World War II


john m. alford

raymond e. anderson

gideon barlow

kenneth eugene berg

robert grant blake

charles briggs

laverne m. brown

john carr

john colfer

jack collinson

perry collinson

john h. collister

richard coyle

Clifton Deffenbaugh

herschel deffenbaugh

merlin deffenbaugh

richard deffenbaugh

ralph w. dolk

harold dutton

jack fansler

fred robert ferrell

lawrence hagney

dale reuben hamlin

harry hamlin

thomas j. hanlon

dale horton

howard d. hulstrom

edward jackson

everett jackson

donald howard johnson

edward l. johnson

norman l. kenney

robert r. lapan

lawrence larson

robert k. lindstedt

mervyn h. looney

milton arhibald murphy

verne mortenson

carl okerstromof

Dale otterstrom

Donald otterstrom

Howard otterstrom

ralph o. peterson

lewis polansky

robert a. quinney

meade "cotton" robinson

robert c. robinson

eugene schmitt

forest sundquist

florence swank

george swank

john thompson

donald v. troline

melvin walker jr.

james warren

willard h. waterous

Philip t. wiedenhoeft

richard h. winter, Sr.


We Will Remember You


Dale R. HamlinDale Hamlin

The USS Oklahoma was Dale Hamlin's ship at Pearl Harbor, and when it was hit by five Japanese torpedoes, Dale was the first Galva youth to lose his live in World War II. He was twenty-five.

Dale had been in the navy for more than four years, having enlisted in November, 1937. He received his training at Great Lakes, was transferred to the West Coast and assigned to the Oklahoma with the rank of gunner's mate, 3rd class.

Dale's first military training came in April, 1937, when he and his brother Earl joined Galva's newly activated National Guard battery. Earl went with the Guardsmen to Camp Forrest in 1940.

Dale and Earl's younger brother, Harry, was at Pearl Harbor at the time of the December 7 attack engaged in weather observation duties aboard the USS Curtis.

The parents of the boys, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Hamlin, received notification that Dale was "missing" from Dale's wife, the former Marjory Moergeli of Tacoma, Washington. The news arrived three days before Christmas.

Confirmation of Dale's death came late in February, 1942, after which a memorial service was held on 29 March at the Galva First Methodist Church.

Dale's body was eventually recovered from the wreckage of the USS Oklahoma and returned for burial in the Galva Cemetery over seven years later on 10 May, 1949.

--adapted from GalvaLand Magazine, December, 1962 and June, 1984


James R. Warren

A young Galva paratrooper of the 82nd Airborne Division was among 410 U.S. soldiers killed during one the tragic errors of World War II when 23 transport planes were shot down by our own Navy and Army gunners in the invasion of Italy in July of 1943.

He was James R. Warren, 20, a son of Mrs. Ruth Carlson (Warren) Hickle and a grandson of Mr. and Mrs. P. A. Carlson, of Galva, with whom he resided while attending school here.

The body of young Warren, the first Galvan to die in the European Combat Zone, was never recovered from the coastal waters off Sicily.

--GalvaLand Magazine, July-August, 1973


Charles Robert Briggs

2nd Lt. Charles Robert Briggs, 20, was killed July 28, 1943, in the crash of a four-engine bomber near Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the vicinity of Belen, when the plane exploded during a routine flight. Eight other men were killed.

The Galva officer's death occurred three months after he received his commission at Columbus, Mississippi. He had enlisted in the Air Force March 3, 1942.

Robert was the son of Mrs. Marie Williams Briggs, of Galva, and Dewey P. Briggs of Springfield.

Military rites were conducted in Galva cemetery August 3.

--GalvaLand Magazine, July-August, 1973


Eugene F. "Bud" Schmitt

Tech. Sgt. Eugene F. "Bud" Schmitt, 25, was killed during a bombing mission over Germany on 13 February, 1944.

Bud, a 1936 graduate of Galva High School, enlisted in the Air Corps in September, 1940, and was sent to Scott Field, Belleville.

--GalvaLand Magazine, January-February, 1974


Lawrence E. Larson

Lt. Lawrence E. Larson, pilot of a B-24, lost his life May 29, 1944, during an air mission over Germany from his base in England, only about two weeks before his 26th birthday.

Lawrence graduated from Galva High School in 1936, and after receiving his degree from Illinois College in Jacksonville, entered the service in August, 1941.

He received his wings and commission at Douglas AF base in Arizona, July 28, 1943, and was assigned to overseas duty the following March.

The Air Medal which he had earned was presented posthumously at a ceremony in Flagstaff, Arizona, early in 1945 and was accepted by his widow, the former Marjorie Scherman.

Internment was in a permanent American Cemetery near Metz, France.

--GalvaLand Magazine, June, 1984


Robert R. Lapan

The name of Robert R. Lapan, a 21 year old Galva youth, was on the casualty lists from the South Pacific where there was a heavy toll during the invasion of Saipan, one of the coral islands in the Mariannas. Robert was killed June 17, 1944, with the assault force of the 2nd Marine Division.

Robert graduated from Galva High School in 1941 and enlisted in the Marine Corps in December, 1942. After training at Camp Elliott, California, the 2nd Marine Division sailed for New Zealand and more training.

The invasion of Tarawa in November, 1943, preceded the landing at Saipan and that tragic day-June 17, 1944.

--GalvaLand Magazine, June, 1984


LaVerne M. Brown

LaVerne M. Brown, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. Mark E. Brown, of Galva, died July 24, 1944, of wounds received during the Battle of Guam while serving in a Marine unit.

His body was returned to the United Stated in the spring of 1948 and internment was in Aledo on April 22.

--GalvaLand Magazine, September, 1984


Richard Coyle

Seven weeks after D-Day in Normandy, France, Richard P. Coyle was killed in action July 26, 1944, while serving with the 5th (Red Diamond) Division, which entered combat early in July and was attacking in the vicinity of St. Lo.

First news that Richard was missing in action was received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Coyle, on August 14, and confirmation of his death arrived a week later.

He was inducted April 11, 1944, and after training at Fort Custer, Michigan, was discharged in November because of age regulations. He was recalled to service in February, 1943, and went overseas in April.

A memorial service was held in St. John's Church here September 4, that year. Permanent burial rites were conducted in the American cemetery at St. Laurent-sur-Mer near the Normandy coast in the spring of 1949.

--GalvaLand Magazine, July-August, 1974


John ColferJohn Colfer 1943

John T. Colfer, 2nd Lt., U.S. Air Force, lost his life during a bomber mission over Yugoslavia on November 21, 1944. The only son of Thomas and Mary Colfer, of Galva, had completed 25 missions during the four months after his arrival overseas in July, 1944.

John is buried in the United States Military Cemetery near Florence, Italy. His sister, Mary Colfer Irvine visited John's grave in the summer of 1950 and had these words published in the GalvaLand Magazine:

"If anyone from the Galva area visits Florence, ask at the office for the location of the grave of John T. Colfer. Right near his grave is a grave marked, 'Three Known But to God.' All those years and their families still don't know where they are."

--adapted from GalvaLand Magazine, March-April, 1995


Herschel Deffenbaugh

Herschel Deffenbaugh, 21-year old son of Mr. and Mrs. William Deffenbaugh, was killed February 22, 1945, while serving with a Marine Division on Iwo Jima.

Three other Deffenbaugh sons were in the Armed Forces at the time - Richard, Clifton and Merlin.

It was three days after the landing that Hershel was killed.

--adapted from GalvaLand Magazine, July-August, 1973 and September, 1984


Jack W. Fansler

Jack W. Fansler, 22 years old when he died, was killed less than three weeks after the landing on Iwo Jima, March 8, 1945 while serving with the 4th Marine Division.

He was the son of Walter Fansler of Altona, and lived in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew McClure, of Galva, after the death of his mother when he was ten.

Jack's brother, Walter, was killed in Europe seven months earlier on August 12, 1944.

--adapted from GalvaLand Magazine, September, 1983


Harold G. Dutton

Harold G. Dutton, 24, a first lieutenant with a tank destroyer unit was killed in Germany. He was a member of Galva National Guard at the time it entered federal service and went to Camp Forrest, Tennessee, in 1941.

--GalvaLand Magazine, March-April, 1973


Lawrence "Jack" Hagney

The guns were still firing and the casualties continued to mount during April, 1945.

It was on April 2 when an 18-year old Galva youth, Lawrence A. (Jack) Hagney, paid the ultimate sacrifice, only a little more than one month before V-E Day. He was serving with the 9th Armored Division.

It was less than a year after he graduated from Galva High School and only about nine months after he had enlisted.

He was a son of Mr. and Mrs. L. A. Hagney, of Galva, and the body was returned to Havana, Illinois, where the family formerly resided, for burial in November, 1948.

--GalvaLand Magazine, March-April, 1973


John L. Carr

John L. Carr, Major, United States Air Force, was 26 years old when the Super Fortress of which he was pilot took off from the base of the 594th Bomb Group in the Marianas on a mission over Honshu, the main island of Japan The date was June 26, 1945.

His plane received intense fire from Japanese fighters and when other crew members were wounded his first concern was to aid them.

Major Carr lost his life on that day when the end of the war in the Pacific was so near. His body was never recovered, but the Silver Star was awarded posthumously for his efforts on behalf of his crew.

Later, when the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific was established on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, the name of Major John L. Carr was inscribed on stone along with more than 20,000 others whose "earthly resting place is known only to God."

--GalvaLand Magazine, September, 1984


Harold Kewish

The crash of a fighter plane near Abilene, Texas, on June 15, 1945, claimed the life of 1st Lt. Harold S. Kewish, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Kewish.

Harold had enlisted in the Army Air Corps in October, 1942, and the orders for his overseas assignment were cancelled after V-E Day.

Services were held in LaFayette Methodist Church June 19 and burial was in Galva Cemetery.

--GalvaLand Magazine, January-February, 1976

Kenneth Berg

Flight Officer Kenneth E. Berg, 23, died January 17, 1946 in a service hospital in Tokyo as the result of a heart ailment which developed after an attack of pneumonia.

Kenneth was a glider pilot and had been scheduled to return to the States after 14 months overseas.

--GalvaLand Magazine, January-February, 1976