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Diane Boit: World War II ends; Soldiers coming home -- 1945

Diane Boit: World War II ends; Soldiers coming home -- 1945


25 Years Ago – 1995

Lt. Col. Elroy Tomanek, Mandan, has assumed command of the 141st Engineer Combat Battalion of the North Dakota Army National Guard following an August ceremony held at Valley City. Tomanek was transferred to the battalion from the headquarters, State Area Command in Bismarck.

The Mandan High School’s music department opened this past week without long-time choral director Bill Franke who retired last spring after 21 years of teaching music. A voice disability since 1980 that gradually worsened over the years forced his early retirement. Franke’s replacement is Mrs. Keri Quarmstrom.

The Mandan girls basketball team, coached by Greg Amundson, hammered Valley City, 110-51, this past week in a non-conference game, following a 99-19 WDA win over Belcourt. The Braves opened the WDA season at home by crushing winless Century, 83-49. The Braves 99 points against Belcourt and the 110 scored against Valley City set a school record for the most points scored in consecutive games. The Braves are 2-0 in the WDA and 5-1 overall.

Temperatures recorded Monday, Sept. 4: a high of 90 degrees; 59 degrees for the low.

50 Years Ago – 1970

In a loser-out game, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, topped Mandan, 4-1, in the Central Plains Region American Legion Baseball Tournament played at Aberdeen, S.D. Four errors by Mandan helped Cedar Rapids score all its runs in the first inning. Mandan scored finally scored in the ninth inning when Broque Peake doubled and then scored on singles by Tom Assel and Jeff Zwarych. Mandan’s pitchers were Terry Froehlich and Al Fasching.

A Little Britches Rodeo and horse show was held this past weekend at the Mosbrucker Arena, south of Mandan. The winners of each class in the Junior Division are: Western Pleasure- Mary Kaye Schmaultz; Barrel Racing- Joanne Mosbrucker; Pole Bending- Fred Berger; Bronc Riding (10 years & under) Calvin Gerhardt; Bronc Riding (11 to 14 years)- Fred Berger; and Musical Charts- Kenny Gerhardt.

The St. Thomas Moore Council 2760 have installed their new officers for the coming year. The new officers are: grand knight, Frank E. Boehm; deputy grand knight, John J. Bullinger; chancellor, Ronald Heinz; treasurer, Joseph Schatz and recording secretary, Jerry Renner.

New officers were elected at this year’s annual meeting, held in Mandan, of the Morton County’s Young Citizens League. Elected president was Beth Olson of Almont; vice president is Koreen Ressler, Highland School; and secretary is Judy Bauer, Square Butte School No. 6. State convention delegates are Danny Belohlavek, Bonanza School No. 4, and Angela Grove, Square Butte No. 3.

Thirteen members of the 43 graduates of the 1925 class of Mandan High School, plus a number of husbands and wives, gathered for their 45th class reunion at the Holiday Inn, Bismarck. The class was, once again, chaperoned by former superintendent of schools, J. C. Gould, and former principal, D. W. Lindgren. Master of ceremonies was John Porter. Centered on the head table was an anniversary cake with the class colors, purple and gold. In charge of the reunion preparations were Mrs. D. W. Dunahay and Mrs. Sarah B. Rumer.

75 Years Ago – 1945

Sept. 2, 1945, officially marked the end of World War II when the Japanese delegation formally signed the instrument of unconditional surrender on board the USS Missouri battleship, moored in Tokyo Bay, Japan. The war encompassed 2,194 days, from the German invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, through Sept. 2, 1945.

An estimated total of 70 to 85 million soldiers and civilians died during the war, including five million soldiers who died in captivity as prisoners of war.

United States military deaths were estimated at 405,000, including 2,000 soldiers from North Dakota. The United Kingdom counted 450,700 deaths, including than 70 thousand civilians. The Soviet Union, however, suffered the most casualties, with an estimated 24 million dead, including 14 million civilians.

Germany’s wartime deaths topped 12.5 million, including 7 million civilians- 8.8 percent of their pre-war population. Japan’s wartime deaths are estimated at 5.1 million, including 3 million civilians.

Pfc. Eric C. Olander has arrived in Mandan after 29 months in the European theater. He was met in Minneapolis by his wife and child and came to Mandan this week.

First Lt. William F. McClelland, US Army Air Force, has arrived in Mandan for a 30-day leave with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. F. McClelland and with his wife and daughter, who arrived from Hamilton, Mt.  Lt. McClelland returned form the European theater of war where he was a pilot of a Marauder B-26.

Pfc. Albert Schmitt, son of Mrs. Marcus West, has returned to Mandan from the European theater. Pfc. Schmitt, who’s been overseas for 20 months, wears nine battle stars. He was in Africa and Italy with the ground crew at a B-17 bomber base.

Pfc. Herbert Smeder, son of Mrs. Margaret Smeder, Mandan, has been assigned to the air transport command at Casablanca to assist in flying veterans home from Europe. More than 40 thousand veterans are being flown to the United States each month for furloughs and redeployment. Pvt. Smeder has served 23 months with a bomber group in England.

100 Years Ago – 1920

“Reports of threshing operations from south of Mandan and around St. Anthony are beginning to come in, showing a wide difference in yields. Carl Tippo, living near St. Anthony, received little rain in his district, has the poorest showing with wheat running at only one bushel to the acre, while H. J. Campbell has the best report with a yield of slightly more than 27 bushels per acre. However, the barley and oats are showing remarkable results. Rasmus Helbling has threshed both grain- his barley ran 65 bushels and oats about 50 bushels per acre.

“Tanner-Robinson Post No. 69” is the official name for which a charter has been ordered for the Flasher organization of the American Legion, to succeed the former charter already granted, which was known as Flasher Post 69. The post is being renamed in honor of our two best known and highly esteemed young men of Flasher, both of whom made the supreme sacrifice in the World War in France- Horace Tanner and Paul Robinson.

“August Zueger of Sweet Briar is suffering from a Ford fracture of the wrist which came as a result of cranking an obstreperous Model T “lizzie.”

“A goodly number of people gathered in front of Mandan’s depot at midnight last Tuesday to see Franklin D. Roosevelt, Democratic candidate for vice president, arrive on the No. 3 train. Surprised to see the gathering, the 38-year-old Roosevelt stepped down from the platform and apologized for not having a prepared speech for the midnight hour. However, he declared that he’d be pleased to shake hands with the people, resulting in a long string of citizens filing by who can now say they had the pleasure of meeting and shaking the hand of a real vice presidential candidate. Mr. Roosevelt appears to be a very agreeable man.”

125 Years Ago – 1895    

“On Wednesday, Sept. 4, at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 78 degrees above zero.

“Dust and wind are making the lives of merchants miserable this week.

“Last Sunday was but 2 degrees cooler than the previous Sunday when the mercury climbed to the 102 mark.

“The daily accommodation train between Mandan and Bismarck leaves Mandan at 10:50 a.m.; leaves Bismarck, 11:30 a.m.; arrives at Mandan, 11:50 a.m.

“The Custer Flats co-operative threshing outfit began threshing out Frank Suchy’s grain yesterday.

“J. O. Sullivan left for Chicago and other eastern markets on a purchasing tour for his dry goods, millinery and clothing departments of his new store that’s being built on Main Street.

“Work on Sullivan’s two-story dry goods and clothing store is being pushed rapidly by a large force of men under Contractor Kid. The material being used is steel and wood. The foundation, substantially built of rock, was put in by Will Roby.

“Mr. Dave Wood has been bound over to the district court for shooting at Mr. Slater. It appears that Mr. Slater shot at a prairie chicken on Mr. Wood’s land, where upon Mr. Wood returned fire with a shotgun. As there were no notices posted on the land stating that hunters were not to hunt thereon, Mr. Slater believes that he was subjected to rather rough treatment.”

Diane Boit can be reached at


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