Chesterton Tribune

World War II comrades remembered

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Voice of the People

 

The world did not note, will not remember and does not care, but if the Tribune will print it, I would like to make mention of a meeting at Frankfort, Indiana, on August 24, 2003, which caused great sadness for four old soldiers who served the United States before and during World War II.

Before 1940 there were National Guard units in every major town in the U.S.A. At Frankfort was located the Service Company of the 151st Infantry. In September 1940 President Roosevelt declared a national emergency and ordered the various National Guard units into Federal service. The Ohio National Guard, the 37th Division, was mobilized and sent to Camp Shelby in October. The 38th Division, of which the 151st Infantry was a part, was mobilized on January 17, 1941, and sent to Camp Shelby. They were under strength so other young men from Indiana were recruited to bring the Division up to strength.

In 1947, many of those of the Service Company, who had survived the war, began an annual reunion at some place in Indiana. For quite a few years last past they have met at the American Legion Post at Frankfort. I believe a young man name Parkhurst was the first one to die in a truck accident about 1950. After that others died, until, I would guess about 10 years ago, only about 15 or 20 would attend the reunion. I do not really remember numbers or years. In August 2000, as I remember, there were 8. In August, 2001 there were 7. In January 2003 Vaughn died. On June 28, 2003, Charlie died. Dean, a close army friend of mine, died August 20, 2003.

An ever present thought on August 24, was, “Which of us will die before next August.” It appeared that at least two will not be alive or will not be able to travel next year. That will leave only two at the next August reunion, if it comes to pass. It was decided to give the money in our treasury to charitable institutions and to disband and not hold any more reunions.

It caused a great deal of sadness for all of us to end a comradeship that had started prior to World War II, but we decided that we must face it. We served our country well in peace and then in war, but we are a dying generation. In a very short time all of us will be gone. Whether we like it or not, there can be no more reunions on this earth. We adjourned sine die.

Very truly yours,

Malcolm E. Anderson

 

Posted  9/5/2003