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Date of Comment Text Made By
7/13/2005 6:45:00 AM I'm Virginia's daughter, and we just lost her on April 26, 2005. Tough time. Anyway, she and Aunt Jean talked often about when they went to find Wesley in the hospital. They told each other not to cry, but it didn't work out that way. They were so thrilled to see him. They've been a very close family. Peggy
5/20/2004 9:14:00 PM Aunt Avis told how Jean AND Virginia found dad, they road the street car to the hospitial and started to walk up and down every ward till they found him Robb S
3/30/2004 3:40:00 PM I love this! The number 1# reason is because I'm learning about it! Man, this is so cool! See ya!! Courtney
12/2/2003 9:10:00 PM Here's a link to the postcard: Click here Matt
7/25/2003 11:48:00 PM From what Grandpa writes in his letters, I believe Verney Dix is the same as the one mentioned here, which is a site that lists men from Woodson County, Kansas, who died in WWII. The site indicates Verney Dix gave his life on Luzon. Matt
7/6/2003 12:41:00 PM Found this v-mail letter in a photo album here in Atkinson while visiting for 4th of July, 2003. Grandpa is a little more explicit about his wounds here than he is in any of the other letters I've seen. Matt
6/15/2003 3:17:00 PM This is the "I May Drop in to Surprise You!" postcard. I gather this must be his very first correspondence home. Matt
4/6/2003 11:20:00 PM This is a good letter that gives a glimpse of life at the hospital in Springfield, MO, while recovering from wounds. Matt
10/19/2002 11:37:00 AM On the envelope of this v-mail someone had written: "The First letter from Bougainville Nov 19- 1943" Matt
10/19/2002 11:35:00 AM This is the postcard with the dancers on the front. Had a tough time reading much of the writing so please refer to the image. The postmark is Fort Leavenworth. Matt
10/19/2002 11:34:00 AM This is the postcard with the outhouse on the front. Matt
10/19/2002 11:33:00 AM The other side of this postcard is a picture of the New Orleans Municipal Auditorium. Lloyd mentions this is where he is living. Matt
10/19/2002 11:29:00 AM This is the postcard with the guy in baggy uniform on the front. Couldn't quite make out how he signed the letter at the end. Matt
10/19/2002 11:27:00 AM According to a conversation I had with Aunt Avis, the "chicken house" he refers to is a bad case of chicken pox she had just before he left. She was very ill, but did manage to attend the going away party held for him at the Slaymaker Ranch. There is a clipping describing the gathering and those attending in the scrapbook accompanying these letters. Sandy
9/23/2002 2:52:00 PM This is a rare one-page letter from Grandpa so I scanned it in, see it here. Matt
9/23/2002 2:12:00 PM This is from the following postcard here. I don't know the actual date of this card. I put a date of mid-August as Grandpa mentions Jean getting back from a trip to California in a letter from Sept 24, 1943. Matt
9/23/2002 2:10:00 PM Poster here Matt
9/23/2002 12:20:00 PM Darold mentions Atkinson seeming to have lost a lot of men. Here is a link on more about those lost in WW2 ( ), and below is the list specifically for Holt County:

 ALBERS RICHARD E      37267203 CPL   DOW 
 BARNES LLOYD M        37146012 S SG  DNB 
 BIGLIN WILLIAM J      17116415 PFC   KIA 
 BOLIN BERNARD E       37482367 PVT   DOW 
 BRADY LLOYD G         37468033 S SG  FOD 
 BRAINARD DORSON B     37146016 PVT   KIA 
 BURGE FLOYD E         37448038 S SG  KIA 
 BUTZKE VIRGIL P       37120147 TEC5  KIA 
 CAMERON LYNN T        17040903 S SG  KIA 
 CARY LADDIE           37145982 T SG  KIA 
 CHILDERS HAROLD W     37036528 PVT   KIA 
 CRANDALL CALVIN D     37477530 PVT   KIA 
 DAILEY DONALD L        6580609 PVT   KIA 
 DAVIS DALE A          19063626 S SG  KIA 
 DE LONG LEV J         37146017 S SG  KIA 
 DESEIVE CLAYTON J     37480495 CPL   DNB 
 FOX JANES I           37074700 PFC   KIA 
 GALLAGHER JOHN M      37267523 SGT   DOW 
 HAMILTON JOHN R       37754683 PFC   KIA 
 HARTY MICHAEL E       01297534 1 LT  KIA 
 JARESKE FLOYD M       37120146 SGT   KIA 
 JUNGMAN ROBERT E      0-541900 2 LT  KIA 
 KOPEJTKA ALLEN L      37731647 PVT   DNB 
 MACK JOSEPH A         01999957 2 LT  KIA 
 MC KENZIE TED         37120355 PVT   KIA 
 MEYBORG WALTER E      37480548 PFC   KIA 
 MURPHY ROBERT L       0-740258 2 LT  KIA 
 NEWTON DEWEY C        37151096 SGT   DNB 
 NINAS ROBERT E        37123683 TEC5  KIA 
 RAKOW MENDELL L       0-682677 1 LT  KIA 
 RIDGEWAY ROBERT R     37074706 PFC   KIA 
 ROSNO JAMES M         37262899 PVT   DNB 
 SHOLES RICHARD F      37468085 PFC   KIA 
 STEWART DAVID E       37267208 PVT   DNB 
 SWANSON ROBERT J      37465993 PFC   KIA 
 THOENDEL VICTOR C     0-735492 2 LT  FOD 
 THORIN MELVIN S       37256411 TEC5  DOW 
 TUSHLA HAROLD R       0-660935   LT  FOD 
 VALLA FRANCIS B       17040384 CPL   DNB 
 WOEPPEL MARREN M      37486146 PFC   DOW 
 WOLFE MAXWELL         37448161 SGT   DNB 
 WOOD BURTIS M         37448057 TEC4  DNB 
 WOOD WARREN F         37468046 S SG  KIA 
 YOUNG RICHARD C       37482372 PVT   KIA 

Type of Casualty
KIA Killed In Action
DOW Died of Wounds
DOI Died of injuries (fatal injury in battle)
DNB Died, non-battle (from sickness, training, maneuver deaths)
FOD Finding of Death
M Missing

GEN General (four star)
LT G Lieutenant General (three star)
MG Major General (two star)
B G Brigadier General (one star)
COL Colonol
LT C Lietenant Colonol
MAJ Major
CAPT Captain
1 LT 1st Lieutenant
2 LT 2nd Lieutenant
C WO Chief Warrant Officer
WOJG Warrant Office, Junior Grade
FL O Flight Officer
AV C Aviation Cadet
M SG Master Sergeant
1 SG 1st Sergeant
T SG Technical Sergeant
S SG Staff Sargeant
TEC3 Technicial 3rd Grade
SGT Sergeant
TEC4 Technicial 4th Grade
CPL Corporal
TEC5 Technicial 5th Grade
PFC Private First Class
PVT Private
9/23/2002 11:06:00 AM Ken mentions his number being close to Wesley's and Lloyd's:

Ken - 37146009
Wesley - 37146011
Lloyd - 37146012

9/23/2002 11:04:00 AM This letter was written as part of a letter from Ken the same day. I separated the two out for purposes of presentation on this site. Matt
9/23/2002 10:27:00 AM Ken says here "Hope we don't have to spend 29 months over here." I guess it turned out to be more like 31 for Grandpa. Matt
9/23/2002 10:13:00 AM First letter from New Hebrides. Matt
9/23/2002 10:13:00 AM Good description of some everyday life kind of things on the island in terms of keeping personal items and so forth. Matt
9/22/2002 10:22:00 PM About a sentence worth was censored (literally cut out, leaving the page in two pieces) from this letter. Matt
9/22/2002 I gather he is referring to Pete Duffy, Holt County Sheriff. Would be interesting to know what the uproar was about. Matt
9/21/2002 On the front of the envelope containing this letter, someone has written "House slippers."

Grandpa mentions in here about a time in Fiji when he fell down a hill while carrying a 50 pound tripod (probably like the one here) and the tripod came down on him and knocked him out cold.

Also mentions here that he saw both Jack Benny and Bob Hope recently, and that Jack Benny was much better.

9/21/2002 This letter was addressed to Mrs. Irwin Gaughenbaugh 209 Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL but it was re-directed to RR2 Atkinson Neb Matt
7/15/2002 6:00:00 PM Electricity comes to the farms in Holt County. Mary B
7/15/2002 1:45:00 PM This letter was written on American Red Cross stationery. It has a red cross at the top of each page with the words "American Red Cross" printed in red centered beneath the cross. At the bottom of each page, in quotes, "To furnish aid to the sick and wounded of armies...." and "To act in matters of voluntary relief and in accord woth the military and naval authorities as a medium of communication between the people of the United States of America and their Army and Navy..." The Charter of the American National Red Cross. By Act of Congress January 5, 1905. Mary B
7/15/2002 11:58:00 AM Dad makes sargeant rank Mary B
7/14/2002 4:51:00 PM In an envelope to Mrs. Roy Johnson & Family Hartville Wyo from Mr. & Mrs. G.H. Porter. SandyS
7/14/2002 4:41:00 PM There was no date specified in the letter but i think the post mark says June 21, 1944. The letter is addressed to Mrs. L.G. Slaymaker, 126 South Jackson St., Casper Wyoming % Mrs. Roy Eaten. SandyS
7/13/2002 7:40:00 PM This letter was written on nifty stationery that has the insignia of all four service branches at the top of each page. Mary B
7/13/2002 12:15:00 PM Dad sounds blue here. The war must have heated up. He talks about Laurence not eating meat on "those days" and making it to church every Sunday. Mary Timmerman and Laurence were planning to get married and she was Catholic. Mary B
7/13/2002 11:55:00 AM On the front of each envelope to Charley and Izetta there is a mark that looks like this: =ll (two bar eleven?) I think that this is their cattle brand and denotes that they have read and responded to dad's letter. Mary B
7/12/2002 12:52:00 PM (included in this letter was a page of paper in Laurence Slaymaker, Sr. handwriting with the following written on it.)1 Ques. Are you at Australia? If so write this sentence: We have mutton most every day.2 Ques Are you at New Caledonia? If so write this sentence: Itís not quite so hot here.3 Ques Are you at New Hebrides? If so write this sentence: The temperature is about the same here.4 Ques Are you in the Solomon Iles? If so write this sentence: I donít sleep very good since we moved.5 Ques Are you at New Guinea? If so write this sentence: My watch sure keeps good time over here.6 Ques Do you have combat duty? If so write this sentence: Iím always tired at night.P.S. Answer one out of the first five and be sure to answer the sixth one.Written Mar. 28, 1943Should get a reply to this by April 20th at least. There are also 2 Japanese one peso bills SandyS
7/11/2002 9:37:00 PM The horse's name is Satan. Wes/Sandy
7/11/2002 5:36:00 PM Written on the back of the envelope is Irvin E. Gaughenbaugh RT1/C, USS Breton k Division, % Fleet Post Office, San Francisco California SandyS
7/11/2002 5:17:00 PM he mentions that he crossed the equator 3 times by ship and once by plane. SandyS
7/11/2002 1:02:00 PM There was a small piece of black or navy blue material in the envelope with this letter. SandyS
7/11/2002 11:46:00 AM The date on this letter is Jan. 6, 1945, (postmark is Jan 6, 1946) however I think that it was written in 1946 when he was in the hosp. and he did one of those first of the year glitches witht he year. SandyS
7/10/2002 9:15:00 PM Written on the back of the envelope is "The first letter we received when Wesley arrived in States at California and saw the girls 2nd day Virginia & Jean" SandyS
7/10/2002 4:11:00 PM No. 16 SandyS
7/10/2002 3:43:00 PM No. 15 s
7/10/2002 3:32:00 PM No. 14. SandyS
7/10/2002 3:23:00 PM No. 13.Included in the envelope with this letter is a sheet of paper with the following on it. 1. Are you at Australia? 2. Are you at New Zealand? 3.Are you at the Fiji Islands? 4. Are you at New Hebrides? 5. are you at New Caledonia? 6. Are you at the Gilbert Islands? Answer yes to the qustion that corresponds to the number where you are at or better yet just add a 2 or a 3 or whichever if may be at the end of your letter. (I believe the unusual signature corresponds to this piece of paper.) SandyS
7/10/2002 2:49:00 PM No. 12. I am not sure of the name of the guy on the football team he is asking about. SandyS
7/10/2002 2:34:00 PM No. 11 SandyS
7/10/2002 2:18:00 PM No. 10 SandyS
7/10/2002 2:07:00 PM No. 9 SandyS
7/10/2002 1:49:00 PM No. 8 SandyS
7/10/2002 1:31:00 PM No. 7. I am not sure of the spelling of the last name of the guy (from St. Louis) who pitched for their team SandyS
7/10/2002 1:13:00 PM also in envelope marked No. 6 SandyS
7/10/2002 1:06:00 PM No.6 SandyS
7/10/2002 12:51:00 PM No. 5 SandyS
7/10/2002 12:19:00 PM No. 4 on envelope SandyS
7/10/2002 11:54:00 AM In envelope to Virginia in care of Petersons Beauty Shoppe SandyS
7/10/2002 11:35:00 AM No. 3 on envelope SandyS
7/10/2002 11:23:00 AM In envelope post marked Oct 10, 1942. Some one (Grandpa Laurence?) has written in pencil No. 2 on the envelope. SandyS
7/10/2002 10:53:00 AM This is the first letter home after he shipped out. Postmarked Oct. 8, 1942, American Base Force A.P.O. It has a 6 cent airmail stamp on it and a censor's stamp signed by Cap. Virgil E. White. Someone has written on the envelope No. 1. SandyS
7/9/2002 6:33:00 PM A statement of his investment philosophy! This one really worked. SandyS
7/9/2002 6:18:00 PM First letter from Camp Stoneman. He wasn't allowed to say the name of the camp in his letter but it is on the postmark on the envelope. SandyS
7/9/2002 6:02:00 PM This is the letter telling his folks he is being moved out. This is one of two letters postmarked Aug. 18th, 1942. This one is postmarked from Camp Forrest at 3 p.m. SandyS
7/9/2002 5:48:00 PM This is one of two letters mailed on August 18, 1943. The envelope for this letter is postmarked Tullahoma, Tenn. 10 p.m. SandyS
7/9/2002 5:27:00 PM The envelope to this letter had been burned on the right end after the letter was opened. There are a couple of charred spots on the letter as well. SandyS
7/8/2002 9:40:00 PM Someone is going to have to ask Grandpa what the proper spelling of this horse is supposed to be. Sa'tow or Sataw or Saton. Can't tell. Click here to see the first letter he mentions it in. I just can't read the writing well enough to guess at it. Matt
7/8/2002 9:33:00 PM Had to guess on the date of this letter as Grandpa only wrote "December 1943" at the head of the letter, which is unusual for him. Guessing 12/19/1943 for the date because the previous letter was 12/13 and he said he went to church that morning and also that he would go to church Christmas morning, which would come prior to the next Sunday, so I think I'm probably right. Matt
7/8/2002 7:13:00 AM Gets transferred to Company M in 33rd Division. Matt
7/8/2002 7:10:00 AM See the actual telegram by clicking here. Matt
7/8/2002 7:04:00 AM From the site at bottom of this comment I gleaned the following dates about the 37th Division, 129th Infantry. I haven't checked yet to see whether these dates match up with anything mentioned in the letters.
  • Landed Bougainville Nov 13, 1943
  • March, 1944 eight Japanese divisional attacks, main counterattack Mar 11 toward Piva Airfield which hit the 129th Infantry as well as Mar 23
  • Landed Luzon Jan 9, 1945
  • Captured Clark Field by end of Jan
  • Wounded Jan 29 Division.html
7/7/2002 9:20:00 PM Grandpa reveals a few interesting details at the tail end of this letter after he notes that some of the limits of censorship have been lifted. Matt
7/7/2002 6:28:00 PM I'm not sure of the name of the Chaplin. SandyS
7/7/2002 5:21:00 PM Am not sure of the spelling of the last name of Bob, the other red headed guy in the tent. SandyS
7/7/2002 3:31:00 PM Letter where he announces he now has his own squad and is a Cpl. Matt
7/7/2002 2:55:00 PM This is from the U.S. Infantry postcard. Matt
7/7/2002 2:08:00 PM Some interesting comments here on branding. Matt
7/7/2002 2:00:00 PM Grandpa mentions his "30 cal. gun" that "works like a clock". I think the gun described here is the one he is talking about. Only weighed 41 lbs! Matt
7/7/2002 11:01:00 AM Letter announcing his promotion to Private First Class. Mentions Gordon Carlisle,is this the letter that indicates he has heard that Gordon was killed? SandyS
7/7/2002 10:50:00 AM On back of envelope is an address (not in Wesley's writing) Edward Whelan Ph (?) 2/e, U.S. Naval Hospital, Phila. Penna. SandyS
6/30/2002 7:16:00 PM Here's a great site regarding Camp Stoneman: Matt
6/30/2002 7:15:00 PM I sure had a tough time reading what Glenn wrote in the P.S. there. I bet I got it wrong. Here's the official Navy link about the USS Heywood h/ap12.htm Matt
6/30/2002 3:26:00 PM Had a tough time reading Ken's handwriting on more than one occasion on this one so someone may want to re-read what I transcribed. Matt
6/30/2002 2:51:00 PM Thought this was a good quote: "I got another letter from Helen Zink last night. She's sure a funny girl I'll admit I can't understand her half of the time. All these darn women are like that to some extent." Matt
6/30/2002 2:25:00 PM There were two men named Decker in the squad, "Big" and "Little". "Little" Decker shipped out before the Battle of Bouganville. Of the rest mentioned, Morrison and "Big" Decker were killed and Baum and Nellis were wounded at the same time Wes was. Also in the Squad was Aubrey Ball, the first gunner, who was also killed. Wesley/SandyS
6/30/2002 2:21:00 PM Virginia couldn't say Wesley when she was little so she called him Feffy instead. Wes/SandyS
6/30/2002 2:20:00 PM Charlie Tasler was castrating calves and one kicked the knife into his face, nearly cutting his nose off. Wesley doesn't remember that he had much of a scar at all in later years. Wesley/SandyS
6/30/2002 2:14:00 PM Wes got a chuckle out of this comment when he heard it! SandyS
6/30/2002 1:55:00 PM They left from the Golden Hotel in O'Neill at 7 am. It was below zero. They traveled by bus to Omaha. Wes/SandyS
6/30/2002 1:43:00 PM It was interesting for me as a "grand kid" to read the following from this letter: "I took the order for my bronze star down to Captain Jack's office today. They are going to call me down some time next week to be decorated. You know a General will pin it on me, shake hands with me. I'll give him a big salute, which he won't return, and all the time I'll be shaking worse than I was when I earned the darn thing. I don't know it will be worth it or not. But maybe it will be nice to show to some of my grand kids, which I doubt if I ever have." Matt
6/30/2002 10:43:00 AM This one Grandpa mentions the names of all the men in his squad. Matt
6/30/2002 10:30:00 AM Sure had a tough time reading the handwriting on this one. Matt
6/29/2002 9:49:00 PM On the outside fold of this letter, the following text was found:

Say Mom I opened this & read it.
Last night Aunt Mattie called & said that she had a card from Maxine Johnson & she had had a letter from Wesley dated Jan 17th I'll write Aunt Mattie a card tonight.
Sure did snow didn't it hope the roads aren't too bad. I didn't have any mail today.
Wesleys letter was pretty good wasn't it.

6/29/2002 9:02:00 PM This letter was written on a full v-mail sheet but apparently enclosed in an envelope and mailed instead of being copied onto microfilm and transported. Either that, or there was an error somewhere in the process. Matt
6/28/2002 11:01:00 PM Grandpa clearly didn't like V-Mail. Here's more about its history: Matt
6/28/2002 10:49:00 PM A good web site on Camp Forrest can be found at: Matt
6/28/2002 10:45:00 PM The "Yoo Hoo" incident took place in July of 1941 in Memphis and certainly must have spread quickly through the troops. See the following site for more on this General: Matt
6/28/2002 10:43:00 PM "You said we have every thing in our family but a nurse and an auctioneer. I'll try and get the nurse, Avis will have to round up the latter." I think that's my favorite quote in these letters so far. Matt
6/28/2002 10:30:00 PM It was a ritual every evening for most people to sit down and write letters to the boys in the service. Avis and Jean were doing light housekeeping at Faye Bilsteinís house. ďEvery night Jean and I would sit down and write. Then we would walk the letters over to the train depot and mail them. If you got them there before midnight they would go out on the train. Then we walked over to the Night and Day Cafť and had a cup of Coffee before going home." Avis/Sandy S
6/28/2002 10:28:00 PM Avis was 14 and a freshman in high school when Wesley left for the service. She lived in Atkinson and did light housekeeping in a room at Mrs. Wellerís house. (See letter from early 1942 that mentions row she had with Mrs. W.) The ďset-toĒ was over Avisís girlfriends who came to walk with her to school each day, not knocking and just parading through the Weller living room on their way to Avisís room. Mrs. W. chewed Avis out about it and Avis flew back at her. They didnít speak for about 3 weeks. Laurence also had a room there. Avis/Sandy S
6/28/2002 10:36:00 AM The Fred who wrote a note to Avis found by Grandma Slaymaker in her room that Wes mentions in one of his early letters of 1942 is Fred Tesch. He was her boyfriend her freshman year in high school. He later became the Cass County sheriff. Avis/Sandy S