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Spring 2003

Inside the Dozer...

The Human Experience In WW II
     by Mansel Johns
Peacetime (Civilian Life)
     by Mansel Johns
Thank You
Keeping Our Memories Alive
Newsletter Home Page
Museum Home Page

Due to the length of this issue of The Dozer, the articles by Mansel Johns have been given their own web pages. When you click on the links listed above for those articles, a new browser window will be opened.


JOSEPH C. BASS (353R/353B D/A)

“I had a 5 by-pass surgery. Getting along O.K.”

CARL J. BENDER (1305R/1393B F/A)

Kathryn Bender writes “It is with much regret that I must inform you that Carl was diagnosed with brain cancer in October of 2000. He had surgery to remove the cancer. The doctors did their best but some cancer remained. Carl passed away on 21 March 2002. God did bless him with no pain and he passed away very peacefully.”


Velda Fryk wrote “Things are going quite well but slow. Ed had his right foot and part of leg amputated the 22nd of January, 2002. He’s walking with the help of a prosthesis and a walker. He’s going to start physical therapy January 3, 2003. He is hoping to be able to walk with a cane.”

JACK E. WRIGHT (353B Company C)

“I received my copy of The Dozer today and really enjoyed reading it. I saw a few comrades that I served with in Co C 353. Sounds like I was on the boat with some one of them but did not remember him.

“I have been retired from teaching and counseling for going on 14 years. I was 77 last June so you know I was one of the young replacements. Joined 353 on New Caledonia before going to Russells. Wound up as company clerk and acting sgt major after the “old timers” left Japan.

“We have a great grandson who is a baseball pitcher and local HS quarterback so that provides my wife of almost 55 years with something to do. Play golf with a retired Navy captain who served in Korea and retired from the Naval Reserve. I am president of our local homeowners organization and that takes a little time. Also do volunteer handy-man work for those less fortunate. Had a heart attack in 2000 but doing OK on medication. Thanks for the memories.”


Susanne De La Vergne Hall, Archies’s daughter, writes, “I am writing to let you know how much my father enjoys receiving The Dozer …..I also wanted to let you know that my mother, Faye, passed away last July. I appreciate you mentioning my parents anniversary of 64 years last July. My father is having a tough time adjusting to my mother’s death. After 64 years he is lost without her. I live and work just a few minutes from him so I visit twice a day. My daughter-in-law lives with my Dad and takes good care of him.”

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Veterans History Project Progress Report

Our contribution to the Veterans History Project is proceeding at a slow but deliberate pace. One of our 21 participating comrades has submitted all the letters he wrote home during World War II and has also submitted his memories of those days: Mansel W. Johns (353R/353B D/A).

The letters have been scanned and will appear on our website www.ww2armycbs.org in our next update. Roman F. Klick’s son, David G. Klick, our webmaster, is contributing his time setting up the site. As a computer sciences instructor as Kishwaukee College in Malta, Illinois he has very little spare time to devote to extracurricular activities. The next updates will occur at the end of his current semester.

When Mansel Johns' history is on the website, it will be submitted to the Library of Congress, The Florida State University and placed in the Scott Saewert War Museum Army Engineer Memorabilia Division. In this issue we are including Mansel’s submission in two parts: 1) service time and 2) civilian life.

Ed Steinhauser

Ed Steinhauser has been asked to write up about his grammar school friend, Robert Johnson, being in the 353rd but not knowing that until at a Reunion a lifetime away from grammar school they recognized each other.

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Fallen Comrades

Carl J. Bender
(1305R/1393B F/A)
Company Clerk Company A, 1393rd
March 30, 1925 - March 21, 2002
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The print edition of the Dozer for Winter 2002-2003 (Vol 7 Issue 1) mistakenly contained incorrect dates in Robert Walker's obituary notice. The correct dates are: January 22, 1920 - December 10, 2002

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Thank You

We appreciate your contributions to the Scott Saewert War Museum. The museum is made possible by the efforts of volunteers and by your contributions of memorabilia, memories, and financing. In this issue, we would like to recognize the following contributors:

Joseph C. Bass
George A. Benner
Archie B. De La Vergne and his daughter, Susanne Hall
Mansel W. Johns
Mason E. Litts

Thank you for helping to keep our memories alive!

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Keeping Our Memories Alive in the Virtual Museum

The memories that are in our hearts and in our minds will soon reside only in the thoughts and in the hearts of those we leave behind.

How can we preserve those memories?

The record of our lives as participants in World War II and specifically as members of our construction engineering units can preserved in our virtual museum. The home page of our website www.ww2armycbs.org contains the following statement:

In addition to publishing The Dozer, a newsletter specific to the 1177th Engineer Construction Group and its component battalions, this website will be a virtual museum. It will contain all that has been placed into the care, custody, and control of the Army Engineer Memorabilia Division of The Scott Saewert War Museum.

Eventually this site will include letters, documents, maps, photographs and pictures of artifacts. All items being relative to the life and times of personnel assigned to the Army Construction Engineers in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

The contributors have been the veterans, their wives and their families.

The purpose of this collection is to record the human experience of those men as they pursued their day-to-day duties during their time in the service. The battles of the war are well recorded, but the behind the line activities are mentioned in passing and rarely footnoted. This virtual museum will bring those days, those activities and those lives into focus.

Veterans and their families are those who will have an immediate interest but the record will be there for those who follow. The student, the teacher, the writer, the history buffs and the historians will have available information not to be found elsewhere.

Among the items already on or soon to be on the website are:

  • Histories of all the units including the history of the Band
  • The accomplishment of the 353rd Regiment on New Caledonia
  • Pictures of The Combat Village in Camp White, Oregon
  • Maps of Guadalcanal
  • Awards given to Colonels Trower and Shubat
  • A biography of Colonel Trower
  • A number of issues of The Dozer
  • Letters sent home during the service

The first priority is to continue the assembly of biographies, letters, documents, maps, pictures, and records. Please continue to send in what you can of your life and times in the service. It will be incorporated into and become a part of the virtual museum.

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Roman F. Klick, Publisher
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