DEC 1941

LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel

LeMars Globe-Post


LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
December 9, 1941

Families Watching News Reports For Information

A number of Plymouth County people are reading the war news with special interest that last few days because they have sons or other relatives in the Pacific war zone.

Robert Johns, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Johns of LeMars, is on a United States troop ship somewhere between Honolulu and the Philippines and his parents are following the news reports closely for any mention of the ship on which his outfit sailed. Their last word from him was a letter mailed at Honolulu eight days ago in which he said they were sailing from Honolulu and he is probably now in the center of the ocean between the Hawaiian and Philippine Islands.

Willard Stearns, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Stearns, now of Des Moines, spent a year or two with the Marines in Shanghai, who were evacuated before Japan’s attack, probably to Manila.

Loren Rickabaugh, son of Mr. and Mrs. C. Rickabaugh of LeMars, is engaged in defense work on Palmyra Island about 900 miles south of Honolulu on the route to Australia.

Glenn H. Juhl is in the Navy and his last address reported to this office was U.S.S. Helena care of postmaster at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. That might mean he was anywhere with the Pacific fleet.

Bob Kelly, son of Mr. and Mrs. Orrin Kelly, is in the supply department of army aviation and was in Manila, Philippine Islands, until recently when he wrote his parents he had been ordered to another field about 900 miles south of Manila. He has been in the army two or three years and trained on the Pacific coast.

A number of other Plymouth County boys who enlisted or were called for selective service training were assigned to duty on the West coast and it is probable some of them are now in the Philippines, Hawaii or other islands now in the Pacific war zone.

LeMars Globe-Post
December 11, 1941

Mrs. H. D. McKown Misses Son She Was To Meet

Stories of personal heartbreak and of relief from word are coming out of the war situation. Among those who are breathing easier are Mr. and Mrs. O. M. Kelly, who son, Bob Kelly, was last reported to be in Clark Field, near Manila, P.I.

Naturally, they supposed he had undergone the air raid by the Japanese, which caused heavy causalities at the airport. The next day, however, they received a letter, mailed December 3, which stated that Bob was sailing on a transport for the island of Mindanao, 900 miles to the south.

Mindanao is a large island, very strongly fortified, and there has been little if any Japanese action there, so there is good reason to suppose that young Kelly has so far seen no action.

The letter stated that a new airfield is being established on a large plantation, where the pineapples came from, and while the Japanese doubtless will get around to air fighting there sooner or later, they have their hands full elsewhere at present.


Robert Bellaire, United Press representative in Japan, who saw the war burst into action under his very nose, is still supposed to be in Tokyo, but when last heard from was in good health and not very worried.

His father, Louis Bellaire, formerly of LeMars and now owner of a furniture store in Sioux City, revealed that Robert had telephoned from Tokyo to his wife, now living in Florida, stating that he was all right “and expect to be quite comfortable in the near future no matter what turns up.”

The guarded language used by young Bellaire, and the tone of the press dispatches he had sent out before the war started, revealed that he had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen. But he doubtless had a censor standing at his elbow as he telephoned, who would have instantly cut off any attempt to give any sort of warning. Therefore he tried to indirectly reassure his wife in view of the news that he knew she would soon learn.

Mrs. Anna Bellaire of LeMars, the correspondent’s grandmother, told The Globe-Post today that it is possible that he may have escaped from Japan, as he had informed members of the family that he would soon leave with a group of American officials, some time before the war started. Thus, it is possible that he may have escaped to the Philippines or to one of the British colonies.

In case he is still in Japan, he will be interned, but due to the semi-diplomatic treatment usually accorded newspapermen, he will be more comfortable than the average American who is marooned in Japan.


An indication of the swiftness with which the United States is now acting, under orders of President Roosevelt, commander-in-chief of the army and navy, came from Mrs. H. D. McKown, who is now at Norfolk, Va., where she had gone to visit her son, George McKown, in the United States Navy.

Mrs. Mckown had arranged by mail to meet her son, but while she was on the way to Norfolk, the war broke, and upon her arrival at the naval station she was unable to see her son, due to wartime regulations. She die not know, according to information received by Mr. McKown, whether the boy had been sent somewhere else, or whether he might still be at Norfolk. She is staying there for awhile in the hope that the restrictions will be lifted.

H. H. McKown, of LeMars, has a son, Harry, a member of the coast guard, who is located at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and he is anxiously awaiting word from him. The coast guard was recently merged with the Navy, by order of President Roosevelt, and Mr. McKown expects to receive news through Navy channels.


Another LeMars family which is anxiously awaiting word of a son are Mr. and Mrs. Ed Keihn, whose son, Le Roy Keihn, was stationed at Pearl Harbor on board the Tennessee, according to the last letter received from him. This battleship has been mentioned in unofficial dispatches as under attack, but the government at present made no official announcement as to exactly what happened.

Young Keihn had completed his 4-year term in the Navy and expected to come home soon for a visit. For the past two years he has been serving as a second-class boatswain on the Tennessee. Russell Bainter, son of Mr. and Mrs. T. Bainter, has also been stationed on the U.S.S. Tennessee.


Mr. and Mrs. P. J. Boyle have received word from their son, Tom Boyle, that he is now on board the U.S.S. Stringham. At the time the letter was written they were in Charleston, N.C., thought they are probably on the way to an unannounced destination by now, as they expected to leave the next day. This news sets at rest the previous belief that young Boyle was on the Arizona in Pearl Harbor during the Jap attack.

Transcribed by Linda Ziemann, Dec 2012

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