COL Mary Louise Milligan Rasmuson

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When the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAC) was organized, the Army received over 30,000 applications for the first class. The women chosen were amongst the best of the best: college educated, unmarried, capable, strong and willing to serve their country. Mary Louise was one of 440 selected for the first class in July 1942. She was quickly recognized as an outstanding woman of her class, and by October was the WAC Training Center Director at Fort Des Moines, Iowa. At the war’s close, she was transferred to Washington D.C. and became WAC Deputy Director. She worked on legislation to make the WAC, the Army Nurses Corps and the Women’s Medical Specialist Corp part of the regular army. She also served in Europe for several years. In 1957 returning to the States, Colonel Mary Louise Milligan became the 5th Director of the Women’s Army Corp. Mary Louise Retired from the military in July of 1962.

As director of the WAC unit, military historians credit her with major achievements including increasing the WAC’s strength, insisting on effectiveness in command, working with Congress to amend laws that deprived women of service credit and benefits, and expanding the range of military opportunities open to women.

Mrs. Rasmuson retired in 1962 after 20 years of military service, during which she received a Legion of Merit award with two oak leaf clusters for her work integrating black women into the WAC. She was also awarded the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Occupation Medal and National Defense Medal. At an event honoring her, former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry said, “When you hear about women seizing new opportunities to serve, remember that they march behind Colonel Rasmuson.”

Mary Louise went on to become a great philantropist in the state of Alaska.

We honor you, Mary Louise Rasmuson.

(#Repost @Rasmuson Foundation, @SitNews, and @Veteran’s History Project)

2d Lt Robert Caughey

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Robert was born on June 24, 1933 in Wenatchee, WA. Robert served in the U.S. Air Force as a Russian linguist, with work in the Intelligence Service, receiving training as a paratrooper and achieving the rank of Second Lieutenant. Upon discharge from the military he received degrees in Mathematics (BS), Far Eastern Studies (BA), and Computer Science (MS). He held private sector positions in finance, accounting and County Government, and completed 30 years of service with the Federal Government, holding positions at NASA, Bonneville Power, and BLM, retiring to Puyallup in 1993.

We honor you, Robert Caughey.

(#Repost @tacomanewstribune)

MSgt Ted Kampf (Ret.)

Ted Kampf enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1940 at the age of 19. After completing his training he was sent to the Philippine Islands and served on watch duty. In January of 1942 he was captured by the Japanese Army  and thrown aboard an old freighter ship with about 1600 other soldiers to an unknown destination. The ship bounced from island to island stopping in Hong Kong, then on to Taiwan, or Formosa as it was then known.

Kampf was then taken from the ship and detained as a prisoner of war for six months. The Japanese then took Kampf, along with about 300 other prisoners, to mainland Yokohama, Japan, then to a city just outside of Tokyo, Japan where he was forced to work in the steel mills from early morning until late in the night, for about six months. Then he was taken to a seaport city in Northern Japan where he was forced to work on the docks, loading and unloading ships from China, and being sustained on the bowl of rice and a little soy as a daily rotation.

Kampf was also taken to another island to build an air strip with about 300 other prisoners. He was one of the 150 who were sent back tot he camps in the first group while the remaining 150 prisoners stayed to finish the project and were then executed; though 11 did miraculously escape the execution, but not unharmed.

On August 15, 1945, one day after the surrender of the Japanese that these prisoners, including Kamps, found out that the war was over. Kampf recalled that they awoke one morning and found that there were no guards, rifles laid about on the ground, the gates were kept open, and at last they were free from their daily toil.

“U.S. Airplanes flew overhead dropping 55 gallon drums containing food, candy, clothes, cigarettes, and toilet supplies,” Kampf said. “We stayed out of the way of the drop zone as the barrels didn’t even have parachutes attached to them.”

These men then commandeered a train heading to Tokyo where they were then barged out to hospital ships in Tokyo Harbor to heal from their captivity, wounds and illnesses. Once they were treated they were flown back to the Philippine Islands.

Kampf finally boarded a U.S. troop ship and was headed state-side after three and a half years as a prisoner of war and weighing only 78 pounds. After about 6 months of in hospital treatment in San Francisco, Ca., and Spokane, Wa., Kampf was permitted three months leave to return home for some rest and relaxation.

Upon returning to service Kampf reenlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas and retired from the U.S. Air Force after 20 years of service.

Kampf continued his service to his country after retirement by serving on the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank Police Force for 18 and a half years before retiring from this service.

Kampf now resides in the Rose Park area of Salt Lake City where he has lived for the past 47 years. He celebrated his 96th birthday in July and is one of the few surviving World War II veterans still with us.

It is our privilege to honor Master Sgt. Ted Kampf and recognize him for his exemplary service and sacrifice to America, and to each of us. Thank you Master Sgt. Ted Kampf for your incredible example to us all!

We honor you, Ted Kampf.

(Submission written by: Dan Short)

Pvt. Everett A. “Smitty” or “Pops” Smith

New Guinea 10/24/44

 

U.S. Army Air Corps/HQ Co/187th/11th Airborne Division

1942-1946 WWII Pacific Theater
Paratrooper/Gliderman/ Expert in 37mm Tank Destroyer cannon; General Joseph Swing’s HQ Service Staff.
He grew up on Broad Channel, New York and first retired in Hallandale and then North Lauderdale, Florida.
Having been 27 years old when the 11th Airborne was established, he was older than everyone, less 2 officers.  Despite his age, he was selected to be one of the newly formed, soon to be elite trained 11th.
As a member of the Headquarters Company, he was part of the unit that made a perimeter of defense for the 5th Air Force Hospital when Japanese paratroopers dropped in that area of the Philippines, but he never spoke in the first person, he always related a story about what his division accomplished.
During Smitty’s time with the 11th, Gen. Swing became the one man he ever looked up to and served under him from the creation at Camp MacKall, NC to New Guinea, Leyte, Luzon, Okinawa and one of the first into Japan and the ‘clean-up’ operations.  He was promoted to Corporal during his tour, but he was busted back to Private 2 weeks before being sent home after giving a Major a right-cross for stealing the general’s souvenir sword.  [and he said he never regretted it.].
Everett Smith was a terrific father and my hero.  I have his PTO ribbon with 3 stars, Philippine Liberation ribbon with 2 stars and an arrowhead, Occupation of Japan and Asia-Pacific Campaign.
We honor you, Everett Smith.
(Submission written by: GP Cox)

 

John Bennett

Bennett

John was drafted by the Spanish Fork Draft Board into the Vietnam War. Fort Ord in Marina, California and Fort Benning in Georgia is where he did his training as part of the 11th B Infantry. In Vietnam, John was a soldier in the 173rd Airborne and this unit was one of the first units into An Khe. 173rd Airborne is also known as only having made the only mass combat jump in Vietnam.

We honor you, John Bennett.

(Submission written by: Lisa Mead, American Legion Post 112)

PFC Mario Cian DaRosso

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My father shipped out on the USS Mariposa on July 14, 1943, and arrived in Casablanca, N. Africa on July 21, 1943 as part of a replacement unit with the 34th Infantry Division. By the time he arrived, along with 2,000 other soldiers on his ship, the British and American troops had already driven out the German forces led by Gen Rommel, the Desert Fox.

In September of 1943, he left the Africa bound for and invasion of Salerno, Italy, under Lt. General Mark W. Clark, commander of the 5th army. Because of his ability to speak Italian, his assignment was changed to interpreter. His job was to talk to the Italian civilians to obtain information about the movement of the German troops, how many there were, and where best to cross the rivers. His division became part of the 3rd crossing of the Volturno River, outside the town of Santa Maria Oliveto.

As an interpreter, my father was part of the Headquarters Company. On November 7, 1943, they were bivouacked under Hill 550 eating lunch and getting ready to advance into the town. They could see German troops marching around and across the field. Without warning, the Germans shot 88’s from cannon, which exploded around their campsite. His Captain was hit, and as my father went to assist him, shrapnel struck him on his chin. He lost part of his chin, which was open and bone was showing. An ambulance evacuated him to a field hospital in Naples, a 2-hour drive away. He spent 3-4 days there and then was flown to a hospital in Bizert, Tunisia for surgery. They cut the scar that had formed and closed the hole with a skin graft from his arm. They pulled 2 of his teeth for space for a feeding tube, and then wired his jaw shut. He stayed like that for 2 months. He was 165 pounds when he entered the army, and while on the feeding tube, went down to 80 pounds.

After crossing back to the US by hospital ship, he spent the next 27 months moving to various hospitals. His first stop was Nashville, Tennessee, in January 1044. In February 1944, he was sent to Valley Forge, PA, which was a major plastic surgical center. Here he had reconstruction on his chin by Colonel Dr. James Barrett Brown, noted plastic surgeon and founding father of modern plastic surgery. After a year there, in  February 1945, he was sent to Ft. Sill in Oklahoma, then on to El Paso, Texas, where he had more surgery to cut down his scar tissue. On February 21, 1946, he was honorably discharged from the army.

We honor you, Mario Cian DaRosso.

(#Repost @National Purple Heart Hall of Honor)

 

 

Doug Holland

Holland

National Guard, 1963-1971

Doug did his Basic Training at Fort Ord in Seaside, California where he worked Maintenance in the 115th Ordinance. Doug has fond memories of fishing with some of the crew he worked with and trading their daily catch with the head cook at the mess hall for steaks. Doug worked on constructing roads and maintaining such equipment from Bear River to Evanston. Rumor has it that Doug also took out the power to four different states while at lunch? However, this he declined to elaborate on.

We honor you, Doug Holland.

(Submission written by: Lisa Mead, American Legion Post 112)