DEC 1941

Algona, Iowa


Kossuth County Advance, December 9, 1941


Whittemore Boy May Have Been on Sunk Battleship.

Outbreak of war between the United States and Japan had repercussions in Algona, affecting the entire populace with a solemn feeling, tinged perhaps with relief that the issue is now decided once and for all.

The first volunteer at the Kossuth draft office as the result of the Japanese wanton attack on Pacific possessions of the U. S. was R. B. Waller, co-publisher, of the Upper Des Moines.

Waller, who is married and has had a class 3-A rating, waived that deferment right and signed up to go in the first contingent in the next draft call. He was given a physical examination yesterday and passed. His brother is in a coast guard artillery unit in California.

The draft office has had no notice of any change in procedure as yet, but the radio yesterday stated that Minnesota’s draft call for January had been tripled over the original estimate. This will probably also be true for Iowa.

In response to radio order asking all men on leave from camps in the Northwest and in California, a man on leave from a Washington camp reported to the draft office yesterday. There was also a Virginia registrant who appeared, seeking to enlist in the regular army, and he was advised to go to Fort Dodge or Mason City where regular recruiting offices are open 24 hours a day.

In the meantime a number of draftees, released by the law deferring men over 28, were awaiting a call to return to service. The deferment law became inoperative immediately on the declaration of war as made yesterday noon by Congress. This provision was contained in the law itself.

Relatives of people in the Pacific territory were unable to get any information other than from the radio. Among those affected are the C. B. Murtaghs and Mrs. A. L. Peterson. The latter’s son, Mel H., was recently promoted to lieutenant-commander in the Navy and is stationed at Honolulu, where his wife, the former Ann Murtagh, maintains their home only two blocks form an area reported heavily bombed.

In the thick of the battle at Pearl Harbor was William Turner, son of Mrs. Jessie Turner. Harold Felter, formerly of Irvington, is in the air corps at a field bombed there. Robert J. Ditsworth is on the Portland, a ship stationed at Pearl Harbor.

Thomas Wagner, St. Joe, has been stationed on the West Virginia battleship reported sunk in the first attack at Pearl Harbor. On the California there is Ferdinand Koppen and Arnold Becker, both of Lakota, and this ship was also recently stationed at Pearl Harbor.

Edward Klein, St. Joe, is reported a member of the crew of the Oklahoma battleship reported set afire by Japanese bombs and possibly lost.


Fred E. Kent, Chairman of the Kossuth Civilian Defense Council, yesterday afternoon said there is nothing to be done at present in that field. He received a letter which confined activity for the present to the coastal areas. For rural areas the policy now is to sit tight and keep ready to go into action when called.

C. U. Pollard, city superintendent, is complying with a request that light and water plants be protected, and a watchman at least will be on hand at the new or old light plants, dep3ending upon whether in operation or not. However, it is not anticipated there could be any trouble here.

Algonians seemed to be filled with resentment against the way the attack was made while envoys still mouthed peace platitudes and the Japanese army and navy got set to deliver the blow. Opinion favors a complete eradication of any possibility that Japan will ever rise from beating she should get.

Transcribed by Linda Ziemann, Mar 2015


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