Moro, Oregon – This month, Sherman County Historical Society published volume 29, number 1 of Sherman County: For the Record, stories told by local folks – a twice-yearly benefit of Society membership soon to be in the mail to Society members.
Dewey Thomas’ reflections on his World War II tour of duty with the 808th Engineer Aviation Battalion of the Fifth Air Corps take readers from Wasco to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, USS Coolidge in California and Australia. In 1942, the 808th crossed Australia from Melbourne and Adelaide to Darwin under the most difficult circumstances. In 1943, a Chicago Daily News reporter filed a story about the engineers’ construction of airfields. Dewey was right at home on a D-8 Cat. His story will continue in vol. 29, #2.
Charlie Decker’s U.S. Navy life took him from a swearing-in at Fort Crook near Omaha, Nebraska to a train trip to the Naval Training Center in Farragut, Idaho. From there he transferred to Bremerton, Washington and the battleship USS South Dakota and on to action with the Third Fleet in the South Pacific. He was aboard the South Dakota in Tokyo Bay where he witnessed the formal surrender of the Japanese Forces to the Allied Powers in 1945. Bob Hope and his show entertained the troops upon their arrival in San Francisco, and Charlie was back out to sea on the new aircraft carrier, USS Princeton.
On the home front, Yates and O’Meara family stories are told by Margaret (O’Meara) Stoltenberg and Sherry Kaseberg. Phil Yates was active in the affairs of Wasco as the owner of Wasco Lumber Company, a bank and a dry goods store, and served as a state representative and senator. Ruby Yates married Pat O’Meara in 1917 and their story spans their years with O’Meara Hardware & Implement, their five sons’ World War II service, and their christening of the Liberty ship USS William T. Sherman.
Sherman County: For the Record may be purchased at The Museum Store at the Sherman County Historical Museum or ordered by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information see http://www.shermanmuseum.org and click on Publications. The Museum is open daily 10-5 May through October.