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Lt. Roscoe S. Yegerlehner, mostly likely in the Solomon Islands

Lt. Roscoe S. Yegerlehner in the South Pacific

During World War II,  Lt.  Comdr. Roscoe S. Yegerlehner served in the Navy.  He was a country doctor from rural Indiana with privileges at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Lafayette, Indiana and Iroquois Hospital in Watseka, Illinois.  He enlisted in 1942 and was finally released from service in 1946.  My grandfather was stationed away from his family for almost two years, serving at bases around the Pacific including the Naval base at New Caledonia. In February 1943, he was re-assigned to Operation Cleanslate’s initial wave that transformed the Russell Islands into an operating base and airstrip. During the years 1942-1944, my grandparents wrote to each other every day while they were apart. In all, they wrote nearly 1,000 letters, spanning the period from May 1942 through 1946. Join me as I share a letter a day over the next few years. If you would like to start the story at the beginning, the first letter is published with the post New Horizons.

Roscoe with his wife Gladys and their sons, John & Mark (circa July 1942 in Kentland, Indiana)

Roscoe with his wife Gladys and their sons, John & Mark (circa July 1942 in Kentland, Indiana)

“If you can only say so much you know I always look for letters and don’t think they are ever dull – I have saved every one – I think they should be kept to hand down to the grandchildren –” Gladys Yegerlehner, March 26, 1943, Kentland, Indiana

 

44 thoughts on “Home

  1. cassmob

    How wonderful to have such an extensive family archive! Congratulations on your blog…you’ve achieved so much in such a short time. Your extensive experience researching your family history will be a huge help to growing your blog.

    Reply
    1. Genealogy Lady Post author

      Thank you cassmob! Once I have finished with the World War II letters, I have hundreds more dated from 1960-1980s. My grandparents and my father were prolific writers. But for now, I am thrilled to share and enjoy the war letters.

      Reply
    1. Genealogy Lady Post author

      Thank you so much for the honor. I am very flattered. I am currently on the fence as to whether I will post these awards on my blog. Currently I am swamped with my coursework for Boston University’s Genealogical Certificate program so I barely have time to find to write my blog daily. Again, thank you so much! The honor is greatly appreciated.

      Reply
  2. Susan Bahr

    I love your gravatar photo – what a sweet pic. My dad’s brothers never talked about the war and all came back terribly scarred, both emotionally and physically. I can only imagine the horrors they faced. Still, as he is the last of 8 siblings, he’s begun to tell me stories and I’m taking note. Time is the enemy of these precious tales.

    Reply
    1. Genealogy Lady Post author

      I was spending time catching up on blogs and my reader was open. It notified me that you had a new post. :) I have really been trying of late to search for new genealogy blogs.
      I am glad it encourages you. I love that you read my blog everyday, so the feeling is mutual.

      Reply
  3. NotForgetting

    It is awesome that you have these letters to tell this story. My grandfather never went overseas during the war but was a plane mechanic here. My grandparents shared letters during that time before they were married but Poppy didn’t keep his. Gran kept a lot but got rid of some later. Still, we have about 2 dozen left and we haven’t finished reading them. Sometimes it’s still too hard-you can hear Poppy’s voice in the letters and it’s funny how expressions people use in their twenties, they use into their eighties! Looking forward to hearing your grandparents story!

    Reply
    1. Genealogy Lady Post author

      Thank you! I hope you stay tuned. My grandmother was trained as a stenographer before she met my grandfather. She was the family secretary and took care of much of the business end of my grandfather’s medical practice. I think saving their war correspondence was second nature to her. She often kept copies of her correspondence for the files. Luckily when it was time to “clean the files”, my dad was there to rescue the letters. I also have many letters from future decades (which will keep the blog going for some time). :)

      Reply
  4. Rosanna Ward

    My husband was in the Navy during WWII. He was on the USS Honolulu at Pearl Harbor. One of the last remaining survivors. He served on the Pacific the rest of the war. At some point he was transferred to the USS Uvalde – I believe he called himself a Gunner or something like that. He doesn’t talk very much about it but I do have pictures and a story written up in a book about WWII stories from people in Oregon.

    Reply
    1. Genealogy Lady Post author

      I look at my blog as a place where we can keep these memories alive! I know a lot of them don’t like to talk about their WWII experiences. But if we don’t get the stories out there, they will be lost.
      I am hoping to write a book someday, but I have to get all the letters transcribed! It will be a very long project.

      Reply
  5. Virginia Allain

    Love this!
    I’ve on the 3rd volume of Diary of the London Blitz. Fascinating time period. I have a page on Squidoo called Saving World War II Letters. Must rush over and put the rss for your blog on it as an example of a way to preserve these family letters. Good work.

    Reply
    1. Genealogy Lady Post author

      Thank you Virginia! I took me years to figure out how to present them. I think several factors finally came together (especially in my thought process of how to do it). I think I may have seen your page but definitely will have to check it out.

      Reply
  6. aubemaryellen

    Deborah, Thank you so much for sharing your grandparents story. I was too young to remember much of World War II but I do remember the end of it, we blew the horn on my Dad’s chevy truck till the battery wore out. There were horns blowing all over the city. I love to hear the stories “the best generation” tell. I have subscribed to you blog. Welcome. Mary Ellen Libby Aube

    Reply
    1. Genealogy Lady Post author

      Hello Mary Ellen,
      Thank you for following my blog. We are still very much at the beginning of the letters so I hope you stick around for the long haul. :)
      Deborah

      Reply
  7. limerickslife

    I am so happy I happened upon here, my own grandfather was in the navy during WW2 and my grandparents had a wonderful love that spanned the war, they were born only a few doors away from each other, they were separated for 6 years by the war but were married while my grandfather was on leave in 1946.

    Reply
  8. tammyCA

    I just found your blog today and bookmarked it to come back. I am fascinated by WWII and that era and love to read personal letters/memoirs from that very important time. My dad had served in the Navy in WWII (on ships in the Pacific) and I am trying to piece together the pieces as I do the family tree at the same time.

    Reply
    1. Genealogy Lady Post author

      Welcome Tammy! At this point I have posted over 300 letters, all from 1942 and about 30 from 1943. I consider myself very fortunate that the letters survived and that my grandparents were old enough that their letters weren’t particularly “lovey dovey.” They mention many contemporary people and events in their letters.

      Reply
  9. thegenealogygirl

    I love this. My grandfather and grandmother spent some time apart while he was in graduate school and they wrote daily letters. I have considered different ways to share those letters, maybe I’ll have to think about a blog format, it might be less daunting to tackle one letter each day.

    Reply
    1. Genealogy Lady Post author

      Thank you! It took me awhile to figure out how I could share the letters, especially since there are so many of them. I also think of it as another back-up system for saving the letters should anything happen to the originals. I generally transcribe one letter a day but when I know I’ll be out of town or on vacation, it is easy to transcribe ahead a little and then set them to post automatically.

      Reply

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