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Inside the Dozer...
Reunion2000 is now history and the participants became part of history. All 79 persons attending were awarded certificates as founding members in the establishment of The Army Engineer Memorabilia Division of The Scott Saewert War Museum. Scott Saewert, president of the not-for-profit museum corporation, summarized the goals and purposes of the Engineer Division and accepted donations of memorabilia and artifacts that were brought to the reunion for display and donated to the museum.
At present the museum is housed in the basement of Scottís home in Prospect Heights, Illinois. The first expansion will be the construction of a small building on his lot. The building will house the artifacts and a study room for researching the archives. A concrete apron will provide space for the army vehicles.
Among the donors were Robert A. Stone (1305R/1393B F/HS), Frank T. Kastory (369R/1394B C/HS), Anthony J. Kotowski (353R/353B F/HS), Patrick B. Ferrell (grandson of Erwin M. Ferrell (1393B Co B & H&S), Richard G. Jones (1305R/1393B H&S Co), Roman F. Klick (353R/1393B A/HS) and Maxine Kain (John Kain 353R/353B E/HS). [Some items were left on the display tables for the Memorabilia Division without identification as to the donor. Please let us know if your name should appear as a donor and which item or items should be properly credited to you.] Mary Beth Boehm (daughter of Charles J. Boehm 353R/353B C/C) is sending most of the items Charles saved from his years with the 353rd.
On Friday afternoon and evening of the 15th, comrades, friends and relatives met in the hospitality rooms to renew friendships, recall some memories while drinking coffee and partaking of the Kringles and Muffins donated by Lillian Saewert.
Saturday morning and afternoon were filled with three activities. One group visited the Colonel Robert R. McCormick Cantigny Park 45-acre estate in Wheaton. A smaller group spent the day at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg. Those who did not take either tour enjoyed the displays and companionship in the hospitality rooms.
The Cantigny Park group could choose among viewing the Museum presenting the notable history of the Colonelís First Division, touring his 45-room mansion or strolling through acres of cultured gardens.
At 1800 hours the hospitality rooms were magically converted into a banquet hall. After our bugle calls for Assembly, the Echo Taps and Chow Call, the banquet began. After the dinner was concluded, Scott Saewert and Robert A. Stone (1305R/1393B F/HS) were the speakers. Scottís remarks were devoted to the Engineer Memorabilia and a plea to all for help in preserving the history of what the army engineers did during WWII by donating artifacts, mementos, letters, maps, rosters, and records for archival preservation. Rocky Stone recounted his participation in a recognition day for the veterans of WWII. It was held in his home town of Novi, attended by both Senators from Michigan and highlighted a plea for continued monetary support for Americaís National Memorial in Washington, D.C. to those who helped win World War II. He brought the maps and artwork he designed and made for the Recognition Day. His display covered two walls of our hospitality rooms. It was awesome. Bob donated his artwork to the Engineer Archives.
After the brief talks the Writeblend musical group entertained us: Ronald Klick, Grace Klick and Marilyn Donovan. Ron, our regular disk jockey, played appropriate music throughout the evening.
Sunday morning was a series of good-byes as we met in the lobby or at breakfast. Everyone left with two souvenirs: a letter opener and a small potted poppy handcrafted by Lillian Klick.Back to Top
GEORGE A. BENNER (353R/353B MD/MD) Buck writes that his Irene has had foot surgery and if she recovered sufficiently to travel they would be in Cleveland for a family wedding during our reunion time.
PRIMO J. CABRI (369R/1393B A/C) Primo and Diana were 1300 miles away enjoying a vacation in Florida during our Reunion2000 days.
ROBERT SUTHERLAND COOK JR. (353R/1393B E/HQ) His children have grounded Sud. No more driving! With many activities going on for his granddaughterís wedding all of his helpful drivers were busy. He had to miss the reunion.
WALTER T. CULLEN (353R/1393B B/B) Walter and Rosemarie prudently opted to stay at home to rest up from jet lag. Their return home from their Hawaiian vacation coincided with the start of Reunion2000.
PAUL J. DIETER (353R/353B A/A) Paul and Rosemary have a full calendar between vacationing, visiting the Chicagoland area and hosting friends and relatives in their Baileyís Harbor picture perfect cabin. Reunion2000 was scheduled and announced after the Dieterís had made prior commitments. They sent their hellos to everyone.
BETTY HALEY (DOCK HALEY 353R/1177GP HS/HQ) "Just a quick note to inform you of my recent move here in Indianapolis. I have a nice independent condo in a Retirement Village. Lots of activities if I want them, but my own life style."
RICHARD G. JONES (1305R/1393B Co H&S) wrote "Francis and I are in fairly good health but are not able to travel very far from home. To bring you up to date, I retired in 1988 after 32 years working in Florida at Cape Canaveral. They were exciting years working around those rockets. . . . Moved back to my home state, North Carolina, and have thoroughly enjoyed retirement". Dick then recalls "The ocean trips we took. 1. Aboard the Sea Corporal, San Francisco to Guadalcanal. We had a man jump overboard the night before we left Fishermanís Wharf. Another jumped overboard en route on Easter morning. . . . 2. Aboard the Dutch liner Bloemfontein from Guadalcanal to Luzon, P.I. see attached photo. It was a really a hot ship, a sweltering ride, May 10-24, 1945. It was the first ship to land in the States with troops after V.J. Day. 3. Aboard an LST, number unknown, from Linguyen Gulf to Sasebo Harbor, Japan [then on to Fukuoka]. This was thru the rough sea and we lost some equipment overboard. 4. Aboard the USS General Butler going home, Osaka to San Francisco. Best trip of all. I figure I spent 50 plus days aboard ships. As much as many sailors." Richard also sent a picture of the "Chapel on the Hill" constructed by the 1393rd Engineers and a copy of the Service of Dedication 10 December 1944 1330 hours, Paul C. McCandless, Chaplain.
CLYDE L. KIBILOSKI (353R/1177GP MD/MD) Can no longer drive long distances and in heavy traffic.
JOSEPH G. KOBOLAK (353R/353B F/C) Joe underwent surgery for a hip replacement September 20th..
MARION LAURENT (CRAWFORD LAURENT 1305R/1393B /HS) "Thank you for sending me The Dozer and the invitation to come to the reunion. Although Iím in good health I wonít be able to come to Chicago at that time. I would like to see the Salernos and Carl Dahlroos and Betty along with other folks as we enjoyed reliving those days of WWII. I keep in touch with Archie & Faye De La Vergne, Richard Jones and wife and Gideon C. Holmes III."
ROBERT D. LE FEVER (353R/353B HS/HS) Bob and LaVersa are not well.
ROBERT S. MAACK (353R/1177Gp HQ/HQ) Bob was looking forward to yet another reunion but had to cancel because his doctor advised an immediate quadruple by-pass operation. Bob called on the September 6th and had the surgery on Friday the 8th. His daughter, Marti, express mailed the news that the surgery and recovery went well.
MORRIS "ED" MERSING (353R/1393B A/HS) wrote on July 13th "We have an anniversary coming up this month, sixty years. It will be a quiet affair. We had our big bash ten years ago."
FRED W. PASH (353R/353B C/B) "I had my own pharmacy in Warren, Illinois for thirty-two years. I sold the store and business in 1988 but I did work some after I sold but not any more. We go to Florida usually in November and come back in April".
STANLEY S. SANKEY (353R/1393B B/B) Rita is on oxygen and Stan is doing a great job taking care of her.
CHARLES N. SCHOLER (369R/1393B E/C) Charles is still fighting cancer and undergoing chemotherapy.
LESTER SHIMON (359R/1393B A/HS) Les also had to cancel his reservations for the reunion when his doctor told him in no uncertain words that his driving days are over.
JOHN T. SMARRITO (1393B H&S Co) "My aches and ails are too numerous to write about. My last medical problem kept me in the hospital four months from January 2000 to April 2000. The doctors nicknamed me the Miracle Man. Yolanda and myself are still plugging along. Iíll be 86 in November and Yolanda will be 85 the following February. I go to the Senior Center each day to play pinochle. Sometimes Yolanda comes along."
EDWARD J. STEINHAUSER (353R/353B HS/HS) For those who are waiting for fulfillment of their orders for medals, Ed reports that he mailed in his request in July, 1999. In March of this year he learned there would be another four to five month wait because, after last yearís publicity, they were swamped by the number of requests received.
NICHOLAS G. TEBBANO (353R/1393B B/B) Elsie has been ill for the last three months. They are not able to travel.
JOHN L. TOMASETTI (353R/353B HS/HS) Johnís health is failing him. He is a now a regular at four doctors: a cardiologist, a urologist, a pulmonary doctor and his family physician.
CHARLES H. VINCENT (353R/1393B B/B) an e-mail from his daughter Joan Fraley. "Dad had surgery last Sunday afternoon [August 27th] for removal of a rather large kidney stone. Heís progressively improving. Surgery and pain of that nature takes a lot out of you. Any time you want to send Dad a message via my e-mail, please do so. Iíll see that he gets it."
RICHARD F. VOLP (1052D/1393B HQ/HS) Dick wrote that he suffers from macular degeneration to the point he no longer drives and has difficulty in recognizing people. He is no longer able to participate in our activities.
GEORGE F. YANTIS (353R/1177GP HQ/HQ) George telephoned that he is very active in civic organizations back in Olympia, Washington and was involved in two functions occurring the same dates as our get-together.Back to Top
MARCUS A GARRISS (1305R/1393B/HS) has sent his Service Album to Scott Saewert and it is now in the Engineer Memorabilia Division of The Scott Saewert War Museum.
MARY JANE NORONA (DELF A NORONA 369R/1393B JS/HS) has sent in Delf's uniform jacket and the poncho issued to him on Guadalcanal still in its original packet.
Patrick Ferrell (grandson of ERWIN FERRELL (369R/1393B E/C) found a few more photos from his grandfather's service days, had them enlarged and sent them in for our archives. One is a picture of the Bloemfontein-Holland, one of our troop ships. And another is a picture of our pyramidal tents with the wooden floors, P.I. Luzon, Tarlac Province, Paniqui. Some of us may remember listening to the radio broadcasts of the 1945 World Series between the Cubs and the Tigers while in those tents in during the early morning hours, then standing Reveille just outside those tents with the radio blasting the final moments of the seventh game.Back to Top
Our appreciation and thanks to all who have contributed towards the operation of The Dozer since the last issue.
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