THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF JOINS THE IMMORTALS-
Thursday, April 12, was a tragic day in United States and world history because on that day, at 3:35 p.m., that great American-Franklin Delano Roosevelt-died in the "Little White House" on the grounds of the national infantile paralysis foundation at Warm Springs, Ga., with which his illustrious name had been associated for years. Death was due to a massive cerebral hemorrhage brought on by the terrific burdens he had been carrying so magnificently in the prosecution of this vast global war and in laying the foundation for a just and enduring peace. The end came quietly after the President had complained of a terrific headache about two hours earlier and then had lapsed into unconsciousness.
The untimely passing of the 32nd President of the United States brought to an abrupt close a brilliant and drama-packed career without equal in world history on the eve of his greatest triumphs-triumphs of America's mighty war machine which his skill as a military strategist has done so much to hasten and a triumph of his plan to preserve the peace.
Although born against a background of millions in riches, Franklin Delano Roosevelt dedicated his life to improving the welfare of the little fellow-to the protection of millions of under-privileged fellow Americans from economic injustices. He was the champion of the oppressed-of the underdog. For this the "economic royalists" never forgave him. In their eyes, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a traitor to his class. And so, from their lavishly financed sources, there flowed an almost steady stream of vilification seeking to besmirch his character and high purpose and to becloud and distort many of the vital issues of the day.
Two words, probably better than any others, describe this great man. Faith and Courage!
Faith in God, faith in himself, faith in his fellow men, faith in his country, and finally, faith in the peoples of the world to join in the realization of the great dream he cherished most of all-the building of an international organization which would banish war forever from this earth.
Courage. Tremendous courage! Courage that enabled him to conquer the frightful ravages of infantile paralysis, to blaze new trails of political thought and legislation, to dare the wrath of his political enemies, to stand alone-if need be-and battle the entrenched interests for those principles and measures he considered right and just.
Yes, only tremendous courage could have enabled this great American to rise from the ravages of this dread disease to a pinnacle of political prestige and power never before attained in the colorful history of our glorious nation-four times elected to serve as its president. And from this towering mountain top, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's noble character, his championship of the rights of the common man, his unflagging faith in democracy, his vast knowledge of the problems of peace, his warm friendliness toward other nations, and his unrelenting fight against intolerance burned like the flames of a giant torch of hope and freedom which spread light and enlightenment into the far corners of the world and especially into those battered countries where the German and Japanese ogres of oppression had stomped their ugly heels.
To those vast millions of people, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the living symbol of freedom and democracy. Never in world history has there been such an oceanic outpouring of sorrow as flowed from the hearts of humanity when news of the untimely death of the great humanitarian was flashed around the globe.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a man of amazing vision. When he delivered his famous Chicago "Quarantine Speech" in 1937, warning the nation of the dark war clouds which were to explode over Europe two years later and in which he advocated the quarantine of aggressor nations, he was years ahead of his time. This week, at San Francisco, representatives of the United Nations gather to begin forging the instruments to implement the very "Quarantine" principles which the late President had so bravely championed eight years before.
Had Franklin Delano Roosevelt's advice been followed then-and had the power and prestige of this, the greatest nation on earth, been arrayed alongside that of other peace-loving countries of the world-Hitler and his Horrible Huns could have been checked at the Rhine before they grew fat and mighty on their plundering of surrounding countries and this terrible catastrophe of death and destruction averted.
In 1937, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's advocation of these ideas brought torrents of abuse down upon his head. He was wrongfully accused then, as he was so often when he battled so valiantly to build up our armed forces and to bolster a tottering Britain and a collapsing Russia through his brilliantly conceived lend-lease program-of "war-mongering, sabre-rattling, and of trying to plunge the nation into war." These ugly charges the isolationists shouted about a courageous president, whose four sons were to volunteer for duty and distinguish themselves in the service of their country. How vehemently those same thundering voices would have denounced him had he failed to rouse the nation to the grave dangers ahead and it had been caught unprepared in those dark hours of national peril!
As the New York Times, giant of American journalism, has so eloquently stated: "Men will thank God on their knees, a hundred years from now, that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in the White House. . . in that dark hour when a powerful and ruthless barbarism threatened to overrun . . . civilization . . ."
Today, these very same Roosevelt "Quarantine" principles are universally accepted as the only means of world salvation, as the sole guarantee against World War III which might well sound the death knell of all civilization.
Yes, Franklin Delano Roosevelt made mistakes, mistakes which were largely the inevitable consequences of the enormously complex problems which face this swiftly changing world, but they are overwhelmingly outweighed by his magnificent achievement-monumental achievements which will shine down through the ages generations after cruel and baseless charges about him have crumbled to dust. The far-reaching social and other security legislation he so fearlessly championed, his astounding foresight in detecting the grave menace of Hitlerism to America long before the rest of his countrymen and the many steps he took to meet it, his brilliant leadership as the nation's commander-in-chief, his Good Neighbor policy, his tireless crusading for peace, his colossal accomplishment in personally inaugurating and solidifying the great alliance between the United States, Great Britain, and Russia-and holding it together amidst the titanic efforts of the Berlin-Tokyo propagandists to break it-a personal diplomatic achievement unequaled in world history and which impartial news observers in the nation's capital attribute to the late President's rare diplomatic skill and great personal charm.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, great humanitarian, champion of the oppressed, world statesman, political genius, skillful architect of an enduring peace, oriole of oratory, golden voice of radio, the man of great faith, of tremendous courage, of amazing vision . . .
May he find in heaven the peace and contentment he has so gallantly
earned and so abundantly deserves! And may his successor, Harry S. Truman,
the quiet, unassuming former farm boy from Missouri, be abundantly blessed
with divine guidance to lead our great nation safely and securely along
the pathways of peace and prosperity in the perilous months that lie ahead!
RAMBLING AT RANDOM-
It has just come to light that Emil Weigert, Hdq. Co., 1st
Bn., 8th Inf., 4th Div., whose rare experience of
"running into" a cellarful of wine and schnapps while stationed in Luxemburg
and of not running out of it with anywhere near the same speed, was related
in the March Drizzle, was awarded the Bronze Star Medal months ago
"for meritorious service in connection with military operations against
the enemy of the United States." The official citation does not mention
the nature of Emil's heroism nor does it name the battle in which he distinguished
himself. Apparently Emil was too modest to let the rest of us in on the
swell news because it happened back in 1944. In fact, the official citation
is dated July 16. The former gay blade of Mt. Pleasant township is also
privileged to wear the Purple Heart, inasmuch as he was seriously wounded
in the hip shortly after D-Day. After several weeks' hospitalization in
England, he recovered from his wound and was sent back to his outfit. Incidentally,
word has just reached the Drizzler that Emil has been promoted from Pfc.
to T/Sgt. Congratulations, Emil! . . After weeks of repeated effort, during
which those particular letters were returned to him, Cpl. Lyle Sinnett,
former Evansville boy, tank gunner with the 11th Armored Division
and husband of the former Marion Moser, M.H.S. 1940, has finally
succeeded in getting news home of the extent of the severe wounds he suffered
Jan. 5th in a savage tank encounter with the Ratzis during the
Battle of the Belgian Bulge. Gunner in the lead tank of his outfit, Lyle
was critically hurt when the tank was caught in the full fury of enemy
fire. During his hospitalization, first in Belgium, then in France, and
more recently in England, he has had his left leg amputated above the knee
and toes of his right foot are gone. His right leg bears four large wounds.
Had it not been for his wrist watch, Lyle might also have lost his left
hand. A piece of shrapnel struck the watch, driving it into his wrist to
inflict a painful wound, but also as if by a miracle, his hand was saved.
Cpl. Sinnett, who is the son-in-law for Fred and Lydia Freitag
Moser, arrived in England last September and landed on the European
continent scarcely a week before he was wounded. Here's hoping you'll convalesce
rapidly from now on in, Lyle, and that you'll soon be back in the states!
FLIGHT TO THE FAR-FLUNG FRONTS-
Thanks to an easing of secrecy regulations shrouding Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal's recent flight to Pacific Island naval bases in his big Douglas C-54 Skymaster, Lt. (jg) Wallie Barlow, co-pilot of this giant of the airlanes, can now relate some interesting sidelights about this great sky voyage for Drizzle readers. The flight covered over 30,000 miles which, of course, is the equivalent of girdling the globe and then some.
Here, Wallie, you take the Drizzle microphone and tell us in your own words:
"We hit most of the islands in the Pacific from Hawaii to the Johnsons, Saipan, Guam, Leyte, Marcus, and many others. It was quite a trip covering some 30,000 miles. We saw so many, many things impossible to repeat now for security reasons, but if the people from home could see the thousands of ships we have in the Pacific, plus the vast equipment necessary on every island, they would never hesitate about buying war bonds. In fact, it is almost impossible-probably is for the Japanese and Germans-to believe one country could produce such a terrific amount of equipment.
"This item of supplies, often referred to as logistics, is a job that one cannot fathom-at least it's too much for my meager intelligence. I sincerely believe I saw enough jeeps alone which, parked end to end, would reach from Monticello to Verona, or possibly to Madison. Our forces have every imaginable type of motorized equipment, and believe me, the army engineers-and especially the Seabees-know how to use it. In just a matter of hours, they can landscape whole areas and build good roads and quonset huts to live in.
"Talking of Seabees, they are to me the most remarkable branch of the services. They are held in respect and awe even by the Marines, who really hate to respect anyone outside of their own corps. They can make anything out of most anything.
"After Iwo Jima, which was the main reason for our trip, America must again doff its hat to the Marines. They added again to the many laurels of their glorious and historic past. While we didn't get to Iwo, we did get to see the pictures of pre-invasion activity. Really, Roz, that was hell, as you can tell from the cost in casualties. The Marine really had a job to do and they did it with their customary thoroughness.
"We hit one island that was invaded and secured last fall, but yet they killed three Japs one night across the road from where we were asleep.
"I had a chance to meet Louella Gear, an old Broadway and Hollywood star; Charles Butterworth, and also Ernie Pyle, who is really a grand fellow. Mr. Butterworth was just recovering from an illness in Honolulu while with a U.S.O. troupe. Ernie Pyle was just back from the Iwo invasion, I believe, or else from the carrier raids on Tokyo. (Ernie Pyle, colorful, wiry little war correspondent, literary idol of millions on the battle fronts and home front as well, was killed April 18th by a Japanese machine gun bullet on Ie, a little island off Okinawa. Previously he had narrowly eluded death countless times in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and France.)
"Before I close, I'd like to mention the grand work the Red Cross does.
They're everywhere, doing more types of work than I have time to mention.
After this war, the fellows will be everlastingly grateful to them, like
they were to the Salvation Army in a smaller sense in 1918."
When the Drizzler last heard from that veteran, wily warrior of the
Pacific, Lt. "Bob" Amans, he was on his way aboard ship to Sydney,
Australia, to have a little fun after some heavy fighting against the enemy.
Well, Bob, got to Sydney, alright-he and another lieutenant-and if any
of you Drizzle readers are wondering if they had a rippin' good time or
not, please perish the thought. "Bob" and his pal not only must have painted
Sydney red, but almost every other color of the rainbow as well. In other
words, they were there 26 days and they spent a mere $2,800, which would
almost suggest they must have taken in a jitney dance or two. Yes, that's
right! Almost a cool three thousand smackerels! I had to read these figures
over a few times, too, before I was convinced my eyes weren't deceiving
me. Gosh, Bob, what a pair of pikers you and your pal must'ave been! Now,
the next time you officers return to Sydney, don't keep such an awful stranglehold
on your bankrolls. For goodness sakes! Loosen up a little! The two lieutenants
are in the Philippines now and "Bob" wrote his letter to the Drizzler while
resting after helping to chase the Nips back into the hills. . . It was
so dusty in Germany for a spell that Pfc. Morgan Phillips says he
had to pry his eyes open in the morning because they were "welded" shut
with dust. Morgan is with Hq. Co., 603 Tank Dest. Bn. . . If you may have
wondered how it was that Karl Freitag, Co. L, 137th Inf.,
35th Div., jumped from the rank of private right up through
to S/Sergeant, the answer may be found in these brave words of his-words
which reflect a superb fighting spirit. Says Karl, who had just recovered
from a shoulder wound suffered in action late in February, "I am anxious
to get back on lines again to see all of my old buddies. I have come to
the conclusion that all of us must die some time, but all of us can't die
for something." . . . Since Orville Anderson (Pfc) was badly wounded
in the right shoulder by a German machine gun bullet while guarding a bridge
near Paris Aug. 31, he has had over 500 "shots" of penicillin. Moreover,
he has been in eight different hospitals-four in France, two in England,
and two in this country. For almost three months now, Orville has been
a patient in McCaw General Hospital, Walla Walla, Wash., where in February
he bravely endured an operation for the removal of 22 pieces of bone from
his shoulder without anesthesia to deaden the pain. There's real courage
for you, folks! The machine gun bullet entered Orville's chest between
the third and fourth rib just above the lung, ploughed through the shoulder
bone where it severed the radial nerve and brought complete paralysis of
the right arm. As the bullet came out, it left a hole big enough to put
your fist in. Orville is making slow but steady progress and can now move
his fingers a little. He is soon to submit to major nerve surgery which
will be followed by five other operations of a more minor nature before
he is finally released from the hospital. . . . Heavy must be the hearts
of the nurses at a certain army hospital in England ever since Sgt.
"Boob" Kissling, whose sly little smile rarely fails to captivate the
cuties, was officially declared fit to return to duty early this month.
The sergeant had been hospitalized since Feb. 9th when he was wounded in
action near Aachen, Germany, at which time he apparently also suffered
frost-bite. Writes "Boob": "Just received the Drizzle, my first mail in
over two months. Glad to hear the basketball team did so well, but disagree
with you about Whitey Hill's presence at the tournament being an inspiration
to the boys. Just who would be inspired by his presence? (Oh, you'd be
surprised, "Boob." This Whitey is quite a guy. Probably I should have called
it WINspiration instead of inspiration.) I'm not headed for the states.
Darnit! I had frozen feet and frozen hands, also a little piece of shrapnel.
The frozen hands were the worst. I'm going on a seven-day furlough, starting
Thursday and then I report to a replacement depot. From there? Sure sorry
to hear Eddie Loeffel was hit again, but I guess that's the way
it goes. Hope Whitey is okay. (Ah, Boob, I thought you'd soften up.) Glad
to hear that Fritz Haldiman has only one commanding officer from
"THE GOOD LORD SURE WAS GOOD TO ME"-
So writes S/Sgt. "Bob" Blumer, the Sage of the Siegfried Line, in describing a narrow escape he had from death Somewhere in Germany recently. It was at night and "Bob" had left his slit trench to go to an aid station. He was gone only a short time. When "The Sage" returned, he found his trench had been blown up, the result of a direct hit by a German artillery shell.
"The Good Lord sure was good to me," declares "Bob" , "Because if I had been in the trench, I'd have been a gone goose and I wouldn't be writing this letter."
The Sage continues:
"It's 5:30 in the morning as I write this and still dark so I am using a candle for light. Just a short distance away, the mortars are popping to beat hell. Nearly every time they boom, the candle goes out.
"The war news is good, but still the end doesn't seem very close to
us fellows who have to climb these German hills, clear out wooded lots
and take all the other risks of battle every day. In fact, there's always
new faces in every squad and platoon every few days, it seems. "If you
could see these giant armadas of heavy bombers roaring overhead about three
times a day, you'd know why gas rationing is so necessary back in the states.
But still some of these damned German dummies don't seem to realize how
hopelessly they're licked. Talked to a Heinie we captured yesterday-and
a captain at that-and he still believes they'll win the war. "Did I ever
tell you about the time we captured a bunch of Ratzis and then one of 'em
bumped off one of our lieutenants. Believe me, I really riddled that dirty
bastard! "I've had only $24 since July 1st so I'll have beaucoup
dough to send home."
HITTING THE HIGH SPOTS-
Sgt. "Al" Deppeler, Co. L, 263rd Inf., one of the
newer arrivals on the European continent, reports that he has had a few
skirmishes with the Ratzis and that he's been real lucky so far. "Al" says
that three months ago he wrote to "Schmitty" Schmidt, the chipper
chatterbox of the Marine Corps, who has seen all kinds of action in the
Pacific area, but that he hasn't heard from him yet. Come on there, Schmitty,
what have you got to say for yourself? . . Pfc. Johnny Frehner,
assigned to the 357th Inf., 90th Div., of Patton's
3rd Army, is gradually recovering in a hospital in England from
a serious shoulder wound received in action in Germany March 24, just two
days short of six months from the day he was inducted into the services
on Sept. 26. Johnny received his basic training at Camp Fannin, Texas,
and then left New York City for the European war theatre Feb. 18th.
Here's wishing you a very speedy recovery, Johnny! . . Sunday's Milwaukee
Journal carried an article about the Drizzle and the Drizzler on its
state feature page. . . Pfc. Johnny Blumer, who was inducted into
the service along with "Bob" Blumer and "Dep" Deppeler back
in November of 1941, is home on a 41-day furlough after arriving in New
York earlier this month. Fighting with his two buddies in the 11th
Inf., 5th Div., 3rd Army, Johnny was later hospitalized
in England, then was placed on military police duty in Paris which was
his last assignment overseas. Johnny saw three years of service abroad-in
Iceland, England, Northern Ireland, and France, among other countries.
M. H. S. GRAD HAD AUDIENCE WITH POPE-
An audience with Pope Pius XII along with about one hundred other Allied soldiers was one of the highlights of Sgt. John J. Theiler's many months overseas.
"His Holiness spoke briefly in French and English," says John, in describing it. "The processional itself was deeply impressive with its Swiss guards, attaches, and officials all attired in formal clothes or colorful uniforms. Regardless of one's faith, the experience is one long to be remembered."
On another visit to Vatican City, John went through St. Peter's church in which can be seen myriad's of beautiful oil paintings, sculpture, mosaics, and other priceless art treasure. He also climbed the stairs leading up into the copper ball above the dome of this famous ancient church.
In Rome, John saw such richly historical attractions as the Coliseum, Pantheon, Roman Forum, Catacombs, St. Paul's and other beautiful churches, the Royal Palace, Victor Emanuel II's monument on Piazza Venzia, and Mussolini's Balcony overlooking the same square. Before reaching Rome, he visited the ruins of Pompeii, saw Mt. Vesuvius, visited the Isle of Capri, and attended an opera in the famous San Carlo Opera House.
Before his arrival in Italy, the sergeant spent many months in North Africa where he went after a short stay in England. While in the latter country, John enjoyed a furlough to London and there witnessed the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, strolled through Hyde Park, visited Westminster Abbey, saw the Parliamentary Buildings, heard Big Ben (in person) strike the noon hour, and attended a Halloween party which was "crashed" by Mrs. Roosevelt.
After his graduation from M.H.S. in 1917, John went to Milwaukee where
he eventually became an accountant and auditor after studying accounting
and commercial law in evening classes at Marquette university for four
years. He is now here visiting his mother, Mrs. Gott. Theiler, having
recently received an honorable discharge from the service. John will return
to Milwaukee shortly with a view to resuming his professional activities.
His brother, Herman (Shy) Theiler, USN, is a mail specialist in
the post office at Banana River, (Fla.) Naval Air Station.
HERE, THERE 'N' EVERYWHERE-
How's this for speed? Bothered with arthritis in recent weeks, Pvt.
Fred Babler, who had been serving with a quartermaster's outfit, left
Belgium by airplane Easter Sunday and arrived at Ashburn Gen. Hosp., McKinney,
Texas, the next Thursday-in five days! And, of course, Ashburn General
is where Lt. "Bo" Woelffer, the famous Texas Tantalizer, holds forth.
"Bo" happened to notice "Fearless Frick's" name on the roster, looked him
up-and, as you might suspect-they really had quite a session. . . Cpl.
"Olie" Mitmoen is now stationed in England, having arrived there about
four weeks ago. . . Sgt. "Erv" Spring, who spent many days aboard
ship on the Atlantic, finally wound up in France. He's been there about
a month now. Understand "Erv" wrote me a letter packed with interesting
news, but the censor returned it. Better luck next time, old timer. . .
From all indications Cpl. Joe Gmur, with the Marines, is on Okinawa,
although he doesn't say so in so many words. For several days, his transport,
along with the many others in the huge armada, lay of shore waiting for
the big naval guns and bombers to finish their pre-invasion bombardment."
HELL IN THE HEAVENS-
Planes were ablaze, exploding on every side, twisting and turning aimlessly as they plunged crazily into the enormous ocean of air below, their motors uttering ghastly screeches which sounded almost like an insane funeral dirge. The skies were bursting with fire and man-made thunder as American and Ratzi fighter plane pilots roared in for the "kill," their aerial cannon belching death and destruction while our big bombers tried valiantly-and most of them successfully-to slug a path through this "Hell in the Heavens" to their target. S/Sgt. Roger Foster, Port Washington, former Monticello boy and ex-tail turret gunner on the B-24 Liberator Bomber, "Dog Face," lived through this flaming experience which occurred during the peak of his 10th mission over Europe.
Taking off from its base in England, the armada of bombers headed for Ascherscheben, Germany, a little southwest of Berlin. As the armada approached its target, bomb bays open, the skies became thick with Jerry fighter planes. "About 200 of them came in on our first wave of bombers, taking about half of that squadron with them," relates "Rog." "Then a few Heinies broke through and headed for us."
It was then that the heavens turned into a bursting, blazing inferno. "One German fighter plane busted through our formation, leading us directly at the nose," continues the former local youth. "Our nose gunner just had time to swing his guns and Jerry decided to pull up short and beat it. As he pulled up and out about 80 feet over our tail, he began shooting at the squadron following ours." Suddenly "Rog" noticed two P-51s laying back, waiting for this Jerry pursuit pilot to make a break. As he did, they roared in and picked him up, each on a wing-like infuriated eagles closing in on a hawk. In less than 10 seconds, they had shot off his wings and down he went in a wild zig-zag to his death thousands of feet below.
The "Dog Face" finally battled its way to the target and the bombardier sent its bomb load crashing into it. On the way back, "Rog" got shots at a couple of German fighters, but failed to bag either one of them. Arriving at the base, the crew found the big bomber scarred by enemy fire, but none of them had suffered even a scratch.
On another mission which will always remain fresh in "Rog's" memory, he and his crew members were flying about 75 miles behind the lines in France, southeast of Paris. "Bandits"-meaning German fighter planes-were in the area. Suddenly all four engines of the big bomber went dead. In a flash, almost, it dived nearly 5,000 feet and the boys prepared to abandon ship. As if by some miracle, however, two of the motors suddenly cut back in-and the third a little bit later. By then they had lost their squadron, however, so they turned home-still holding their bombs, however.
Just then two Ratzi ME 109s loomed quickly out of nowhere, ready to pounce on the crippled bomber. Fortunately some P-47s were doing some dive-bombing in the area. A radio flash brought them streaking to the danger zone and they swiftly disposed of the Ratzi pursuit ships.
"Seeing all opposition was removed," Rog reminisces, "Our pilot radioed the dive bombers, asking if they could use a load of bombs any place in particular. They showed us a woods they were working on and I must say our bombigator sure knew his stuff, even without a bomb sight. We returned to base an hour late and they sure were glad to see us. That fourth engine never did cut back in."
"Rog," former U.W. pole vault and broad jump star, is now stationed
at Ft. Meyers (Fla.) Army Air Base.
RAMBLING AT RANDOM-
"Slim" Freitag's new job is with the Stinson Division of Aviation
Corp., headquartering in Wayne, a suburb of Detroit. When post-war planning
gets into gear, "Slim" will become director of sales for Stinson for the
entire middle west. Mighty nice going, old chap, and here's wishing you
all the luck in the world! . . Dr. Jack Zentner, Milwaukee's peerless
professor of piscatory-he's really caught some husky muskies in his day-reports
that his son, "Bud," is with "Pistol Packing Patton's" 3rd
Army. He left the states for England Nov. 26th, spent a month
there, then crossed over to France, on to Luxemburg, Belgium, and now apparently
in Germany. "Bud's" address is: Lt. Robert J. Zentner, 0548923,
Co. D, 304th Inf., APO. 76 %PM. NYC. . . Sgt. W. James Murphy
is on his way to Camp Crowder (Mo.) after a 10-day furlough, part of which
was spent in the Twin Cities sector of Minnesota in matters of a strictly
romantic nature. W. James was transferred to Camp Crowder after spending
only three weeks at Camp Pickett, Va., but while at the latter place, he
got to visit historic Richmond and also Washington. He is slated for a
"refresher" course aiming at overseas duty. . . Lt. Dick Schoonover
has not been heard from recently, but he is believed to be on Okinawa.
FROM THE PEN-'N'-PENCIL FRONT-
From Capt. Leon Babler, Somewhere in England: "I finally finished
my missions before Christmas and am now doing administrative work. Quite
a change. And I'm gaining weight at a tremendous pace. Got together with
my brother-in-law recently. First time I'd seen him in 2 ½ years.
He's a cook with the engineers and he secured a delicious steak for me.
Oh! For the life of a cook! (But, OH! Leon! That waistline!) Heard a talk
the other night by an Austrian who had escaped from a Nazi concentration
camp. How he hates those Jerries! If we listened to his post-war policy
on treating Germany, I don't think we'd ever have any more trouble with
those babies. Oh, brother!" . . From Lt. Rufus (Nic) Freitag, USNR:
"I am now on duty at the Navy Yard, New York, as supply officer of a new
ship being converted there. Nothing glamorous-just one of the navy work
horses that back up the boys that do the shooting and the flying. My ship
is a supply ship. For the next several months we will be busy assembling
our initial load of stores, necessary spare parts, and setting up our Supply
Dept. organization. The amount and variety of things we take is terrific.
We are not due to ready for sea until July, but when we get out, I'll be
hoping to meet some of you fellows again. We'll tap a can of Spam!" . .
Capt. "Hoppe" Babler, New Castle Army Air Base, Wilmington, Dela.:
"The base here is quite active in that a great many ships that are being
ferryed to the European Theatre of Operations stop here. I'd like to get
in on one of these trips and may be able to swing it once I get "worked
in" and make the right contacts. I had a nice letter from "Doc" Youngreen
from over in the Philippines the other day. His medical work must take
him right up near the lines because he describes the Nip artillery fire
as "mighty unhealthy." . . S/Sgt. Wilbert A. Marty, Rapid City (S.
D.) Army Air Base: "Just got through teaching some bombardiers a few tricks
with the old "50 Cal." They were good Joe's, willing to learn, and not
like a lot of them. Some of them really are cocky and need some taming
down-which we instructors proceed to do in short order. Say, Roz, how's
that old Romeo-that old "Saltwater cowboy" of the Carolinas-"Cec" Wirth-coming
these days? Cowboy is right, Wilbert! Probably you haven't heard the latest?
Now, of course, you probably know that when "Cec" instructs his pupils
in fire direction of those big 155 MM guns, he always straddles the rear
of the cannon, and like a real cowboy, he sticks right to that spot even
when Big Bertha booms. But this time, one of his pupils was a little too
hasty in "pulling the trigger" and "Gene Autry" Wirth was bucked from his
booming broncho and into the hospital for several days. I understand that
for the first time in a long time "Gene" has lost that romantic gleam in
his eyes which reflect instead the possibility of murder or mayhem.
PAGING "BOB" RIPLEY AGAIN-
A few Drizzles ago, I related how Lt. "Bob" Amans had narrowly escaped serious injury or possible death when a Japanese bullet exploded a hand grenade in his grenade belt and he never suffered even as much as a scratch. Well, here's another narrow squeak that'll curl your eyebrows and frost your whiskers:
When S/Sgt. Lloyd Deppeler, Monticello boy with Co. F, 11th Inf., 5th Div., crossed the Sauer river, he was paddling in the leading assault boat. The Ratzis, who were strongly entrenched in pillboxes on the other side, opened up with strong machine-gun fire.
One bullet ripped through "Dep's" overcoat and field jacket at the forearm,
while others dented his cartridge belt and then zoomed off to become ricochets.
Miraculously, he was unscathed. Whew!
SPEAKING OF MIRACLES, LISTEN TO THIS!-
Tired and weary from the bloody, exhaustive battles on tiny Iwo Jima, fighting so fierce and costly in human life that it has been described as a thousand hells all rolled into one, Lt. "Howie" Steinmann, USMC, went to sleep in his foxhole on the night of March 17th, but it was a fitful sleep because, altho the Japs on the island had been pretty well exterminated, anything might happen yet.
And it did!
Suddenly, along about 2 a.m. on the 18th, Howie awakened with a start, as if by the urgent command of some divine intuition. What he saw made him think for an instant that he was in the clutches of a terrible nightmare, but he wasn't.
There, crouching directly above him, his ugly features silhouetted against a moonlit sky, was a treacherous, buck-toothed Jap officer ready to plunge a sabre into Howie's heart in a split second.
Like a flash, Howie grabbed the sabre with his right hand, deflecting the stab away from his heart, also struggling to his feet and shouting for help. The sentinel, whom the Jap had sneaked past, came running, leaped into the foxhole and grabbed the hand in which he was wielding the sabre. A Marine lieutenant rushed up, jumped in with them, and knocked the Jap officer-a big, strapping six-footer-to the ground. Then he yanked his .38 automatic from its holster and calmly put an inglorious end to the Nip's career of treachery with three well-directed shots, after which the body was tossed over a nearby cliff.
Howie was given medical aid immediately. The sabre had thrust clear through the chest muscles just above the right breast, causing liquid to form in the chest cavity, and his right hand was badly cut in deflecting the weapon. By dawn he was in a field hospital and by the 19th via plane, at a base hospital. In the first 12 days, Howie lost 15 pounds and he will be hospitalized for another two to three months.
Hi, Howie! Here's wishing you a swift recovery!
WHY, QUIET EDDIE MASTERS THE MASTER RACE-
Back home here in Monticello, Pfc. Eddie Zweifel, Co. M, 117th Inf., 30th Div., has always been regarded as a shy, quiet sort of a lad, always hanging around the fringes of conversation and seldom having much to say. And when he did, it was usually a witty remark which he accompanied with low, muffled laughter.
Yes, Eddie's a shy, quiet sort of a lad, but Somewhere in Germany-somewhere behind an American prisoner-of-war cage-there are nine once bold and brazen Ratzi super men who don't think so. In fact, they probably think Eddie is just about the toughest guy this side of Hades.
Well, shortly after crossing the Roer river, Eddie was sent to deliver a message from his unit to battalion headquarters. German artillery was shelling the area, and as Eddie hustled thru a little village, enemy fire was exploding uncomfortably close to him.
So Eddie ducked into an alley to give himself more protection from flying shell fragments. Naturally, with German fire coming closer and closer, his mind was preoccupied with the thought of his own safety.
Suddenly he came to an abrupt halt! He could hardly believe his eyes. Right in front of him stood nine husky, well-armed Germaniacs!
For a second, Eddie was almost paralyzed with fright, but so were the Ratzis. Then Eddie quickly recaptured his poise and began to yell and bark orders.
Believing Eddie was signaling to a squad of men, the Ratzis dropped their rifles and marched docilely out onto the street with their hands in the air. Here they discovered Eddie was alone, but there was nothing they could do now but obey their captor's commands.
Eddie marched the nine super-stupor men to the battalion command post.
Here he turned them over to the authorities and then delivered the message.
MY SINCERE THANKS-
To these Drizzle donators: Blumer Brewing Co., Luchsinger Monument
Works, Al Bolgrien, P. J. Babler, Monroe; L. F. Marty, F. Escher,
Mr.Mrs. H. F. Stoll, C. Tanner, W. A. Loveland, E. Sarbacker, C. M. Stauffer,
Mrs. T. Senn, E. Schuerch, Joe Voegeli, Mrs. Howard Freitag, J. M. Freitag,
A. Kistler, Geo. Griffey, Herman Wittenwyler, Arthur Pierce, J. Burgy,
Dr. Bongiorno, Anonymous, Dr. Jack Zentner, Milwaukee; A. Schultz,
Mrs. V. Baebler, Alvin Baebler, Elizabeth Rolph, Edna Babler, F. C. Karlen,
A. Staedtler, L. Krauer, J. Kubly, Mrs. D. Knobel, Mrs. H. J. Klassy, Walt
Haddinger, Harry Klassy, S. W. Grenzow, F. C. Marty, C. Riese, Mrs. J.
Hammerly, Albert Gempeler, Jake Krieg, Mrs. Robt. Feller, Mrs. F. Baumgartner,
Mary Walters Wilson, F. G. Blum, Madison; J. Moritz, Nathan Crouch,
Cecil Holloway, Monroe; Paul Feenje, J. H. Disch, John C. Elmer, Mrs. E.
Buehl, Dr. Horne, Bruce Babler, Harv Gempeler, Fred Werner Blum, Geo. Legler,
Sam Pierce, Irene Marty, W. F. Hoesly, John Minnig, Harv Milbrandt, Mrs.
W. C. Baumgartner, O. H. Babler, James Pierce, W. E. Blum, Walter Friedli.
Since acquiring a mimeograph machine, The Drizzler has been handling
all phases of this publication except for addressing envelopes which is
done by Ruth Karlson's commercial class. Oh, yes, Yolanda
operates the machine so if the impression isn't clear, file your complaints
directly with her because I darsen't say anything for fear of precipitating
a sit-down strike. The two daughters-Rosanda Rae, the 5-year-old,
and Ronda Kay, the 1-year-old, are always more than anxious to help,
too, but often a little too insistent about helping "Daddy" run the typewriter.
. . Pfc. Lloyd Van Houten's in France. His brother Sgt. Harry,
Harlingen (Tex.) Air Base, is recovering from a broken nose and fractured
left arm and elbow sustained in an auto accident in which two other soldiers
were killed and a third suffered a fractured knee. . . Frederick Voegeli,
HA 1/c, is in the Hawaiian Islands. . . Pfc. Mel Elmer is now
an instructor in the Cavalry Repl. Trng. Center, Ft. Riley, Kas. . . In
Mors, Germany, Tommy Brusveen met a family related to the Stricklers
in New Glarus. They were overjoyed. . . Hilmer Gordon's in a
Denver army hospital for treatment of a back injury. He's a vet of the
SW Pacific. . . Sgt. Al Baehler, in Italy, reports everything fine
in the sector.