454 research outputs found

    Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Jack Ringgenberg

    Get PDF
    Jack Ringgenberg was born 21 March 1924 in Rochester, Minnesota, one of three boys. He grew up there, and graduated from high school in 1942. He was inducted into the US Army in March 1943, completed Basic Training at Camp Robinson, Arkansas, and then volunteered for paratrooper school at Fort Benning, Georgia. Upon completion of paratrooper training, Jack was assigned to the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), 82nd Airborne. Jack was in action with the 504th PIR at the battles for Sicily and Salerno, both in 1943. This unit also supported the Allied Anzio campaign in January 1944, part of the invasion on 22 January; Jack was there. Four days later, though, after a deadly firefight with German troops (twelve of eighteen Americans killed), Jack was taken prisoner. As a POW, Jack spent time at several prison camps (German = Stalag) after an initial interrogation in Florence, Italy: II-B Hammerstein, IV-B Muhlberg, Luft VI Heydekrug, XIII-D Nuremberg, and finally VII-A Moosburg. This overcrowded camp, located in southern Germany, was liberated by advancing US forces on 29 April 1945. Jack was among the thousands of Americans evacuated from Moosburg; he went first to France, then to the United States. He was discharged from service in November 1945. Again a civilian, Jack was married in 1947, and helped to raise four children. He used GI Bill benefits and graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1951. Jack stayed for the most part in the Mankato area, working many years for Red Owl Foods, a grocery retailer, and also owning a store in Forest Lake, Minnesota. He has been active in the American Ex-POWs organization

    Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - James Fager

    Get PDF
    James Fager was born 20 August 1923 in Minneapolis. After high school he entered the US Army Air Corps. By late 1944, James had completed training stateside as a tail gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress four-engine heavy bomber, and was stationed in England at Polebrook Airfield, with the 8th Air Force, 351st Bomb Group, 509th Bomb Squadron. While flying his thirteenth mission, on 17 January 1945, James\u27 plane was shot down; the crippled B-17 crash landed in a frozen field near the Dutch-German border. Over the next three and a half months, James spent time at the Dulag Luft interrogation facility, a transit camp by Nuremberg, and on a forced march, before ending up at the overcrowded Moosburg VII-A camp in Bavaria. This camp was liberated on 29 April 1945. James returned to the United States and was discharged in late 1945. He was married in 1948 (wife Myrna) and the couple had two children. James had a career as a carpenter

    Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Walter Larson

    Get PDF
    Walter T. Larson was born on 26 January 1923 in Danbury, Wisconsin, and graduated from Webster, Wisconsin, High School in 1940. After briefly working at providing fuel for wood-burning stoves, in December 1940 Walter joined the Navy. After Basic Training at Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Chicago, Walter was sent to Seattle, where he joined the crew of the USS Nevada (BB-36) in the Electrical Division. The Nevada was stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and was badly damaged and beached in the Japanese attack of 7 December 1941. Uninjured, Walter was transferred to the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (CV-3), which was torpedoed and damaged in August 1942 at Guadalcanal. In February 1943 the Navy shipped Walter to Washington, D.C., for Electrical Intercommunication School (EIC); upon completion of the school in July 1943 Walter was transferred to the amphibious force and assigned to the USS LCI 455, a troop carrier equipped with ship-to-shore rockets for landing support. The ship participated in several Pacific island invasions during 1944 and 1945. After more than one and a half years on LCI 455, Walter was transferred to the aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill, joining the ship in May 1945 at the naval base in Bremerton, Washington. With VJ-Day in August 1945, however, the Navy was quickly downsized and many men discharged. Walter spent the time until his discharge in November 1947 working at Bremerton, with Sub-Group One, decommissioning ships as part of this process. After the Navy Walter held a number of positions for Northwest Bell, retiring in 1983 with thirty-five years of service. At the time of this interview (September 2001) Walter lived in Rogers, Minnesota

    Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Glenn Oliver

    Get PDF
    Glenn Oliver was born 28 Apr 1919 in Brainerd, Minnesota; he grew up in nearby Aitkin, and graduated from Aitkin High School in 1937. Glenn was married in February 1941 (wife Esther). Glenn joined the National Guard in Brainerd; in early 1941 this unit was activated as part of the US Army. In February 1941, Glenn was on active duty with Company A of the Army\u27s 194th Tank Battalion. This unit was stationed briefly at Fort Lewis, Washington, then in September of 1941 was sent to the Philippines. Glenn was here when Japanese force attacked on 8 December 1941. Japanese forces quickly defeated the Americans in the Philippines, and Glenn was among the thousands who surrendered in April 1942 at Bataan. Glenn became a POW. After his evacuation from Japan, return to the United States, and reunion with his family, Glenn spent months in military hospitals fully recovering; he was discharged in November 1946, but called up during the Korean War for active duty, September 1950 - November 1951. Glenn worked many years for American Smelting and Refining Company (ARASCO), retiring in 1982 as Senior Locomotive Engineer

    Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Les Meader

    Get PDF
    Les Meader was born 12 January 1920 in Detroit, Michigan, but grew up from age seven in Columbia Heights, Minnesota. He graduated from Columbia Heights High School in 1938. Prior to military service, Les was married (1942, wife Doloris). In July 1943, Les was drafted into military service. He entered the US Army Air Corps, and was trained as a gunner and assistant radio operator on B-17 Flying Fortress four-engine heavy bombers. By late 1943, Les had been sent to England, and assigned to 463rd Bomb Squadron, 388th Bomb Group, part of the 8th Air Force. Les completed six bombing missions. But on 5 November 1943, returning from a mission to Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Les\u27s B-17 was damaged by ground fire then attacked by German fighter aircraft. The plane was shot down over German-occupied Belgium; Les was among the crew that managed to bail out of the crippled airplane. After capture, Les first was interrogated at the central Dulag Luft facility and then sent to Stalag 17-B in Krems, Austria. He remained here from December 1943 to April 1945. In late April, with Allied troops nearby, the Germans evacuated 17-B and marched the prisoners westward. In early May, after eighteen days and nearly 150 miles, the column of prisoners was liberated by American soldiers at the town of Braunau. Les and the other freed American POWs were evacuated, first to France and then the United States. Les was discharged in July 1945. Again a civilian, Les attended the University of Minnesota and trade school; he worked many years in sales for Chippewa Motor Freight Company, retiring in 1983

    Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Walter Miller

    Get PDF
    Walter Miller was born 24 May 1919 in Hibbing, on Minnesota\u27s Iron Range, one of four children. He grew up there, and attended Hibbing High School. In January of 1941, Walter volunteered for the US Army, and after completing Basic Training was assigned to the 60th Coast Artillery, then stationed in the Philippines. When the Pacific War began in December of 1941, he was stationed on the island of Corregidor, in Manila Bay. US forces on Corregidor surrendered to the Japanese in May 1942, and Walter was among the thousands of men now POWs of the Japanese. Walter and other American POWs were evacuated to Okinawa, then by ship to the United States. He spent months recovering from his time as a POW, before being discharged in early 1946. Again a civilian, Walter got married in 1946 (wife Margaret) and helped to raise two boys. He returned to Hibbing and worked for Shubat Transportation Company, and also Hibbing School District, before retiring in 1989

    Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Martin Steinbach

    Get PDF
    Martin Steinbach was born 8 August 1919 in Des Moines, Iowa, but his parents moved in 1922 to Loman, Minnesota, and then in 1936 to the International Falls area. His father operated a portable sawmill, and by the time he was fourteen Martin was working full-time to help support the family; he did this until enlisting in the US Army in the fall of 1940. Following Basic Training Martin was sent to Fort Lewis, Washington, where he joined the 41st Field Artillery. With the US entry into the war in December 1941, the 41st Field Artillery was moved to California for further training. At the conclusion of this the unit was shipped east and then overseas to participate in November 1942 in the Allied landings in North Africa. From this point until the end of the European war in May 1945, Martin remained with the 41st Field Artillery; he participated in landings at Sicily (July 1943), Italy (September 1943), Anzio (January 1944), and southern France, at Marseilles (August 1944). From late 1944 to mid-1945 Martin and the 41st Field Artillery were part of the force fighting across eastern France and into Germany. V-E Day (8 May 1945) found Martin in hospital in Metz, France, recovering from a hand wound. After release from hospital in July, Martin served briefly in Germany as part of the Allied occupation force before being rotated back to the United States; he was discharged in September 1945 with the rank of staff sergeant. After military service Martin returned to northern Minnesota and labored briefly in the lumber industry before moving to International Falls, where he worked a number of years in the auto repair business. In the early 1960s Martin began work at Boise Cascade in International Falls, and he remained with the company until he retired in 1984. At the time of this interview (October 2001) Martin Steinbach and his wife lived in rural Koochiching County, Minnesota, several miles south of International Falls. Bronze Star recipient, 1944 Martin provides detailed information on everyday life as an enlisted man

    Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Fritz Lokensgard

    Get PDF
    Fritjof Fritz Lokensgard was born on 20 November 1911 in the small farming community of Hanley Falls, Yellow Medicine County, Minnesota. The youngest of eleven children of Norwegian immigrant parents (his father, a Lutheran minister, was born 1853 in Norway), he attended local schools, graduating from Hanley Falls High School in 1929. Fritz graduated from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, in 1933, and then decided on a career in the ministry; he moved to St. Paul for Luther Seminary, completed this program, and was ordained a minister in 1937. Between 1937 and 1942, he got married (wife Maxine), started a family (three children), and served congregations in Belfield and Hettinger, two small communities in western North Dakota. With the US entry into World War II, at age thirty-one, Fritz decided to join the US Navy as a chaplain. After chaplain school, he served at Great Lakes Naval Training Center (Mar - Dec 1943); and at a naval aircraft depot at Ponam, in the Admiralty Islands (Jan 1944 - Aug 1945). Fritz spent the remainder of his active duty, until September 1946, at a Coast Guard facility in New York City. He remained in the Reserves after discharge. Again a civilian, Fritz was re-united with his family, and served churches in Humboldt, Iowa (1946-53) and Glendive, Montana (1953-57) before returning to chaplain duties at the Veterans Administration hospitals in Fargo, North Dakota (1957-65) and Minneapolis (1965-79). In retirement he moved to Bloomington, Minnesota, where this interview took place

    Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Velda Beck

    Get PDF
    Velda Beck was born 22 December 1925 on a farm in rural Hand County, South Dakota. She lived there with her parents and siblings until 1934, when the drought of the Dust Bowl years forced her parents to abandon the homestead and leave the area. For the next ten years, 1934-44, they rented farms in the Palisade, Minnesota, area, before purchasing a farm in Eagle Bend, Minnesota, in 1944. Velda attended school in South Dakota, then in Palisade, Minnesota; she graduated from high school there in 1943. After high school, Velda moved to Duluth, Minnesota, and worked 1943-44 as a nurse\u27s aide at a city hospital. By this time she had met James Beck, also of Palisade, then serving with the US Army in Italy. When Jim was posted stateside in early 1944, to Camp Wheeler, Georgia, Velda moved to Macon, Georgia, where the couple was married in July 1944. Velda and Jim remained in Macon for one year, until Jim\u27s discharge from the Army in July 1945. During this twelve month period Velda worked as an administrative assistant at Robinson Field (United States Army Air Force), and later for a local manufacturer. From 1945-47 the Becks lived in Minneapolis; Velda did office work for Auto Service Industries, and Jim completed a course of study at Dunwoody Institute. The couple then lived and worked in several smaller Minnesota towns before settling in Cloquet in 1950. After this time Velda stayed home and raised two children, working only part-time. James Beck died in October 2001. Velda has been active in the Auxiliary of VFW Post 3979, Cloquet, for more than fifty years, and has held several offices at both state and regional level. She is also active in her church, Zion Lutheran of Cloquet, and enjoys several hobbies

    Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Ray Toelle

    Get PDF
    Ray Toelle was born on 14 November 1923 in Arpen, Wisconsin. He grew up there, and graduated from Wisconsin Rapids High School in 1941. Ray worked briefly at a local paper mill before entering the US Army Air Corps in November 1943. Ray served with the 498th Bomb Group, 73rd Bomb Wing, 20th Air Force, based on the Pacific island of Saipan, and was a tail gunner on a B-29 Superfortress four-engine heavy bomber. He completed his first combat mission in November 1944, and by May 1945 had completed a total of twenty-four. While on an incendiary raid over Tokyo on the night of 24-25 May 1945, though, Ray\u27s B-29 was hit by ground fire and shot down. He managed to parachute out of the burning aircraft, and was taken prisoner when he landed. For the remainder of the Pacific War, Ray was a POW of the Japanese. After an initial interrogation, he was held at Ofuna, a naval prison in Kamakura, by Yokohama, and for some weeks at a remote airfield near Aomori, on northern Honshu. When the war ended in mid-August 1945, Ray had been returned to Ofuna; US Marines evacuated all prisoners from this camp in early September. Because of untreated burns to his hands suffered when his aircraft was shot down, Ray spent months recovering in medical facilities: Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco and Crile Military Hospital in Cleveland. He was discharged in January 1947. Again a civilian, Ray worked in the grocery retail business for nearly thirty years, retiring in the late 1970s. He was married in 1950 (wife Helen), and helped to raise four children. Ray was active for many years in the Milwaukee chapter of American Ex-Prisoners of War, until the chapter disbanded in August 2014
    corecore