Cerro Gordo County

Rolan G. Howard

 

 

 

He Didn’t Forget –

Mason City Boy on Ill-Fated
Arizona Sent $1 Cheer Gift

Enclosed in the envelope pictured above was the most precious dollar received by the1941 Christmas Cheer Fund. It was mailed “At Sea” on the U. S. S. Arizona by Gunner’s Mate R. G. Howard, a Mason City boy, on Nov. 30, just a week before that vessel succumbed to a sneak attack by Japanese bombs and torpedoes.

“Please accept these good wishes and this small contribution form a former Mason Cityan,” said the message accompanying the dollar. “Hope you reach your goal this year.”

The message was penned on a gay-colored Christmas card. The fact that no word has been received from Rolan Howard has led his relatives here to the belief that he is among the Arizona’s survivors. We are pleased to report that one of the more than 500 packosnacks dispatched to the Christmas Cheer Fund to men in the service is on its way to this fine lad who didn’t forget his neighbors in need.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Monday, December 22, 1941, Page 1

Local Man In Navy “Missing”

Rolan Howard Was on U. S. S. Arizona,
Sunk by Japs on Dec. 7

Rolan Howard, son of Mr. and Mrs. R. R. Howard of Springfield, Ill., formerly of Mason City, is missing in action, his parents have been informed by the navy department. The former local youth was on the U. S. S. Arizona, which was bombed and sunk by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7.

Howard enlisted in the navy Jan. 23, 1940. He was a first class gunner’s mate and second class petty officer on the Arizona.

He has a brother, Gene, 318 First street southwest, and another brother, Stanley, at Austin, Minn.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Monday, December 18, 1941, Page 14

Reported Missing at Pearl Harbor

Rolan Howard, son of Mr. and Mrs. R. R. Howard of Springfield, Ill., formerly of Mason City, is reported missing in action, according to information received by his parents from the navy department. The former local youth was on the U. S. S. Arizona, which was bombed and sunk by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Tuesday, December 30, 1941, Page 7 (photo included)

Death of Rolan Howard at
Pearl Harbor Is Confirmed

Word Received by His Parents at Springfield, Ill.

Official confirmation of the death of Rolan Howard, previously reported missing at Pearl Harbor, was received by his brother, Gene Howard, here Tuesday from his parents, Mr. and Mrs. R. R. Howard, of Springfield, Ill., but formerly of Mason City. Mr. and Mrs. Howard had received the official confirmation from the navy department on Jan. 27, but had withheld the news from Gene because of his approaching marriage. He was married last week.

Rolan joined the navy on Jan. 24, 1940, and was stationed on the U. S. S. Arizona which was sunk during the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7. He was a petty officer, holding the advanced rating of gunner’s mate, second class. He was accepted for enlistment by the local navy recruiting office.

One of his last acts showed his concern for others. On Nov. 30, just a week before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Rolan sent a $1 contribution to the Christmas Cheer fund from the Arizona which was then at sea. He wrote, “Please accept these good wishes and this small contribution from a former Mason Cityan. Hope you reach your goal this year.”

This Mason Cityan who made the supreme sacrifice for his country was born in Austin, Minn. He attended Ottumwa high school for three years and was graduated from Mason City high in 1931. He worked at the Decker’s plant here for five years.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Wednesday, February 18, 1942, Page 12

Memorial Service to Be Held
on Sunday for Rolan Howard

Pearl Harbor Victim to be Paid
Tribute at Church of Christ

A memorial service in honor of Rolan Howard, former Mason Cityan who lost his life in the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese Dec. 7, 1941, will be held at the Church of Christ Sunday evening at 5 o’clock.

The service will be held in place of the regular candlelight service, with the Rev. David L. Kratz, pastor of the church, in charge.

Mrs. R. R. Howard, mother of Rolan and now a resident of Springfield, Ill., will be in Mason City for the service.

Rolan joined the navy on Jan. 23, 1940, enlisting at the local recruiting office. He was stationed on the U. S. S. Arizona which was sunk during the sneak attack. A native of Austin, Minn., he had attended the Ottumwa high school and was graduated from the Mason City high school in 1931. He had been employed at the Decker plant in Mason City.

One of his last acts, a week before the attack, was the sending of a contribution from the ill-fated Arizona while it was still at sea.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Friday, March 06, 1942, Page 14

Plan Memorial For War Victim

Patriotic Groups to Attend
Rolan Howard Services

The Rev. David L. Kratz of the Church of Christ Saturday announced more details of the memorial services to be held Sunday afternoon a the candlelight vesper service at the church for Rolan Howard, Mason Cityan, who was killed in action at Pearl Harbor.

Various veteran and patriotic organizations will attend in body the memorial service.

Mrs. R. R. Howard, mother of the youth, will be present from Springfield, Ill. Many friends and classmates of Roland (sic) Howard, and member of the Elks lodge, are also expected to be in attendance.

Special music features on the program include a tenor solo, “Jesus Lover of My Soul,” a special arrangement sung by Clifford Eggert; the anthem, ‘Some Blessed Day,” Nevin, sung by the Church of Christ choir directed by Mrs. H. C. Pendergraft, and violin numbers by Peter Farmakis. Charles Bibb will direct the audience in the singing of patriotic hymns. Organ numbers will be played by Mrs. Helen Dunn. The Rev. Mr. Kratz will speak on the subject, “The Cause for Which They Died.”

Rolan Howard became a member of the Church of Christ in 1933. Seven other boys were baptized with him on an Easter sunrise service. Of the eight, two more are in military service and one is work[ing] in southern California in a defense industry. To of the eight are still located in Mason City.

~ ~ ~ ~

Here in Mason City

All Legionnaires have been requested to meet outside the Church of Christ, Fourth street and Adams avenue northwest at 4:45 o’clock Sunday afternoon to attend in a body the memorial services for Rolan Howard, who lost his life at Pearl Harbor.

* * *

The Dorthea Dix tent No. 42, plans to meet Sunday at 4:45 p. m. at the Church of Christ to attend memorial services for Rolan Howard.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Saturday, March 07, 1942, Page 2

Memorial Rites Held For
Pearl Harbor Victim

Kratz Says Sacrifice by Rolan Howard and Others Is Example

Civilians should not complain about the scarcity of sugar or the shortage of rubber when the highest sacrifice is being demanded of the boys being sent to the front on a mere pittance for pay, the Rev. David L. Kratz told those attending the Rolan G. Howard memorial service Sunday evening at the Church of Christ.

“The precious right of Americans to earn their money in any way they want, to work at any task they choose, to protect their own safety and lives is not shared by the boys at the front,” the pastor pointed out. “If we are willing to share their sacrifices we must not only pay the costs of carrying on the war but also for extending mercy and help to the war disposed, the wounded and the starving populations.

“But even as the boys at Gettysburg brought about a better world, so we must believe that the sacrifice of Rolan Howard and the other boys killed in their nation’s defense is not in vain. We must believe and we must nobly strive to complete the task and restore to all men liberty, justice and the peace of God.”

The organizations attending and assisting in the planning and conducting of the service included the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Women’s Relief Corps, the Daughters of Union Veterans, and Women’s auxiliary to the Spanish-American War Veterans, the auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion Auxiliary, the Navy Mothers, the Spanish-American war Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Ward and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

The invocation was given by Mrs. Pauline Spencer, chaplain of the Navy Mothers club. H. J. Reiber, commander of San Juan Marine post of the V. F. W., directed the salute to the flag. Arnold Tilton directed the advancement of the colors.

Special music included a violin solo by Peter Framakis and a vocal solo by Clifford Eggers. Singing by the congregation was directed by Charles Bibb while Mrs. H. C. Pendergraft directed the anthem by the choir. Mrs. Helen Dunn was at the organ.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Monday, March 09, 1942, Page 8

Father And Son Banquet Held

First Christian Church Stages Annual Event

More than 90 men and boys gathered in the dining room of the First Christian church Monday evening for a father and son banquet, which was prepared and served by the Women’s council.

The invocation was given by Don Watts, followed by community singing with Ralph Geer at the piano. A toast to the sons was given by Karl Johannsen and the response by Raleigh Burch, Jr. Ray Beheke with Bob Bailey at the piano gave two numbers on the cornet.

 A service flag, a gift from the Men’s club to the church, was presented. There are 39 stars representing men and young men who are members of the church now in their country’s service and one gold star for Rolan Howard who was killed in action at Pearl Harbor Dec. 7. There are eight additional service men whose families are connected with the church.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Tuesday, November 17, 1942, Page 5

He Didn’t Forget –

Mason City Boy on Ill-Fated
Arizona Sent $1 Cheer Gift

Just a little more than a year ago an envelope received the Globe-Gazette office. It contained a crisp one dollar bill – the most precious contribution ever received by the Christmas Cheer Fund.

It has been mailed at sea on the U. S. S. Arizona by Gunner’s Mate Rolan G. Howard, a Mason City boy, a week before the Jap’s sneak attack at Pearl Harbor which cost him his life. His ship was demolished.

In late January he “packosnack” – a parcel of Decker meats sent to Gunner’s Mate Howard from the 1941 Christmas Cheer Fund – came back to the Globe-Gazette office, marked:” The addressee died in the service of his country.”

With the precious contribution from Rolan Howard, penned on a gay-colored Christ card, was this little message:

“Please accept these good wishes and this small contribution from a former Mason Cityan. Hope you reach your goal this year.”

This year’s Christmas Cheer Fund is being dedicated to Rolan Howard and his buddies in service.

Investigation by a special committee of the Social Welfare League, administrator of the fund since its establishment sixteen years ago, reveal that hundreds of the boys in service are on battle-fronts so distant that the gift would not reach them until well into February or even March. Then too officials have let it be known that shipping space is at a premium.

The one alternative left is to do the best job ever this year in seeing that there are no empty stockings on Christmas morning.

For the opening list of donors, Monday, December 7 – the anniversary of Pearl Harbor – has been chosen. From then until the day before Christmas, there will be a daily listing., showing the progress toward the $2,000 goal.

How about having YOUR gift included in this opening roll of Honor?

Address is:

Christmas Cheer Fund
Care – Globe-Gazette
Mason City, Iowa.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Friday, December 04, 1942, Page 1

Elks at Highest Peak With 652 Members

At the installation of new officers of Mason City Lodge B. P. O. Elks No. 375 Thursday, retiring Exalted Ruler Paul McAuley revealed in a year-end report of the organization’s activities that numerically the local lodge is at the highest peak in history with 652 members. . . . Among the patriotic achievements of the local lodge during the past year . . .  the purchase of a wool bunting Iowa state flag for a Pearl Harbor exhibit in Hawaii dedicated to Roland (sic) Howard, a local navy man killed in the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. . .

The flag presented to Arthur M. Berg, member of the navy yard police, who presented it to the commandant of the navy yard for inclusion in a display in the recreation hall there.

“We appreciated the opportunity to assist in this patriotic gesture, McAuley stated, “and in some measure brining a ‘touch of Iowa’ to those lads now assigned to a Hawaiian shore.”

Mr. Berg, a former bookkeeper at the First National bank in Mason City, is now a member of the naval yard police for the duration.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Friday, April 14, 1944, Page 11

Former Residents Mason City Visitors

H. R. Howard, Springfield, Ill., and trainmaster for the Chicago and Illinois Midland Railway company, and Mrs. Howard are spending a few days in Mason City visiting friends.

The Howards, former Mason City residents, are the parents of Rolan G. Howard, gunners mate 3rd class, who was killed in the Japs’ attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Howards have 2 other sons in the service, 1st Lt. Gene Howard, who is with the 156th infantry in Japan, and 2nd Lt. Stanley Howard, with the 222nd infantry regiment, stationed in Vienna.

Mr. Howard was a locomotive engineer with the Milwaukee while they were living in Mason City. The family left 7 years ago for Austin, Minn., and in 1941 moved to Springfield, Ill.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Tuesday, October 09, 1945, Page 8