoners are going back to Germany in the not too far distant future but it is anybody's guess when this particular camp closes." Four days afterward, on the 27th, he noted, "rumors are flowing thick and fast" about the camp's fate. "There seems to be well-founded information," he went on, "one (camp) not far from here is closing in a couple of weeks." He repeated this speculation again on June 8 and hoped the medical officers might be considered "not quite so critical."

    As June, 1945 commenced, Dad seemed to enter a slow period. His letters mainly talk about playing softball and reading. June 3 was "a very dull day and (I) read most of the afternoon." He went on to explain, "(t)here are very few patients in the hospital and it is the paper work that takes up the time." It would make sense few patients would be there, the camp being so close to closure.

    With the war over and the fate of the camp in doubt, he evidently began to think about requesting a transfer. Colonel Richardson was in the hospital on June 8 and suggested to Dad it might be a good time to request one. Dad wrote it out then and "laid it on pretty heavy." It wouldn't happen, though.

    He also decided to ask for a leave in July, but it was open to question when he could take it depending on who else had requested leave. Major Sewall's father died sometime in late-May to early-June, and they thought he might take a leave to go to the funeral. He decided, however, to take his leave when he had originally planned, around June 20th. According to Dad's June 8 letter, Captain Berry, the camp dentist, was also on leave. His June 20 letter indicated Major Sewall would be on leave from roughly June 30 to July 16. At this point, Dad was planning his leave for about July 18, though as the reader will see shortly, circumstances would change things. In a June 23 letter, he mentioned Sewall actually left that day and "was fortunate enough to get a plane to New York City."

    On Wednesday, June 13, as Dad was leaving the hospital, Lieutenant Wolf called to invite him down for the evening. Wolf's sister and he wanted Dad to enjoy some homemade ice-cream. Her husband was the regional manager in Texas and Oklahoma for Sharp and Dohrne Chemical Company, and, odd as it made sound, he "carries a gallon ice cream freezer with him wherever he goes and it seems to be a custom." Dad and Wolfe had also planned to go to Fort Reno, near Oklahoma City, to a horse show. "It is an old cavalry post," Dad described, "and now a remount station. I haven't the slightest idea what it is going to be like." Colonel Richardson was going along too but changed his mind. They evidently had government transportation to the event.

    Dad's June 23 letter reported some problems with the prisoners regarding food. "The Krauts are complaining a great deal about the lack of food," he commented critically.
    At first I thought it was only the transition from too much food to too little but there is a very apparent general weight loss (among the prisoners). Of course things will never get as bad as it was for our boys in German prison camps, but they now know how well off they were at the time. The call us cowards behind our backs because we waited until V-E Day to put the new program into effect. Sometimes I think they are not far from the truth.

    In late-June came the opportunity, ultimately successful, for Dad to not only get away from the camp but also to see his family. His June 25 letter reported two German prisoners were to be transferred to Mason General Hospital in Brentwood, Long Island. Dad's family was living in upstate New York at that time. He was to transport the prisoners there by train and take ten days leave during the same time. "This will be my leave," he expressed gleefully, "and Uncle Sam will pay the transportation." The transportation officer called him on June 27 to say he was trying to arrange the reservations for July 7. Though Dad doesn't mention his name, the transportation officer listed on the September, 1945 roster was Captain Edward G. Dechant, CMP, whose primary duty was as quartermaster. Dad does mention the name in a later letter, though. He was not listed in the 1944 roster. On July 2, Dad reported more firm plans for this trip. He was to leave at 8:04 PM on Saturday, July 7 and arrived in New York, via Chicago, at about 4:00 PM on Monday, July 9. He would deliver the prisoners to Brentwood and then be with his family in Addison, New York on Tuesday morning. The trip concluded, he arrived back at the camp on July 22. Nothing was mentioned in that day's letter to our mother about the trip or the prisoners whom he was delivering, doubtless because he had told her about the trip when was home and saw no need to repeat it in this letter.

    The day before he left for New York, Dad mentioned "two rather large groups of P.O.W.s (are) scheduled to leave this camp in the next few days but I don't know what is in the wind." He felt they were going to be shipped back to Germany rather than to another camp. This would make sense, the war being over by then.

    The movie on Thursday, June 28 was Wonder Man with Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo. "It was completely impossible," he critiqued, "but funny and good entertainment."

    On June 29, he reported Captain Baurichter was to leave for Fort Sam Houston the following day and would be gone until Thursday, July 5. Dad expected to be rather busy until he returned.

    By late-June, Dad's request for a transfer had not been returned, which he took to be a positive sign. If it were going to be denied, it would probably have happened relatively quickly, he doubtless assumed. Given the war's end in Europe, many servicemen were probably hopeful about separation from the military relatively soon. Apparently referring to medical officers, Dad indicated, "(t)he Surgeon General has stated that between 2000 and 3000 will be returned to civilian life by the end of the year. The first priority will be given to those 50 years of age and the rest will go out under the point system." At the time, Dad would have been thirty-five years old. His first letter after arrival back in Alva from the New York trip did, however, give the bad news. His request for a transfer had been denied, the reason given being, the adjutant told him, the lack of a replacement. He told our mother she needn't be too disappointed, as he would probably be out of the service in four or five months, anyway.

    In late-July, they were once again short-staffed, and thus busy, as Dad and Major Sewall were the only ones there. Captain Baurichter had gone down to Borden General Hospital as a patient due to eye problems. Lieutenant Wolf was also there, he to be operated on for a cyst in his mouth. Captain Laughlin was escorting "another P.O.W. 'nut' to New York and (to) see his family in Philadelphia." The New York reference makes me wonder if this was the Brentwood, Long Island facility he's mentioned before. This meant Dad would be working harder and thus be tired when he got off. "We have eighty patients in the hospital," he explained on July 27, "and I'm seeing a large number of civilian dependents that is an accumulation from my time on leave." Four days later on July 31, he exclaimed, "(o)ur big thing now is discharging eligible enlisted men and getting the sufficiently able-bodied ones overseas." Needless to say, this was leaving the camp short of personnel. He still had no concrete idea as to what was going to happen to the camp.

    He had good news to report in his August 2 letter to his wife, however. Captain Howe, the personnel officer, showed him a letter from Washington indicating "all Medical Officers with an Adjusted Service Rating (Points) over 120 would be immediately reported as excess to the Army. My 122 puts me in this class and am so being reported today." Howe indicated to Dad he might go to the Separation Center before the end of August.

    Dad was invited to Lieutenant Baumgartner's to have dinner and spend the day with his family on August 5. Baumgartner, again, was the Assistant Executive Officer. "It was good to get away from camp for a while," he lamented the following day "and have a home-cooked meal." This appears to imply Baumgartner was living off post then. In the evening, they came back out to the post and saw Her Highness and the Bell Boy, starring Hedy Lamarr and Robert Walker. It was "better than average," he commented and enjoyed it despite the hot theater.

    On Tuesday evening, August 7, an inspector general team arrived, "and they have been bothering us constantly since, sticking their noses into all the corners." In addition, a psychiatrist was there on temporary duty, "and we are profiling the men for what I hope is the last time for me." This psychiatrist must have replaced Greenfield, at least on a temporary basis.

    He mailed a letter to our mother on V-J Day, August 15, 1945. This would have been the day after the Japanese surrendered. The following, somewhat subdued, represents his activities as a result.
    Last evening Lt Wolfe invited me down for dinner and just as the bus was pulling out the news was broadcast. By the time I got down town all the horns and whistles were blowing and everyone beginning to celebrate. They don't do any drinking and about 9:30 I came back to camp cold sober. I had one drink in the club and then started for the hospital to go to bed. In the process I was waylaid by Capt DeChant (Quartermaster) and along with four other officers taken to his apartment against my will. We sat around and drank beer until about one-thirty and then came back to camp. All the rest had been drinking all evening but I didn't try to catch up. The dinner date was very fortunate because I got a good meal and didn't have a hang-over this morning
    Dad's letters have contained relatively little regarding the official goings on in the camp since around June. Things were probably on the slow side anyway, and he was doubtless preoccupied with the end of the war and his impending separation from the service. However, this limits the amount of information we can glean from his letters about the camp. Very little has been mentioned about the Germans during this time compared to the relatively large number of anecdotes mentioned earlier. And, much of what he does mention is essentially social in nature. Thus, we must be careful about assuming nothing was happening with them simply because they are not mentioned in his letters. As any historian knows, you are always the captive of the sources you have. If anything big had happened, though, I'm sure Dad would have mentioned it.

    On the morning of August 19, Lieutenant Thurow took "four of us" down to Woodward, Oklahoma to see a rodeo. Relying on the September, 1945 camp roster, this is in reference to Harold F. Thurow, 1ST Lieutenant, AUS, who was the intelligence officer. Thurow was not on the 1944 roster. "We got there an hour early," Dad recalled of the trip, "but even at that there were no box seats or grandstand seats. We sat in the bleachers near the chutes and had a very good view of the whole show." They saw the typical fare of rodeo events.

    With the war over and the camp's closing a near certainly, they once again began to get busy. "I thought," Dad ruminated on August 24, "when we got all of our own enlisted men examined that we would be through with mass examinations. Now we are examining all of the P.O.W.s (about 3500) in order to determine what kind of duty they can perform." He went on to say it had to be done by the following week and was going to be "quite a job."

    Evidently Mom had read something in the news media about the Army being short of doctors and had thus become concerned. Dad sought to quash the idea and reassure her he would probably be getting out of the service in due time. He used this as an opportunity to express his feelings on the use of medical officers during the war. "The waste of medical officers will be one of the big disgraces of this war," he concluded, and it would be interesting to know what he meant specifically. To reassure her, he mentioned he had been "declared excess and (I) don't see why my separation should be held up."

    "Saturday was a big night in Alva," Dad remarked on August 27, the following Monday,
    There was a party at the Officers' Club and I went for a change. I don't suppose I can really say that I went to the party. I happened to be there when it started and it moved in on me. About six o'clock Major Sewell (sic) and I began drinking highballs and when the people began to arrive we were well on the way. Things were going so good that we decided that we might as well continue. It was a good thing that nothing happened in the way of sickness, etc. because we were neither in any shape to take care of an emergency. Everyone seemed to get a kick out of my being tight because it was their first opportunity to see it. Incidentally it will be the last. Yesterday afternoon I went down to the Baugartners (sic) for dinner and then came out to the show. I'm ready to settle down to my formerly quite existence.

    Sometime in late-August, Lieutenant Wolf, the veterinarian, finally received the aforementioned promotion to captain. He must have been waiting for it for some time, because Dad wrote, "he was becoming very discouraged." About then, Dad went with Wolf and his family to another rodeo, this one at a county fair in Hardtner, a small town just across the state line in Kansas. In detailed letters to two of his children, he described the events at the rodeo very nicely.

    At about 6:30 PM on Tuesday, September 4, the colonel called an alert, Dad wrote the following day, "because there was some trouble brewing in the (P.O.W.) officers' compound." Though he doesn't give any details on what the threat was, Dad simply revealed, "in order to forestall any incidents they took out 150 of the ones they suspected and moved them to an unused compound." If I understand what he wrote in his September 5 letter, they had to set up a dispensary, got kitchens opened, etc. in order to accommodate them in their new compound. "Nothing happened," Dad concluded, "and everything is under control."

    The day before, Monday, September 3, Major Sewall "left to take three prisoner patients to Camp Forrest, Tenn." This left Dad the only medical officer in the camp. He had been "going pretty steady" as far as the work was concerned as a result of the periodic absences and would have an easier time of it when Sewall returned even though the latter "doesn't kill himself working."

    Dad reported the good news about his impending separation from the service in his September 6 letter. "It won't be long before I will be home with you," he expected. The Service Command needed some additional information on him, and then they would contact the separation center, "and then the orders will be published." He hoped to receive them by the middle of the following week. If his replacement didn't come soon enough, Dad feared, he may have to wait until Major Sewall was back, which, he said, was September 14. In any case, he expected to be home within two weeks. His separation center, he predicted, would be Fort Dix, New Jersey, which proved to be the case. His orders arrived Friday, September 14, and he was to report to Fort Dix on September 26. His replacement was 1ST Lieutenant Richard D. Day, Jr., who arrived September 13 and is listed on the September, 1945 roster. The camp would close soon, so his tour there would be quite brief. Major Sewall got back to the camp on September 14, which would take a little of the pressure off regarding staffing in the hospital.

    At the camp, "(t)hings have been going hot and heavy here for the past few days," Dad explained on September 14, this relating to its shutting down. "They received instructions that this camp will close on Sept. 30th and we are frantically trying to get things in order to accomplish it." As of Monday, September 17, Dad reported, only about 1500 prisoners would be left in the camp, and "the rest will go out soon."

    It appears from a second September 14 letter Dad mailed later in the day, he would leave on Monday, September 17, 1945. "I will get the early evening train," he wrote, "and will be in Addison (New York) sometime Wednesday." This would give him a week at home with his family before reporting to New Jersey for separation. Thus ended very anticlimactically Dad's year in Alva. Nothing in his last letters from Alva exhibited any reflection nor hesitation regarding his stay there. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe

    Trinidad Colorado WWII POW Camp

    Vol 16, Iss 31 America - Back during World War II, 1943, if your grandparents or elders could tell you the story of German prisoners boarding a train in Boston, Massachusetts, only to be headed inland to Prisoner of War (POW) camps in the heartlands of America. More than 378,000 German prisoners would embark on similar trips in the U.S. during WWII.

    We were initially going to explore the POW camp at Trinidad, Colorado, but thought perhaps we would refresh your memories of the POW camps across America's South and Southwest. Yes! Similar scenes occurred that year (1943) in dozens of small communities throughout the American South and Southwest.

    Enemy POW's would eventually fill more than 900 camps in 46 states, plus Alaska. According to official count, these installations would house no fewer than 435,788 men who had fought the Allies, the vast majority from the German military. There were also 51,455 Italians and 5,435 Japanese held in the United States, but the Americans and British confronted and thus captured far more Germans on the battlefields of North Africa, Italy and Western Europe.

    This was the first time that a substantial number of foreign POWs were held on American soil. During World War I, only 1,346 German POWs, mostly sailors, had been interned here. As of August 1942, only 65 German prisoners were being held in the United States.

    The United States was completely unprepared to deal with POWs on this large scale. The nation was gearing up its war industry, training troops, officials had to figure out how to house, feed, and secure incoming POWs. It was under a crash program launched by the army's Prisoner of War Division in September 1942, parts of existing army installations were converted, enemy alien interment camps appropriated, Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps camps rehabilitated, and new facilities built from scratch. By 1943, housing was ready at 33 camps for some 78,000 prisoners.

    The camp construction, operation adhered strictly to Geneva Convention specifications. The main 155 camps, housing three thousand or so prisoners, were established in the South and Southwest, dry, mild climates where the prisoners would be comfortable while the War department saved on heating costs.

    Each captive non-commissioned officer and private soldier received 40 square feet of lodging, and officers received 125 square feet. If POWs had to be temporarily housed in tents, so did their American guards. Meals equaled those fed to American troops stateside.

    Trinidad's World War II POW Camp (1943-1946)

    Trinidad's POW Camp was located in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies. If you visited it today you might find remnants of crumbled cement foundations, an old water treatment plant and parts of the main gate is all that's left of Camp Trinidad that once held thousands of captured German soldiers.

    Cattle graze the remote 715-acre prison site, located about 200 miles south of Denver near the New Mexico border. This $1.8 million facility opened on 4 June 1943, housing about 3,500 German soldiers during its heyday. Many were "the cream of prisoners," such as German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps, who had been defeated by British Filed Marshal Bernard Montgomery's 8th Army.

    The camp was a beehive of activity with 330 structures, including 10 guard towers, and its own sewage and water supply systems. A hospital, blacksmith shop, stable, theater and post office were also on the prison grounds.

    They had everything there you could want during the camp's three-year existence. It was like a big city with its warehouses and theaters, although it was located in a pretty remote area.

    German officers were allowed to take college courses in politics, chemistry, medicine and engineering through correspondence work offered by the University of Colorado and the University of Denver, as well as learning from on-site college professors.

    More than 1, 000 American servicemen and 140 civilian personnel watched over the camp until it closed in early 1946. Most of the prisoners of war returned to Germany or other European locations after the war.

    During the war, the German prisoners were well-behaved and respectful, you could not patronize them other than saying good morning. Despite the close proximity of the POWs, the American civilian workers were never fearful.

    The camp had two theaters where Germans and Americans watched their own movies. Admission was a dime. The German POWs generally were credited with introducing soccer to the area. Inmates were paid wages anywhere from $3 in camp scrip to $40 cash a month, depending on their rank. Shortly after the camp opened, three POW escapees were shot and killed. Their trial records are kept in Washington, D.C.

    The camp reportedly had some other POW escapes, but all were eventually captured, including one as far east as St. Louis and two in a Colorado haystack. View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe

    Information On Judge Wm McLaughlin's Family

    Vol 14, Iss 13 Virginia - Gerald McLaughlin shares the following pdf files and images with us this week. Gerald says, "I picked up the first document at Leyburn Library (W&LU). He authored this book: . He was instrumental in renaming WL&U (Washington & Lee University) after Robert E. Lee. It was first Augusta Academy, then Liberty Hall, then Washington Academy, then Washington College and finally Washington and Lee University. I just donated a book authored by Geo. Washington and William Jackson to W&LU. Considering it was endowed by the first President and then renamed after the man that married his step granddaughter, I could think of no better place for the book."

    Gerald goes on to say, "Lee wrote Judge Wm. on occasion: . Bio from Electric Scotland; McLaughlin, Judge William, Lexington, Va., Born in Rockbridge County, Va.; Scotch-Irish parentage; judge of the Circuit Court; member Virginia Convention; member of Virginia Legislature; judge of the Circuit Court of Virginia; judge of Special Court of Appeals of Virginia; rector of Washington and Lee University. Headstone and marker photos are by others. I was in the cemetery looking all around and was within a couple feet of it (my wife was in the car impatiently waiting). He was somehow related to Squire Hugh McLaughlin of Pocahontas because according to the last story, Rev. Henry Woods McLaughlin (grandson to Sq. Hugh) was the Judge's cousin. By the way, since Sq. Hugh McLaughlin married Nancy Gwin (1770-1845, granddaughter of Capt. David Gwin (1742-1822) & Jane Carlile (1746-1787)), also your relative."

    This PDF file concerns Information on William McLaughlin, Author(s): Charles Curry - Source: The Virginia Law Register, Vol. 11, No. 3 (Jul., 1905), pp. 159-176. Published by: Virginia Law Review; Stable URL

    Judge Wm McLaughlin Heirs

    Judge Wm McLaughlin Heirs - From this pdf file we find a listing of heirs of Judge Wm. McLaughlin. It mentions, "The only heirs at law of the said Wm. McLaughlin, are his widow Fannie M. McLaughlin, John C. Ayers, Wm. C. Ayers, James F. Ayers and Margaret B. Humphrey's (nee Ayers), children of Margarita Ayers (nee McLaughlin) the deceased sister of said Wm. McLaoughlin."

    It also mentions vendors holding liens on Wm. McLaughlin's estate, which reads, "The parties who hold the vendors and other liens upon the real estate mentioned, are as far as your orator is advised, the following: Mrs. N. J. Gibbs, Jno. H. Moore administrator of Law - McD. Moore died, C. R. K. Varner executor of Mary C. Campbell dead, and the Washington and Lee University."

    1.) Edward McLaughlin - born (?); married Jane Irwin (Granddaughter John Sitlington per Sitlington Heirs vs Sitlington Widow abstract but could also be just the niece of Andrew Sitlington - need to see actual documents) born - �±1750. (Edward) A native of Londonderry, Ireland, settled early in the eighteenth century near the place now called Goshen (Bell's Valley according to Judge Wm. bios ca 1745), in Rockbridge county. His wife was a Miss Irvin. He was a member of Captain Dickinson's company at Point Pleasant, and during the Revolutionary war participated in the battles of the Cowpens, Guilford, and Yorktown. His son, Edward I., was the father of Judge William McLaughlin. Source: Annals of Augusta County by Jos. A. Waddell.(Judge Wm. Bio indicates County Down rather than Londonderry).

    The Battle of Point Pleasant - a battle of the revolution, October 10th 1774; biographical sketches of the men who participated (1909). Author: Livia Nye Simpson-Poffenbarfer (lists one Edward McLaughlin at the Battle of Point Pleasant). Note: Source was probably Annals of Augusta County. Source in Annals of Augusta County was Judge Wm. McLaughlin. Also listed in Documentary history of Dunmore's War, 1774, Thwaites, Reuben Gold, 1853-1913; State Historical Society of Wisconsin; Sons of the American Revolution. Wisconsin Society; Kellogg, Louise Phelps 1905.

    Sitlington Heirs vs. Sitlington's Widow - O. S. 79; N. S. 27--Bill, 3d December, 1805. Orators are viz: James Kelso, and Elizabeth, his wife, John Young and Polly, his wife; Nathan Crawford and Jane, his wife; Jennet Sloan (Kean?), Andrew Beaty and Agness, his wife; Edward McLaughlin and Jane, his wife; of whom Elizabeth, Polly, Jane Crawford, Jennet and Agness are the daughters and Jane Erwin is granddaughter of John Sutlington, deceased. John was brother of whole blood of Andrew Sutlington, of Bath. Andrew died 1787 without issue, widow Elizabeth. He made a will, dated 1801, and this suit is to contest it on account of inability by age and infirmity, being 90 years old. Andrew had written to John in Ireland to come to Virginia. He married Elizabeth when aged. She was a Montgomery? Her brother (?) John was a preacher. Defendants are viz: Elizabeth Sutlingon (widow of Andrew), Jacob Warwick, Andrew Sutlingon Warwick, Andrew Sutlington (son of Robert Sutlington), John Montgomery, and Andrew Erwin. Jacob Warwick answers that oratrix, Jane McLaughlin, is niece of Andrew Sutlington, who is understood to have had a half-sister, Mrs. Sherman, living in Pennsylvania at his death.Andrew had married the mother of Jacob. Elizabeth answers that John Sutlington had a son, Robert, now living in Bath. James Erwin is brother of Jane McLaughlin. Andrew died 15th April, 1804. He was in his 85th year. John Sutlington came to this country in 1774. Andrew and Elizabeth were married in 1779. Andrew Sitlington's will dated 12th October, 1801. Proved in Bath County, June, 1804. Wife Elizabeth; legatee Gean Crawford, wife of Nathan Crawford. Legatee Andrew Sitlington Crawford, son of Nathan. Legatee Gennet Sloan and her daughter, Polly Sloan. Legatee Polly Young, wife of John Young. Legatee Agness Beaty, wife of Andrew Beaty. Legatee Elizabeth Kelso, wife of James Kelso. Legatee Elizabeth, Sitlington Kelso, daughter of Elizabeth Kelso, Legatee nephew, James Erwin. Legatee nephew, Andrew Erwin. Legatee niece Jean McGloughlin, wife of Edward, and her son, Andrew McGloughlin. Legatee Andrew Sitlington McDonald, son of Samuel. Legatee Elizabeth McDonald, daughter of John. Legatee Elizabeth McDonald, daughter of Samuel. Legatee Andrew Sitlington Warwick, son of Jacob. Legatee Andrew Sitlington, son of Robert. Letter by Andrew to John dated Greenbrier, 25th September, 1776, speaks of brother William (in Pennsylvania), and brother Thomas, of sister Elizabeth. Source: CHRONICLES OF THE SCOTCH-IRISH SETTLEMENT OF VIRGINIA; Vol 2, pp 96-103 by Lyman Chalkley.

    2.) Edward Irving McLaughlin born Feb. 20, 1787; marr. Elizabeth (Betsy) Nesbitt, b own 1792. (Son); Death of Edward Irving McLaughlin, son of Edward and Jane McLaughlin born in Rockbridge Co. Virginia. Death March 24, 1858, age 71; his wife is listed as E. McLaughlin and this was reported by William. [Source: Bath Co. Historical Society.] Edward I. McLaughlin was buried in the "Old Lebanon Cemetery A1 (2), Craigsville, Augusta County, Virginia.

    Just north of the present Rockbridge - Augusta County line, approximately 125 yards west of the state Route 42, on Ramsey's Draft, stood the original Lebanon Presbyterian Meeting house, called "Little River" and "Wahab" in early records. Around it was the burying ground, used from soon after the mid 1700's. Located 1/4 mile south of intersection of Route 42 & Route 687. Fenced, approximately 80 X 80 feet. McLaughlin, Edw'd I. b 20 Feb 1787 - d 24 Mar 1858. The Devoted Husband, Affectionate Father, Useful Citizen, Mark the perfect man and behold The upright for the end of that man Is peace. Source:

    3.) Judge William McLaughlin

    - William McLaughlin was born 6 January 1828 in Rockbridge County, Virginia, to Edward Irving McLaughlin (died 1858) and Betsy Nesbit McLaughlin (1792-1869). He apprenticed as a surveyor with his father, but became interested in the law. McLaughlin graduated from Washington College in 1850, then studied law under Judge John White Brockenbrough (1806-1877). McLaughlin was admitted to the bar in 1851, but continued his studies for two years before commencing his practice in Lexington, Virginia, in 1853. When the Civil War began, McLaughlin enlisted in the Rockbridge Artillery and served through out the war, rising to the rank of major. After the war ended, McLaughlin returned to Lexington where he was appointed to the board of trustees for Washington College. McLaughlin suggested that the school hire Robert E. Lee (1807-1870) to be its president and after Lee's death, pushed for the school to be renamed Washington and Lee University. He represented Rockbridge County in the constitutional convention of 1867-1868 and in the House of Delegates in 1869. McLaughlin was appointed judge for the 13th judicial circuit in 1870. He married first Sallie Mayse (d. 1882) 30 November 1875, and married second Fannie M. Coffman. McLaughlin died in Lexington 18 August 1898. Source: Library of Virginia Biography. Also see Obituary. Ceremonies Connected with the Unveiling of the Bronze Statue of Gen. Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson at Lexington, VA, July 21st, 1891, by William McLaughlin.


    - Squire Hugh McLaughlin was a cousin of Judge McLaughlin of Lexington, Virginia. Source: History of Virginia, Vol. 5 Phillip Alexander Bruce Biography of Henry Woods McLaughlin.

    - Hugh McLaughlin, of John, the Irish immigrant, married Sally Grimes, daughter of Arthur, of Felix, the pioneer. Ho lived near Huntersville on lands now owned by Dr Patterson and others. J. A; McLaughlin, Mrs Mary Hogsett and Lieut. James Hickman McLaughlin, a Confederate officer who perished in the war, were his children. He was a popular anil prominent citizen. Squire Hugh McLaughlin and Hugh McLaughlin, late of Huntersville, were cousins and were intimately associated when they were young men. Source: Sketches of Pocahontas County, William Thomas Price.

    - Dedication: "This book is dedicated to Hugh Edward McLaughlin, who helped defeat Chief Cornstalk at the Battle of Point Pleasant, the Opening battle of the American Revolution, and who fought with the "Men of Augusta" throughout that war..." Source: The Mighty Eighth in WWII: a Memoir by J. Kemp McLaughlin, descendant of James Buchannan McLaughlin.

    Rev. Dr. Henry W. McLaughlin Bio

    Vol. V, Virginia Biography, by Special Staff of Writers, 1924, "History of Virginia,"page 562, gives this biography of Rev. Dr. Henry W. McLaughlin. Rev. Dr. Henry W. McLaughlin was one of the most powerful sources of religious inspiration and work in Virginia had been the New Providence Presbyterian Church of Rockbridge. This church, organized 1746, was the largest presbyterian Church in the open country in Virginia. It was the principal source of the educational impulse which had resulted in the great institution of learning, Washington and Lee University. For more than a century it had been a center of light and enlightenment throughout the country. [Read more by clicking PDF file Link above.]

    Leyburn Library Information

    Judge William McLaughlin is mentioned Leyburn Library pdf file as follows: "The judge died at his home in Lexington, Va., on Thursday evening, August 18, 1898, in the seventy-first year of his age. His illness was brief, and the announcement of his death came as a startling surprise tot he community. McLaughlin presided at meeting of the Executive committee of this University, held at his home, on the SAturday preceding his death. Though suffering from the effects of carbuncle on his cheek, and apparently in pain, no one thought that the strong manly form was so soon to lie low in death. Judge McLaughlin was the youngest and last surviver of the family of ten children of E. I. McLaughlin and betsy Nesbit. His grandfather, Edward McLaughlin emigrated from County Down, Ireland, and settled in this county in the year 1747. William's grandfather was also a soldier in the Revolutionary Army and participated in the battles of Cowpeas, Guilford and Yorktown.

    It was told that William's grandmother, in an assault by the Indians upon Dickinson's Fort on the CowPasture River, in the year 1755 or 1757, she, then a young girl, moulded bullets for the men during the engagement. William's father, E. I. McLaughlin, held for many years the position of Surveyor for Rockbridge County, and was recalled as a man of fine intellect, wonderful memory and sterling Democracy, traits of character which pre0eminently distinguished his son William.

    William received his classical course for entrance into Washington College at the Brownsburg Academy, one of the most noted of the old time classical schools of Virginia. He graduated at Washington College June 19, 1850, with the degree of A.B. He then entered the Law School conducted by that distinguished jurist, Judge John W. Brockenbrough, and on December 12, 1851,was licensed by Judges john Tayloe Lomax, Lucas P. Thompson and Richarrd H. Field, and began the practice of law in his native County. he at once took an active part in public affairs and was sent to the State Democratic Convention held at Staunton, Virginia, in 1855, where he was an earnest advocate of the nomination of Hon. Henry A Wise for the office of governor. [You can read more about William McLaughlin at the PDF Link above.]

    The Old Dominion (monthly magazine of Literature, science and art., editors: M. W. Hazlewood and G. Watson James, Vol. IV, No. 1, page 172-173 mentions this about William McLaughlin - Delegate from Rockbridge county, was born in Rockbridge, Va., and is under forty years of age, and still a bachelor! He is of Scotch-Irish parentage, the hardy and intelligent race who first settled the Upper Valley of Virginia. He graduated at WAshington College; studied law under Judge John W. Brockenbrough, at Lexington, and was admitted to the bar in 1859. At the commencement of the war he entered the Southern army as Lieutenant in the famous Rockbridge Artillery, commanded by Capt. Wn. N. Pendleton, afterwards Major General Pendleton. On the promotion of Pendleton, Lieutenant McLaughlin became Captain of the company, and was subsequently promoted Major of Artillery. He was a member of the State Convention of 1867-68, and at the recent election was returned as delegate to the General assembly from his native county. Major McLaughlin was considered the coolest head in the State Convention. He rarely ever engaged in debate, but when he did speak it was brief and to the point. He always commanded the attention of both parties in the Convention and was listened to with marked respect. He rarely ever offered a resolution but which was adopted, front he fact of its being well considered and weighed. He was the silent (comparatively speaking) working man, and trusted leader of the Conservatives in the Convention. Personally, Major McLaughlin is one of the finest looking men in the House."

    Letter from the "Executive Department

    Letter From Executive Department, dated May 24, 1862, and respectfully signed John Letcher reads as follows, "Dear Sir, I have known Captain McLaughlin from his boyhood, having been born and raised in the county of Rockbridge. He is a gentleman of fine moral character, steady in habits, of excellent intelligence and education. I cannot of course speak of his military qualifications from personal observations, but I can say that all I have heard of than, the current . . . . . fully justifies endorsing all that General has stated in the accompanying letter. An appointment such as he asks, could not be bestowed upon one more worthy." View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe

    Uncle Bob McGill, Tank School, KY, WWII

    Vol 11, Iss 8 This NW Okie's Uncle Bob McGill is the good-looking Lt. standing on the backrow, third from right, at a Tank School, in Kentucky. The WWI tank in the background, I believe, is a British Mark IV, male, made in 1917-1918 on display and shown in background behind the soldiers. I understand that it was a super heavy tank.

    Does anyone have any other pictures of this tank?

    Perhaps some descendant of some of these soldiers pictured in front of the tank might recognize some of their relatives in the picture. We would love your help in identifing some of the others pictured here.
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    WWII (1942-1945) POW Camps of Camp Trinidad, Colorado

    Vol 17, Iss 2 Trinidad, CO - This article is from The Durango Herald, Sunday, August 10, 2003, page 5A, written by Mike Garrett, concerning The Pueblo Chieftain. This Colorado POW camp was once a behive of activity during WWII.

    Trinidad (AP) -- Crumbled cement foundation, an old water treatment plant and parts of the main gate are about all that's left of Camp Trinidad, a World War II lockup that once held thousands of captured German soldiers.

    Now cattle graze the remote 715-acre prison site, located about 200 miles south of Denver near the New Mexico border.

    Camp Trinidad was one of more than 240 such camps in the United States during the war, local historian Carla Ann Thompson said.

    The $1.8 million facility opened on June 4, 1943. It housed about 3,500 German soldiers during its heyday, many of whom were "the cream of prisoners," such as German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps, who had been defeated by British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery's 8th Army.

    The camp was a beehive of activity with 330 structures, including 10 guard towers, and its own sewage and water supply systems. A hospital, blacksmith shop, stable, theater and post office were also on the prison grounds.

    "They had everything there you could want," said Trinidad native Rose Passarelli, who worked as a camp clerk-stenographer during the camp's three-year existence. "It was like a big city with its warehouses and theaters, although it was located in a pretty remote area."

    German officers were allowed to take college courses in politics, chemistry, medicine and engineering through correspondence work offered by the University of Colorado and the University of Denver, as well as learning from on-site college professors.

    More than 1, 000 American servicemen and 140 civilian personnel watched over the camp until it closed in early 1946.

    Most of the prisoners of war returned to Germany or other European locations after the war, said Passarelli, who is considered the leading authority on the camp's history.

    Some, she said, have since visited the United States and even Trinidad.

    "Many of them told me that they thought Trinidad was the best possible place in America they could have stayed during the war," she said.

    During the war, the German prisoners were well-behaved and respectful, "although we couldn't patronize them other than saying good morning," Passarelli said.

    Despite the close proximity of the POWs, she said the American civilian workers were never fearful.

    "We were well protected by the American military personnel. We just had to be careful of not going out of bounds," she said. "But you could get a pass to go up to see some of the (German) shows and programs in their theater."

    The camp had two theaters where Germans and Americans watched their own movies -- admission was a dime.

    The German POWs generally were credited with introducing soccer to the area. Thompson, the Trinidad historian, said inmates were paid wages anywhere from $3 in camp scrip to $40 cash a month, depending on their rank.

    Shortly after the camp opened, three POW escapees were shot and killed, Thompson said. Their trial records are kept in Washington, D.C.

    The camp reportedly had some other POW escapes, but all were eventually captured, including one as far east as St. Louis and two in a Colorado haystack, said Roberta Cordova, a Trinidad Historical Society board member and former Trinidad mayor.
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    Haskell POW Camp Painting

    Vol 11, Iss 20 Vol. 11, Iss. 17 - WWII POW Camps & Haskell, OK -- A few weeks ago one of our readers posted information about a WWII POW camp near Haskell, Oklahoma. Susan said, "My mother walked that way to town every day and somehow, (I guess the prisoner spoke some English) struck up a conversation with this POW. He was talking about his own daughter who was about my age and how homesick he was.

    "Long story short, he painted a picture of his home and gave it to my mother for me. I would LOVE for someone who was related to that POW to have something their father or grandfather painted. If someone out there has an interest, I can get it down and see if we can read the painters signature, if any exists." -- Susan Dalberg at Email:

    This week Susan says, "I got up in the rafters and found the painting. The soldier's name was apparently Grosier. Underneath his printed name it says CP '45. (which would be the year it was painted as I was born in 44)."

    Susan also mentioned, "My grandfather came to Oklahoma in 1912 and sold the first tractor, at least in Haskell. He had a furniture store there from 1916 until he retired in 1972. I?m an Okie myself."
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    Code Talkers of WWI

    Vol 15, Iss 13 America - A website for the Choctaw Nation Indians that mentions the Code Talkers of World War I & II, as written by Phillip Allen. Did Native Americans fight in World War I? The answer is Yes!

    The Native Americans actually had the highest enrollment numbers as an ethnic group in WWI and WWII. They were used as code talkers and scouts. The number is roughly 16,000 enlisted in the 1900's to help. Something like 25,000 in WWII. Almost half the population during WWI weren't legal citizens yet, so many were with volunteer enlistment rewarded by being granted citizenship.

    Native Americans & The US Military

    American Indian soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen fought heroically in all of this century's wars and armed conflicts. They had not only been formally recognized for their bravery through military decoration but through anecdotal observation as well. The following quote was made by a U.S. Army Major, in 1912, "The real secret which makes the Indian such an outstanding soldier is his enthusiasm for the fight." MORE INFO View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe

    German POW Camp In Jerome, Arkansas (1945)

    Vol 16, Iss 8 Jerome, AR - During WWII over 425,000 captured Axis soldiers were transported to the United States and interned for the duration in stockades and compounds scattered across the country. Arkansas eventually received about 23,000 of these enemy troops, most of them members of Germany's most famous military unit: Erwin Romnel's Afrika Korps.

    Significant numbers of Axis prisoners of war began arriving in the United States in early 1943 soon after the successful, conclusion of Allied cooperations in North Africa. Jerome, Arkansas operated from November 1944 until January 1945. It held over 4600 German POWs. Camp Dermott, one of the largest, and most unusual German POW camps in the U.S., was the third Arkansas facility. The camp occupied 960 acres of flat delta land just outside the hamlet of Jerome on US 165 about eight miles south of Dermott. It originally was the Jerome Relocation Center, one of two such complexes in the state.

    Between 1942 and 1944 thousands of Americans of Japanese ancestry endured a dreary, humiliating existence in the huge but spartan military style installation. By June 1944 the last American internees had been removed from Jerome and transported to the other Arkansas camp at Rohwer or to camps on the West coast. The deserted barracks city was striped bare, only the dark shells of the trapper covered buildings remained.

    Other Links - POW Camps In Arkansas
    The Afrika Korps In Arkansas 1943-46)
    Hitler's Generals in America: Nazi POWs and Allied Military intelligent by Derek R. Mallett
    List of Detention camps, temporary detention centers and department of justice internment camps View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe

    WWI 1917 & 1918 Photos

    WWI Sept. 1917

    Vol 6, Iss 41 Oklahoma - One of our readers sent a couple of WWI photos taken around September, 1917 & 1918. We are in search of some names and identifications of those in the these photos.

    If you can help identify some of these WWI veterans, we would love to hear from you. WWI Sept. 1918 CLICK the small images on the right and left to view the larger pictures.

    These photos were taken by Chick Studios of Alva. We are also searching for the records of Chick Studio and do they still exist and, if so, could the date of the portait be determined? Did Chick Studios offer some sort of a 'deal' for departing soldiers to have portraits made with loved ones before they left? If you know of someone that can help us out, please let us hear from you. Thanks! -- -- waynoka-ioof-freedom-group-photos.html View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe

    1917 - WWI Soldiers At Ft. Sill, OK

    Vol 9, Iss 26 "It's me again, Linda! This photo is one I picked up at an auction several years ago and have never shown to folks before. It is another "yard long" panoramic view that was so popular in the early days of photography. This one is of the "Truck Company #6 - 110 Motor Supply Train - 35th Division - Camp Doniphan (Fort Sill), Oklahoma - taken October 27, 1917" and is very remarkable because someone went to the trouble of adding (identifying) the last name (in ink) of everyone in the picture.,

    Incidentally, the man kneeling at the far right is probably Fred Madden of Perry. He and his wife Essie Madden lived on a farm just across the highway and south of the farm where I lived (with my wife and kids) for seven years. My sons were allowed to ride their bikes down to Madden's corner and back when they wanted to ride on the blacktop. Mrs. Madden was a spry little woman who had been a school teacher in Guthrie (in the early days of one-room-schools), and would always tell us if the boys tried to ride "too far".

    Since your ezine is so widely circulated amongst Oklahomans (and other folks of the southwest states), surely someone can recognize a relative or friend who was in the military during the "war to end all wars" and tell us a brief history of that person.

    This is such an exciting quest that I'm going to "dig out" another photo that I have (somewhere in my "storage" files) that is in pieces and see if I can put it together enough to scan it in and see if you can work your magic again. Fortunately, I'm one of those folks who never throws away something that I think can be salvaged if I just wait long enough to figure out "how to do it". Apparently the time has come and I've lived long enough to see other miracles take place!" -- Roy K.
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    WWI Soldier - Frederick Gayland Sandy, Pvt.

    Vol 9, Iss 11 "This morning (actually yesterday) March 15th, my friend Gayland Sandy brought me a complete copy of his family history dating back to 1379 in Cumberland County, England and I've glanced through it some. I hope to have some answers for Sidney Clark in Wales, UK. within a week or so.

    This is one of the most fascinating family histories I've come across. He had ancestors who arrived on a ship BEFORE the Mayflower! The first child of Henry Sandy (son of Sir Edwin Sandy, Jr. who in turn was the son of Archbishop Edwin Sandy, Sr.) born in America was Henry Miles Sandy, born in 1642 in James City, Virginia Colony!!! Also mentioned in these notes is that the Mayflower was supposed to land at Jamestown but got lost in a storm and landed in Massachusetts instead! I didn't recall knowing that. I find names in this also of some folks who may be related to friends of my past in Oklahoma City." -- Roy K.

    [Editor's Note: You can refresh yourselves with a List of Oklahoma WWI Soldiers by clicking this link. Thanks!]
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    List of Oklahoma WWI Soldiers

    Vol 9, Iss 5 "Thank you for the response to my email that was forwarded to you on my behalf regarding a particular soldier from the 1st WW who is shown on my list as coming from the state of Oklahoma. I have attached the names of seven soldiers/servicemen that are on my database of approximatly 2000 US citizens who joined the British and Commonwealth forces during the 1st WW, all were KIA. On my database it also list where the individual soldier is buried, mostly in France but some are buried here in the UK.

    If any of the information is of interest to you please use any of the details as you deem to be correct, it may be of help to any family members if they are still in the areas named in the report.

    1st World War Servicemen K.I.A from the State of OKLAHOMA who served in British and Canadian forces - Commonwealth War Dead 1914-1918:

    • FROMENT, Sergeant, LEO, 121802. 69th Bn. Canadian Infantry... Died of pneumonia 3rd July 1920. Son of Telesphore and Regina Froment, of 1425, West Main St., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.A.; husband of Vandella Froment, of Charmy, P.Q. Alternative Commemoration - buried in Quebec City (Notre Dame De Belmont) Cemetery.
    • REUSS, Private, H H, 925931. 5th Bn. Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regiment)... 15th August 1917. Age 27. Son of Mr. L. Reuss, of 420, West Mansur Avenue, Guthrie, Oklahoma, U.S.A. XIV. K. 2.
    • SANDY, Private, FREDERICK GAYLAND, 3105740. 102nd Bn. Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment)... Killed in action 30th September 1918. Age 20. Son of James T.and Ida M. Sandy, of 2601, South Central, Oklahoma, U.S.A. C. 21.
    • GUNN, Gunner, FREDERICK CHARLES, 41443. 2nd Bde. Canadian Field Artillery... 30th April 1915. Age 29. Son of Charles and Charlotte I. Gunn, of 506, North Quannah Avenue, Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.A. II. D. 34.
    • GRIFFITH, Corporal, JOHN, 316346. 2nd Bn. Gordon Highlanders... 25th September 1915. Age 28. Son of John Griffith, of Oklahoma, U.S.A.; husband of Mary Ross Griffith, of 116a, George St., Glasgow. Panel 115 to 119.
    • MONDY, Private, JAMES HIRAM, 887171. 46th Bn. Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regiment)... Killed in action 30th March 1917. Age 20. Son of E. T. and Ida Mondy, of Paynton, Saskatchewan. Native of Alva, Oklahoma, U.S.A. VI. H. 8.
    • TAYLOR, Fireman and Trimmer, GUY HARRY, S.S. "Membland" (West Hartlepool)... Mercantile Marine. Presumed drowned 15th February 1915. Age 26. Son of Mr. and Mrs. M. F. Taylor, of Durant, Oklahoma, U.S.A. Born in Texas, U.S.A.
    Note: Griffith, served in a British Regiment as shown; Taylor, served in the British Merchant Navy as shown.

    I would care to say that during my research on US citizens in the British and Commonwealth forces I have been fortunate to have a few of the stories published by the Great War Society who are based in Canada of which I was a member, I am also a member of the Western Front Ass-USA attached to the South West Branch, the chairman is based in TX. As a result of my stories I have been of help to some US families by supplying information to them after reading what I had wrote.

    I am looking forward to a visit in May from two family members from OHIO regarding their relative who ran away and joined a British Regiment at the age of 15 and was KIA before he was 16. I shall be presenting to them all the information that I hold on this brave young man and the medals he was entitled to wear.

    This is only a hobby for me with no commercial interest, after tying up the ends I can find out here in the UK, I generally try to locate the Historical Society in the area from which the soldiers came, hoping to share information with them or if it is possible ask for a photograph of the local War Memorial, paying any expences incurred in advance as a sign of good faith.

    Thank you for sharing you personal items with me. I think you are indeed fortunate to have such items." -- SJ.Clark, Wales, UK" - Email:
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    The Rest of the Story

    Vol 9, Iss 6 The Old Paint Says... "Oops, the NW Okie has made a mistake! September 16th. is the anniversary of the Cherokee Strip Landrun. It is NOT the centennial anniversary of the great state of Oklahoma which (I believe) is November 16th. My dad and his twin brother were born in Lindsay, I. T. on September 23, 1907 (before statehood). I am a proud 3rd. generation Oklahoman and these dates are very important to me." -- Roy

    1st World War Soldiers... "Below is an obituary from a Woods Co., Oklahoma newspaper for H.J.(Hiram James)Mondy. The Mondy family is recorded in several articles on pp.175-176 in "Pioneer Footprines Across Woods County. (1976) One article states: "When the First World War broke out Hiram (James Hiram) enlisted in 1916 in the 188th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and sailed for France late the same year. Almost at once he saw action at the front with the 46th battalion of the 10th infantry Brigade. On Mar. 30, 1917 he was killed in the drive o Vimy Ridge. He is buried in Villers Station Cemetery near Arras, France. In the 1914-1918 Book of Rememberance his name appears on page 295. This book is displayed in the Memorial Chamber in the Peace Tower of the Parliament Buildins in Ottawa, Canada. His grandfather, James Calvin McCary was my great-great grandfather, as well......" -- Charles Cook, Louisiana Bayou Country

    List of Oklahoma WWI Soldiers... "I was surprised when I recognized the name of one of my friends among those on this list and so I copied the list and took it to our church and asked Jackie Sandy if her husband Gayland had an ancestor who fought in WW-1 and she said yes, that Gayland had been named for him and that he''d been killed in action. I then said that this must have been him and gave her the print-out. I''ll let you know more when I''ve heard from Gayland himself." -- Roy

    Those Oklahoma Hills... "Dr. Young had a Clinic and Hospital, in a home, in Freedom. The office was on the bottom floor and hospital rooms were upstairs. It was located one block north of the main street, where The Freedom State Bank is on the West side and the Locker Plant is on the east side. A family by the name of Daughtee owned the house at one time. Back in 1941 or 1942 my two brothers and myself, had our tonsils and adneoids taken out, all at the same time, maybe my parents got a bargain deal." -- Francis R. Melkus - Email:

    Alva Fire in late Teens/Early 1920s Kills Several Children... "Has anyone gotten any info on this article?" -- Victoria Glover - Email:

    Snow Rolls... "Okie, I love all the story's, since my family the Pittman's, Osborn, Humphrey, Gibson families lived in Oklahoma at one time or another. I'm just fascinated. I have been told the Pittman and Osburn families went to 4 Square Gospel Church 1919 - 1928. Can anyone tell me if there is a rooster of families, with baptisms, weddings,deaths etc. Thanks." -- Vickie J

    Alva Newspaper Info... "Jim, I'm hoping you can help. My family the Osburn were killed in a house fire. Walter Harvey (he was a piano tuner) and his son Oscar it was 1924 there might have been more family killed in that fire. Do you have any info? They say the wife might have started that fire?? Or if anyone can help. They went to 4 Square Gospil church. They buried at Whitehorse." -- Vickie J Glover- EmaiL:
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    WWI 1918 Photos...

    Vol 7, Iss 29 Back in October, 2004, one of our readers sent a couple of WWI photos taken around September, 1917 & 1918. We have located some names in the WWI 1917 photo above and thought perhaps we might run these photos again... just in case someone out there has a memory spark and can help us. We are still in search of some names and identifications of those in the these photos. If you can help identify some of these WWI veterans, we would love to hear from you. These photos were taken by Chick Studios of Alva. We are also searching for the records of Chick Studio and do they still exist and, if so, could the date of the portait be determined? Did Chick Studios offer some sort of a 'deal' for departing soldiers to have portraits made with loved ones before they left? If you know of someone that can help us out, please let us hear from you. Thanks! View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe

    James Hiram Mondy, WWI Soldier

    Vol 9, Iss 6 "A quick estimate is that the young James Hiram Mondy was a first cousin twice removed. His mother was a McCary. He and my Grandfather Clarence McCary were first cousins. I doubt that grandpa ever heard of him. I am not a Mondy descendant. Much of my information was recorded by the late Evelyn B. Stout of Cherokee, OK, another McCary descendant. I stopped and visited her once when we were on our way to Vallecito. My late mother never heard of her either. Sometimes the families split and spread like an explosion. Imagine that kid being from Alva, growing up in Canada and lies buried in France and he died about the time he achieved manhood. We genealogists try to glue the pieces back together.

    I'm not sure what all problems my great-great granduncle Carl Barnett had, other than lung troubles. I do remember his sister Daisy Barnett Talkington speaking of it. They were my Grandma Hazel Martin McCary's aunt and uncle.

    I still enjoy your weekly endeavors in the Zine. Keep up the good work." -- Charlie
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    WWII History Center

    Vol 10, Iss 4 "After seeing all the info and questions on The WWII prisoners, I have to tell everyone about the WWII History Center in El Dorado near Wichita, Kansas. A new non-profit organization who are trying to fund and build a museum dedicated to WWII. Please go to their website to learn all about the research offered now and many efforts to record oral histories of soldiers and homefront workers/families. Many displays and links to help you find info. WONDERFUL! WWII History Center." -- Leann (May) Bird - Email:
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    WWI Oklahoma Soldiers

    Vol 9, Iss 6 "I am truly in your debt for the information that you sent to me by email, it is an excellent account of James Hiram MONDY. The full name of the cemetery as shown on my data base where he is at rest is Villers Station cemetery, Villers-Au-Boise- Pas-De-Calais where there are a further 26 Canadians interred. In the text it mentioned that he was amongst those who fell at Vimy Ridge. My database shows that there are 200 US citizens who are commemorated on this memorial, something I suspect that is not generally known.

    I shall attempt to make good use of the information in a future story assuming that Mr. Charles M. Cook would have no objections, if required please pass on my email address to him.

    As I am a member of the WFA-USA and the WFA-UK any stories that I write are submitted to the Editor and may be accepted for publication at his discretion. These are then produced in the quarterly magazine for the interest of all.

    I have been fortunate with a story that I wrote in October 2005 regarding a 15 year old from Ohio who was KIA whilst serving in a British regiment. Family members have very recently come across my story and have I have been able to be of assistance to them with further details. They are visiting the UK this May and will be coming to visit me at my home where I shall present them with the two medals he was entitled and all the other information I have obtained from the National Archives UK. I am hoping that something may develop on a similar basis from your kindness shown to me by publishing the names of those soldiers from Oklahoma.

    It would seem that we have given some people food for thought on these soldiers, I have a friend in Oklahoma City who is trying to make contact with any REUSS family members in Gutrhrie who may be related to the soldier on the list. When more information is made available perhaps I could supply whatever I have to your magazine in the form of a short story to help keep the memory of these soldiers alive.

    May I ask if the 1st World War is part of the schools curriculum in conjuction with other history projects? it is over here in the UK but it is hard work at times. Whatever towns these fallen soldiers came from I would like to know if they do have there own War Memorial - Roll of Honour as they do here in the UK. Assuming they do have a memorial it would be a marvellous gesture to have their names included upon it.

    If anyone care to write to you regarding the soldiers may I suggest asking if they have a photograph of their local war memorial they could share with both of us, I would pay any expences incurred in taking the picture in advance if required. If I can be of help to you in any way please ask I will always try." -- Sidney J.Clark, Wales UK - Email:
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    193rd Tank Bn. -- WWII

    Vol 10, Iss 49 WWII, 193rd Tank Bn ... This WWII, 193rd Tank Bn, was submitted by Willie H. Wood, Staff Sgt. The photo was cropped for viewing to show Right & Left side of photo separately. Do you recognize any of these WWII fellow 193rd Tank Bn soldiers?
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    Pvt. Frederick Gayland Sandy, WWI Soldier

    Vol 9, Iss 6 "When I saw the name of Private Frederick Gayland Sandy among that list of WWI soldiers that you published in last week's issue of The Okie Legacy, I immediately printed a copy to take to church with me this morning, and when I asked Gayland's wife, Jackie, if he'd had an ancestor in the 1st. World War, she replied "yes, that Gayland had been named for him and that the ancestor had been killed in action. I handed her the printout saying that this must have been him. She confirmed that the parents listed were correct. " -- Roy K.
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    Silver Star in the Dark of Dawn (WWII)...

    Vol 7, Iss 24 "Of interest to what your taste is a newpaper article on my father concerning his actions while with the Third. What maybe of more interest is a book my sister wrote on his life. Some of your followers may find it of interest of a different life and time of a boy to man story before, during and after WW-2. It is called: An Oklahoma Soldier - A Ride In One Sans saddle - by Barbara L. Nielsen. Available thru - 1-800-288-4677, ISBN 0-595-35044-5 51295. If you could post this so we can get the history out it would be appreciated." -- B K Brooks

    This WWII stories starts in the dark, before dawn, on Jnauary 30, somewhere during WWII. Sgt. Bert Brooks, Jr. moved up the dim, snowy street of a strategic little town in France. Thus, as a one-man assault troop, Bert Brooks of Oklahoma City opened the way for the advance of battering American forces pushing toward victory. And for this 'gallantry in action' he was awarded the Silver Star. He returned to the states, 4 days after Pearl Harvor.
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    Chick Studio, WWI and 1918...

    Vol 6, Iss 40 "I think I previously sent you a copy of a photo of a group of Woods County men, taken in front of the old courthouse in September 1918, as they were getting ready to leave to join the military service. On closer inspection of that photo, I have learned that my maternal grandfather, Bertsell Riggs, is wearing a suit identical to the suit he is wearing in a portrait with my grandmother, Fern (Sherrell) Riggs. I have wondered if that portrait was their wedding portrait (June 1919), but my mother's sister thought it had been taken earlier than that, perhaps in 1918. So now I am curious.
          The WWI photo of the boys was taken by the Chick Studio in Alva - the portrait picture has no studio mark. I think there are three possibilities so far as the circumstances under which this portrait was taken:
          (1) my grandparents, not yet married, had an appointment to have their portrait made at an undetermined date and Bertsell wore his only formal suit (he was a construction worker and a farmer, and I assume that he only had one suit, though I am not certain);
         (2) the portrait was taken on the same day that the men departed, either as a personal decision by my grandparents OR through an arrangement with Chick Studios to take such portraits of the men before they left for the service;
         (3) this may be my grandparents' wedding portrait, taken in June 1919. My questions for area historians are these:
          (1) Do the records of Chick Studio still exist and, if so, could the date of the portait be determined?
          (2) Did Chick Studios offer some sort of a 'deal' for departing soldiers to have portraits made with loved ones before they left?
         I have TWO photos of WWI men - I'd be happy to send them along; it would be great if more of the men could be identified." -- Rod Murrow View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe

    WWI - Sensational Stammering Song Success Sung by Soldiers & Sailors

    Vol 10, Iss 33 "K-K-K-Katy" was a popular World War I-era song written by Geoffrey O'Hara in 1917 and published in March, 1918. The sheet music advertised it as "The Sensational Stammering Song Success Sung by Soldiers and Sailors," reflecting a time when speech impediments could be poked fun at -- albeit gentle fun in this case.

    The song tells the story of Jimmy, a young soldier "brave and bold," who stutterd when he tried to speak to girls. Finally, he managed to talk to Katy, the "maid with hair of gold." The chorus is what he spoke:

    K-K-K-Katy, beautiful Katy,
    You're the only g-g-g-girl that I adore;
    When the m-m-m-moon shines,
    Over the cowshed,
    I'll be waiting at the k-k-k-kitchen door.

    "K-K-K-Katy" was recorded by Billy Murray on March 8, 1918 and released on Victor 18455. -- Wikipedia - Victor records
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    Letters of Private Melvin W. Johnson (WWII)...

    Vol 6, Iss 17 Letters of Private Melvin W. Johnson (WWII)... "These are my Grandfather's letters. Written home from Boot Camp and later, the fighting in France, they allowed me to glimpse into the heart and mind of a man I never knew. To see what our soldiers gave up to preserve the freedoms we can so easily take for granted. These pages are dedicated to all of those who bravely answered their country's call. It is especially dedicated to the brave men of the 79th Division and those who never came home, who lie mute beneath rank upon rank of white marble markers and other unmarked places forever known but to their god." -- Letters of Private Melvin W. Johnson (WWII) View/Write Comments (count 0)   |   Receive updates (0 subscribers)  |   Unsubscribe


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