Iowa News from C. A. Shanklin Scrapbook 1890s-1950

Linn County, Iowa

Page 6 (1941-1945)

Thanks to researcher & volunteer, Bonnie Mares, for the purchase of an old Iowa scrapbook off eBay.  What a find—so many pre-1950 news items of interest from Linn County, Iowa.  

The old scrapbook inside cover has this inscription from the original owner: 
C. A. Shanklin, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Route No. 2
This book is the property of the above address.

[All attempt will be made to identify the newspaper sources & the dates, listing on these pages in chronological order.~Linda Z., transcriber]

Local Cedar Rapids newspaper, February 6, 1941
Arthur Julius Johnson, 51, of 1723 E. avenue, NE, a veteran of the World war, died in the Veteran’s hospital, Des Moines, at 4 a.m. Thursday following a long illness.  A lifelong resident of Cedar Rapids, he was born here April 12, 1889, and had been employed as a conductor for the Rock Island railroad.  During the World war he was a member of Company C, 168th infantry and served overseas with the Rainbow division. He was a member of the Cedar Rapids post, Veterans of Foreign Wars.

In addition to his wife, Cecil, he is survived by a son, Warren, of Cedar Rapids, and a brother, Carl Johnson of Lima, Peru. The body is at the Beatty chapel pending funeral arrangements.

Local Cedar Rapids newspaper, February 9, 1941

Funeral for A. J. Johnson
Funeral services for Arthur Julius Johnson, 1723 E. avenue NE, a World war veteran who died in the Veterans hospital at Des Moines early Thursday, will be held in the Beatty chapel at 2 p.m. Sunday.  Military honors will be paid by the American Legion at the grave in Cedar Memorial Park. Friends may call at the chapel.

Cedar Rapids Gazette, Nov. 20, 1942

Harry B. Raff, son of Mr. and Mrs. Sam F. Raff of Springville, recently was promoted from captain to major at an Eighth air force command station in England.
Prior to entering service in March, 1942, Maj. Raff was chief of the inspection department at the J. I. Case plant in Rock Island, where his wife now lives. He has been overseas since April, 1943, and has been signal depot commander at a base where battle-damaged B-17 Flying Fortresses were repaired.
A brother, Fred Raff, is an army corporal.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Thursday, April 23, 1943

Special to The Gazette. RANDOLPH FIELD, Texas—Hundreds of Uncle Sam’s new fighting pilots, ready and eager to hit the Axis, were graduated Thursday from the army air forces Gulf coast training center’s 10 advanced flying schools.

All received silver pilots’ wings and commissions as second lieutenants or flight officers. Those commissioned second lieutenants included the following eastern Iowans:
Charles E. Moes, son of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Moes, 1619 First avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, (Ellington field), a former advertising department employe of The Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Russell R. Newell, Columbus Junction (Brooks field).
Russell R. Bulechek, Iowa City (Aloe field).
William G. Cocking, Iowa City (Lubbock field).
Russell G. Ford, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Ford, 1001 Twelfth street, Marion (Blackland field).
The eastern Iowans all were graduated from Texas flying fields. Before they get actual combat assignments they will receive additional instruction at post graduate flying schools.

Marion Sentinel, January 25, 1944

Lt. Russell Ford Reported Missing In European Area

Lt. Russell F. Ford, 27, army air force pilot has been reported missing in action in the European area since Jan. 11, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. B. H. Ford, 1001 Twelfth street, have been advised by the War Department.

Lt. Ford entered the service Dec. 26, 1941, and received his wings and second lieutenant commission at Waco, Texas. He was promoted to first lieutenant after reaching England and had been awarded the Air Medal.

A younger brother, Sgt. Leighton Ford, is with the army engineers in England and the brothers met there recently.
Unknown local publication, dated January 27, 1944

MISSING IN ACTION --- Lt. Russell F. Ford, 27, army air force pilot, has been reported missing in action in the European theater since Jan. 11. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. B. H. Ford, 1001 Twelfth street, Marion.

Cedar Rapids Gazette, September 26, 1945


First Lt. Russell G. Ford, 27, son of Mr. and Mrs. B. H. Ford, 1001 Twelfth street, Marion, has been officially declared dead by the War Department.
Previously he had been listed as missing since Jan. 11, 1944, when the B-17 he was piloting crashed into the North Sea, 30 miles from land, while he was returning from a bombing mission over Germany. He was with the Eighth air force.

Lt. Ford entered service Dec. 26, 1941. He received his wings April 22, 1943, at Blackland field, Waco, Texas, and was sent overseas Nov. 1, 1943. He had completed nine missions over Germany, and had received the Air Medal.

Surviving, in addition to his parents, are two brothers: Leighton Ford, who recently received his discharge after service in Europe, and Lynn Ford; and four sisters, Eleanor, Doris and Reva Ford, and Mrs. Donald Scheer, all of Marion.

Cedar Rapids Gazette, March 11, 1945

Mrs. Clara Greenawalt, Linn Pioneer, Is Dead

Special to The Gazette.

SPRINGVILLE-Services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at the Hunte funeral home in Springville for Mrs. Clara Mulvena Greenawalt, 88, who died Friday at the Rass nursing home, following a long illness. She had lived in Linn county more than 65 years.

She is survived by two sons, Dr. R. A. Greenawalt, Cedar Rapids, and Carl, Sterling, Colo.; a daughter, Mrs. F. G. Knowlton, Seattle, Wash.; a sister, Mrs. M. J. Bailey, Marion; and two grandchildren,.

Burial will be in Springville cemetery.

Paul Shanklin Sends Wife a Vivid Account of South Pacific Experience.

Longtime readers of The Gazette may recall an account, about 10 years ago, of a youth who bicycled to Florida right after his graduation from Roosevelt high school. It took him 23 days, and he topped the experience by sending back an eyewitness account of a tornado.

Now, at 28, that same youth, Clinton Paul Shanklin, F1/c, who is in the South Pacific, somewhere near the Philippines, has written a description of a surprise Jap raid. The account was in a letter to his wife, the former Hazel Parents of Cedar Rapids, who is now in Van Nuys, Calif. She forwarded the letter to his mother, Mrs. Bertha Sorenson, 1422 First street NW.

“We were dive bombed at 8:30 p.m. Sunday in a surprise Jap raid,” wrote Shanklin. “The Japs were in twin-motored Bettys.”

Main Hits in Center.
“Main hits were in the center of the island, hitting the food supply piles, tents, mess hall and water towers. Most of the men were in the movie area. The who island shuddered…flying rock, debris and steel filled the air.

“Twelve men were killed, 132 injured. Many of the injured suffered burns by spraying gas when a Jap plane exploded only 20 feet above the food stores. Tents, coconut trees, cases of canned goods and the Jap ‘Betty’ filled the air over an area of a quarter of a mile each direction.

“One 500-pound bomb crater measured 50 feet across and 20 feet deep. Part of the Jap motor went through the mess hall, another part lit at the end of the island. Largest single piece was only three feet long.”

Fires Out by 10 P. M.
“Nearly every tent and building on the island was damaged. All fires were out by 10 p.m. At that time all small arms were also secured. Pieces of three Japs were found scattered over the island……..

“I have several pieces of the plane to send home.

“When the first bomb hit, I broke several records heading for shelter. But not quickly enough, for my arm went numb on the way. Dove behind a coconut tree, and I must have been the fastest man because I was bottom man in a pile of six. My glasses came off --- face covered with blood from the man above me. My own head was cut. At the same time I was pawing in the sand for my specs, cussing the Japs and praying to God.

“It seems very humorous now, but I assure you that there was nothing funny about it at the time.

One fellow swore he was halfway to the next island before he even sank up to his knees in the water. Skinned knees, hands and noses are common, because when the men dived for the ground, they didn’t waste time looking.”

“Everyone acted with remarkable coolness throughout the ordeal.”

Just before the raid the sky was clear, with stars twinkling above and the men in a joyful mood watching a movie after an hour of hot jive from men of a battleship, Shanklin wrote. Suddenly the film broke. Darkness, then a warning, thought at first to be only drill. The movie resumed, and the men were laughing, less than a minute, at antics of Jack Carson, when the screen turned red.

Everything Goes Quiet.
“Men rushed to the beach edge---lights went out---and a sudden silence enveloped the island. Far out in the bay, great gobs of flame shot upwards to velvet darkness. Aircraft carriers were silhouetted against the bright orange holocaust. A ship hit near the island with a 500-pound bomb ---

“---dark turns to day. The sky becomes the entrance into hell with the imps of Satan searching each dark hook with torches of flame and fire. Tortured metal screams in fiendish glee through fiery air---men dive for shelter.

“Crash and roar, crash again! The ground is hugged with spread arms as the earth shakes in what seems to be never-ending tremors. Muscles and nerves strain with expectancy as sudden stillness descends. The spine quivers for continuation of this sudden inferno, but no—a pause of vacuum quiet. Then, once more, the curtain lifts upon confusion.

“Crackle and snap of burning wood, hiss of gas being consumed, speaker systems crying instructions. Dark palms stand out against reddening sky. Tents are in flame, trees appear to be candles of light, incandescent metal starts conflagrations anew in a spreading circle. Stores of food provide new fuel.

“Screams of agony mount above the roar as burned men call for help. Others are gashed and torn by hurtling bits of metal and rock.”

“Medical men rush into the smoke and chaos with stretchers, gathering the wounded with tender hands and no thought of personal safety.

‘’Streams of water are playing upon all with mounting force. Willing hands help with coolness and dispatch. Soon only smoldering embers mark the area of destruction.

“In the hospital, doctors work with skilled haste upon tortured bodies, working under the flickering beams of hand torches and lanterns. No slightest breath of life must weaken. Five minutes, ten minutes, twenty, thirty minutes pass. Weary arms fall to the side, bent backs rise slowly, triumph gleams in the glance. Peace lowers its mantle again---night takes command with its scepter of darkness. A bad dream ends. Hanging by a tattered canopy of silk from the jagged coconut palm, a puppet swings slowly in the soft Pacific wind. The culprit has paid the price.”

Source: Cedar Rapids Gazette, April 28, 1945

Cedar Rapids newspaper, May 17, 1945 (photo included)

THREE MEMBERS…of a single family, all in the Navy and all serving in the Philippines are shown above. At the left is Verne Sorenson, a veteran of the other war, who is with the Seabees and who went down to the South Pacific almost two years ago on the same ship with Johnny Fryrear. He has seen action at Guadalcanal, Bougainville, the Marianas and now in the Philippines. He’s the stepfather of Paul Shanklin, F1/c , (right), and Cecil Shanklin, CMoMM, both of whom are old Navy hands and once served together on the New Orleans. Cecil has been in the Navy eight years while Paul enlisted after doing a hitch earlier. The only member of the family still at home is Mrs. Sorenson, who lives at 1422 First street NW. Paul made headlines some years back when he pedaled a bicycle from Cedar Rapids to Florida, 1,970 miles, in 20 days. His wife, the former Hazel Parents, of Cedar Rapids, lives now in Van Nuys, Calif., where she works in the Lockheed plant.

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