Woodbury County


Gregory "Dutch" Arkfeld


Sailor Says It’s Miracle to Be Home After 7 Sea Battles

Yeoman Arkfeld Has Traveled 200,000 Miles in Pacific

Gregory (Dutch) Arkfeld, yeoman third class, says “it’s a miracle to be home and there’s no question about that”. Given a 30-day survivor’s leave, he is home for the first time in 23 months of service which included seven actual engagements with the enemy.

Yeoman Arkfeld has spent 20 months overseas, traveled over 200,000 nautical miles, wears three bronze stars and two clasps and has been issued several other awards which has not yet been received. Besides participating in the battle of the Coral Sea, Tulagi, defense and capture of Guadalcanal, support of Lae and Salamaua, occupation of Finschaven, air battle of Finschaven and being on convoy duty to Australia, he has visited Tasmania, New Guinea, New Britain, Samoa, New Caledonia, Hawaiian Islands and other southern Pacific Islands.

Plenty of Action

“I’ve seen action and plenty of it,” he said, “and you don’t have time to think about anything except get a Jap or it’ll "be you.”

Life on board ship is pretty normal and the sailors get just about everything they want, reported the sailor. Candy and gum make the ideal gift to a sailor, but letters are appreciated the most, and “Dutch” classifies them as the greatest of all morale building unless from a sweetheart “who’s gotten tired of waiting.”

The hospitality in Australia and on the islands was grand, said Yeoman Arkfeld, but he said he still prefers the good old U.S.A. “When we docked in San Francisco, the first thing we did was wire our folks, and then we just stood and looked at the American girls—It’d been so long since we’d seen any."

Still Likes Navy

At the end of his leave “Dutch” reports back to San Francisco, where he will be assigned to another ship. “And,” he grinned, “I still like the navy.”

Yeoman Arkfeld, a graduate of Trinity High School and former employee of Davidson Bros, and the Katz Drug Company, is the son of Michael G. Arkfeld, 909 ½ Iowa Street.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, November 11, 1943 (photo included