July 22, 1942 was another turning point in my grandparents’ World War II experience. For the last two months, Lt. (jg) R. S. Yegerlehner has been stationed in Norfolk, Virginia at the naval base hospital. He was occupied mainly with examining & inoculating new recruits and administering first aid as needed. Up to this point, my grandfather had occasionally lamented the post in Norfolk. He could just have easily done the same job at the Great Lakes Naval base which was closer to home. The Navy’s method of deciding placement of staff has seemed quite haphazard to the untrained eye: men with families being sent out to sea and single men being given “cushy” jobs in Florida or other stateside bases.
If you recall, the Battle of Midway was fought at the beginning of June 1942. The Japanese were developing strategic locations and bases though out the Pacific during this time. By mid July, the allies had discovered that the Japanese were building an airfield in Guadalcanal. The United States accelerated their plans to attack and take back Guadalcanal before the airfield could be completed. The first marine division invaded Tulagi and Guadalcanal on August 7th. On July 22nd, it may not have been common knowledge in Kentland or the United States in general, but the Japanese had invaded New Guinea the day before on July 21st.
Regardless, my grandfather’s orders were stamped July 17th. He was already on his way home when the orders were written in Washington that Friday. The orders arrived in Norfolk over the weekend and were on his commanding officer’s desk Monday morning. Dr. Lentz was among those who received similar orders on that day. Dr. Lentz wrote a letter to my grandfather after receiving his orders on Monday. Someone else wrote my grandfather an official telegram requesting his immediate return to Norfolk. Both the letter and telegram were received in Kentland on Wednesday, July 22nd. He didn’t know it yet but he was being assigned to a new unit called Cub Thirteen.
LIONS and CUBS were advanced naval bases that were deployed both on the east and west coasts of the United States. From what I have been able to piece together so far, Cub Thirteen was unplanned and was hastily thrown together because of the escalating activities in the Pacific.
Meanwhile, back in Kentland, my grandfather received his letter and telegram. Later that day, Roscoe wrote out a document giving his wife, Gladys, his power of attorney. It was notarized by Ellsworth Wilson.
Power of Attorney transcription:
Physician and Surgeon
Know all men by these presents that I, Roscoe Schiele Yegerlehner, of Kentland, Newton County, Indiana, have made, constituted, and appointed, and do hereby make, constitute, and appoint, Gladys Yegerlehner, of the same place, my true and lawful attorney, for me and in my name and on my behalf to receive and receipt for any and all sums of money or payments due or to become due to me, to deposit in my name in any bank or banks any and all money collected or received by her, to pay any and all bills, accounts, claims, and demands now or hereafter payable by me, to draw checks or drafts upon any and all bank accounts or deposits belonging to me, to act for me in any business in which I am now or have been engaged or interested, including the business conducted in the name of Roscoe S. Yegerlehner, or R.S.Yegerlehner, and in connection with any contracts heretofore made by me, including all contracts made in connection with the business of said Yegerlehner and generally to do and perform all matters and things, transact all business, make, execute, and acknowledge all contracts, orders, deeds, writings, assurances, and instruments which may be requisite or proper to effectuate any matter or thing appertaining or belonging to me, and generally to act for me in all matters affecting my business or property, with the same force and effect to all intents and purposes as though I were personally present and acting for myself, hereby ratifying and confirming whatsoever my said attorney shall do by authority hereof.
State of Indiana) SS Roscoe Schiele Yegerlehner [his signature]
County of Newton)
Before me the undersigned notary public for said county and state, on July 22nd, 1942, personally appeared Roscoe Schiele Yegerlehner and acknowledged the execution of the above power of attorney
Witness my hand and notarial seal
Ellsworth Wilson [his signature]
My commission expires: My commission expires Sept. 29, 1945