Cerro Gordo County

Capt. Walt Bramhall



Was Mess and Billeting Officer for ATC
at East West Terminal

Back in Mason City with an honorable discharge 15 days after he left Manila, and 3 years to the day since he entered the service on Sept. 16, 1942, is Capt Walt Bramhall, former Mason City restaurant operator, who spent the past 15 months in the Pacific.

Capt. Bramhall reports at in discharging his duties as mess and billeting officer for the air transport command he flew 80,000 miles. He had charge of 5 U. S. stations and all stations in the Pacific from America to, and including, Australia.

“Much history was made in Manila the last half of August,” reported Bramhill, who had been stationed there at Nichols field since March 1. Nichols field, he said, is the terminal for all activity from the east and the west, and many distinguished persons were constantly coming and going out there.

He saw Gen. Wainwright arrive from China. His condition was pitiful. He used a cane, was very weak and haggard and showed that he had suffered terribly. Bramhall also saw Gen. MacArthur and his staff leave Nichols field for Japan, and virtually every commanding officer of the allied armies in the Pacific, including Adm. Nimitz and Adm. Halsey.

He saw the Japanese delegation arrive at the field. They carried themselves in a military manner. The leaders saluted the general in charge, who returned the salute, but refused to shake hands when they offered to do so. Gen. MacArthur did not meet them at any time.

Capt. Bramhill said that when the Americans arrived in the Philippines last spring, the Filipinos were in a starving condition and hundreds and thousands of them would have died in another month. The army fed and clothed them and they were very grateful.

Manila was truly the “pearl of the Orient,” said Bramhill. The modern city had been constructed since 1930 and many buildings were equal to anything in America.  There was not now an undamaged building in the city and almost all will have to be torn down and reconstructed.

Prior to going overseas Bramhall was commander of a mess squadron for 20 months at Miami Beach, Fla., where he said, they fed from 12,000 to 15,000 soldiers a day during that time. There were about 90,000 troops at the post.

In the Pacific he took part in 4 major campaigns for which he wears 4 battle stars. They were Kwajelein, Saipan, Leyte, and Luzon. He wears the Philippine liberation ribbon awarded by the P. I. government.

Bramhall is now home with his wife and family at 1109 Pennsylvania N. E. They have one son in the service, Willys, S 2/c, now attending radio school at Gulfport, Miss.

Source: Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, September 19, 1945, Page 5 (photo included)

Walter Emerson Bramhall was born Jan. 24, 1902 to William E. and Frances M. Fryer Bramhall. He died Dec. 8, 1947 and is buried in Elmwood Saint Joseph Cemetery, Mason City, IA.

Capt. Bramhall served in World War II with the U.S. Army in the Asiatic-Pacific with the Air Transport Command.

Source: ancestry.com