Remembering those who served in WWII

During my life I have seen a lot of great things, and some bad things; but World War II was the most horrible thing I have seen or read about. I was 11 when it started and 15 when it was over. I have always admired the many from McCulloch County, both men and women, who served their country. I never go down Memory Lane at Richards Park that I don’t think of the men who lost their lives. The men from Rochelle who I remember being killed in action were: H. F. Whitaker, who was on the USS Liscomb Bay that was sunk by the Japs; and Arthur Lee Moseley and S. B. Fikes; then Howard Kilmer, whose plane was shot down while bombing Berlin. My junior high coach, Leslie Terry, was killed early in the war. Second Lt. Billy Engdahl was killed in an automobile accident. When I was about 13, the lady running the phone office asked me to take a telegram to the Ben Allen home. The telegram stated that their son, Andy Allen, was missing in action. Andy did survive and made it home to run Higginbotham’s for many years. Bruce Blauvelt, a friend of mine, was taken prisoner of the Germans, but he escaped. He and I attended SWTSC together. He was killed in a car accident soon after graduating from college. William T. Galaway was a prisoner of the Germans in 1944-45. Two men I knew very well who were in the war were Herbert (Tuffy) Moseley and Wes Bratton. Both were both prisoners of the Germans. Tuffy said the Germans knew all about him. They told him he grew up in Rochelle, rode a white horse and attended Texas Tech. Wes Bratton told me that he wasn’t shot down. He was a fighter pilot and he saw some German bombers below him. He gave his plane full throttle, and it jerked a wing off and threw him out. He was captured when he parachuted to the ground. He said he told the Germans that he drove a span of mules to a wagon and helped them haul off trash. Both Tuffy and Wes said they were only in prison a few months, like a year and a half. One minute would be too long for me. When I get a cold or the flu or have cancer, I think “poor me.” Then I realize how lucky I have been to not have been in their place. I am sure there were others from the Rochelle area, but these I knew. I hope and pray that this will never happen again.

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