The archives “go dark” during the time that Dad is on furlough in early August 1943 with the letters resuming in mid-month upon his return to Topeka Army Air Base. However, one item of interest in “the archives” is a complete issue of The Gremlin, the official newspaper of the Topeka Army Air Base. The July 28, 1943 issue details special ceremonies that were held to recognize seven airmen who were returning from the Pacific and being decorated. Although this post is a departure from the normal “what’s going on in the Army” and “what’s going on back on the home front”, I beg your indulgence. One thing I’ve learned with this blog is that sometimes there are connections made with people who are a generation or two removed from some of these WWII soldiers who might not know about the involvement of their grandfathers/uncles/great uncles in the war. While this post does not tell the entire story of these seven men, it sheds some light on their service. Maybe one day someone will be Googling an ancestor and will come across this post and learn a little more about them. According to The Gremlin, the occasion was marked with a flyover of aircraft and was the biggest occasion of its type on base to date.
The airmen cited in The Gremlin are:
Major Fredrick C Eaton of Scarsdale, NY was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for the 54 forays he and his crew made against the Japanese in the first year of the war.
Major Richard H. Beck of Bala Cynwyd, PA was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross
Capt. William H. Campbell of Chicago, Illinois received the addition of a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster to his Distinguished Flying Cross.
Capt. Milton R. Beekman of Cranberry, NJ also received the addition of a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster to his Distinguished Flying Cross.
Capt. George B. Munroe of Kirkwood, Mo was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross
Corp. Walter E. Sabold of Shoemakersville, PA was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry during the battle of Midway.
M Sgt. Vernon Donald Berg of Grand Forks, ND was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry during the Battle of Midway.
The “center spread” of the paper which details the awarding of the medals is below.