Vol. 2 - No. 4-----Nov. 23, 1944-----Editor: Roz Richards
Subscription Price:----- A Letter A Drizzle



That comments appearing in parenthesis throughout The Drizzle are the personal observations of The Drizzler. However, many of the nicknames clothed in parenthesis in a number of the letters reproduced in The Drizzle are the brain children of the individual letter writers.


The Drizzle and its editor are featured in an article appearing in the current issue of The Quill, magazine for writers, editors, and publishers, which is published by Sigma Delta Chi, national journalistic fraternity. The Drizzler's picture accompanies the story which was written by Dan Albrecht, a member of the Elkhart (Ind.) Daily Truth editorial staff. Dan and I were classmates and SDX brothers at the University of Wisconsin. The Publishers Auxiliary, a national trade publication also carried the article.


That Lieut. Ray (Burn-'Em-Up) Burns, bombardier-navigator on a Martin Marauder Bomber, who was awarded a citation for bravery during the treacherous Sneakanese attack on Pearl Harbor nearly three years ago, before he entered the air corps, and a few months ago the recipient of the Air Medal for accuracy in bombing in the Mediterranean war theatre, has recently been given the Presidential Citation by the United States government and also the Croix de Guerre with Palms by the French government; that S/Sgt Wilbert Marty, the ol' tail gunner, participated in every one of the Five Great Sky Battles described in the recent thrilling article by Charles J. V. Murphy in Life Magazine, crucial battles which definitely broke the back of German airpower and cleared Europe's skies for the big invasion; and that way, way out there in far-away Iran, Wendell Miller and his buddies have great sport going "fishing" with knives and killing whoppers that weigh as much as 375 pounds. (Hey, you fisherman here at home, who thrill over the achievement of landing a three-pound carp, how'd you feel if you'd wage a winning battle against one of these little 300-pounders and succeed in hauling 'im ashore?)

Well, the Drizzler didn't think you knew anything about these interesting bits of news, either, but if you'll just drift through the Drizzle, you'll learn more about them besides a lot of other entertaining notes concerning many of your old pals who are doing such a grand job at their battle stations all over the world.


The month of November is slipping away fast and the weather is commencing to turn cold so what do you say, fellows, if we warm up a bit by taking a little Ramble at Random. Now if you'll all cuddle right up close to the Drizzle, I'll "kick off" with the interesting news that Wallie Barlow, for the past 22 months an instructor in flying in the Naval Air Corps, will undoubtedly soon be piloting transport planes along some of the world's most famous sky lanes. Wallie, who has received secret orders for regular trans-ocean flying and is now at an undisclosed air base, recently completed two months of special air transport flight training at Atlanta, Ga., and Roanoke, Va., getting the feel of the new ships he will fly. He spent the last three weeks piloting for Pennsylvania Central Airlines which has a contract with the Naval Air Corps under which navy pilots receive practical flying experience "on the job." Among the ships which Wallie flew while with PCA was the huge new Douglas transport, one of those "big babies" which consume $200 worth of gasoline every hour its in the air. Now bear this figure in mind. Then try to visualize the colossal gasoline consumption of the enormous bomber fleets and fighter escorts which are operating day and night out in all of the theatres of war, to say nothing of the staggering fuel requirements of our vast motor transport caravans, our giant battleship squadrons, the far-flung merchant marine, and our great submarine fleet, and folks on the home front will realize more clearly the crucial necessity for gasoline rationing. . . Lt. "Bo" Woelffer-I don't know whether to call you the Texas Tycoon or the Texas Typhoon, Bo, so take your choice or take 'em both-is now back in the saddle in the Lone Star state after a furlough with his folks and friends in Monticello. But, believe me, boys 'n' girls. Bo himself wasn't a "Lone Star" when he was back here in circulation around the old burg. By the queerest kind of a coincidence, naturally, "somebody" just "happened" to be home from Seattle and you've probably guessed by this time that they just "happened" to meet each other, too. It's a funny old world, but it's a nice old world at that, isn't it, Bo? Incidentally, the lieutenant is about to don his basketball togs and start tossing 'em through the hoop for Ashburn General Hospital's cagers at Camp McKinney. Closing his letter, Bo says: "You need not apologize, Roz, for having to leave out so much other news because of lack of space in the October Drizzle. Your tribute to "Mel" was grand and Kenny's experiences were so thrilling, I'm sure all of the boys appreciated the chance to read about them." . . . "Boob" Kissling, the former favorite of Yale university's sorority row and more recently the pride of Camp Pickett, Va., is now "over there-somewhere." It is believed that he was stationed in England for a while, but indications now are that he may no longer be there. . . Recent promotions, some of them necessarily held over from the last issue of the Drizzle: Major "Les" Weissmiller, executive officer of Deshon General Hospital at Butler, Pa., to lieutenant colonel; Lt. Jack Hoskins (Fran Voegeli's husband), Rumson, N. J., to captain; Lt. (jg) "Wilce" Milbrandt, stationed on the Island of Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands, to the rank of lieutenant; Pfc. Lloyd Deppeler, with Patton's 3rd Army, to staff sergeant; Pfc. Olin Mitmoen, with the Military Police at Hamilton Field, Calif., to corporal, and Pvt. John Streiff, on the staff of cooks at Fort Knox, Ky., to private first class. Congratulations to all of you gentlemen! . . "Mutch" Schultz, who won his degree as "doctor" of tires and tubes at the retreading plant of the Voegeli Tire Corporation, is still carrying on with his specialty at Fort Totten, N. Y. , which is situated near New York City. Just for a little starter, "Mutch" and some of the other fellows in his department recently commenced the inspection of nearly 60,000 tires. . . Frederick Voegeli, S 2/c, is enjoying his studies at the Hospital Corps School at Farragut, Idaho, where he will remain for another few weeks before completing his course. After that he will have from three to six weeks of practical experience in a hospital before assignment to a definite unit. Frederick is much impressed by the excellent climate and scenic grandeur of the Farragut area. . . Staff Sgt. Jack Wittwer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Wittwer, here recently on furlough, has now arrived in New Orleans where he will attend an Officers Training School to prepare himself for transport work. . . It is now almost a year since Sgt. Carl J. Dick, known in the ritzier society circles as "Jake the Joker," began his assignment as registrar at the 348th Station Hospital near Cardiff, Wales. He and one of his buddies recently spent five days in London where they visited many points of historical interest and also had the thrill of witnessing the impressive changing of the guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace. C. J. will undoubtedly be pleased to hear that his trucking interests back home are progressing nicely under the shrewd direction of Sir Walter Haddinger, the well known local clubman, financier, and after-dinner speaker, whose dashy haberdashery has created much high blood pressure among the daintier sex. . . From down below the equator on an island inhabited by fierce-looking cannibals and head-hunters, Hilmer Gordon writes that these "wild men" don't cause us any trouble, however, so we don't have anything to do with them." He expresses a desire to be in the European war theatre because where he is there is so much filth and disease and people live like animals. . . Eddie Loeffel, the old whizz ball artist on the M. H. S. baseball team, who was seriously wounded in the right shoulder in the Battle of Saipan, is now at a rest camp again, apparently somewhere in the Hawaiian islands this time. When he rejoined his old outfit, he found that the Battles of Saipan and Tinian had taken a heavy toll of his former comrades and there are only a few of his old buddies left. Eddie says there is nothing new in the infantry. "We just march and march and march." He closes his letter with these lines which should be of special interest to Lt. Howie Steinmann, also stationed in the Hawaiian islands, but who may be moving on soon: "As for Howie finding a place that "goes to bed with the sun," I haven't found it yet, but I wish I knew exactly where you are, Howie, because I am in the same islands. I may get a chance to see you yet. Thanks lots for the Drizzle, Roz, and give my best to all the boys." (Eddie's address is Co. I, 3rd Bn., 23rd Marines, 4th Div., %FPO, San Francisco). . . And here, Eddie, is Howie's address: Lt. Howard R. Steinmann, USMCR, Hdq. Co., 1st Bn., 26th Marines, and here's hoping that you two fellows get together. Howie writes: "The weeks here are completely taken up by our training schedule which includes day and night field problems and other such routine training. Our week runs from Monday morning through Saturday noon and then we have a holiday routine from Saturday noon until Monday morning. Our work day is from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Although the days are full of activity, they are not hard. Incidentally, Roz, it will be four months Nov. 22 that I sailed from the States. The Drizzle is coming through in record time and I certainly look forward to its arrival. I can honestly say it is the only "letter" of its kind I have seen since I have been in the service. Many of the fellows in my outfit have seen the Drizzle and they all say it is certainly a grand idea and a fine piece of literature. (Thanks, Howie!) So long, until next time." . . When the crack Southern Pacific Challenger "cracked up" enroute to California recently, killing 12 persons and injuring nearly 100, Roger Klassy, S2/c, on his way to the Naval Air School at Alameda, Calif., after several months of V-12 study at St. Mary's college, Winona, Minn., was riding in the next section of the train and was awakened by the cries of the dying and injured. "It was pretty awful," says Roger, who ran from one train to the other carrying blankets and pillows for the unfortunates. Robert Rosa, son of the Monroe florist, helped carry some of the dead and injured from the train. "Murph" Zum Brunnen, a boy from Brooklyn, was on the wrecked train, but fortunately escaped unhurt. Roger is much pleased with the set-up at Alameda and expects to receive much of his training on huge four-motored seaplanes.


Sgt. "Erv" Spring, with the anti-tank Co. of the 159th Infantry at Camp Swift, Texas, is so unimpressed with that state that he says, as far as he's concerned, they can give it back to the Mexicans. But, Erv, I'm afraid you have a little argument on your hands. When the honorable "Hoot" Wittwer, who later established himself as the "fish-feeding champeen" of the Pacific while touring that little puddle of water a few months ago, was in Texas, he was equally unmoved by the so-called virtues of the Lone Star state, but he suggested giving it back to the Indians. You boys'll have to get together on this matter and then, too, the good citizens of Texas might want to voice a slight preference before you hand down your decision. The sergeant says they've just received some new 57 m.m. anti-tank guns and they expected to be firing 'em soon. Erv's side-kick-and dare I say-prospective brother-in-law, Sgt. Fritz Haldiman, also with the same outfit, is now enrolled in a radio school which will last for 16 weeks. . . Cpl. Paul F. Blumer, from whom no letters had been received for over 40 days, was still aboard ship somewhere in the Pacific when first word from him finally trickled through Nov. 18. Although P. F. has a New York City APO, he shipped out of San Diego. "I'll be plenty glad when a copy of the Drizzle finally catches up with me," he says. . . Sgt. W. James Murphy, who'll soon be known as the grandaddy of Camp Barkeley, Texas, if they keep him there much longer, is temporarily cast in the role of cook instead of baker and he feels a little lost because it's a year and a half since he did any cooking. I hope this isn't telling any secrets out of school, but W. James met a nice little WAC on the train enroute back to Camp Barkeley and they've already struck up a correspondence. Be cautious there, W. J., because I imagine it's very easy to go wackey over a WAC. . . Although Eddie Zweifel, along with a number of other Monticello boys, probably is now storming the Siegfried line in the giant new offensive, he was enjoying a few days rest behind the front lines Somewhere in Germany when he wrote this brief message telling that he was staying in a nice house with electric lights, hot water, and a radio which brings in all of the good radio programs from the States. Eats were good, too, with chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas, pineapple, bread and butter, and coffee on the menu for that day. Eddie is with an infantry unit of the American First Army while Staff Sgt. Debbie Moritz, another Monticello boy, is in the radio section of the heavy artillery, also in the First Army. The boys have never had the good fortune to meet each other, however. . . WAC Pvt. Florence Pluss apparently was lucky enough to land in one of the nicest areas of New Guinea because she is delighted with the surroundings. "It's wonderful," says Florence. "Never did I expect such luxury, lovely barracks with lights, showers, telephone, a free laundry, four free movies every week, and such a nice, sandy beach. Food is good and plenty of it three times a day. We stand retreat every night with a "sharp" band which usually plays "On Wisconsin." She doesn't expect to remain long in her present location, but she is enjoying every day of her stay to the very utmost. Florence promises to write again so I'll be lookin' for that letter.


Skillful execution of devastating bombing attacks against the enemy in Italy brought Presidential Citations and French Croix de Guerre with Palms to members of the Twelfth Air Force Marauders whose personnel includes Lt. Ray Burns, the little guy with the big fighting heart. The awards were made in recognition of outstanding achievement during the months of April, May, and June when the Marauders flew many important missions over Italy in direct support of the French forces. These highly successful precision bombing attacks in the face of enemy opposition were attributed in the citations to flight discipline, skill of the combat crews, and superior technique of command.

If any of you think that "Burnsy" is a little superstitious, you'd better get that notion out of your heads-and in a jiffy, too. Why? Well, he flew his 34th mission on a Friday, the 13th. Not only that. It happened to be his co-pilots 13th mission! Since then the little lieutenant has added a number of other missions to his credit.

"I suppose you have heard about the new secret weapons the Germans are using," says Ray, adding a touch of sly humor to his letter. "The V-1, V-2, and V-3, but the one we are most concerned with is the V-Quit."


That's the way Cpl. Wendell Miller describes the successful knife attacks which he and his soldier pals over in far-off Iran make on those huge "fin-flippers" that are found in the waters of that distant land. As indisputable evidence that he isn't telling an old-fashioned "fish story," Wendell has sent the Drizzler three different snapshots, two of which show catches of six of these big fellows.

"With a mouth like this 365-pounder has got on him," writes the corporal, "A fellow wants to be sure that he doesn't miss him with the first stab of his knife."

Wendell and his buddies also find great sport in hunting wild boar. This isn't without its dangers, either. "If you wound them on the first shot, or even if you miss them with it," he says "you had better make a "Good connection" with the second bullet."

I can't tell you about as many thrills and close calls as some of the other boys from home have related in the Drizzle," declares the Monticello young man, "But I can say that for the past 15 months we have been given plenty of hell getting supplies through to the Russians. Occasionally a few of our boys get killed, but our biggest job is to keep the native drivers from piling up the truckloads of merchandise some place because there are so many Arab gangs prowling the desert and mountains that they often have the merchandise before you can say "Boo." A lot of this is done purposely, too, because some of these gangs manage to worm their members into the motor convoys as drivers."

Wendell has high praise for the Drizzle and remarks that quite a few of his buddies read it regularly, too.


When Tommy Brusveen, the former local whisker assassin, was in Luxemburg, he had the pleasure of talking to an Austrian princess. . . Since leaving that country, he has been in Belgium. Tommy, who is a crack amateur photographer, has now taken over 400 pictures since D-Day. His overseas ribbon embraces three stars designating major events in which he has participated since the invasion. . . When Alvin Moritz, SK 2/c, was recently reassigned to the third Naval District in New York City on very short notice, he didn't loaf along the highways too much because he negotiated the 1850 miles from Farragut (Idaho) to Monticello in 47 hours. He had been stationed at Farragut since May 14, 1943. "Al," who was accompanied by his wife, Lucille, is now in Stratford, Conn., where his assignment consists of auditing navy war contracts for termination under the re-conversion program. . . Gaylord Miller-Wendell's brother-has probably seen considerable action in the Far Pacific recently because he is aboard an aircraft carrier in those waters. . . Sgt. Clarence (Bab) Babler, one of the better known "night owls" of the hamlet back in those balmy days 25 years ago when "Slim" Freitag, that distinguished gentleman of Chicago and Washington, D. C., and "Willowy Willie" Amstutz, the Monroe coaching wizard, were also numbered among the village cut-ups, is on his way back to Robin's Field at Macon, Ga., after a 21-day furlough at home. He was recently assigned to that field following 22 months in Alaska. "Bab" has now been in the army almost 26 months, having been sent to Alaska after four months of basic training at Camp Grant, Ill. His address is: 39th M. S. P., 5th Squadron, M. F. T. S., Robin's field, Macon, Ga.


Back in February, when Staff Sgt. Wilbert Marty, the ol' tail gunner, participated in five furious sky conflicts against the powerful Ratzi air armada-all within six days-little did he realize at the time that these grueling engagements were to become known as the "Five Great Sky Battles" which broke the back of the German Luftwaffe. In fact, Charles J. V. Murphy, writing in Life Magazine, says these five spectacular air encounters, which he sums up as The Unknown Battle, "may go down in history as the airman's Cannae, a decisive battle in which one powerful air force, for the first time in history, annihilated another great air force."

Wilbert came upon this information in a most unusual manner. While on furlough home early this month, he spent several days with friends in Madison. Awaiting his turn in the chair in a capital city barber shop, he picked up a copy of Life Magazine and began thumbing through it. The picture of a Flying Fortress zooming through the substratosphere lured Wilbert's interest into the article by Mr. Murphy. Imagine the thrill that must have come over him when he discovered that he had not only participated in one or two of these flaming battles of the skies, but in every single one of them!

The huge American bomber formations fanned out to many different objectives, mostly in Germany, on each of these spectacular missions. Wilbert's Flying Fortress crew was in the bombing group which hit Leipzig Feb. 20, Brunswick Feb. 21, Alborg, Denmark, Feb. 22, Schweinfurt Feb. 24, and Augsburg Feb. 25. And on Feb. 23, their Fortress crew was called out to fly an air-sea rescue mission over the North Sea, searching for crews that had "ditched" in the sea and were floating around in life rafts. They spotted three rafts, one empty and two of them with crew men. After obtaining their positions, the Fortress radio operator sent out a message and soon a British ship arrived to rescue the distressed fliers.

Those five spectacular air battles provided a week of blazing activity for the Yank airmen. For instance, the local youth was in the air 55 hours, more than 30 of which were on oxygen. He was so exhausted after his last mission that he slept straight through for 17 hours without awakening.

Wilbert is now an instructor in a machine gun laboratory at the Army Air Force Base Unit near Rapid City, S. D., where he himself received most of his gunnery training before going overseas. His address is: 225th A.A.F. 9.U., Sec. E, Box 428, R.C.A.A.B., Rapid City, S. D.


Although "Burn-'Em-Up" Burns slipped through unharmed with his 34th bombing mission over Italy on this day filled with superstition, Lt. Whitey Hill, that gay and likeable "wisecracker Jack," then with Patton's Third Army in France, had no such luck on Friday, Oct. 13th, because that is the day when, first of all, the truck on which he was riding went into a ditch, and then-some hours later-he was struck by a piece of shrapnel which penetrated his left thigh, severing a nerve and leaving him afflicted with "drop-foot," which is the descriptive term for a condition in which a patient has no control over his foot. His leg is numb from the knee down. A medic found Whitey in no time and soon he was back behind the lines in an aid station where he had an operation early that evening. Later he was evacuated by air to a hospital in England and it was a rough, bumpy ride that the old Lover of the Louisiana Lagoons won't soon forget. "I sure feel sorry for those fellows still up there in the front lines," declares Whitey. "You can't imagine how uncomfortable it gets there when it rains-which is nearly all the time. You should hear the boys here rave about the strikes and the formation of victory committees back home. Too bad every man in the world can't have two weeks of tough sledding in the front lines. Then they'd be happy in their home front jobs and we'd have no more wars." (I believe you've got something there, lieutenant. They ought to reserve a chair for you at the peace conference.) Latest word is that Whitey has now had his operation to rejoin the nerve ends and here's wishing you a very speedy and complete recovery, old timer!


Pfc. Carl (Babs) Babler, 16156412, Co. K, 381st Infantry, APO 96, %PM, San Francisco, who with King Kissling used to form a nifty-swifty guard combination on M. H. S. net quintets, has now been aboard troop ships in the Pacific four different times. He isn't too keen about the idea, either, because they're always so crowded and it's so hot in that part of the globe. "One thing I won't do," comments Carl, "Is get mixed up in those verbal feuds between Hill and his "adversaries." (Aw, come on in, Babs, the water's fine. Really!) "Whitey Hill always could get the best of me, although some times he had to resort to foul means." (Surely you're not talking about Whitey Hill! Why, the pill!) "Believe me, Roz, the Drizzle is a welcome sight at mail call. The best of luck to all the boys all over the world." . . Pfc. Leonard Felts, 424 A. S. F. Bd., 360th Eng. Reg., APO 350, %PM, NYC, writes the Drizzler a letter on Ratzi stationery, says he's never been lucky enough to meet any of the boys from home, but that he's often seen their names in Red Cross Register books in England. "Len" also states that he's had some narrow escapes that he'll never forget. . . "Don" Trickle, still in New Caledonia, has now been overseas over 30 months. He runs the soda fountain at the post exchange, and altho his rating is private first class, he draws down the pay of a staff sergeant. "Don" recalls the time he and some other high school freshmen had a peanut rolling contest with Whitey Hill, and of course, Whitey won, but it's just dawned on Don that Whitey never rolled the peanut with his nose, but blew it instead. . . Plt. Sgt. "Cec" Wirth, now an instructor in both basic and advanced fire control schools at Marine Camp Lejeune, New River, N. C., had a corking good article all written up for the Drizzle about his many thrilling experiences in the Southwest Pacific-Cec was on about 15 different islands-but Marine Corps headquarters didn't clear it. Better luck next time, Sergeant, and I'll bet that story would have been a dandy. . . Pfc. Emil Weigert, with the American First Army, has been putting his farm experience to good advantage taking care of some cattle left behind by people who evacuated a village when the fighting got too fierce. "It's fun," says Emil, "But it would be more fun if they had left the hired girl behind, too." . . T/Sgt. Kenny Holcomb, whose thrilling experiences as a German war prisoner were related in the October Drizzle, has been assigned to the Army Air Field at Romulus, near Detroit. He will be a radio operator in the air transport command, flying both in this country and abroad. . . T/5 Harry Schuerch, now in an army hospital at Temple, Tex., who lost his right leg below the knee when a Ratzi mine blew up under him while in action in France, submits to a skin grafting operation this week. Since the operation is expected to be only about 60% successful, at least three or four months will probably be required before new skin grows over the whole surface. Then Harry will receive a 30-day furlough, after which he will return to the hospital for a final operation to shape the bone of his leg for an artificial limb. . . "Bud" Wirth, USN, was in on the invasion of Leyte in the Philippines, landing on Oct. 20th and remaining in the harbor nearly five days. He tells of the warm welcome they received from the thinly clad, emaciated natives, overjoyed at the sight of American soldiers after the reign of Jap terror. Every night they were there, Bud says the Japs staged continuous bombing raids and there were rumors that the Sneakanese fleet was closing in to do battle, but it never showed up. "It was a grand sight to see the great barrage the Yanks threw at those Jap planes when they came over," he comments. . . That well known "King of the Cue"-Capt. Hoppe Babler-with the 11th Army Air Force, is home from the Aleutians and Alaskan areas, reports at San Antonio, Tex., at the end of his months. . . Lt. "Harv" Trumpy, formerly of Monticello, winner of Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with oak leaf clusters as pilot of a Flying Fortress in 35 missions over Europe, is in Monroe, reports Dec. 6th at Miami Beach for reclassification and assignment.


To these Drizzle donors: Edwin S. Kennedy, Milwaukee; J. W. Barlow, Frieda Benkert, Rosa Roth, L. G. Marty, L. A. Voegeli, Glenn Zimmerman; Mrs. P. J. Aultman, Thornville, O.; H. C. Elmer, Jake Burgy, Emil Frehner, Leon Holcomb, Margaret Blum, Alvin Baebler, Al Schwers, Fran Kubly, Fred Escher, Mrs. Jacob Zimmerman, Mrs. Geo. Bidlingmaier, W. E. Trukenbrod, Monroe; Dr. Baebler; Edwin Barlow, New Glarus; Rudy Speich, Herman F. Klassy, C. Schmidt, A. Kistler, Marcus Elmer, Jim Hancock, Mrs. Paul Ritschard, Monroe; W. Etter, W. S. Hoesly, H. Feenje, A. Aeberhard, Dr. Horne, A. H. Wright, Lester Schultzs, Thos. Runkle, Walter Hammerly, Mrs. John G. Blum, Leo Sarbacker, Clyde Field, Merlin Schmid, Art Studer, Mrs. Warren Prisk, Mrs. Willard Prisk, Fred Hammerly, Jake Trumpys, J. H. Disch, Nic Freitag, O. D. Curtis, Jack Elmer, John Van Houtens, Albert Marty; Rev. A. R. Felts, Mrs. Fred A., Blum, Irene Marty, Rudy Switz; Fred C., Karlen, Ralph Kubly, W. A. Loveland, Emma Marty, Mrs. Edmund Dooley.

The Monticello Drizzle, created for the Monticello Area Historical Society
by Roger and Madeleine Dooley.
A softcover copy can be purchased by contacting
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