Historically speaking

During World War II, Ishpeming sent many of its citizens to far off places around the globe and the Iron Ore printed many of their stories.

“PFC Lawrence R. Robare, of 115 West Superior street, Ishpeming, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Robare, is now on duty with the Chinese Combat Command, the United States Army organization working in the field with the Chinese Army to increase their effectiveness against the Japanese invaders.”

“He arrived in China with the American 475th Infantry regiment when most of that organization was flown from Burma by the Air Transport Command.”

“He (Robare) entered the Army in 1944, and was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, until being sent to India in December 1944, from where he went to join the Mars Task Force. He is a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic church and before going into the Army was employed by the Marquette County Road Commission.” (Iron Ore, July 7, 1945)

It wasn’t just the men who served. “Hospital Apprentice First Class Beatrice Pearl Tonkin of 128 Bessemer street, Ishpeming, has been transferred from the U.S, Naval Hospital, Charleston, N.C. to the Naval Training and Distribution Center, Shoemaker, Calif.

Hospital Apprentice Tonkin is the daughter of Mrs. Herbert Tonkin. She attended the Ishpeming high school and Northern Michigan College of Education and enlisted in the Navy on August 22, 1944.

Her brother, William Tonkin, is also serving in the Navy.” (Iron Ore, July 14, 1945)

Some of the citizens Ishpeming sent off to war never made it out of the US. “Among the enlisted men who are responsible for the military training of enrollees is Technician Fifth Grade John Mills Maloney, of 403 Oak street, Ishpeming. His parents are Mr. and Mrs. T.J. Maloney of the same address.

The basic principle of instruction is to teach English and elementary arithmetic useful in Army life, so that students may read instructions, comprehend orders, record pay and allowances, and communicate with their relatives and friends.” (Iron Ore, June 23, 1945)

“Despite constant V-bomb attacks and the threat of the German counter offensive last winter, men of the 221st Quartermaster Battalion headquarters kept a huge food depot in operation on a day and night schedule.

Cpl. William C. Hill, Ishpeming, is a member of the unit.

The depot was one of the many installations of the 58th Quartermaster Base Depot, one of the Army’s largest supply points in Europe. Rations flowing through the port of Antwerp were arranged at Liege by units working under the 221st for shipment to the 1st, 3rd and 9th US Armies.

German V-bombs began crashing in the area last December and the quartermaster troops went on with their schedule of high priority food shipments. On many occasions, the blasts shattered windows in their billets and many of the men were cut by flying glass.” (Iron Ore, July 14, 1945)

“The vast scale and importance of photographic reconnaissance employed in the Eighth Air Force in the air war against Germany is revealed in the hitherto unpublished records of the Seventh Photographic Reconnaissance Group. Sgt. Glen E. Asplund, 21, is a camera repair technician for one of the photo reconnaissance squadrons which comprise the group.

Since March 28, 1943 the group’s pilots, flying Spitfires and Lightnings, have made approximately 1,000,000 reconnaissance photographs covering nearly 3,000,000 square miles of enemy territory in Denmark, Holland, Belgium, France, Czechloslovakia, Germany, Austria, Italy and Russia.” (Iron Ore, June 30, 1945)

“At the Air Transport Command base, at Abadan, Iran, linking the Army’s supply route between the West and the East, SSgt Earl L. Jandron, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Jandron, 524 North Lake street, Ishpeming, is stationed as a AACS radio operator.

He has seen several places of interest in that region of the world including Cairo, Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem.

Jandron was trained for his present assignment at Westover Field, Mass., before going overseas more than two years ago. He has been in the service since July 1942 and prior to that was employed by the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company in Ishpeming.” (Iron Ore, June 23, 1945)

“Sergeant Norman D. Johnson, of Ishpeming, recently received a commendation from Lt. Col. John P. Breckenridge, commanding officer, John H. Payne Field, Cairo, Egypt, for the part played in (a) recent elimination of a 500-ton backlog of vital cargo which was to be moved by air transport to the China-Burma-India theatre.

The movement of air cargo through the huge North African Division of the USAAF Air Transport Command, reached a peak when over 216 tons of equipment were moved through Payne Field in a period of 24 hours. It was necessary for the men at this airfield near Cairo, to unload the shipments from C-46s arriving from Casablanca, load the supplies on other planes headed for Karachi, India, and supply major maintenance to all the planes.

Sgt. Johnson is the son of Mrs. J.R. Johnson, Ishpeming. Prior to entering the service in 1943, he was employed by the J.C. Penney company, Ishpeming.” (Iron Ore, June 23, 1945)

“Sgt. Paul F. Gauthier, 28, 375 West Division street, has been returned, under the Army’s readjustment program, to the continental United States from the Pacific ocean areas command of Lieut. Gen. Robert C. Richardson, Jr.

His parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Gauthier, live at 375 West Division street.

Sgt, Guathier went into the army on June 4th, 1941, and had been overseas 42 months. He was with the Engineers Construction Battalion and has been trough the Makin, Saipen and Okinawa campaigns and has been stationed on Saipan.

In civilian life he was employed by the L.S. & I. railroad. “(Iron Ore, July 21, 1945)


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