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Fall 2001

Inside the Dozer...

Lives Remembered
Surrender Letter
Thank You
Virtual Museum
Newsletter Home Page
Museum Home Page

Due to the nature of the Japanese Letter of Surrender, that particular item has been placed in the documents section of this website. Clicking on the link above will open a new browser window containing the letter.

Fallen Comrades: Lives Remembered

The passing parade – death has come to:

Francis J. Denee
(369R/1393B B/B)
12/31/1915 – 9/11/2001

Francis L. “Bud” Dennee, age 85, passed away at his home in Neenah, Wisconsin. Bud was born in Seymour, Wisconsin, to Samuel and Nellie (Clark) Dennee and lived in the Neenah/Menasha area for most of his life. On October 5, 1940, he married Marguerite E. Sell in Neenah, Wisconsin. During World War II Bud was with the Corps of Engineers as a Master Sergeant. His stateside service was with Company B of the 369th Engineer Special Service Regiment and he was with Company B of the 1393rd Engineer Construction Battalion in the South Pacific. Bud owned and operated his own building contracting firm for many years and built fine quality homes in the Neenah/Menasha area.

Bud had a great love for family and respect for his country. He had a wonderful sense of humor, an extraordinary memory and a sharp wit. Bud enjoyed gardening, hunting, fishing, dogs, horses and the Green Bay Packers.

He will be deeply missed and fondly remembered by his family, friends and erstwhile army engineer buddies. Bud’s wife, Marguerite died in 1989.

Elmer E. Fliehman
(1394B Company B)
2/22/1923 – 1/27/1988

George M. Kozlica
(353R/1393B A/HS)
2/16/1922 – 6/13/2001

George was born In Joliet, Illinois. In 1940 he and his family moved to Gary, Indiana. He attended the Lew Wallace High School. He was drafted in 1942 and sent to Camp White, Oregon, where he became one of Colonel Trower's engineers in Company A of the 353rd Engineer General Service Regiment. Shortly after basic training and after constructing the Combat Village, George and the 353rd were sent to the Dumbea Valley in New Caledonia where he helped build the two general hospitals among other projects. Those were halcyon days when after work he could go skinny dipping in the crystal clear Dumbea River across the road from the 353rd encampment. That is, until the hospitals were in operation and the downstream river was no longer crystal clear. When the 353rd Regiment was deactivated, George was assigned as cadre to H&S Company of the newly activated 1393rd Engineer Construction Battalion. George left New Caledonia with Colonel Trower’s 1177th Group for Guadalcanal. In Guadalcanal George helped with a yearlong effort by the engineers to make Guadalcanal a major staging and supply base in the South Pacific. From Guadalcanal George went with the 1393rd to Manila in the Philippine Islands and finally to an aircraft factory near Fukuoka, Japan from where he returned stateside for discharge.

After vacationing out West, he met Kay Ivanceirch, who was working as a secretary for a window company. They were engaged in December 1948, and were married in May 1949. George and Kay have three children: Rosalyn, now 50, James, 47, and Lauren, 38, who they sometimes jokingly call The Caboose.

In 1967 George became a treasure hunter and an excellent diver, one of their best. His company recovered many treasures and coins from a Spanish galleon that had sunk in 1553. One notable item was a gold Spanish Cross. The treasure is now in a museum in Austin, Texas. George was employed by Texaco for 35 years. After Texaco he became a supervisor for the Lake County, Indiana, Juvenile Home. He was with Lake County for 35 years.

Kay and George were inveterate travelers. There wasn’t a year in which they did not visit some section of the country. One trip they made with regularity was to attend all of our Reunions.

George left us on June 13, 2001 after a prolonged bout with chronic renal failure and heart problems.

Leonard A. Mitrenga
(353R/353B HS/HS)
Passed away 9/28/2001

Raymond J. Pugesek
(353R/353B E/B)
12/5/1919 – 6/8/2001

Raymond J. Pugesek, Sr, age 81, of rural Elburn, IL, passed away peacefully, Friday morning, June 8, 2001, at Delnor Community Hospital, Geneva, IL, where he lost the last of many brave battles against cancer.

He was born December 5, 1919, in Chicago, IL, the son of Frank and Mary (Saranszak) Pugesek. Raymond grew up in River Grove, IL, where the family moved when he was a child. He began his schooling at St. Cyprian and graduated from Leyden High School, Franklin Park, IL, with the class of 1938. Finding no work in that year, Raymond joined the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps). He landed a job in a machine shop and was just getting started when WWII broke out. In November of 1942, Raymond found himself in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Working as a petroleum engineer, he was stationed in the Solomon Islands and New Guinea.

During the war, a friend sent Irene Misch’s name to Raymond and the two corresponded. When Raymond was discharged in 1946, it didn’t take him long to find the girl at the other end of those letters. On May 18, 1946, Raymond was united in marriage to Irene G. Misch at our Lady of Grace Church, Chicago.

Raymond began working for International Harvester (now Navistar) in Melrose Park, IL. In 1977, he retired after thirty-one years and a decade later, he and Irene moved to Elburn to be near their daughter, Karen.

An avid fan of baseball, hockey, football and most other team sports, Raymond also loved to play baseball, even before or after work. Trips to the Chicago ball parks were a tradition as well.

In addition to his wife, Irene, Raymond is survived by one daughter, Karen Ferguson Hearle of Elburn, and one sister, Ann Soper of Chicago.

He now joins his parents, one son, Raymond, Jr. (1992), two sisters, Eleanor Renurik and Evelyn Zeh, and three brothers who died in childhood as well as three adult brothers, Harry, Walter and Theodore Pugesek.

A funeral Mass to celebrate his life was held at Conley Funeral Home at 10:30 am, Tuesday morning, June 12, 2001. The Rev. Father Richard Paddock, pastor of St. Gall Church, Elburn, officiated. A luncheon followed at St. Gall Church. Committal services were held at 2:30 PM at St Adalbert Cemetery, Niles, IL.

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Robert E. Johnson (353R/1393B E/B)

Bob wrote how he has enjoyed the Reunions and hopes we have another one. Bob moved from Rockford, Illinois to Gilroy, California three years ago but says he is and always will be an Illinois Boy in his heart.

Michael F. Leary (353R/353B Co C/C)

“Just finished reading The Dozer. It sure brings back memories of the time spent with the 353rd, Company C. I reported in February 1943 at Camp White and stayed with [Company C] until coming home from Japan in December 1945. If you hear from Vernon Fatzinger, give him my regards. So far I am enjoying good health for a man who will be 90 years old this coming November. I am also happy to tell you that I remarried last September 16, 2000.”

Robert "Rocky" Stone (1305R/1393B F/HS)

Robert “Rocky” Stone sent us “The typed translation of the surrender document of the Japanese Army in the Philippines [that] was given to me by Carl Hendricks. Carl was an officer with the 32nd Division and was stationed at the northern part of Luzon where the Japanese officers contacted the 32nd Division Signal Corps with the cessation of hostilities document for forwarding to General MacArthur. Carl was also present when the actual surrender took place.

“We, the 1393rd, were probably stationed at Paniqui, Tarlac Province at the time the surrender took place. [The surrender] took place after the Japanese complied with the provisions of the U.S. Army reply to the document and the General Yamashita and Vice Admiral Okoghi personally surrendered to the 32nd Division officers.”

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Thank you

In the last edition it was indicated that there are sufficient funds to carry The Dozer thru at least three more publications. We do thank Donald C. Everly, Robert E. Johnson, Michael F. Leary and Richard F. Volp for their assistance; however, it is respectfully requested that no further contributions be made towards The Dozer.

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Speaking of Contributions...

It is now the time for us to get behind the effort to perpetuate the memories of our lives and the lives of our comrades in the Engineer Memorabilia Division of The Scott Saewert War Museum.

We have reached the point were the collection of papers and pictures must be preserved. Letters and other paper documents will be initially preserved in polypropylene sheet protectors and placed in three-ring binders. The snapshots will be preserved in albums while larger paintings and photographs will be framed. Video and audio tape recordings of interviews with erstwhile engineers will be made and archived.

We thank those who have made a contribution. The contributions to the Engineer Memorabilia Division have been acknowledged by personal letters of appreciation to the donor.

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Roman F. Klick, Publisher
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