Sioux County

Capt. Arthur Bergsma





Air Cadet Earl R. Bergsma of the U.S. Navy is completing his flight training at Pensacola, Florida, after experience in many Navy schools and flying fields since he started his aviation training.

His present address is: A-C Earl R. Bergsma, USNR, Class 6-B, 44 P (C), Care of Flight Brigade Bldg. 679, USNATC, Pensacola, Florida.

He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Bergsma of Rock Valley, who have three sons in the Navy; Arthur, Edwin and Earl.

Edwin is chief gunner’s mate on the USS Crowley and Arthur now home on leave after a long shift in the Pacific, was commended at captain’s mast for his splendid work as captain of a gun crew.

Source: Rock Valley Bee, August 4, 1944


Art Bergsma sent this letter December 21 from Portsmouth, Virginia:

Again I must ask a favor of you by changing my address, but do believe this should be good for a number of months.  It so happens that in Washington I was offered shore duty here for a number of months and decided to give it a trial.  One of the requirements was that the fire men sent here must have recently completed at least eighteen months of sea duty.  Therefore, five of us gunner’s mates left Washington and reported here December 8.

Upon being assigned duty here, I was appointed brig warden.  We handle prisoners from all ships in for repairs plus those stationed here.  At present we do not have too many.  I imagine they are good in hopes of a bit of leave during the holidays.

My work is the same as any assistant warden in civilian life, consisting of some paper work but in general supervisory.  I think I shall like it very much.  Of course we have guards who take care of the prisoners and work them.

Portsmouth is a city trying to accommodate four to six times as many people as the city was originally designed for.  Finding an apartment for Bernice and myself proved to be harder to get here than in Washington.  However, we found a place and are comfortably settled now.  One thing very noticeably in many homes if the lack of furnaces or even a basement.

Also at this time through you I’d like to express my thanks to the Ladies Auxiliary and the Commercial Club for the useful Christmas gift I received.  You may be certain that I appreciated it very much.

Thanking you if you’ll change our  address as we’d hate to do without the hometown news.  Our new address is:  Arthur Bergsma G. M., I-C 729 N. Armstrong St., Portsmouth, Virginia.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. ~~Tarzan.

Source: Rock Valley Bee, December 29, 1944