Woodbury County

Sgt. John L. Winterringer





John La Dean Winterringer was born 27 May 1922, in Sioux City, to John Wesley and Elsie A (Timmerman) Winterringer. Has one sister, Muriel. Attended school in Lakeport #2, and graduated from Salix Consolidated in 1940.

John sends the following from his diary: “Reported for induction to Sioux City, 16 January 1943. Was put on inactive reserve until 25 January at which time I was entered into active service at Camp Dodge, Iowa. Departed Camp Dodge, 25 January and arrived at Camp Callan, California, 28 January.

Thirteen weeks of basic training on 40 mm anti-aircraft gun followed. Arrived Camp Stoneman, California, 1 May and departed 8 May for Hawaii. Arrived Schoffield Barracks on the island of Oahu, 16 May, then to Tent City until 23 May.

On 6 June boarded inter-island ferry for the big island of Hawaii. 7 June arrive Wiahau near Hilo and joined Battery C 96th AAA (90 MM) gun battalion. Left big island 18 September back to Oahu arriving Fort Weaver 19th September and remained there until 24 December at which time our battalion went back to Schoffield Barracks in preparation for shipping out. This came about 24 January and the destination was The Atol of Kwajalein. Arrived in the lagoon 3 February and the island of Kwajalein 12 February. Set up camp on the end of a runway that was being built.

Remained there until 30 September. Had the mail duties there and worked a shift at the island Post Office.

Back to Oahu, Aiea staging area #10, 6 October for further assignment. Became a part of the 10th Army but when the war in Europe ended our unit was pulled out as according to the point system in place at that time so many were eligible for discharge. Moved to Molakile branch #10, 24 October and remained there until 11 November at which time moved to a Navy rifle range. Left there 4 December but I did not keep a good record after that. We were stationed at the entrance to Pearl Harbor at one time and several other locations that I have forgotten. Somewhere along the line I became supply sergeant and began the process of turning in the equipment. About this time I was told that the Red Cross had arranged for an emergency furlough for me and in real short order I was taken to Hickam Field and boarded a converted B24 for the trip to the states about midnight. Arrived Suson-Fairfield, Calfornia, just as the sun was coming up. Got a train out of there the next day but had to sit on my barracks bag containing my belongings until we got to Salt Lake City. Upon arrival in Omaha transferred to a bus for the ride to Sioux City.

Upon arrival in Sioux City it was mid-morning and the weather was damp and cold and spitting a little snow. Quite a change from the balmy Hawaiian weather to which I had been accustomed. After about a month at home reported to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, for discharge 15 November 1945. I don’t remember if part of the trip home was by train or not, but do remember that on the bus trip home I got off at a crossing about a mile and a half south of Salix and walked the three quarters of a mile home.”

I married Betty L. Mook, 19 June 1948, in Salix. We have two sons, Dennis D. and Mark A. After the service I worked for Fank Pilley & Sons until 1961. Then I went to work for Wells Blue Bunny in LeMars. I retired in 1985. My wife and I enjoy collecting stamps and coins, flowers, birds, Genealogy and the Museum in LeMars. For being retired, I am just as busy as I was when I was working.

Betty and I live in LeMars and are very active.

Submitted by John LaDean Winterringer.