By Judi Tabler
Special to the Tribune
LARNED — While standing at the counter at Don’s Motors, Fred glanced down and noticed a tattered book, bound with duct tape, and looking like it had been through some rough times.
The book is, “Service Record, World War I and II. Larned and Community.”
Fred borrowed the book, which I assume has been out of commission forever, and brought it home for a visit. The very old, hard cover book was sponsored by the Walter Shears Post, and assisted by the “then” community businessmen.
This article is for you almost-old timers.
I can’t quite come to calling us the “Old-Timers” yet!
But it is us who knew many of the mentioned, and who also will recognize the names. Because there is so much information, I chose to cover WWII only in this article.
As I opened the pages, the photos and faces of men lost in WWII come alive on the pages. They are all area men. There are also some women.
Each photo has the date of entering the service, the branch of service, and where and when they were killed.
It is astounding how many from the Pawnee County area lost their lives in that great war. At my age now, I especially notice how young they were.
Some of the photos and their places of death are — Beryl Artz (Italy); Harold Bird (British West Indies); Keith Blackburn (Germany), Joe Fagen (France); Joe Fleming (Pearl Harbor); Glee Fox (France); Fred Galliart (Italy); Truman Grandy (Action in Pacific); Herbert Reed (Nuremberg, Germany); Glenn Allen Skelton (Solomons, Md.); and William J. Wood (Italia, European theater).
Jack Krieger is also pictured but with no details.
The next section displays pictures of the men and women who served and survived.
Since this past week we lost a WWII veteran in our community — Ralph Arnold.
I looked for his picture. I found it. Wow. What a good looking young man he was. His branch of service was the U.S. Navy. We will miss you, Ralph. Our WWII veterans are quickly disappearing.
Listed among those who served in the military, and surviving the war along with Ralph are Clifford Atteberry, Dareld Aggson, Everett E. Avery, Lowell Bank, Wayne Beer, Eldred Bruntzel, Madeleine Buck, A.M. Coddington, and William Howard Cline.
In addition, Vernon Daniels, Donald Deege, Raymond Deckert, Robert Dryden, Charles Eckert, and Charles Durler are pictured.
Roger Fox is in the book, and is he ever cute!
Glenn Froetschner, Roger Gore, Harold Hall, John Shoup, and Bruce Jantz, Virginia Lupfer, Elvira Victoria Mostrom, Stanley Moffet, Edward Nauert, Harold Stude, Donald Tiday, Robert Twitchell, Dean Umburger, Donald Vratil, Mildon Yeager, and Willard Zook
The list goes on.
It is a memory book of local, service men and women who must not ever be forgotten. There are 278 from this area listed who survived the war, and about 20 listed who didn’t come home.
Imagine the impact of such a war in an area including Larned and the surrounding towns. And multiply that over and over in each town and city in the nation. What a stressful, constantly grievous time for everyone that must have been.
The Victorious Vratils are pictured as well since their mother, Mary, who sent off seven sons into that war. They were Louis, Eddie, Roy, Lester, Frank, Leo, and Robert. Donald Vratil fits into that mix somewhere also, but he was a cousin to the seven already mentioned.
You might remember some of the sponsors. They were active Pawnee County businesses — Cliff’s Studio (Schoenthaler), Cobb Electric, Vernon Funeral Home, Hall Oil Co, Lynch Drugs, Mullin Furniture Co., Vin’s Pharmacy, Mac’s Café, Hampton Grocery, Rivers Shoe Store, Fred Doll Sales Pavilion, The Arcade, Milloway Motors, Lischesky Dry Goods, The Blue Goose, Beckwith Mortuary, First State Bank, First National Bank, Roth Equipment, The Tiller and Toiler, Midway Market, The Bon-Ton, Gilkerson Cleaners and Hatters, Edmiston Shoe Repair, Grenell’s Studio, Jack Doerr Appliance, and the Stafford County Flour Mills.
My how times have changed. So many businesses, and I did not mention all the sponsors!
I hope you have enjoyed this trip down Memory Lane and I pray that we don’t forget these men and women who had a part in shaping all that we enjoy today.