This Blog is about the World War II 109th Combat Engineers of the 34th Infantry Division who served in North Africa and Italy. Send your stories or photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add them to the blog.
September 18, 2010
Vernon Jackson called me last night while on his way back west after the 109th reunion in 2010. He said there were about 10 guys at the reunion which is pretty good considering their ages!
He had stopped at the State Representatives office in Rapid City with your suggested write up and his story of the explosion and got the medal stuff started. He then drove to Huron to see Helseth and get his story and talk over the incident. He then passed that along to the Rep and says it is now "out of our hands".
There are a lot of amazing coincidents in this case. First Craig got the blog going on the 109th, then Al Kaiser read it and asked about Ben Kaiser which you passed along to me. I was able to find the death report on Ben which includes Helseth's name and his address from 3 years ago and he is still living.
Then Vern sent his story in to you and got into your blog and I read it and saw his reference to Ben Kaiser and was able pass it on. Craig said it deserved a medal and Vern got the process started. Hope it works out OK but if not, some of us a least now know the story. The guys at the reunion know it too.
We had a lot of casualties that spring and summer. "A" Company had lost all our officers and got new ones in the weeks before moving to Anzio. 1st Sgt Hollister left and I moved up to his spot on Anzio and then go had my appendix out and didn't come back until after Leghorn. By then all of our staff Sgts. Haug, Culver and Harding had been wounded and when I made 2nd Lt., all the non-coms were new at their jobs. I talked to Buster Nelson, Ist Sgt of B company, about what a 1st. Sgt should do when we were at Anzio but he was gone when got my commission so I don't know who would have made out 'B' Company reports of the mine explosion.
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