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Summer 2003

Inside the Dozer...

Who Are We?
Honor Roll
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Who Are We?

We are the survivors of well over 2,200 erstwhile construction engineers that received basic training in the good old U. S. of A. and then, by boat, toured the islands from the South Pacific to the North Pacific. Our numbers are dwindling.

Clicking on this link will display a list of names with whom there is some contact. A few of the names will be recognizable as having appeared in one or more editions. We would like to see every name on the list appear in a future edition with a contributed item of news, anecdotes or a "Hello, guys, I’m fine, how are you?"


CARL E. DAHLROOS (1305R/1393B F/A)

Betty Dahlroos (Carl’s daughter) writes, "I received a call today from the person monitoring my father’s progress at N.E. Sinai Hospital and Rehab Center. They are looking to put him in another Rehab that will continue his rehabilitation exercises, but at a lesser degree. He is finally able to stand from a sitting position with little or no help, walk a flight of stairs (9) up and down. He continues to use a walker or cane. This is a long way from May 29th.

"Father had a stroke on May 29th brought on by a blood clot. The doctors didn’t think he would be able to walk or talk because it affected his right side. Recovering from a blood clot induced stroke is sometimes very difficult.

"Thank God, he’s a strong and stubborn Swede. Although Sinai is only about three to four miles from our home, he’ll be placed in a facility nearer to our house that will continue his rehabilitation at a less intense pace."

Received 25 Aug 2003, "My dad came home on August 1st.  He had a slow start at getting his "sea legs" back, but he's doing very well.  He spent 2 weeks at Carney Hospital in Dorchester, a month at New England Sinai Hospital/Rehab Center and another month at Copley at Stoughton (a nursing home/rehab center). He uses a walker right now to get around, but the physical therapist is going to transition him to the four legged cane this week.  We took a ride to Onset to my cottage this weekend and he walked around the block (very short block about 10 houses in the whole distance). Since he hasn't walked that far for a while, he was quite sore this morning. Thank God for his sense of humor and feeling that Life is Great if You Don't Weaken."


Arthur Leroy Diddle of 140 Snoke Hill Road, Lancaster, OH 43130 is putting together his wartime itinerary and has asked us how to obtain some missing information. His travel data is complete from the time the 353rd Regiment left on the U.S.S. President Grant until he was set to leave for home from the Philippine Islands as an 82 point man. He does not recall the name of the ship that took him home and he asks if there is any source he can go to for that information. Where are the passenger lists kept? Are they accessible? Arthur was a close friend of Phillip Dillon (353R/353B D/A) and informed us of his passing at the age of 88. Arthur also wrote, "My wife, Betty, is 81, my daughter is 60, my son is 56 and I’ll be 85 in August 2003. We all want to know what ship brought me home."


Morris Ed Mersing writes, "We have reached the trails end, Chandos [CHANDOS MOHR 353R/1393B A/HS] passed away April 12 and his wife, Tiny, died February 3rd. Mohr’s son, Randy, reached me by phone Saturday evening with the bad news.

"If you should want to contact the son his address is: Randy Mohr, 12917 North Station Road, Columbia Station, OH 44028.

"The news is very sad for me because we always got together a couple times each year for a meal and to talk over army days."


Vaughn C. Smoyer writes that Welma and he "just celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary. We spent a week in a cabin in the Smoky Mountains, then drove to Atlantic City to see the famous Boardwalk. From there we went to Philadelphia to visit the Liberty Bell, security is really tight. Had to go through detectors both places, been in effect since 9/11. We ended up in Ontario at Thorold on Lock Seven on the Erie Canal. There is a motel right on the locks. Saw a lot of freighters. Sending The Dozer by e-mail will save postage but will miss all the interesting stamps put on the envelopes."


Ron Trush writes, "It is with a heavy heart that I have to write and notify you that my father, Joseph Trush, passed away on July 12, 2003.

"Last year my father underwent knee replacement, quadruple by-pass surgery and also had to have a pace-maker installed. The strain of all this would be hard enough for a younger man but my father tried his best but eventually it was too much for him.

"I know my father enjoyed going to several of the Reunions and receiving and reading your newsletter, The Dozer. As an ex-Infantryman (served in the Army from 1981-1987 both overseas and stateside), I can understand his comradeship to his old friends at an intense time of combat. A comradeship that held bonds deeper than a marriage or anything later in civilian life.

"I will always remember my father as being a great Dad and a wonderful person. He will be truly missed.

"It is a shame people today forget the sacrifices your generation made – ‘You all went and did a dirty job that nobody wanted but that you knew had to be done’ – and I for one am profoundly grateful for what my father and your generation accomplished."


Martha Walker writes, "Received Bob’s death certificate... the cause of death was due to an accident. I began researching on the Internet and learned the cement used in vertebroplasty, called methylmethacrylate has been used for 30 years on hip replacements but the FDA has not approved it being used for vertebroplasties and mailed warnings to all health personnel last October. Two of the side effects of the cement are respiratory arrest and death, which resulted in Bob’s death. I made an appointment with the coroner and talked with him... we received information the morning of the procedure, which stated the procedure was safe. Feel badly about it. I do miss him... have been volunteering at school and the hospital and stay busy. Going to our older daughter’s home this week and will attend an affair for her husband who is retiring as the superintendent of the schools in their city. He also will be receiving formal recognition, as one of the two school superintendents, for outstanding performances in the state for 2003. Will be attending a white coat ceremony for Kenny [grandson] on August 3…..he will be starting his classes for medical school, the same week."

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Warren G. Johnson died of bone cancer on July 3, 2003. In 1999 Warren intended to revisit some of the islands. On a cruise out of Sydney, Australia he met Winsome Abbott who later became Winsome Abbott-Johnson. The cruise ship visited the New Hebrides and New Caledonia but because of a local uprising the stop at Guadalcanal had to be cancelled. You could call that trip a hit and a miss.

Chris Linn, North Platte Canteen
Chris Linn, the Service Manager, North Platte – Main visited our website and said that during the war the North Platte Canteen served food to troop trains going through North Platte. The Canteen was in the Union Pacific Depot and has been torn down; however, the Canteen pictures and letters from men that went through there on the troop train and other things are now housed at the Lincoln County Museum. If anyone remembers stopping at the North Platte Canteen we can include that stop as an anecdotal note on the website and in our museum along with pictures to be furnished by Ms. Linn.

Peter S. Rakiewicz is one gutsy guy. On December 22, 2002 he felt the first jolt of pain from a deteriorating right hip. In February the docs indicated he could use a hip replacement. Four days later he’s lying flat on his back recovering from the surgery. Once he knew it was necessary he brooked no delays. Today is he easily walks the mile to do the grocery shopping.

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Fallen Comrades

Phillip Dillon
353R/353B D/A
February 6, 2003
Warren G. Johnson
369R/1394B HS/HS
April 13, 1924 - July 3, 2003
Chandos H. Mohr
353R/1393B A/HS
Joseph Trush
369R/1394B C/C
November 27, 1917 - July 12, 2003
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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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Our Honor Roll of Contributors


Steve Misak
Joseph Trush
Mary Yon


Roy E. Bailey
Joseph C. Bass
George A. Benner
Robert E. Johnson
Allan A. Kirchman
Barbara O’Flanagan
In memory of her father, Charles W. Swartz
Sophie Vlk


Frank Kastory


Donald Paradiso


Carolyn Hoffman
In memory of her husband, Gordon J. Hoffman


Mansel W. Johns

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Roman F. Klick, Publisher
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