Hamilton County


Pfc. Kenneth P. Applegate




SERVICEMEN WRITE (to Joy Hanson, Editor of the Ellsworth News)

Dear Joy:

Although I don’t know you real well, and you probably know less about me, I feel that I should write to you and put in a word for the marines; or rather, represent them.

You have had lots of letters in your paper from army, navy and cadets, but none from a marine as far as I’ve noticed, and very few copies I miss or very few articles I miss reading. So will put in my two cents worth (or however much the marines are worth.)

I’ve been in the marines since last April, and still receiving specialized training.

I’ve been here at A & M since the first of August taking up a course in communications as a radio operator. I am practically through here; in fact, just two and a half days left, as I get through on Dec. 24.

I’m anxious to put to use what I’ve learned here, which has been a great deal. I’ll never be the same to my old friends as I was before I came, as one has to be “wacky” or “crazy” to master the code at a reasonably fast speed—which I have done!

Texas is a nice state (although I think we should get paid for foreign duty), but it doesn’t have much that good old Iowa doesn’t have.

In fact I think it has less, ‘cause they don’t have snow at Christmas, which seems quite necessary in my opinion. Instead, they have the custom of shooting fire crackers, which in turn got us marines into “hot water” as some of the fellows would bring them into the dormitory and fire them. About that time the top-sergeant stopped the fun. However, a large firecracker did make a lot of noise when touched off in a room under someone’s bed, who was in deep slumber.

All in all, most of the fellows take their task pretty serious and want to get this thing over with.

I receive lots of letters and of course, write a lot, but am always glad to get them. I only wish I was as fortunate as a lot of my army and sailor friends when it comes to getting furloughs.

I must close now, and hope to see all of you soon as circumstances permit. ~Pfc. Kenneth P. Appelgate.

I reckon the marines have the situation well in hand, Kenneth, and many thanks for your letter.
As you probably will have moved before this letter is printed I’m not publishing your address, as it would be incorrect. But wherever you go, we folks at home will feel that the “marines have landed.” (Kenneth’s correct address can undoubtedly be secured from his parents, Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Applegate, Ellsworth, Iowa.)—Joy.

Source: Ellsworth News, Ellsworth, IA, Dec. 30, 1942

Kenneth Phillip Applegate was born Mar. 22, 1920 to Hiram Harrison and Mary Helen McAfee Applegate. He died Nov. 16, 2014 and is buried in the First Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Kamrar, IA.

Kenneth served with the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II.

Source: ancestry.com