This interview was conducted on February 18, 1990 by Richard Olson. Sherby Roy Woods was born August 17, 1918 in Iowa. After moving to Minnesota, he worked in the Civilian Conservation Corps and the lumber industry as a heavy equipment operator in northern Minnesota. Woods was drafted into the Army on October 14, 1941 at the age of 23. During the war, he was attached to Company B, 6th Armored Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division. Discharged as a Technician Fifth Grade, Woods worked in heavy equipment and demolitions during campaigns in North Africa and Italy. Woods shared his opinions of Allied soldiers and Axis Power POWs and what he described as the poor training given to replacement troops. He also described how the war changed the U.S. military, including his improvised invention of a more efficient automatic transmission system for light tanks. After returning to the U.S. in 1945, Woods married Cora Lillian Moe, attended heavy equipment maintenance school on the GI Bill, and began a long series of treatments for a facial injury at the Veterans Administration hospital. He worked on heavy equipment for Milaca County until his retirement. Woods concluded the interview with a discussion of contemporary events such as apartheid in South Africa and stated that embargos are a more effective tool than war. He passed away on January 23, 2007 at the age of 88 and is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in Milaca, Minnesota.
This interview was conducted on February 19, 1989 by David Overy. Raynold John Winter was born March 15, 1918 in Watkins, Minnesota. He was drafted into the Army in 1941. His company trained in southern California as military police in the 506th MP Battalion and was assigned to guard Boulder Dam, which was later renamed Hoover Dam. His company, Company D, was reassigned to combat in Europe and retrained as infantry before being shipped overseas. Winter and many others were captured at the Battle of the Bulge. They became prisoners of war in Leipzig, Germany, where Winter was hospitalized for malnutrition before being liberated. Winter described how American planes bombed the prisoner camps and how American POWs got along with each other, the German guards, and French POWs. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his service. After the war, he married Catherine Klein of Watkins, where he worked for Kraft Foods. In 1958, they moved to Maple Lake, where he worked for Tem Tee Bakery. He became a member of the Northstar Baseball Hall of Fame as manager of the local Lakers team. Winters passed away at the age of 90 on December 2, 2008 at the VA Medical Center in St. Cloud and is buried in St. Anthony's Catholic Cemetery in Watkins. He was survived by Catherine, their six children, and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
In an oral history conducted by David H. Overy on June 22, 1990, Robert Wick discussed his experiences in training and overseas as a signal information officer in the European Theater during World War II. Born and raised in Iowa, Wick was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942. In this interview, Wick described his training experiences, including officer's training school, and his responsibilities working in an intelligence company while stationed in Italy. Lastly, Wick details what his time in the service had provided him with and his thoughts of the Vietnam Conflict. Prior to the war, Wick was a high school teacher in Newton, Iowa and married to his wife Alice. Wick was born on January 23, 1913, and passed away on March 8, 2006, in St. Cloud, Minnesota
This interview was conducted on March 15, 1989 by David Overy. Donald Ursus Weiler was born July 12, 1923 in St. Cloud. He was drafted in spring 1943 and served as a machine gunner in the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division of the Army National Guard in North Africa and Italy. After being wounded in the leg during the Battle of Monte Cassino, he underwent an experimental treatment using a high-calcium diet at a hospital in North Africa. He spent a significant amount of time discussing how he would climb poles to listen for enemy movements and described at length the ways in which his unit would support riflemen and vehicle convoys as they advanced through Italy. While recovering and working in a military production factory in Iowa, Weiler met Thelma Ruth Lair, whom he married on January 27, 1945. Weiler lived his entire life in St. Cloud and had a long career as a service technician at the Typewriter Shop and later retired as a sales representative of Marco Business Products. As a recipient of the Purple Heart, Weiler dedicated time to supporting wounded and sick veterans at the St. Cloud Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He passed away on March 1, 2011 at the VA Center, and is buried at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery at Camp Ripley. He was survived by two sons who followed him into the military; two daughters, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
This was an interview conducted on February 11, 1990 by Richard Olson. Albert Wedell was born September 29, 1911 in Milaca, Minnesota. He enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and trained in California. He was assigned to the repair division of the U.S.S. Louisville, on which he served in the Aleutian Islands and the South Pacific. He discussed the armaments of the ship, the conditions aboard, men he met in the crew, and some of the attacks on the ship by Japanese ships and aircraft. While in the Navy, Wedell married Velma Swenson on March 14, 1945, and was honorably discharged on October 27, 1945. After the war, he ran a dairy farm near Milaca for 45 years and served on the Chase Brook School Board, the local telephone and creamery boards, and the county ASCA. Wedell passed away on March 16, 2000 and was buried in Borgholm Cemetery in Bock, Minnesota. He was survived by his wife, two sons, two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Black and white portrait of a N. J. Quickstad wearing football attire and holding a football and football helmet, text on picture frame. Quickstad was an alum and former instructor in physics and chemistry
This was an interview conducted by David Overy. John Voth was born on February 9, 1921 in Fair Haven, Minnesota. After graduating from St. Cloud Technical High School in 1939, Voth attended St. Cloud Teachers College until volunteering for duty in World War II with the Army Air Corps on October 6, 1942. Voth had experience as a pilot prior to his war years, which led him to the Air Corps. Voth spent time in the south as well as in Minnesota training pilots before moving to airplane maintenance. Voth detailed how students were trained and typical reasons they would washout of school. After the war, Voth owned the St. Cloud Hobby Shop as well as earned his Doctoral Degree in Industrial Education. He taught at both Hutchinson and Sartell High Schools as well as the Minnesota State Reformatory. He was an inductee in the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame. He was married to Adeline (Dickie) Dickinson and they had two children, Diane and John. Voth concluded the interview by stating he estimate
In this oral history by David H. Overy, Carl F. VanderHaar details his service experiences in the Minnesota National Guard and U.S. Army from 1931 to 1952. VonderHaar was born in Albertville, Minnesota on June 21, 1913, and was raised in Little Falls where he spent his adult life. His service includes early surveying and construction at Camp Ripley, motor repair during World War II, and later quartermaster duties in both World War 2 and Korea. VonderHaar served overseas in Ireland, Africa, France, and the Philippines. In Minnesota, he ran several successful businesses between his terms of military service. VonderHaar also discusses Japanese internment, Vietnam and the Gulf War. The father of four he died on April 27, 2014, at the age of 100 in Little Falls, Minnesota.
Lee Trunnell was born on July 10, 1922, and grew up in Monticello, Minnesota. He was 19 when America entered the war and served as an aircraft mechanic in the Pacific theater. Trunnell discussed his experience as a member of the Army Air Corps as an aircraft mechanic. In his interview, Tunnell described his training and preparation for his duties as a soldier in Guam. He included experiences and thoughts on homesickness, rebuilding Guam, the role of African Americans and women in the war effort and interactions with Japanese POWs. Trunnell discussed camp life in Guam and the impact on the maintenance crews when crewmen or planes did not return from missions. Trunnell also shared his participation in preparing the Enola Gay for its mission over Hiroshima to drop the first atomic bomb.
This interview was conducted on February 18, 1990 by Richard Olson. Keith Trimble was born in Agenda, Kansas and joined the National Guard at the age of 15 by lying on the enrollment form. He went overseas to France in 1943 and worked with Headquarters Company in France during World War II as counter intelligence. Trimble was shot during combat and was put into a Prisoner of War (POW) hospital. After American forces bombed the hospital, Trimble and other patients made an escape towards the woods nearby. Trimble was also involved in the Battle of the Bulge and earned a bronze star for running communications through combat zones.
Neil Torssell was born on April 18, 1920, in Wisconsin. Torssell describes his experiences with the 322nd Signal Aviation Company as a photographer during World War II. He discussed traveling to England on the Queen Mary and what England was like. Torssel talked about the build-up for the North African invasion, going to North Africa, and what he did during the war. He gave a detailed account of his camera equipment and how he used it to photograph enemy positions and where bombs were dropped. He also described being shot down in Italy in 1943, when he was wounded and captured by Italian forces. As Italy was in transition and close to surrender, the behavior and attitude of the Italians, particularly guards, are described. Torssell detailed life in the POW camp and the various people he interacted with. He participated in a large, impromptu escape and spends the next 10 months moving across eastern Italy with other American POWs, working on farms and evading capture. Repatriated by American forces in the summer of 1944, he rejoined his unit and was sent home in 1945.
This interview was conducted on January 28, 1990 by John Carter. Norman James Thomas was born February 29, 1924 in south Minneapolis. After graduating from Roosevelt High School in 1942, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He was deployed to the South Pacific with the 64th Troop Carrier Squadron and later the 13th Air Force Service Command Headquarters. He flew several types of airplanes, primarily C-47s, on 140 missions in Australia, New Guinea, the Dutch East Indies, the Solomon Islands, the Adele Islands, the Halmaheras, and the Ryukyus. In the Philippines, Thomas flew missions in support of the OSS what became the CIA and the Filipino resistance. Shortly after being discharged in January 1946, he met Marjory Brady, and the two were married on June 28, 1947. Thomas remained a reservist for five years after the war until finding a job as a corrections officer at the Minnesota Correctional Facility � St. Cloud. He worked there for thirty years and retired in 1979. After Marjory passed
Neal Tholen was born in Little Falls, Minnesota, on March 20, 1919. He graduated from Little Falls High School in 1939 and was drafted into the U.S. Army in April, 1941. He trained for the infantry and, while stationed in Ireland in the early months of the war, transferred to a Military Police Platoon within the 85th Division. He served as an MP throughout the war in Ireland, Tunisia, and Italy before being discharged in 1945. He described the arrest procedures and his personal philosophy of what his role was for the soldiers. He also describes the organization of his particular MP platoon, the procedures for directing large convoys of traffic, policing soldiers on leave, and guard duty. Tholen shared stories about how locals in Tunisia and Italy interacted with the troops and various raids to local "cathouses" he participated in. Tholen also described the effect his service had on him after the war and his appreciation for the friendships he made there. He returned to Little Falls, married and raised seven children. Mr. Tholen worked at Camp Ripley as a member of the National Guard for 36 years before retiring. He died in Little Falls, Minnesota, at the age of 81 on July 12, 2000.
This interview was conducted on December 12, 1989 by David Overy. Romuald Thibault was born on December 22, 1918 in Garden, Michigan. He enlisted in the military twice, first in 1937 with the 7th Tank Company and again in 1942. During World War II, Thibault spent most of his service in Alaska patrolling the North Pacific Ocean with the Navy. His first overseas duty was in the Philippines, and he discussed his interactions with the local civilians and life there before the outbreak of World War II. After the war, Thibault came to St. Cloud where he worked for the railroad, retiring in 1980. He married Rachael Kramer on January 2, 1945 and they had two sons, Jack and Pat. Thibault concluded the interview with his thoughts on the Vietnam War and how he was against the draft process .Thibault passed away on May 28, 2002.
This interview was conducted on November 30, 1989, by Nancy Baker. Margaret Theisen was born October 12, 1914 in Wesley, Iowa. After graduating from high school, she moved to Iowa City, where she worked for the editor of Better Homes and Gardens. After attending the University of Iowa School of Nursing, she took a position at the VA hospital in St. Cloud, where she met her future husband, Earl Theisen. Both served in World War II, he in Hawaii and she as an Army nurse in England, France, Belgium, and Norway. Theisen discussed her experiences as a nurse with the 46th Field Hospital during World War II. Theisen was awarded the Bronze Star for her service as a surgical nurse during the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, she and Earl were married on November 29, 1945 and then went to work at St. Cloud Hospital. She later returned to the VA hospital, where she worked for another 25 years before retiring in 1978. Theisen passed away on June 16, 2007 and buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.