From Kingston Residence
Claude served as a Staff Sergeant in the Fort Wayne 122nd Fighter Squadron. He spent over 20 years in the Air Guard, some of which was reserve time. Claude served in World War II, the Berlin Crisis, and the Korean Conflict. During WWII, Claude was a Porter Master in charge of getting supplies/ammunition to the Front. One of his greatest sacrifices for the war effort was giving up his job as an Inspector at International Harvester and serving in the service.
He said, “In World War II, I was drafted in February 1941. I was sent to Camp Attebury, then to basic training at a base in Spartensburg, South Carolina. Early in 1942, I was assigned to the 37th Division from Ohio and shipped out through San Francisco on a Liberty ship in a complete blackout to New Zealand. I was stationed near Aukland; then we were moved to Sura, Fiji, to Guadalcanal, to Borganville, and to Manila in the Philippine Islands. We came in by the Columbia River to Vancouver, Washington. Then we took a train, on a northern route, to home in 1945.”
“At the time (1949) I enlisted in the Air National Guard 122nd Fighter Squadron as a weekend warrior. We were activated in 1951. We opened an Air Base in Sioux City, Iowa during the Korean War. I returned to Fort Wayne in July of 1952. Then I was re-activated in 1961 and went to Chambley, France during the Berlin Crisis. After visiting Rome, Bern, Swiss, and Weisbaden, Germany, I came home July 1962 and retired as a Staff Sergeant in 1968. I maintained my employment at International Harvester for 35 years and retired in 1976. There were many things that I saw and heard that I’d rather forget; I never was on the Front Line.”
Max grew up in Northern Whitley Country. He was an embassy guard in Peking, China for two years prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. He was a corporal in the United States Marines with only 2 weeks left on his tour when the Japanese entered China in mass force. The embassy guards were forced to surrender, faced with unbeatable odds. Max then spent 1941 to 1945 as a prisoner of WWII. Being able to speak Chinese made it easy for him to learn the Japanese language. He was then assigned as a “honcho” leader for his group.
Max was located in several prison camps throughout the war. He was at Shanghai, Osako, and Noeotus. Max faced and survived many adversities like a mob seeking revenge in Osako, being forced to eat horse soup, and becoming a slave laborer in a steel mill just to name a few. When he had the opportunity to sleep, Max had to pour water around the outside edge of his blanket to keep the lice and bugs from crawling on him. Prisoners were allowed to take one bath per week with only one bathtub for 961 men. Max said he traded a coat to a civilian boss to insure that his group of 1345 men would be the first ones into the tub. Max and his group went almost 6 years without eating a fresh vegetable. When Max was released from the camps he weighed only 106 pounds.
Max said he had his front teeth knocked out by a Japanese guard when one of the men in his group escaped. This man was captured again 2 days later and was punished. As honcho, Max was responsible for accounting for 135 men in his group. Any mistake from the group would bring punishment upon Max. Max kept in touch with his entire group and organized a reunion every year.
Who: Voiture 37 of Forty et Eight along with AMVETS Post 33
What: Flag Disposal and Ceremony
When: Friday, May 24, 2002 at 1pm.
Where: Indian Village Elementary School
Note: After the ceremony, we hope to visit each class at the school and explain to the students the reason the ceremony is held and why it is not the same thing as “flag burning” or “burning the flag.”
AMVETS POST 33
MEMORIAL DAY – IT’S SACRED TO VETERANS
Why Remember? – Sacrifice is meaningless without remembrance. America’s collective consciousness demands that all citizens be aware of and recall on special occasions the deaths of their fellow countrymen during wartime.
Who Are We Remembering? – The nation mourns the loss of all Americans who died defending their country throughout the world since 1775. These are men and women who have remained mostly anonymous except to the families who loved them.
How Do We Remember? – Means of paying tribute vary. Pausing for a few moments of personal silence is an option for everyone. Attending commemorative ceremonies is the most visible way of demonstrating remembrance: placing flags at grave sites, marching in parades, sponsoring patriotic programs, dedicating memorials and wearing poppies are examples.
What Are We Remembering? – We remember the loss of defenders, a sense of loss that takes group form. In essence, America is commemorating those who made the greatest sacrifice possible – giving one’s own life selflessly.
When Do We Remember? – Until the National Holiday Act for 1971 (P.L. 90-363), Memorial Day was observed each May 30. That custom became a tradition with the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), the Union veterans organization that made honoring Civil War dead a civic duty for all citizens. Until 1882, the practice of placing flowers at gravesites was known as Decoration Day.
REMEMBER – MEMORIAL DAY – MONDAY, MAY 27TH
PARADES – WAYNEDALE AT 9AM – PARNELL AT 11AM
AMERICAN LEGION POST 82
MEMORIAL DAY – KITCHEN WILL BE CLOSED – POST OPENS AT NOON
AMERICAN LEGION POST 241
Monday, May 27, 2002 – Memorial Day – Post Opens at 11am – Waynedale Memorial Day Parade at 9am with festivities after the parade at noon in Waynedale Park.
“FOR THOSE WHO FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW.”