Source: Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Wednesday, December 31, 1941

Mason City’s Sons at Battle Stations

Youths Defend Manila,
Scan Skies and Seas for Signs of Any Foes

700 Cerro Gordo County Boys Take
Places in Armed Forces of America

Military Editor

In the dark of early dawn the slant-eyed sons of Nippon drew their daggers, but as 1941 rolled to a bloody close Mason City’s own sons were exacting proper vengeance for the murder of their brothers at Pearl Harbor.

Mason City has taken its place at the world’s land and sea battle stations. Some 700 natives of Cerro Gordo county are scattered in army camps throughout the nation, in the marine corps and on ships at seas.

Valiant North Iowa youths fought to the end on little Wake Island. Others loaded ships at Cavite, shot down Jap planes at Nichols Field and prepared the giant coast defense guns at Fort McKinley in the Philippines against the Jap onslaught.

Meanwhile their comrades raced at forced draught across the Pacific from San Diego, San Francisco and Pearl Harbor on battleships, destroyers, airplane carriers and subs – intent on relieving the pressure on Americans in the far east.

More sons of North Iowa parents manned the shores of Iceland, America’s far-off Atlantic bastion; they scanned the skies above Colon in the canal zone, defended the oil of Guiana, and scoured the Atlantic, sinking axis submarines and convoying the supplies that are England’s life-blood safe to our European ally.

* * *

Hundreds of North Iowans applied at army and navy recruiting stations in Mason City in the days following war’s outbreak. Some were too old, had several dependents, or were otherwise incapacitated for service now, but many were taken.

Draftees from Cerro Gordo county numbered 159 during the past year and up to the declaration of war. (Future calls will not be published because they would give valuable information to the enemy.)
National guardsmen from Mason City and other Cerro Gordo county towns [are] on duty in Louisiana numbered 146. (Approximate 100 more men were included in Mason City guard units, but their homes were in other North Iowa counties, the majority from Floyd county.)

* * *

Many Cerro Gordo county youth are in the regular army and navy in addition to the more than 300 accounted for above.

A. A. Holthus, naval recruiting officer, estimated that 250 young men from Mason City vicinity are sailors and technicians in the regular navy and perhaps 50 more in the marine corps.

Sgt. Gerald E. Nelson said that there must be 150 men in the regular army whose homes were originally in Mason City.

Since the war started, some 135 North Iowans have voluntarily rallied to the colors and joined the navy and army at recruiting stations in Mason City. Several hundred others applied, will join later or were rejected.

Above three of the applicants are shown at the naval recruiting station the day after the war opened – Dec. 8. Recruiter C. R. Moore, standing, and Yeoman Ben Wagner, seated, take the applications.

Mason City in World War II

Feb. 6 – National guardsmen feted.
Feb. 10 – National guard companies of U. S. army inducted.
Feb. 15 – National guard receives orders to leave Feb. 27.
Feb. 20 – Registration of World war veterans.
Feb. 27 – Large crowd sees 260 national guardsmen leave for camp.
March 1 – National guardsmen arrive at Camp Claiborne [Louisiana].
April 8 – Class of 34 admitted to U. S. citizenship.
April 9 – Mason City employment office reports more jobs than men because of defense program.
June 9 – Many Mason Cityans get promotions at Camp Claiborne.
June 10 – United Service Organization (USO) campaign starts.
June 20 – Seventy teams start USO solicitation in Mason City.
July 12 – Draft boards classify 252 new registrants.
July 15 – Plans announced for county aluminum collection.
July 29 – Mason Cityans command six companies at Camp Claiborne.
July 30 – Word received Tom Rye, William Cross and possibly other Mason Cityans in marine expedition to Iceland.
Aug. 1—North Iowa guardsmen take part in history’s biggest maneuvers in Louisiana.
Aug. 5 – Seven former sailors named on navy committee here.
Aug. 8 – Women of the Moose vote to purchase $500 in defense bonds.
Aug. 13 – W. D. Kettleton named to head Iowa air raid warning program.
Aug. 20 – Iowa’s first mobile first-aid unit organized here.
Aug. 27 – 325 youths apply for Lockheed aviation jobs.
Sept. 2 – Women’s club votes to purchase $1,300 in defense bonds.
Sept. 5 – 27 North Iowans granted citizenship papers here.
Sept. 24 – Lockheed-Vega accepts 64 here for airplane factory in California.
Oct. 10 – 100 guardsmen return on furlough.
Oct. 11 – Cerro Gordo civilian defense council organized by Chairman Earl Hall.
Oct. 23 – Draft board records show 500 Cerro Gordoans in armed service.
Oct. 27 – Fourteen sign up for navy on navy day.
Nov. 5 – Haakon Rivedat, local youth with RAF, injured in air raid.
Dec. 7 – THE WAR.
Dec. 10 – Cerro Gordo war relief quota set at $12,500.
Dec. 12 – Legion turns from peace to wartime program, speakers announce at post Christmas party.
Dec. 13 – Cerro Gordo county civilian defense council set for action.
Dec. 15 – Begin organization of home guard unit in Mason City.
Dec. 16 – Army and navy recruiting at new high figure.
Dec. 17 – Draft board No. 2 sends last questionnaire.
Dec. 17 – Guy Carroll and Erwin Searle are first reported Mason City deaths in World War II, at Pearl Harbor.
Dec. 18 – L. R. Whipple named commander of Mason City’s Company E, 2nd regiment, Iowa state guard.
Dec. 20 – Begin organization of Mason City civilian air patrol.
Dec. 22 – State guard recruiting begins.
Dec. 29 – Fifty North Iowa youths join army and navy.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Wednesday, December 31, 1941