Hamilton County

Russell A. Willson





The navy seems to have the preference in the Frank Willson family of this city, since three out the four service sons of Mr. and Mrs. Willson are serving with various branches of Uncle Sam’s fleet.

Oldest of the quartet, Cpl. Chelsea O. Willson, 31, proves to be the holdout, however, since the corporal is fighting with the infantry in the Italian theater. Chelsea left this city in 1941 with the Iowa National Guard unit to take his early training at Camp Claiborne, La. With this outfit he has served in Ireland, England and North Africa.

The swing to the sailor division was started in September, 1942, when Frank A., 21, now a seaman first class, enlisted. He took his boot training at Great Lakes and is now in the southwest Pacific with an amphibious force.

Claude W., 18, was the next to answer the call for more ‘gobs’ as he enlisted in August, 1943, taking his initial training at Farragut, Idaho. A seaman second class, he is now stationed at the naval operating base, Kodiak, Alaska.

Last of the quartet to leave was Russell A., 28, who left with the April contingent this year. He took his boot training at Farragut, Idaho and now is a fireman second class attending the engineering school at Gulfport, Miss. Russell is married and has three daughters. His wife and children reside in this city.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, August 15, 1944 (photo included)

Russell served aboard the fresh water carrier, U.S.S. Tamalpais, moored alongside the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay when the surrender papers were signed.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Sept. 14, 1945


Russell Allison Willson was born May 3, 1916 to Frank O. and Lexie Edith Wood Willson. He died Mar. 20, 2006 and is buried in Greenacres Memorial Park, Ferndale, WA.

*Younger brother, Richard Buell Willson, Sr. entered service in 1946 with the U.S. Army.

Source: ancestry.com