September 23, 1995
A little more digging through the files and a couple of helpful phone calls from interested parties has led me to a roster of the men who were in Battery C, 158th Field Artillery, 45th Army National Guard Division, when the unit was called up for full-time military service in 1940. As a matter of fact, tomorrow -- Sept. 24, 1995 -- happens to be the 55th anniversary of their departure from Perry. My earlier columns on this subject had only a list of Battery C members in 1938 because the 1940 list could not be found. Thanks to the files of The Perry Daily Journal and the assistance of the Perry Carnegie Library's new microfilm reader, I can share this information with you.
The story about the 45th Division's callup was in The Journal on Monday, Sept. 23, 1940. It said the 101 officers and enlisted men of Battery C were leaving at 5 a.m. the following day for Fort Sill to undergo a year's active military training. Unfortunately, that "one year" turned out to be more like five years because America's military preparedness and eventual participation in World War II intervened.
Capt. Quine Brengle, a clerk at the Perry post office, was the Battery commanding officer. He announced that heavy motor transportation trucks of regular National Guard design and light panel trucks would be used in the transportation procedure. Battery members ate breakfast at the Perry armory prior to their departure.
A detail of men was left behind to clean up the armory after the main body of men drove away for Fort Sill. Since the Battery kitchen went with them, The Journal said "no sanitary place to cook" was available for the detail. I. L. Krisher, commander of Ellis-Jirous American Legion post, came to their rescue by turning over the Legion Hall's kitchen to them. A photo of the entire Battery, in full uniform and seated in front of the armory, was printed across the bottom of the Journal's front page on Sept. 25, the day after they left Perry.
Included in the complement of men leaving for military training were a captain, a first lieutenant, two second lieutenants, a first sergeant, a staff sergeant, eight sergeants, eight corporals, 19 privates first class and 60 privates. The Journal reporter said there were 99 in all, but I count 101. Also, I cannot vouch for the spelling of all these names, so please make allowances for any possible errors. Where possible I checked questionable names against the 1940 Perry City Directory, but it did not contain all the men shown on the Battery C roster.
Making the trip to Fort Sill under Capt. Brengle's command were: First Sgt. Archie Marshall, Staff Sgt. Virgil O. Walkling; Sgts. Harry L. Boggs, William L. Folan, Eugene C. Jirous, Robert Berger, Paul Letellier, Lawrence Shea, Weldon Smith and Marion Shireman.
Corporals Harold Ahrnsbrak, Everett Pricer, James Samuelson, Fred Schomaker, Walter Schomaker, Bruce Smith, Alvin Stone and Vester Wilhelm.
Privates First Class Bill Berron, Raymond Booth, Vernon Crockett, Don Eby, Delbert Gambill, Drury Gillihan, Wendell Goodwill, Frank Hejduk, Lowell Highfill, LeRoy Hunt, Frank M. Jones Jr., Chester Kendle, Courtland Marshall, Fred Miller, John Perkins, Billie Smith, Hugh R. St.Clair, Pete Terronez and Stephen Terronez.
Privates Forest Brandon, Leon Brooks, Virgil Burke, Edward Crabtree, Wesley Cole, Raymond Coltrano, Jack Colvin, Erbert Cordell, Charles Curtis, Dale Dorl, John Ernest, Lawrence Fordyce, Charlie Gates, Walter Gaskill, Robert Hackett, Woodrow Hackett, Edward Hair, Franklin Hartwick, Lucien Hicks, Everett Hopkins, Millard Hopkins, Ennis Hudson, Wayne Hughes.
Edmund Jackson, Glenn W Jones, Arthur Kempka, Marion Kinnick, Darrel Kinnick, William LeFurgey, Raymond Lewis, George Lively, Earl McCracken, Albert Mieir, Elmer Miller, Jack Miller, William Miller, Carl Murphy, Alvin Myers, Donald Oleson, John Perkins, Eli Pricer, John Pricer.
Raymond Pricer, George Queen, Adolfo Ramirez, Ray Rice, Leland Sample, Daniel Sanders, Paul Schieffer, Clyde Shelton, William Smith, Sidney Stanley, Herschel Stroud, Daniel Trillo, Otto Tuetkin, Kermitt Tull, Clarence Van Hosen, Ralph Wallingford, James Wilhelm and Allan Wilson.
Officers were Capt. Brengle, First Lt. H. D. Roads and Second Lts. Myrl McCormick and Leroy Miller.
Battery C was a special part of the Noble county community, and they marched off to glory in World War II. Some of them were barely 17 years old when they left Perry, but they came home as mature men, proud of the mission they had undertaken. Even at this time, 55 years later, it's not too late to give those brave and heroic men another salute.