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World War II in Culver
"The call-to-the-colors was no less patriotically served during the Second World War. More than 6,500 Culver men stepped to the colors between 1940 and 1945. Two hundred and sixty-nine gave their lives in the service of the armed forces, and their sacrifice is recognized in the Memorial Chapel." – Bob Hartman
"During the years of World War II, 1941 through 1945, the Culver Public School closed for the summer in mid-May so the boys and girls who lived on farms could help with spring planting and other chores. Next to working in a munitions plant farming was considered vital war work. Those of us who did not live on farms or have close relatives who farmed began to notice that the closer we got to the mother’s conversations. I can imagine the ladies chatting over their Red Cross knitting and bandage rolling: Patty has a job in the library, Dorothy and Audrey will work in the store, Marilyn will help her dad in the office. Many of the local boys could attend Culver Summer School as day students, for very low cost, where they learned to sail, re-build engines, and play in the band." - From “A Lesson” by Martha Payson Ryman
12-10: In announcing the United States’ declaration of war on Japan after Pearl Harbor, it was noted that several local men were at Pearl Harbor during the attack. LaMarr White was on the USS Litchfield at Pearl Harbor; George C. Sales was in the Marines there; Robert P. Schweidler was with the USS Dobbin; Glen Quivey, Doran Finney, William Ingram, John William Bays were also in the Pearl Harbor area.
12-24: A Defense Committee for Culver was announced by Oliver C. Schilling, chairman. Members include Col. W. E. Gregory superintendent of CMA; Culver town board president Ernest W. Carter; town marshall Verl McFeely; water works superintendent George Stabenow; fire chief Carey Cummins; American Legion post commander M.R. Robinson; Spanish-American War vet J.W. Riggins; Col. Robert Rossow, CMA; Mrs. L.R. Kellam and Deane E. Walker, members of the county defense committee; and Robert Rust, director of Academy news service.
-Word of the first casualty amongst Culver boys reached town this week. Mr. and Mrs. Carl Finney received word that their son, Patrick L. Finney, was killed Dec. 7 in the Japanese raid on Hickman Field, Hawaii. He was a 1933 graduate of Culver High School and enlisted in 1940. He was a member of the 26th Bombardment Squadron.
1-21: Defense Corps organization being perfected, town divided into five areas. Open meeting of all male citizens in the community held at the meeting room of the public library. Col. Robert Rossow designated commander; M.R. Robinson-aide to commander; Col. C.F. McKinney=executive officer; Town Marshall Verl McFeely=adjunct; John C. Kester= Sgt. Major.
-Defense area captains included Russell Fisher, Donald Mikesell, William R. Easterday, J.T. Stinchcomb, Steffen Rector, Frank Walaitis, Paul Underwood.
Academy Defense area captains included Col. A.R. Elliott, Maj. C.A. Whitney, Capt. J.I. Rich, Maj. H.A. Obenauf.
-“Red Cross Drive to Furnish Funds to Buy Material for War Use” – Union Twp. Red Cross collecting money (quotas almost filled by then) for knitting, sewing, and surgical dressings for British Relief. Trying to raise $1,080.
-It was also announced that a “use” tax would be placed on motor vehicles effective Feb. 1. Stamps would be sold to motor vehicle owners to place on vehicles to provide evidence of payment of the tax.
1-28: On Jan. 20, first practice alert of the Culver area Defense Corps was held, and was “generally successful.” An alert was sounded on town fire alarm and Academy fire whistle of one long blast to signal the beginning and the end of the practice alert.
-It was also announced that all German, Italian, and Japanese nationals would be required to register at the county seat in Plymouth between Feb. 9 and 28.
-Jerry Enbodin, one of a group of four young men involved in thefts around Lake Maxinkuckee cottages and homes, joined the navy, causing the grand larceny charge against him to be dropped!
2-11: Draft registration required of all those males aged 20 on or before Dec. 31, 1941, between 7am and 9pm on Feb. 16, in the bank building. Registration was to be handled by D.W. Weaver.
3-4: The League of Women Voters War Service gained numerous new members, incl. Mrs. J.H. Smith, Mrs. F.W. Bates, Mrs. Kemp Moore, Mrs. C.F. McKinney, Mrs. J.F. Edgell, Mrs. Dick Newman, Mrs. C.C. Mather, Mrs. H.B. Keller, Mrs. G.L. Miller, Mrs. Robert Rossow, Miss Jean Garset, and more.
-The alert signal of the town fire siren and Academy whistle for the Culver Defense Corps would thereafter be sounded in two series of four blasts each.
4-8: Lt. Col. Basil Middleton was transferred to Camp Blanding, Florida.
Above, left to right: 1) Col. Gregory of CMA is called to active duty; 2) Tom Walker of Culver (who passed away in 2006) writes home of his wartime experiences in India; 3) an advertisement from Snyder's Market in Culver gives a notion of general food prices at the outset of the war; 4) an advertisement for Culver Hi-Speed Recap Tire Co. (see below) -- April, 1942.
4-15: Red Cross held nutrition classes as part of its war-time program, at the Culver High School.
5-13: The Culver High School Alumni homecoming will take place in the gym on May 23 and will be a Victory Dance featuring Clem Harrington and his orchestra. Tickets are on sale at 55 cents each and may be secured through Miss Frances Taber, head of the ticket committee.
The Culver Citizen reports on the first sugar rationing in Culver, May 13, 1942.
5-27: “Carrying war-time safety training into the field of recreation in and on the water, the American Red Cross will conduct a National Aquatic School at Culver Military Academy….from June 10 to 20.” 176 enrolled.
-A large crowd gathered to hear Mr. and Mrs. Frank Southworth of Plymouth tell of their personal experiences during the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor, held in the Community Building and hosted by the Chamber of Commerce.
-Local boys left for the Army Saturday morning, May 23: Raymond Harness, Benjamin Colvin, Nelson Cooper, Walter Colvin, Donald Burkett, Clarence Porcher, among others.
6-3: Marshall County Rationing Board has appointed Deputy Local Boards “to assist in the registration for sugar to be used for canning purposes.” Registrants could sign up at high schools in Culver and surrounding Marshall County towns. “In general, one pound of sugar per four quarts of finished canned fruit and one pound per person for use in preparing preservatives will be allowed for the entire year.” Registrants should bring war ration books with them.
-A county-wide scrap metal drive, the first of many such drives, was announced.
-Milk deliveries are being curtailed to every other day by order of the Milk Control Board of Indiana in an effort to conserve rubber. Only one delivery per day can be made to any one place, no call-backs are allowed, and no special deliveries are allowed except in cases of life or death emergencies. Users of milk are asked to return bottles “as there is an acute shortage of glass bottles.”
6-24: Robert Hatten, Arthur Kemple, and Kenneth Kerr lef Monday morning to enlist in the Navy.
-There will be no fireworks display this year at Culver Academy due to wartime conditions, a decision to be held for the duration of the war.
-Among the young men inducted in the Army from Culver this week: Harry Hawkins, Fritz Kemple, Edward Easterday and Lester Cole.
7-1: Red Cross announces that they desperately need more women to help make dressings; regular classes will continue to meet twice weekly in the workroom in the CMA gymnasium. “It is hoped that no Culver boy will have need of the Red Cross surgical supplies…but every mother must hope that such supplies will be ready…if her son should need them!”
7-15: Of the local boys reporting for duty recently: Robert McFarland, Harold Baker, Charles Baker, August Wennerstrom Jr., Peter Pedersen, Jack C. VonEhr.
CMA football Coach Russ Oliver leaves for Army Service, July 15, 1942.
7-19: Julius Pura was appointed local chairman of the junk committee with Roy Wickizer, Joe Currens, and Claude Newman as assistants for a townwide scrap drive to be held at Pura’ South Main Street junkyard. Old stoves, radiators, plumbing, tools, toys, beds, cooking utensils, rods, batteries, and more, are requested.
-A Victory flower garden was planted in the Town Park by Charles McLane and has attracted “considerable attention for its unusual beauty.”
-The local American Legion post received 1182 old records to be used to make new records in service camps. Any additional records to be donated should be turned in to Will Easterday this week.
-Among local men inducted into the army this week: Charles Warner, Horace Ewald, Arthur Woolington, Herbert Crabb, Herberdean Bryant, Warren Foreman.
A scrap tire drive based at the Standard Oil Co. headquarters on the east end of Mill Street yielded a great many tires, which may "stretch as far as Tokio," suggests the article!
10-7: A big scrap iron drive is asking for scales, trucks, and volunteer drivers. Volunteers should notify Union Twp. Chairmen J.D. Newman, Mrs. R.A. Osborn, Walter Busart, Whitney Kline, Mrs. Raymond Lowry, etc.
-The scrap collection center for junk week in Union Twp. (Oct. 12-17) will be the town lot at the corner of Washington and Plymouth Streets. School children will also call at the homes in town and pick up small items, while the town truck will call for the heavier pieces. “Just leave your junk on the sidewalk in front of your home and it will be collected and left at the town lot.”
10-14: A statewide meeting of tire recappers met in Culver at the Maxinkuckee Inn with over 58 in attendance, including Charles Medbourn, president of Culver Hi-Speed Recap Tire Co. The Culver plant was inspected and the group attended a colorful parade at Culver Academy.
-Union Township’s junk collection rounded up 53,982 lbs. of scrap metal as of Oct. 12. Peter McKinney, assigned to collect scrap from the Academy area homes, hauled over 1,300 lbs. of scrap metal on his small wagon.
-Maj. Ralph A. Osborn Jr. made a circuit over Culver in a “speedy bomber” ona flight from Tampa, Fl., and gave an aerial greeting to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph A. Osborn.
-The El Rancho Theater in Culver showed a double feature of “Torpedo Boat” and “Blondie for Victory” on Oct. 14. Adult fares were 30 cents, children 10 cents.
11-4: “Getting back to teaching restless students will seem like a picnic to members of the (school) faculty after three days of wrestling with fuel rationing. The surprising number of 701 applications were made out for fuel oil, kerosene, diesel oil, etc., with kerosene being by far the largest product for which ration cards were issued.”
11-11: Gas ration signups have been postponed to Weds., Thurs., and Friday, Nov. 18-10 from 1 – 9:00 pm and the place will be the library auditorium. The Parent-Teacher Association will conduct the registration under supervision of school officials. All owners of automobiles, motorcycles, outboard motors, and tractors must register. Basic Ration “A” will be issued, which allows for 240 miles worth of driving per month, figured on an average of 15 miles per gallon….
11-18: “With gas rationing in the immediate offing and only two trains a day on the railroad, the Chamber of Commerce filed a request with the Indiana Motor Bus Company to establish a motor bus route between Culver and Plymouth, or from Plymouth to Logansport via Culver. An official of the company has replied that because of wartime restrictions on bus facilities…the company cannot act on the request at this time.
Above, left to right: A Nov. 28, 1942 scrap drive at the El Rancho theater on Lake Shore Drive yielded a pile of scrap as area children were allowed free admission if they brought in scrap. Note the marquee: "Holiday Inn" starring Bing Crosby is the featured picture; and a Junk Rally for Culver was held in September, based in Pura's scrap yard on South Main Street.
-Fletcher Strang, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher Strang, started aviation training Sunday in the C.P.T. at Tri-State college, Angola.
11-25: The State Director of Civilian Defense put a ban on outdoor Christmas lighting, noting that it “requires the use of critical materials, electricity, and manpower, and is not in line with general conservation programs already underway.” The Culver Chamber of Commerce voted on Nov. 23 to conform to above recommendation, so no Christmas decoration contest will be held this year. The town board announced that will not string the colored lights along the business section this year. The State Exchange Bank will limit its Christmas lighting to indoor use only. Large wreaths replaced lights on the business district poles.
-Technical Sergeant Michael J. Bauman Jr. of Culver was awarded a silver star for gallant action against the Japanese in the Southwest Pacific. He “helped a B-26 bomber into its base during an enemy attack on the American airfield in New Guinea, Aug. 17…after saving the plane from within, he manned a rear gun to ward off Japanese pursuit planes.”
-A total of 774 automobiles were registered for the “precious gasoline A rationing books here last week.” Hampton Boswell, president of the PTA, which was in charge of the registration here, expressed his appreciation to all those that assisted.
12-2: “At the request of Gov. Henry F. Schricker, church bells throughout Indiana will toll and every Hoosier will ‘Remember Pearl Harbor’ by facing west for one minute at 11:55 am on Dec. 7, the first anniversary of the Japanese bombing of …Pearl Harbor.” “…During the one-minute tribute to the Pearl Harbor dead, Gov. Schricker has suggested that each Hoosier ask of himself: ‘Have I done all I can during the first year of the war? Am I doing my full share to assure victory?’”
-“Col. Robert Rossow, a veteran of three campaigns and a member of the CMA staff since 1905, has been named commandant of the newly organized student corps at Colgate University, Hamilton, N.Y., President
Above: Col. Rossow
Everett Case announced last week. He will serve at Colgate on leave from Culver… Col. Rossow served in the Spanish American war at seventeen, was with Gen. MacArthur’s father in the Phillipines for eighteen months, and commanded the 325th and 120th Machine Gun battalions of the 84th Division in France before serving six months with the Army of Occupation at the end of World War I.”
… “Going to Culver as commander of the school’s Black Horse Trrop, Col. Rossow made the group famous as the colorful escort of world figures such as Marshall Foch. He was commandant of cadets at Culver from 1928 to 1935, and since that time has directed the institution’s Woodcraft School.”
-“Coordinating the drive for tin, fats and silk and nylon hosiery with the drive for 10% purchasing of war bonds, it has been decided that during the week of Dec. 7 to 12, every block and neighborhood captain would canvass the homes in his territory to explain…the importance of these drives…Oliver Schilling, local chairman, announces that tin cans may be left at any grocery store, and fats may be sold to any meat market. Old hosiery may be left at Foreman’s, Ben Franklin’s, Wickizer’s, or Louden’s.”
-Physical examinations will start this week with local doctors and dentists in charge as the high school completes plans for taking a student power inventory of all boys and girls in the junior and senior classes. Intelligence, arithmetic, and other tests will also be included, all in order to aid in war needs. Principal F.M. Annis announced that 55-minute periods will be shortened to 45 minutes and a period of 50 minutes added for the physical fitness program.
-One unnamed local gas station owner, remarking with a wry smile on the last day of business before gas rationing went into effect, “it’s probably the last we will sell for a month.”
12-9: $1,242.50 worth of war bonds were sold locally on Pearl Harbor Day.
-Gov. Schricker set aside Dec. 6-12 as “Share the Meat” week. Miss Elizabeth Shetterly of Culver is chairman of the County Civilian Defense Nutrition program and is asking citizens to curtail their use of meat. Adults are asked to curtail consumption to 2 1/2 lbs. per week.
-C.L. Shively, local express agent, reported that 637 tires have been sent to the Fort Wayne district office in compliance with the regulation that no motorist may have over five tires for his automobile.
Michael Bauman, Jr. was honored in this Dec., 1942 article for his war service
12-30: A new Victory Tax will take effect Jan. 1, which takes 5% of citizens’ wages, all across the U.S.
1-13: Patrick L. Finney of Culver is posthumously awarded the Purple Heart medal for making the Supreme Sacrifice in defense of his country on Dec. 7, 1941.
1-20: New courses are being offered at Culver High School as part of the War Basis Program at the request of the state Board of Education and war department. Aeronautics are being offered senior boys by Raymond Ives, and a strenuous physical preparedness program is underway under the supervision of Paul Underwood; Mrs. Frances Shenberger is teaching classes in nutrition and health as well.
-Among those women giving over 100 hours of their time to the Red Cross Surgical Dressings efforts in 1942: Mrs. Robert Kernohan, Mrs. George Williams, Mrs. Charles Cowen, Mrs. Nettie Cunningham, Mrs. Charles C. Mather, Mrs. W.R. Kennedy, Mrs. M.D. Baker, Mrs. Patricia Gardener, Mrs. J.T. Stinchcomb, and Mrs. A.R. Elliott.
1-27: Culver’s service stations are now operating on a limited schedule as a result of an order by Petroleum Administrator Harold L. Ickes, restricting the sale of gasoline to 72 hours a week. This will affect the Marathon, Gafill, Phillips 66, Deep Rock, Johnsons, Shell, Hand’s, and Hatten’s stations.
2-3: Culver’s John Werner, son of jeweler H.L. Werner, has been commissioned an ensign in the Navy, ranking second in the class of 1,100, and has been assigned to the school’s faculty.
-By March 1, 600 food items will be rationed under a new point system, it was announced at a meeting at the Plymouth High School auditorium on Feb. 1.
2-10: Shoes have been added to the list of rationed items, limiting each person to three pairs a year; it is expected that colors of shoes will be reduced to black, white, bown, and russet, and two-tone shoes will be prohibited. Non-essential types of shoes, such as sport shoes, men’s patent leather shoes, women’s evening slippers, men’s sandals, and metal spike shoes, will be discontinued.
2-17: Registration for Ration Book No. 2 will be held in the home economics room at the high school on Feb. 24 and 25.
-Dr. Frank H. Sparks, a graduate of Culver High School and president of Wabash College at Crawfordsville, has been named Director of the War Manpower Commission’s Bureau of Manpower Utilization.
3-24: Second Lieutenant Ralph Wayne Thornburg was killed when his plane crashed in a swamp one mile north of the army base at Baton Rouge; he was a graduate of Culver High School in 1939.
-Culver High School’s “School Bell” announced that money was coming in from students towards the purchase of a jeep for the war effort (each jeep costs about $900). As of this week, students are $59.70 short of the cost of one jeep, the goal being to buy two jeeps by the end of the week of April 16. Teachers are also part of the success of the sale of war stamps; since the first of the year, teachers have purchased over $1330.75 in stamps and bonds.
4-7: Union Twp. Exceeded it’s $6000 War Appeals and Charities goal and raised $7,300 for the war, it was announced at the victory rally staged at the Community Building; the rally followed a parade featuring the high school band and a Spirit of 1776 float designed and created by Steffen Rector. Fay O. Neidlinger provided the tractor and wagon, and John Buswell, Cecil Miller, and Mr. Rector were the three main figures, while Sailor Kerr, Soldier Schrimsher and Marine Norman provided the modern background. Col. Robert Shanks welcomed the large audience and welcomed Capt. J.I. Rich as master of ceremonies. A drama was presented by the Maxinkuckee Drama Guild including Wayne Mattox, Robert Berger, Harold Hatten, Jean Shaw, Violet Overmyer, Rocth Cline, and Doris Young. A trio comprised of Mrs. R.S. Patch, Mrs. R.C. Jurgenson, and Mrs. Herbert Hayes played three beautiful selections. A.R. McKesson, War Appeals chairman, gave a report on the drive for funds; Oliver C. Shilling, Culver Civilian Defense chairman, spoke and introduced his assistants in the drive. J. Dick Newman, Union Twp. Civilian Defense chairman, appraised the rural canvass and presented his co-workers. A “colored quartet” entertained with three selections.
1) Union Twp. is congratulated for its war appeals drive success (April 7, 1943); and right: Earl Adams is listed officially as missing in action as of April 21, 1943
4-21: The student war stamps and bonds sale at Culver High School far exceeded its goal of $1800 to buy two jeeps for the war effort and raised $3846.50, enough to purchase no less than four jeeps!
4-28: Cadets at Culver Military Academy will undergo their annual two-day War Department inspection on May 3 and 4. In addition to undergoing the strict war-time inspection, the 1943 cadet corps is faced with the responsibility of maintaining their 37-year unblemished record of War department honor rating. This week the ROTC instructors stationed at Culver will bring to a close one of the most thoroughly conducted reviews of military fundamentals and tactics in the history of the school..
6-23: Dick Newman was named Chairman of War Meat Committee in Marshall County.
-All vacation spots in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia, and Kentucky will be under surveillance during the next few months by the Office of Price Administration inspectors to check for illegal use of gasoline. Motorists are reminded that present rationing regulations provide 90 miles of “free mileage” a month in the basic A book, even though a B or C book may be held by the driver.
-Due to the shortage of manpower because of the war, local farmers are in need of workers to work extra hours to help handle the increased production ; workers are being called on to help save their country from a serious food shortage next year. Please see E.W. Carter at his home on East Washington Street.
One unexpected result of the war: elephants swimming in Lake Maxinkuckee! With circus folk drafted right and left and travel supplies heavily rationed, Martha Payson Ryman (daughter of CMA band director Col. Edward Payson) recalls that a traveling circus limped into town one wartime summer. Among the hot, exhausted entrouge: some very thirsty elephants, who were allowed to cool off at the public beach in the Town Park. Pictured at left is young Martha Payson with friend Mariana Jackson and an elephant, in the park. At right is a "free show" featuring the elephants in what appears to be the upper, west pavilion of the town park.
7-14: A county-wide “total blackout” has been ordered for Thursday, July 29 by Col. M.J. Henley, assistant liaison officer of the Civilian Defense Corps. Military officials have announced that the Midwest is more accessible for bombing than either coast and would be effective since the Midwest is the site of so many war industries, and the area is the center of the nation’s transportation system.
8-18: Over 2,000 people attended a concert in the park by the 80-piece Naval Band of Culver Summer Schools on Aug. 13. An innovation was introduced Sunday night by the band when it serenaded the cottagers and those in the park by playing from the deck of the three-masted square rigger (the Fowler) while cruising along the shores of Lake Mxinkuckee (the first ever “Moonlight Serenade,” which went on to become an annual tradition).
-The community and a large number of visitors were treated to a free thrilling air show in the form of a regional maneuver held Saturday and Sunday at the Culver airport under the auspices of the Civil Air Patrol. Around 500 members of the CAP were present for the maneuver. The maneuver brought the largest massing of airplanes ever seen in Culver and included night flying, dropping and picking up messages, simulated bombing, and more.
-Necessary home repairs may be made without permission under WPB’s Construction Conservation order L-41. The work must not exceed $200 or involve the purchase of critical materials. Wartime restrictions permit new construction only for war workers in certain areas.
9-1: Noah Carpenter, 35, married, two children, of Culver was killed by an explosion at the Kingsbury Ordinance plant. Clyde Morris, 26, of Culver, also sustained a face wound in the blast.
-18 to 19 year old farm workers, deferred from the draft as necessary laborers during the summer months, risk losing their 11-C classification if they return to school in the fall as they may not be considered engaged in full-time farm work, according to the state draft director.
9-22: U.S. Marine Corps sergeant Gene Martin, a CMA graduate, returned to the Academy to relate the need for alertness on the part of every soldier in the battle against the Japanese, having spent 16 months on the jungle battlefronts of the Southwest Pacific.
-While the war has cut down on the number of students going away to college, several local young ladies are on their way, including Page Kellam, Betty Jo Hampton, Winifred Bishop, Jeanne Keller, Barbara Benedict, Betty Mather, Marjorie McLand, Dorothy Oberlin, and Barbara and Mimi Shanks.
10-6: A flag authorized on Gen. Perhsing’s visit in 1922 to Culver Academy may be at the headquarters of Gen. George C. Marshall, prominently mentioned as military leader of the combined Anglo-American forces. The Academy tailor shop fashioned the banner for the special occasion of Pershing’s visit; Pershing was so impressed with the special flag, which is red with two stars, an eagle, and two stars in white along the center line, that he directed that it be incorporated into the list of flags of the United States Army.
Former CMA tactical officer Maj. Hood is listed as "real leader" in the war, Oct., 1943
10-20: Local man Walter C. Moore, 23, was awarded the Purple Heart medal after being wounded at the Battle of Guadalcanal when Japanese snipers opened fire on him. He was wounded in the leg and back, and is expected to recover fully.
-The Culver Military Academy will supply a bottle of water mixed from the Seven Seas, from its “Waters of the World” collection, for use in christening the Howard Nightengale ambulance plane on Navy Day, Oct. 27. The plane will be christened by Sister Elizabeth Kenny, the infantile paralysis nurse, who felt that water was a more apt christening fluid than champagne for a mercy plane. The Culver water collection was established in 1934; water from the Mediterranean and drops from the Tiber River of Rome will be part of the water as well.
11-17: It was noted that school absences at CHS have been increased by the war emergency, as more farm workers are needed in area farms to replace the shortage of men in the area. Concern was expressed that some of these absences, however, are not genuinely related to farm work needs, and are illegal.
Sgt. McFeely of Culver is a "jungle warrior" in this Nov. 17, 1943 Culver Citizen article.
12-1: Word was received Nov. 24 that Lt. Walter A. Vonnegut of Culver has been listed as missing in action after an air raid over Wilhelmshaven, Germany, on Nov. 5. It has now been reported that Vonnegut is probably a prisoner of war. A letter to Vonnegut’s wife from one of his fellow crewmen insisted, “don’t worry about your husband! …Doubtless he is now a prisoner of war in Germany.”
Walter graduated from CHS in 1940 and was president of his class and ranked second scholastically. He lived in Culver with his grandmother, Mrs. Clemens Vonnegut at the Hollyhocks cottage on the East Side.
12-8: Outdoor Christmas lighting is completely banned this year. Business establishments are asked to abandon indoor lighting as well.
-The CHS Jeep Campaign ended this week with a total sales of war bonds and stamps at $4,052.90, with the highest amount being sold by Mr. Hoesel’s room at $550.75. The amount is enough to purchase three jeeps for the war effort.
One of a handful of "Culver reunions" overseas in the war, this from the Jan. 12, 1944 Citizen
-1-19: A roll of honor listing the men and women in service has been erected on the lawn in front of the Methodist church (on N. Main Street) and without a cent of cost to community. J.W. Riggins launched the project and Marshall County Lumber Co. donated the material. Jacob Pederson did the painting and lettering, Lester LaBounty furnished the eagle, and Harry Porcher cut out stars, with town employees erecting the finished project.
Above: This rare image from Francis Geiselman depicts a monument erected during World War II to honor the men and women involved in the war effort. From the Jan. 19, 1944 Culver Citizen: "A roll of honor listing the men and women in service has been erected on the lawn in front of the Methodist church (on N. Main Street) and without a cent of cost to community. J.W. Riggins launched the project and Marshall County Lumber Co. donated the material. Jacob Pederson did the painting and lettering, Lester LaBounty furnished the eagle, and Harry Porcher cut out stars, with town employees erecting the finished project." The church was located on the northwest corner of Main and Washington Streets in downtown Culver, where the public library extension is today.
-The 4th War Loan Drive in the area has set quotas to raise $1,114,000 in the various townships of the county. Culver and Union Twp.’s goal is $100,000.
Cpl. Ernest Carter of Culver killed a 300-pound bengal tiger while stationed overseas during the war (Jan. 24, 1944)
2-2: The first collection of scrap paper Saturday by the Boy Scouts and Lions netted about a ton of paper, which is needed to help with the war.
2-16: Col. H.W. Walmer advertised in the Citizen three months ago that he had lost his gasoline ration book, and last week received a letter from Lt. Col. Frank Huyler, an Academy grad, stating that he had seen the ad in the Citizen and had been looking all over China, where he is stationed in the war, but hasn’t seen it. The Citizen can only guess that Col. Huyler was looking at a Lt. Tommy Walker’s copy of the Citizen and noticed the ad!
3-8: The town was abuzz with the excitement of the Culver High School basketball team, the Indians, making it all the way to regional finals at Hammond, after a season with an unblemished record. Culver was edged out on March 11 by Laporte in a semi-final thriller. Culver dominated Converse, the other undefeated “dream team” at the championships, controlling the ball 70 % of the game. Meantime, I.U. football coach “Bo” McMillan spoke to a capacity crowd of 168 at the Culver Inn on March 21 in honor of the team’s victories.
3-22: A “Victory Vaudeville” was held March 16 at the Community Building to raise funds towards the Union Twp. War Appeals and Charities drive. Mrs. W.E. Leland and her “hard working committee” staged the event to a capacity crowd. A variety of skits and routines were performed, but the Citizen singled out Victorian Varieties for its use of so many period hats and costumes. The Victory Vaudville netted around $215 towards the $10,000 goal for Union Twp.
4-5: Billy Friend, pilot, was declared deceased as of March 5, 1944, by the War Department, Mr. and Mrs. William E. Friend, his parents, announced. Friend’s plane was shot down 12 months ago in Europe. He was a student at Culver Elementary and graduated from Culver Military Academy.
4-19: One of the largest parades ever held here introduced the Victory Carnival that packed throngs into the Community Building last Friday, April 15. Capt. Jim Rich organized and directed the parade, which was comprised of Academy, town, and high school bands and featured the black horse troop in a line that stretched over ¾ of a mile.
“The ceiling was the only unoccupied spot” in the Community Building following the parade, as concessions and a number of displays and attractions delighted the crowd.
Jim (Barnum) Rich “had a unique attraction in a half chicken, half turkey…while the Jap machine gun, large shell, and Jap battle flag attracted considerable attention.” Fortune tellers were especially popular, and Violet Overmyer staged a trio composed of Jane Rector, Dorothy Henning, and Betty Jane Baker, with Marjorie McLane as soloist. “The nifty top hated dancers were Joyce Doxzen, Patty Shaw, Mary Alice Henderson, Virginia Miller, Carollee Crabb, Betty Ann Martin, Donna Jean Overmyer, and Bobetta Cummins.” The Citizen nominated for happiest person present: the Academy cadet who won a huge angel food cake… “he immedietly became extremely popular with his fellow cadets…” The carnival netted $208.
5-10: Sgt. Ronald Mackey, 20, son of Mr. and Mrs. Noble W. Mackey (formerly of Culver) is on the Missing List since April 12 over Yugoslavia. He is a 1941 graduate of Culver High School (Mackey turned out to be a prisoner of war of Germany for over a year; he later returned to Culver where his wife Ruth still runs the Collector’s antique store on Main Street). Left: 1) Ronald Mackey is officially on the missing list (he would later be found to be incarcerated in a German prison camp) in this May 10, 1944 article; and 2) Culver reunions in the Pacific area are detailed from the same date.
5-31: The Office of War Information issued a listing of the most and least plentiful foods available presently due to war rationing. Onions and eggs are the most plentiful foods allover the country. Meats, fats, processed foods, sugar, and gasoline remain on the ration list. As opposed to last year, fruits like apples, peaches, pears, and cherries will be more plentiful.
-Cadet first classmen at the Academy will doff their grey-blue uniforms, following their graduation on June 6, to don the uniform of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or Merchant Marines. The graduating class, the 6th wartime class in the Hoosier prep schools fifty year history, will for the most part be joining an ever-growing list of fellow graduates and former Summer School students, totaling 6,500, who are now serving in the armed forces.
6-7: The Citizen reported on the long-awaited invasion of Europe being launched shortly after midnight on June 5 in France, “the greatest array of offensive strength in the history of warfare.”
-Norbert Burkett, listed as missing in action for a year, has been declared dead by the war department.
-The fifth war loan bond drive will open Monday, June 12. Workers will be calling citizens.
7-5: Admirall H.E. Yarnell, former Commander of the Asiatic Fleet, told midshipman, troopers, and woodcrafters about the purpose of the war at an Independence Day exercise at Culver Military Academy, stating that civilization cannot continue “with the world divided between savage, autocratic, predatory governments such as those of Germany and Japan, and those which derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.” He predicted that Germany would probably be defeated within a year and two more years will see the end of Japan.
-It was announced last week that farmers desperate for farm-use trucks can apply to purchase used military jeeps.
-The Lions club, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts collected over 5 tons of scrap paper last Saturday towards the war effort.
7-12: Capt. Steven McGregor, aged 39, husband of Mrs. Alice McGregor, formerly of Culver, was killed in action on D-Day, June 6, in France while commanding an amphibian tractor company.
-Lumber will be placed on the ration list Aug. 1st, according to the WPB.
8-16 Dir. Of War Mobilization James F. Byrnes announced that there is a shortage in manpower in war plants across the U.S., and in a time of increased demand. Presumably nearby Kingsbury munitions plant is affected as well.
Donald Burkett of Culver is featured in this Aug. 16, 1944 photo from the Citizen.
-The postmaster general announced that there will be a window between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15 for mailing Christmas gifts to overseas personnel. Packages will not be sent to overseas soldiers after Oct. 15 without a written request by the soldier. This is due to the high volume of packages expected for this, another wartime Christmas.
8-23: Gov. Henry F. Schricker praised the courage and valor of youth in the current world-wide struggle while speaking at Culver’s 43rd Summer School commencement, which included 118 graduates.
8-30: Lt. Irving McKee, former Academy faculty member, writes this week from Honolulu: “I wouldn’t want to talk down Lake Maxinkuckee, but would like to suggest you this is a pretty good place too, for swimming, boating, fishing, and all the trimmin’s.” He goes on to describe the place and it’s “trimmin’s” in detail.
10-4: Col. Clinton S. Berrian will begin his new duties as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at CMA this week, taking over the post held by Col. B.F.. Hoge, who has been assigned by the War Department to Fortress Monroe, VA, where he will serve as commander of the post; Hoge had also been coach of the successful polo team for the past 8 years.
10-18: Gen. and Mrs. L.R. Gignilliat were featured in a recent issue of the Fort Worth, TX Press, the story carrying a streamer with a double column story relating how the Gignilliats are constantly entertaining service men in their suite in the Blackstone hotel in that city. One boy declared to Mrs. Gignilliat, “You have the best USO in the USA.”
-Captain Richard E. Long, husband of the former Miss Mary Alice Robbins of Culver (Mrs. Long now lives in Kewanna), was killed in action in the South Pacific on Oct. 2. Carroll Doxzen Jr. was wounded in action with the first army in France.
10-25:Pfc. James R. Rich of Culver didn’t expect to meet royalty when he was inducted, but in England he met Princess Mary, sister of King George and wife of Viscount Laselles; the princess met Rich at a party for men and women of the U.S. forces at a home near this Eighth Air Force composite station somewhere in England. Private Rich entered the Army January, 1943; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James I. Rich, live in Culver.
11-29: On furlough & leave in Culver this week: Sgt. Raymond J. Kerr, Sgt. Paul E. Shoemaker (spending a 30-day furlough with his wife after 26 months overseas),Ed Kowatch, S 1/c, Richard Van Schoiack spent a few days shore leave with his parents for Thanksgiving, Ralph Voreis spent several days furlough with Mrs. Voreis and son, Gordon Cultice; Robert Ewald has returned home with a medical discharge.
12-6: The service map of the world upon which name tags are being placed showing the location of local men and women in the service is proving to be quite an attraction for the public and is creating great interest. The large map, the creation of R.H. Kernohan, is in the window of Foreman’s store under the sponsorship of the Culver League of Women Voters. All those with relatives in the service are encouraged to visit Foreman’s store and fill out a tag for the map. A representative of the League will be on hand from 2-6pm on the first four days of the week from 10am to closing on Fridays and Saturdays.
A typical rationing advertisement from the war years, this one from December, 1944.
-Not unexpectedly, outdoor Christmas lighting is once again banned this year, as was done in 1942 and 1943.
12-13: CHS Honor Grad Walter Kanczuzewski was killed in action on the German front on Nov. 18, according to the war department. He was the valedictorian of the 1941 class.
-Sally O’Callaghan has arrived for a two-month furlough after serving overseas with the Red Cross for 20 months, to stay with her mother, Mrs. W.J. O’Callaghan and other relatives. Robert Paul Shweidler is also on leave visiting his parents after being in the South Pacific for 30 months. Lt. Jack Von Ehr is visiting with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Von Ehr.
12-20: “Christmas Time in Culver”: It’s December, 1944, the fourth wartime Christmas in which many of our local servicemen and women have had to be away from the old hometown and so for the sake of the record, and for their benefit, we would like to describe Christmas at Culver, a la 1944.
It appears that the Lake Maxinkuckee area will have a white Christmas, and with the packed snow and ice on Liberty Hill and other favorite spots, the sledding should be excellent. Maintenance men, Mont Foss and Foster Butler have removed 50 truckloads of snow from the streets to make a slight dent in the piled snow downtown. Ice skating and the wintertime sport of fishing through the ice should be in vogue this Christmas since the lake presented its overall coating of ice on Monday of this week.
While OPA regulations will not permit outdoor lighting, there is the flicker of a few electrically decorated Christmas trees in those homes that are fortunate enoughto have some 1941 Christmas tree bulbs. While Culver is not a Scoth community, you will appreciate that citizens are a thrifty lot and therefore there are a liberal number of lighted trees to be seen by those who pass by at night. Of course, the holly and fir decorated streets, the festooning, etc., of years gone by are not to be seen.
The State Exchange Bank, the Post Office, and the local merchants all report the annual Christmas rush of business. State Exchange Bank officials point out that the flow of money is equal of that in former years. The Post Office force is being given is being given its usual rush as they make every effort to dispatch precious packages to their respective destinations. Local Post Office officials pointed out that this year’s early mailing of packages to service men had spread the vital Christmas mailing over a longer period of time.
Even though shopping has been a bit more difficult due to sacrifices and other inconveniences, it appears that enthusiasm in purchasing gifts is about at the same level that it was in previous years. All local stores report a thriving business even though they are not able meet the demands of the discriminating shoppers…as one merchant stated, “We could sell more if we had the merchandise.”
Judging from the way Union Twp. went over the top in the Sixth War Loan Drive, a favorite gift this year will be a bond…
This Christmastime description of Culver would not be complete if we did not tell you about the local enthusiasm in basketball. Interest in the local quintet promises to reach a new high this Christmas season, and if the local basketeers are successful on the court this Friday night, the “Hot Stove League” will have some hot sessions while the team takes off a few days.
Sunday schools and churches are enthusiastically contributing fine programs to this year’s festive seasons. While it won’t be a true Culver Christmas until after the war, the hometown fires will remain burning until everyone can participate in this season dedicated to Him who said, “Peace on earth, goodwill toward men.”
12-27: Forrest Geiselman, who has been home on a month’s furlough, will leave Saturday to return to Treasure Island, CA. Private John W. Baker was home Christmas Even for a visit with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Baker and family. Capt. Ivan Walker left Tuesday to return to Morgantown, WV, after spending the weekend with Mrs. Walker at their cottage on Long Point.
1-10: The local Lions Club sponsored an outstanding year in terms of diversified community service during 1944, including a total of 42 tons of scrap paper collected in conjunction with local Girl and Boy Scouts, among other accomplishments in the community. Earl Eckman is president of the club, which enrolls 69 members.
-Prvt. First Class Harold M. Bryant, aged 19, was killed in action in Belgium on Dec. 4; he was in the infantry. Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Bryant of Culver are his parents.
-Pfc. Harold D. Davis, at one time a salesman for McKesson’s Garage on Lake Shore Drive and who later operated the Gafill Service Station here, has had an arm amputated below the elbow as a result of a wounding in action in France. He returned to the States on Christmas Day and added, “Everything is OK and it’s good to be back.”
-Marie Harmon, the daughter of former Culver resident Tillie Keller, who is daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Keller (who live on a farm just south of Culver) is in the movies and will be seen in “Allergic to Love” at the El Rancho theater soon.
1-31: T/4 William Taber and S/Sgt. Oscar Mikesell and two other boys from Indiana have had a reunion on the island of Leyte recently, according to a letter from Bill to his mother, Mrs. Huldah Taber. Bill wrote that the three boys came over and stayed all night and that Oscar devoured all the copies of The Culver Citizen.
-A “brownout” order by the War Production Board was made public by notice from NIPSCO, prohibiting certain types of electric lighting, in order to preserve coal and other precious and scarce fuels. The local public schools report that they are NOT threatened with a close-down as a result of current coal shortages; the bins have enough coal on hand to last at least until mid-March, so no stopping of activities such as basketball games is expected. The Culver City Coal and Grain Co. reports it is handling its limited supply of coal on a very strict rationing basis.
3-7: William Oberlin and James Hopple were seriously injured in action in Germany Feb. 15.
3-14: Conservation clubs were approved for their proposal to create a forest north of Culver on SR 17 as a memorial to veterans of World War II.
-Cpl. James Hopple’s right leg was amputated due to injuries sustained in battle in February, at a hospital in Maine. He is improving rapidly in Battle Creek’s Michigan Veteran’s hospital.
4-18: The Culver community joined the nation in mourning the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 12, at a service held in the community building at 3:00 pm under the auspices of Culver-Union Twp’s Council of Churches. School was dismissed Friday at noon in respect to the president, and the junior play scheduled for Friday night was postponed for Monday.
CMA's Col. Gregory is awarded for his wartime service in France, in this photo from April 18, 1945's Citizen
5-2: The Maxinkuckee Drama Guild last week presented a play, “Tomorrow the World” to a large audience in the community building; the play centered around the re-education of Nazi youth after the war. Among the cast: Elizabeth Ewald, Violet Overmyer, Ruth Cline, Arthur Hughes, Peter Sexton, Frank O. McClane, and Robert Flora; Rev. Ralph M. Jones directed.
Private Bernard Large is pictured from the May 2, 1945 Culver Citizen. Large died in a German prison camp.
5-9: Quiet and Confusion Mark V-E Day Here
There was no wild celebration in Culver when the radio announced Monday that Germany had surrendered unconditionally to the western allies and Russia at 2:41 am French time Monday or 7:41 pm Central War time, Sunday. …it’s no wonder that people at home didn’t get enthusiastic and stage wild demonstrations—they were too busy trying to figure out what it was all about and fearful that in the end it would come to a complete denial.
In keeping with President Truman’s proclamation regarding the end of the war in Europe, the churches of Union township will hold special observances at the worship services Sunday morning, May 13.
5-9: Col. Clinton S. Berrien, commanding officer of the Army Service Unit at Culver Military Academy, was awarded the Bronze Star for “bravery and resourcefulness as beach commander of the Hollandia invasion early in the Pacific offensive.” The award, given by Maj. Gen. James L. Collins, was made in Culver.
-Cpl. Raymond W. Wise, age 22, was killed in action in Germany on April 17, according to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. William G. Wise.
May and June: As the reality of the ending of the war began to sink in, civilian defense teams were dissolved all over Indiana, household articles went back into production (though some, like auto tires, remained limited), gas restrictions slowly lifted, and news of those killed in action continued to slowly trickle in. Among the names: Pvt. Kenneth L. Gross, Loy Underwood (brother of coach Paul Underwood).
6-23: A spectacular fire, visible for 10 to 15 miles and attracting large crowds, destroyed the Hi-Speed Recap Tire Co., believed to have been started by burning grass which spread to a pile of rubber buffings and exploded 40 cans of tire paint, feeding off of 200 gallons of fuel oil. About 250 vehicle tires were destroyed in the building, whose business was owned by Charles Medbourn and Harry Edgington and which began operations Jan. 1, 1942, having handled over 200,000 tires. One of the oddities of the fire was that the American flag on the roof of the front of the building continued to fly unharmed by the flames and smoke.
Above: These photos, from the Edgington collection via Sherrill Fujimurra, show the aftermath of the June, 1945 tire recap fire.
7-11: Master Sergeant Donald Menser, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Menser, was presented with the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with one cluster by Lt. Col. George R. Anderson at Barksdale Field, La. (see photo below)
8-8: Lt. Harry Smith of Culver was presented with the Silver Star Award “for gallantry in action against the enemy on Okinawa Island on 27 April 1945.” (see photo below).
8-15: Japan’s Acceptance of U.S. Terms Brings Peace to Tired World
Culver joined the rest of the allies Tuesday night in celebrating the end of the war with Japan, a termination that finally brought peace to a world that was sick and tired of war.
The celebration here wasn’t as wild and elaborate as it would be if Culver ever wins the state basketball tournament. Automobile horns were tooted, the fire siren sounded, and tin cans pulled along the streets—these forming the main noise affects. Automobiles formed a parade behind the fire trucks and toured the streets for several hours. Finally a bonfire was started at the corner of Main and Jefferson Streets and a few couples staged a dance in the street with a jukebox providing the music….
The story doesn’t really end there, of course. There were many more awards and medals to be given (like this one, reported on Oct. 17, 1945), and many more sad tales of fallen heroes. War bond drives continued for a time, and rationing eased up slowly. And like the rest of the world, Culver would never be quite the same after World War II.
During the war years, Culver, like so many American communities, came together and sacrificed for our country in many ways. This contribution at home, no doubt, helped immeasurably in winning the war abroad.