Ionia County Men In the Service
World War II
The following are News
Paper Clippings taken from THE SENTINAL STANDARD , most have a picture. But the
dates of the Clippings are not included, but were done during the war. Minnie
Downing, whose son was also in the war, saved them. Any one who finds a family
member here may have the Clipping by sending a self stamped envelope, along with
his name to Service Man, C/O . 1133 Yeomans St. #74 Ionia, Mich. 48846. E-mail
Corporal William Allen, 21, entered the
service in December, 1841, and became a teletype operator in the signal
corps. He is the son of Mrs. Bertha All, of Laguna Beach, Calif., and was
born in Ionia, living here until he was 14, when they moved to California.
Corporal Allen attended the Ionia schools, and later studied music at Long
Beach. He has a brother, Bruce, in the service.
Pfc. Joseph C. Ambrose, 20, left Ionia
in October, 1940, with the Ionia company of the national guards. He was
wounded in action in the southwest Pacific October 29, 1942, and died of his
wounds within a short time. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Ambrose of
Pfc. Winston Churchill, 19, who entered
the United States army last April, was assigned to the engineers, and went
to Camp Forrest, Tenn., and later to Camp Edward, Mass., has been
transferred to Fort Ord, California, for further training. He is the son of
the late Percy Churchill, and Mrs. Maziebell Churchill of Ionia. He is a
graduate of the Ionia high school class of 1940.
George W., Jr.
AN IONIA BOY WOUNDED IN PACIFIC AREA---A
telegram from the war department Wednesday to Mr. and Mrs. George Comer,
sr., of Ionia, notifying them that their son, Pfc. George W. Comer, jr., had
been seriously wounded in the southwest Pacific. The telegram from the
adjutant general of the United States was a follows: “Deeply regret to
inform you your son, Pfc. George W. Comer was seriously wounded in action in
the southwest Pacific area December 24. Reports will be forwarded when
received.” Pfc. Comer left Ionia in October, 1940, for service. He is
married, his wife being the former Bonnie Lee Kirby of Muir, and has a
daughter aged two next February. With him in the southwest Pacific area has
been his brother, Corp. Merle G. Comer.
Comer, George W., Jr.
Corp. Merle G. Comer, 25, went into the
service in October, 1940, and went to Alexandria, La., for further training.
Pvt. George W. Comer, jr., also left Ionia in October, 1940, and also went
to Alexandria. The brothers were members of the Ionia company. Both attended
the Ionia high school, and Merle was employed by Extruded Metals of Belding.
They are now in New Guinea.
---Sgt. Murl B. Conner, 22, is the son
of Mr. and Mrs. Seldon W. Conner, Ionia. He went into the United States air
corps last January, and received his basic training at Jefferson Barracks,
Mo., completing schooling in teletype and as weather observer at Chanute
Field. He was assigned to the weather squad at Baer Fields, Ind. Sgt. Conner
graduated from the Ionia high school in 1937, and from Western State
Teachers college at Kalamazoo in 1941.
IONIA JAP SPOTTER Staff Sergt. Dale
Cope, 20-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. F. H. Cope of 326 Adams street, Ionia,
aided in spotting Jap machine guns and mortar placements before Buna village
in New Guinea. Sergeant Cope and his companion, Corp. Rex Leland, directed
American fire against the Japs at the time Corp. Leland was killed. Sergt.
Cope was captain of the Ionia high school football team when he entered
service with Company H in October 1940. See REX LELAND
James DaHarold vis, 18, second class
seaman, joined the United States navy in November, 1842, and trained at
Great Lakes. He is a gunner’s mate. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Percy
Davis, 630 Harrison Street, attended the Ionia high school, and was employed
by the Ionia Desk Company.
Corp. William Dreger, 21, entered the
service in August, 1942, and went to Camp Wolters, Texas, for training. He
is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Dreger of Ionia, a graduate of the Ionia
high school, class of 1940, and worked in the Gibson factory at Greenville.
---LLOYD DULEK, IONIAN, DEAD IN
PACIFIC---Staff Sergeant Lloyd K. Dulek, 20-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs.
Andrew Dulek, of 227 Adams street, Ionia, has been killed in action in the
south Pacific war area according to a war department telegram received early
Friday morning. The telegram is as follows: “The Secretary of War desires to
express his deep regret that your son, Staff Sergeant Lloyd K. Dulek, was
killed in action in defense of his country in the southwest Pacific area on
December 19. Letter follows:” Sergeant Dulek left Ionia in 1940 with the
Michigan National Guard. He was employed before he left as a milk carrier
and did farm work. He has two brothers in the army. Pfc. Owen Dulek, 18, and
Pvt. Richard Dulek , 21, is in North Africa.
Ensign Albert Ney Eldred, 22, entered
the United States navy in December, 1942, following completion of a course
at University of Ilinois and his graduation as an ensign from midshipmans
school in New York City. He is a graduate of the Ionia high school, class of
1938, a graduate of the literary department of the University of :Michigan,
class of 1942, and was attending the University of Michigan law school when
he left for naval schooling. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Foss O. Eldred of
Ionia, and is married, his wife being the former Shirley Jean Hansen of
IONIA SAILOR IS WOUNDED IN BATTLE
ACTION-ARMANDO Gonnella , 23-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Gonnella of
1000 West Lincoln avenue, Ionia has been wounded in action according to a
United States navy telegram received by his parents Friday afternoon.
Gonnella, a ship’s cook, third class, has been in the United States navy
since February 13, 1939. He attended Iiona high school and was employed at
his father’s tavern before entering service of the navy. He has a brother,
Alfred Gonella, who is employed at Willow Run bomber plant, and a sister,
Nannie, at home. The telegram which the Gonnellas received Friday afternoon
said in part: “The navy department deeply regrets to inform you that your
son, Armando Gonnella, ship’s cook, third class, U,S.N., has been wounded in
action in the performance of his duty in the service of his country. The
department appreciates your great anxiety, but extent of wounds are not now
available.” The telegram was signed by Rear Admiral Randall Jacobs, chief of
AN IONIA BOY ABOARD LOST U. S. CRUISER---An Ionia boy, Armando Gonella, son
of Mr. and Mrs. P. Gonella, 1000 West Lincoln avenue, was a ship’s cook, 3rd
class on the heavy cruiser Northampton, lost in the naval battle of
Guadalcanal the night of November 30. Armando has been reported as seriously
wounded in action. “They just blew up all over the place,” said Captain
Willard J. Kitts, III, captain of the Northampton, in describing damage done
to Japanese naval vessels in the battle. It all happened in about 15 minutes
at about midnight and Captain Kitts declared the Japs lost eight destroyers,
two cruisers and four transports. Gunnery crews on the Northampton got at
least two destroyers. Kitts, who is visiting his family in San Francisco,
said discipline saved a large per cent of the crew. :My most lasting
impression was the wonderful sprit of my men. They are beyond all praise.
They are cheerful-witty-you can’t get them downhearted;” He said he believed
everyone able to leave the ship was saved, some probably “because sharks
operate by daylight.” He mentioned, too, the miraculous escape of a wounded
seaman in that hell-like fury when his big ship was flaming to destruction
and ammunition was exploding so that the length and breadth of the vessel
looked like a great field of fireworks. The severely wounded seaman,
(Captain Kitts did not know his name) was in a watch loft high in the
mainmast. Shipmates reached him and were able to get him to a slightly lower
level. He was given an opiate, but even this helped little. He demanded of
those with him that if the ship was abandoned, he be left there as he
couldn’t bear the pain of being moved another inch. They left the youth,
with two life jackets, in his elevated station. In a short time all others
took to life boats and rafts. As the big cruiser keeled over slowly and the
mainmast dipped into the sea, the injured man supported by two life jackets,
floated out into the waves. He was picked up quickly and now is recovering
in a field hospital. The captain had another story: From his lifeboat, as
the Northampton slowly overturned and then poised, bottom up, he was sure he
saw tow figures dashing madly across the upturned keel. Then he decided that
such things couldn’t be. But after the rescue, he said, he learned that his
eyes had not betrayed him; that two Negro mess attendants-non swimmers-had
been so loath to take to the water that they stuck with the ship, and as she
rolled over they scrambled across the bottom like loggers riding a spinning
log, and then jumped into the sea.
Horrocks, Elton J.
IONIA MOTHER, SON DEAD IN PACIFIC, HEARS
SECOND SON WOUNDED IN ACTION.---Mrs. Claude Otto of Easton Township, who
only a few weeks ago received word that her son, Pvt. Kenneth Horrocks, 20,
had been killed in action in the South Pacific war front, has now received
word that her other son has been wounded. Her son, Pvt. Elton J. Horrocks,
21, who saw his brother, Kenneth, killed as they fought the Japs, has been
wounded the war department recently advised her. Said the war department
“Deeply regret to inform you that your son, Pvt. Elton J. Horrocks, was
slightly wounded in action in the Southwest Pacific area. Reports will be
forwarded when received.
Horrocks, Kenneth W.
PARENTS OF IONIA BOY GET A LETTER FROM
HIS CAPTAIN. Mrs. Claude Otto of Easton received the following letter from
Captain Harry C. Mencleuski, who told her of the death of her son, Pfc.
Kenneth W. Horrocks, who was killed in action early in November.-My dear
Mrs. Otto: May I extend to you and your bereaved family the sincere sympathy
of myself and the members of this company on the untimely death of your son,
Kenneth W. Horrocks. At the time of his death, Pfc. Horrocks was performing
a dangerous mission for his country, one, which called for courage, quick
thinking, and steady nerve, all of which he possessed to an admirable
degree. He will be missed by his comrades in the company and I assure you
sincerely that the army has lost a most valuable and loyal soldier. Very
sincerely yours, Harry C. Mencleuski, Captain.
IONIA COUNTY BROTHERS IN THE SERVICE OF
THEIR COUNTRY PARTED BY DEATH-Pvt. Kenneth Horrocks , 20, reported killed in
action in the southwest Pacific on November 5, and his brother, Elton
Horrocks, 21, both of Easton, left Ionia together in October, 1940, and
presumably have been together since, both being with the American forces in
the Australian area of the southwest Pacific in the same unit. Both attended
Ionia high school and both took up farming on completion of their
schoolwork. Sons of Mrs. Claud Otto of Easton, and the late Thomas Horrocks,
who died when Kenneth was two years of age, they were together in childhood,
through school, at work, and in their military careers until death separated
them in military action.
IONIA SOLDIER KILLED IN ACTION ‘SOMEWHERE IN SOUTHERN PACIFIC’-Ionia
county’s first known “Killed in action” casualty of World war two was
recorded here Monday with word that Pvt. Kenneth William Horrocks, 20, son
of Mrs. Claude Otto, of Easton township had lost his life from Japanese
gunfire in the South Pacific war zone. Word of Pvt. Horrocks’ death in
action was relayed to Mrs. Otto from Horrocks’ wife, formerly Rosalie
Cailleteau of Alexandria, Louisiana, late last week. The following is the
telegram received by Mrs. Horrocks: “The secretary of war desires me to
express his deep regret that your husband, Kenneth W. Horrocks, was killed
in action in defense of his country in southwest Pacific area on November 5.
Letter follows. The Adjutant General ” Pvt. Horrocks left Ionia in October,
1940. He was mustered into service before war was declared and was in
training in Louisiana. Mrs. Otto received a letter from Kenneth dated
November 2, three days before he was killed. It was a typical soldier letter
which ended “I hope this finds you and the family in the best of health. As
ever, your loving son, Ken.” Four letters, all of them written only a short
time before November 5, were received from Kenneth during the past month.
Pvt. Horrocks was born May 1, 1922, in Evergreen township, Montcalm County.
He moved to Ionia when one year of age with his parents and when he was two
years of age his father died. Before being called into active army service
Pvt. Horrocks spent nine years living with his other at Prairie Creek and
then moved to Ionia City. He attended Ionia high school. On December 10,
1941, Pvt. Horrocks was married to Miss Rosalie Galleteau at Alexandria,
Louisiana. She was a resident of Alexandria. Surviving besides the wife are
his mother and stepfather, Mr. and Mrs. Claude Otto, a brother, Pvt. Elton
Horrocks, who is also in the southwest Pacific and probably saw action when
his brother was killed; two other brothers, Otis of Gwinn and Otto of Lyons;
a sister, Zelphia, at home, two half-sisters, Lois and Deloris, at home, a
half-brother, Francis, at home, three stepsisters, Mrs. D.L. Sweet of
Fenwick, Mrs. Harley Rhoades of South Haven, and Mrs. Russell Chambers of
Sons of Mrs. Charles Lance, 32 ½
Stevenson Place. Pfc. William Lance, 33, entered the service in August,
1943, and received his basic training in Tennessee and Kentucky. He is in
Germany, where he has been serving with the United States army engineers. He
attended St. John’s schools, and was employed in Ionia at the plant of the
Michigan Artificial Ice Company. His wife is the former Thelma Whelan of
Ionia. Pfc. George Lance, 25, entered the service in May, 1944, and received
his basic training at Ft. McClellan. He is in the United States infantry,
and has been serving in Germany with the Ninth army. He attended Ionia high
school, and was employed by the Ypsilanti Reed Furniture Company. His wife
is the former Lucille Nichols of Ionia. Pvt. Donald Lance, 22, entered the
service in December, 1942, and has served with the United States army
engineers in Germany. He attended the Ionia schools, and was employed by the
Ypsilanti Reed Furniture Company.
IONIA SOLDIER DIES A HERO IN NEW GUINEA;
DIRECTED COMRADES’ FIRE-Corp. Rex Leland, Wounded, Refused to Quit His Post
in Tree-Third Day Brings Death. By Murlin Spencer. With American Forces in
New Guinea (Delayed)--- This is a letter to the mother and father of
Corporal Rex Leland of Ionia, Michigan. It’s to tell you that Rex died a
hero-that his pals in the American forces say so, and they want you to know
it. The story was told to me, as we stood knee-deep in water on a side trail
leading to Buna. In the list of heroic deeds Rex’s must rank among the best.
You have this from Lieutenant P. L. Schwartz of Syracuse, N. Y., and the
others agreed when he said that you should be told about Rex. “He did as
much as any man I know.” Lieutenant Schwartz said, “and I think his folks
would like to know. “Rex was with us a short way outside Buna village. We
all were between two lines of fire-a Jap machine gun on one side, ours on
the other. This was on Dec. 1. “Rex climbed a tree to observe the results of
mortar fire and to help direct it. He took chances of getting hit from both
sides, but he stayed all afternoon and the mortar fire knocked out a Jap
machine gun and hit a cocoanut tree, blowing Jap snipers in all directions.”
Corporal Leland suffered an arm wound in the action but refused to leave his
tree. “The next day>” Lieutenant Schwartz went on, “Rex. Sergeant Dale Cope
(also of Ionia), and I ---- to an observation post within 30 yards of the
Japs, where we could observe the target-the Jap machine gun nest. We stayed
there until it was put out of action. “One mortar dud landed only three feet
away. “On Dec.3 Rex climbed another tree almost on the outskirts of Buna
village and again directed our mortar fire. It was then he was killed.
Corporal Rex Leland, 23, was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Rolland Leland of
Easton township. Mr. Leland is employed by the Murray Corporation at
Belding. A brother, John, is also employed there. Corp. Leland left Ionia in
1940 as a member of Company H, and after training in Louisiana, was sent
with his outfit to Australia and later to New Guinea. Mr. and Mrs. Leland
received a V-mail letter from their son dated November 7, in which he told
them he was very busy but would write every chance he got. In 1938, Corp.
Leland was graduated from the Ionia high school, where he was an honor
student. Before entering service he was employed on his father’s farm. He is
survived by his parents, a brother, Corporal Ralph Leland at Camp Davis,
North Carolina, a brother, John, of Orleans, and a sister Hazel, an Ionia
high school graduate last June.
REX LELAND-MacARTHUR AWARDS A POSHUMOUS SILVER STAR FOR HEROISM TO REX
IONIA COUNTY BROTHERS IN THE SERVICE OF
THEIR COUNTRY PARTED BY DEATH---The sons of Mr. and Mrs. Rolland Leland of
Easton. Corp. Rex Leland, 23, who left Ionia with Company H in October,
1940, has been reported in Associated press dispatches from New Guinea as
killed in action while playing a hero’s role in observing enemy position and
directing the fire of American heavy guns. Rex was graduated from the Ionia
high school in 1938, and worked on a farm until his company was called into
service. Corp. Ralph Leland, 21, entered the service in August, 1942, and
was attached to the coast artillery anti-aircraft division, receiving
training at Camp Wallace, Texas. Later he was transferred to Camp Davis,
North Carolina, where he attended anti-aircraft radio school. In November he
was made a corporal, Ralph was graduated from Ionia high school in 1940
CAPT. JOHN LOMBARD OF IONIA SHOOTS DOWN
HIS SIXTH JAPANESE PLANE. In a fierce air battle which started when Japanese
raided an American airdrome in western Yunan province, China, Captain John
Lombard of Ionia brought his confirmed total of Jap planes to six by
shooting down one Zero, according to delayed Associated Press dispatches
from its correspondents with the United States air forces in China. The Japs
lost at least seven planes and possibly 12 when the Americans, outnumbered
more than three to one, engaged 18 enemy bombers and 20 fighters. One
American pilot was listed as missing. Captain Lombard said after the fight:
“The Zeros were eager to fight for a change. I don’t think they had met our
fighters before. They seemed pretty good pilots and apparently were flying
new equipment.” American medium bombers in quick retaliation, again dropped
tons of bombs on the Japanese base at Lashio, terminus of the Burma road,
keeping up the strong air offensive against Key enemy points in Burma
launched by Brig. Gen. Claire L. Chennault, commander of the U.S. army air
forces in China. Co. Herbert Morgan of Freedom, Pa. Gen. Chennault’s
operations chief, said the damage to the airdrome was minor and the only
casualties were two mechanics, slightly wounded by bomb fragments. All
planes got off the airdrome before the attack. The fighters closed in on the
Japanese northwest of the field and two Zeros, protecting the bombers, were
shot down quickly. They crashed near the airport. The Japanese than turned
southward and American pilots gave chase down the valley, picking off Zeros
after Zero and probably downing one bomber. The running battle lasted about
Sgt. Howard Lytle, 23, entered the
service in January, 1941, and was attached to the military police of the
United States army. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Claude Lytle, Ionia. May
29, 1941 was married to Dorothy Erridge of Ionia. Before entering the
service he drove a Shortway lines bus.
Staff Sgt. Guy Messecar, 22, entered the
United States army in November, 1940, a year after his graduation from the
Ionia high school. He was located with an army fighter squadron at Wheeler
Field, Hawaii. Sergeant Messecar is the son of Mrs. Ralph Blessing of Ionia.
Frank Misner, 22, who entered the
service last April, is in the tank corps with the infantry, and is overseas.
Donald Misner, 21, also in the infantry, went into service in July. They are
sons of Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Misner of Ionia township.
Mitchell, Harold L.
---DEAD IONIA SOLDIER IS GIVEN
HONOR---Staff Sergeant Harold L. Mitchell, Ionia county’s first soldier to
receive the distinguished service cross for bravery in action, has been
awarded, posthumously, the purple heart by Major General J. A. Ulio of
Washington. Word of the decoration was received by Sergt. Mitchell’s father,
Frank G. Mitchell, of Orleans, a Michigan reformatory guard. Sergeant
Mitchell was killed in action in New Guinea several months ago. Before his
death he had been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by General
MacArthur for bravery in action.. Notification that the Distinguished
Service Cross would be sent to Mitchell’s father was received this week. The
Purple Heart decoration arrived at the Mitchell home last week. Following is
the letter which accompanied the Purple Heart medal: Mr. Frank C. Mitchell,
R.R. I Orleans, Michigan. My Dear Mr. Mitchell: I have the honor to inform
you that the purple heart decoration has been awarded, posthumously, to your
son, Staff Sergeant Harold L. Mitchell, Infantry, who made the supreme
sacrifice in defense of his country. The Purple Heart was originally
established by Gen. George Washington at Newburgh, August 7, 1782, during
the war of the revolution. Out of respect to the memory of General
Washington and in recognition of his military achievements, the decoration
was received by the war department on February 22, 1932, the two hundredth
anniversary of his birth. It is awarded to the persons who, while serving in
any capacity with the army of the United States, and wounded in action
against an enemy of the United States, or are killed in action, or who die
as a direct result of wounds received in action. An engraved certificate
relating to this award will be forwarded to you at a later date. The Purple
Heart decoration will be forwarded direct to you by the commanding officer
Philadelphia Depot, Philadelphia, Penn., and should be received by you
within 10 days or two week. Very truly yours, J. A. Ulio, Major General, The
IONIA SAILOR, SAVED FROM -A CARRIER,
HOME Raymond Moorhead, 20-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Moorhead of
Ionia rural route 3, has arrived in Ionia to visit his parents after
escaping death when his ship the United States aircraft carrier Hornet was
sunk in battle with Japs. Young Moorhead, a former student of Ionia high
school, is a second class machinist’s mate and is spending a 10-day leave
with his parents.
The son of the late Mr. And Mrs. Fred
Patrick of Berlin township, Pfc. Frank J. Patrick, 18, entered the United
States army engineers in February, 1941, and went to camp in Massachusetts
for training. After the death of his parents he lived in the family of an
uncle, Gerald Robinson. He attended the Ionia high school. He has two
sisters, Mrs. John Badder, Rt. 2 Ionia, and Lois Patrick.
Piggott, Richard Frank
Piggott, Jeremiah E.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Piggott, 403
Division Street, Ionia. Staff Sergt. Richard Frank Piggott, 26, entered the
service in April, 1941, and was attached to the United States army signal
corps on line construction. Previous to entering the service he was a rural
electric lineman. He went to Camp Boyee, Texas. Sergeant Piggott completed
the eight grade in the Pewamo district school. Pvt. Patrick Piggott, 20,
entered the service in September, 1942, being assigned to the engineers, and
going to a camp in North Carolina for training. He attended the Pewamo high
school and then drove a truck for the Grand Valley Packing Company. Jeremiah
E. Piggott, 19, able seaman, joined the United States navy in June, 1942,
and went to the Norfolk, Virginia, receiving station for training. He
attended Pewamo high school and was employed in Ionia by the Symons store.
Corp. Lowell Raymor, 25, entered the
United States army in July, 1941, and took a course in cooking, graduating
from the army school as first class cook. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs.
Howard Raymor, East Main Street, attended the Ionia schools, and was
employed at the Gibson factory in Greenville. July 15, 1941, he married to
Miss Pauline Pulsipher of Ionia, who is making her home at Camp Robinson.
Sgt. Edward Renucci, 29, went into the
service in May, 1941, won a medal for sharpshooting, and was assigned to the
military police stationed in Connecticut, near Hartford. He was recently
transferred to Fort Custer. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Pedro Renucci, 540
State Street, Ionia. He attended Ionia high school, Ionia, and was employed
by the Fisher Body in Lansing. Sergeant Renucci is married, Mrs. Renucci
being the former Leona Fedewa of Pewamo. Mrs. Renucci, who went to
Connecticut with her husband, is now working in Hartford, and has not yet
returned to Michigan.
Pvt. William A. Reterstoff, 21, entered
the signal corps as a radio operator in September 1942. He trained at Camp
Crowder, Missouri. The son of Mr. and Mrs. William L. Reterstoff of Ionia,
and a graduate of Ionia high school, class of 1940.
Corp. Charles L. Rushford, who died of
wounds received in action in the southwest Pacific, according to word
received by his parents Tuesday, left Ionia in October, 1940, to serve in
the United States army. He had been in active service against the Japanese
in the southwest Pacific for some time before he received the wounds which
caused his death. Corporal Rushford was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles
Rushford, 647 Bayard Street, and was a graduate of the Ionia high school. He
would have been 27 years of age next Sunday. Besides his parents, one
brother, William, 18, survives.
Pfc. Bernard J. Sarlouis, 35l, went into
service in the medical corps in April, 1942, training at Camp Robiinson,
Arkansas. He is the son of Mrs. M. Sarlouis of Ionia. He is a graduate of
SS. Peter and Paul academy, Ionia, and of the general hospital in
Springfield, Mo. He worked for the Fisher Body in Lansing. He has been
stationed at Fort Blanding, Fla.
Setchfield, Bruce K.
Setchfield, Winthrop C.
---Bruce K. Setchfield, 28, has been in
the service since October.1941. An Ionia high school graduate, he left work
with the plant police at the Hudson Motor company in Detroit to enter the
service. He has been stationed in North Ireland. Winthrop C. Setchfield, 24,
entered the navy I n1938, and was a first class machinist. He was at Dutch
Harbor, Alaska, at the time it was bombed by the Japanese. Their mother,
Mrs. Mabel E. Setchfield, resides at 221 Jackson Street, Ionia.
Signs, Charles Jr.
Elton Signs, 22, motor machinist mate
2/c, entered the service in July, 1942, and is in the United States coast
guard. He took booth training at Almeda, Calif., and attended school in
advanced training in Connecticut, and took additional training at Beloit,
Wis. He is on active sea duty. He was graduated from Ionia high school in
1938, and was employed by the Clark Equipment Company at Buchanan on defense
work. Sergt. Charles Signs, jr., 19, entered service in January 1943, and
has been assigned to the radar division of the United States air force. He
was graduated from the Ionia high school in 1942, and worked at the Willow
Run bomber plant as an airplane rigger.
Pfc. Roy A. Slowinski, 35, a member of
the United States coast artillery, is the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Roman
Slowinski of Berlin township. Prior to entering the service he worked in
Pontiac in the foundry of the Pontiac Motorcar Company. In Ionia he attended
SS.Peter and Paul academy.
Smith, Herman W. Jr.
Herman M. Smith, jr., 23, entered the
United States coast guard in January, 1942. He is coxswain. An Ionia high
school graduate, class of 1937, he is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Herman M.
Smith, 424 Jones street, and was a Grand Trunk railroad clerk before
entering the service.
Pvt. Lewis Stanton, 20, entered the
service in August 1942, in the medical department of the United States army.
He is the son of Mr. And Mrs. John Stanton, Ionia RFD 3, and attended Ionia
high school. Pvt. Stanton is married, his wife having been a Portland girl.
Pvt. Merritt Philip Stilwell, 21, is the
son of Mr. and Mrs. Corel Stilwell of Ionia. He entered the service in
August 1942, in the field artillery, and went for training to Camp Roberts,
California. He is a graduate of the Ionia high school, and was employed by
Gibson of Greenville. He is married, Mrs. Stilwell being the former Marie
Fox of Ionia.
LT. TOWNSEND DIES IN ARMY BOMBER
CRASH---Second Lieutenant John Sherman Townsend, 22-years-old son of Mr. and
Mrs. Ray Townsened of Ionia township, has been killed in the crash and
resulting explosion of a B-24 Liberator four-engine bomber, at the army air
base at Wendover, Utah. Death of the young Ionia flyer was announced in a
was department telegram delivered to Mr. and Mrs. Townsend Thursday evening.
According to press dispatches released at Salt Lake City, Lieut. Townsend
was one of nine men, four of them officers, and five enlisted men, who lost
their lives when a four-engine bomber crashed and burned five miles east of
the army base at Wendover Field, Utah, early Thursday. No other men were
listed as Michigan residents. According to air base officials the bomber was
approaching the field after a routine flight when it suddenly crashed and
exploded. The war department telegram announcing their son’s death was
delivered about 6 o’clock Thursday evening by Lawrence I. Hale, Ionia county
Red Cross chairman. The body will be sent to Grand Rapids. See LT.
TOWNSEND-Page 2. Sorry no page 2.
Philip Vandervelde, 20, seaman second
class, entered the naval reserves in July, 1942. He is the son of Mrs.
Florence Abbruzzese of Ionia, and attended the Ionia high school. He was
employed in Lansing as a roofer.
Pvt. John S. Vargo, 20, entered the
service in August, 1942, training at Camp Patrick, Va. He is the son of Mrs.
Elizabeth Vargo of Ionia, and attended SS. Peter and Paul academy. He was
employed on construction work at Lansing.
Pvt. Verner C. Vogt, 28, entered the
service in June, 1942, and was assigned to Curtis Wright technical school at
Santa Monica, California, studying as an air force ground mechanic. He is
the son of Mr. And Mrs. George Vogt, 519 Brooks street, Ionia, and a
graduated of the Ionia high school.
IONIA COUNTY WOMEN IN THE SERVICE OF
THEIR COUNTRY---Aux. Joy Wagner, 21, joined the WAACs in October, 1942, and
signed up for overseas duty, going to Des Moines, Ia., for training. She is
the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Wagner, now of Detroit, formerly of
Ionia, and was graduated from the Ionia high school with the class of 1940.
Following graduation she was employed as a stenographer by a Detroit firm.
Pvt. Byron S. Warner, 26, was the first
Ionia county soldier who died in the service of his country and whose body
was brought home for burial. Pvt. Warner entered the United States army in
April, 1941, and was sent to Camp Livingston, La. While he was being
transferred he became ill, and died of pneumonia in the army hospital at
Camp Devens, Mass., April 16, 1941. He was a graduate of the Muir high
school and had worked on a farm near Saranac prior to entering the service.
He was the son of Mrs. Ethel Warner and the late Rupert Warnear of Ronald
Pfc. Douglas Wiggins, 26, entered the
service in October, 1940, going to Camp Livingston, La., for training. He
has been reported killed in action in New Guinea, December 24, 1942. He was
the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles D. Wiggins of Easton township, and worked on
the farm while at home. He attended Belding high school.
Last update January 5, 2008