Saturday Tidbits

Courier Tribune
List Nemaha Serial Numbers for the Draft
24 Oct 1940

List Nemaha Serial Numbers for the Draft

Over 1600 names are in the County Roll

A Master List Will Be Chosen in Washington, D.C.
Tuesday to Determine Order in Which Local
Numbers Will Be Called

The Courier-Tribune prints today a list of names and numbers important to almost every home in Nemaha county. It is the list of men between ages of 21 and 36 who enrolled on Wednesday, October 16th, for possible service to their country, and with each man’s name, the county serial number which has been drawn for him by the local draft board.
The arrangement is by number rather than by names because numbers will be the important thing next Tuesday, October 29th, when a master list is to be drawn at Washington, D.C. to determine the order in which local numbers will be called. President Roosevelt will draw the first number.

The local drawing and listing was completed Tuesday except perhaps for a few straggling cards. The board officially posted the list yesterday and sent a copy to state headquarters. The Sabetha Herald and Courier-Tribune joined in setting the large amoung of type necessary and the list is printed in the two papers. TO avoid runing the type to still greater length, a key system is sued to abbreviate names of towns. Where two letters make the name of the town clear, only two are used. Seneca becomes Se; Sabetha Sa; Corning Co; Centralia Ce; Goff GO; Wetmore We; and Baileyville, Bern, Kelly, Havensville, Soldier, Pawnee, Axtell and other points are similarly abbreviated. Oneida and ONaga addresses required the use of Onei and Ona. The Nemaha County list follows:

151 Marvin Gerald Bryant We
152 Joseph Arthur Emert Sa
153 Alphia Henry Aberle Sa
154 Virgil Vernon Bumgarner On
155 Chester W Havley Ce
156 Kenneth Sherman Taylor Ba
157 Clarence Jesse Hamilton Ha
158 Ivan Harold Bryant We
159 Anthony Francis Spielman Ce
160 Ruben Stauffer On
161 Vernet Harry Randel Co
162 Bernard J. Dalinghaus Ba
163 Herbert Kreitzer Lichty Sa
164 Frank J. Broxterman Ba
165 Herman Arthur Beyreis Se
166 Oral Merland Bryant We
167 Wilbur James Grimm On
168 Leo Joseph Heiman Ba
169 Vincent Frank Wessel Ba
170 Joseph John Burdick Go
171 Charles Wilbur Nichols Se
172 Leslie Gordon Tate Se
173 Donal John VanDonge Ci
174 Cletus John Engelken Se
175 Francis James Levret Go
176 Edward Ferdinand Deters Ba
177 John Thomas Keating so
178 Joseph Julius Berger Ce
179 Cyril Joseph Lauer Se
180 Robert Goodrich Wilson Se
181 Edward John Hasenkamp Ax
182 William Chester Porter Sa
183 James Catlet Kelley Sa
184 Roland August Surdez Ce
185 Emil Kenneth Haug Se
186 Donald Cecil Davis Sa
187 James Oliver McCoy On
188 William Zery Murphy Ce
189 Paul LeRoy Kirkman Ce
190 Asia LeRoy Turpin Go
191 Boyd Russell Tomlinson Co
192 Leo John Spielman Ba
193 Lawrence Jacob Schurman Se
194 Vernon Van Cleve Houts Go
195 John Richard Moore Se
196 Austin Wilard Vogel Sa
197 Gottlieb Jacob H. Hinton Be
198 Louis William Wiegers Se
199 Verne William Watson Sa
200 Herbert Raymond Atkeson On

Gold Star Mother

Have you encountered a ‘Gold Star Mother’ in your genealogy research. Even though I’ve researched women who lost sons in battle I’ve come across my first mention of a ‘Gold Star Mother’ in an obituary.

Blanche Eva Lighter
The Rev. Lee Webb, pastor of the Grace Baptist Church, will officiate at funeral services to be conducted in the chapel of the Brusie Funeral Home Saturday at 2 p.m. for Mrs. Blanche Eva Lighter, who died at her home on Tuesday morning.
Memorial services, under the auspices of the Chico Chapter of the Gold Star Mothers, will be conducted in the chapel of the Brusie Funeral Home Friday at 7 p.m.
Interment will take place in Pine Creek Cemetery by the side of her late husband, Ray Lighter.

“Blance Eva Lighter,” The Chico Enterprise-Record (Chico, California), 8 November 1962, page 3; digital image, ( : viewed online 27 May 2021).

For Eva Lighter to be a Gold Star Mother, one of her children had to have died while serving in the military. 1930 census records for the family indicated that Eva and her husband, Ray, had three sons: Howard, Bruce and Aaron.

1930 U.S. Census, Orange County, California, population schedule, Newport Beach Township, Orange County, California, ED 30-51, Sheet 12A Image 23 of 61, family 334, Ray Lighter; digital images, ( : viewed online 27 May 2021); NARA microfilm publication T626.

Since I have death dates after 1980 for Howard Lighter and Bruce Lighter, that left Aaron Lighter as the possible person who died while serving our country. A quick search of Find a Grave, shows two records for Aaron Ralston Lighter.

The entry for Pine Creek cemetery includes a picture of a tombstone for Aaron Lighter.

While the entry for the manila American Cemetery and Memorial has links to his parents and a brother.

Knowing that Aaron Lighter was killed in action in1945, a search of newspapers for more details about his death turned up several articles. An article in the Chico Record indicates that Aaron Lighter died when the ship he was on was struck by a suicide Japanese bomber.

Aaron Ralston Lighter Killed in Mindoro Explosion Navy Says
Aaron Ralston Lighter, of Chico, seaman first class of the U.S. Naval Reserve, lost his life in January of this year during a suicide attack on his ship, the U.S.S. Lewis L. Dycke, by a Japanese plane, a navy department message to his mother revealed yesterday.
The Lewis L. Dycke was anchored in Mindoro Harbor of the Philippines, on January 4, when the attack occurred, the communication revealed.
The ship, cargoed with bombs and fuses, exploded in a manner “so violent that it caused the ship to disintegrate completely,” H. B. Atkinson, commander, USNR, wrote to Mrs. Ray Lighter of Route 2, Box 235A, here.
The ship sane immediately, and left no trace of survivors, according to the communication.

“Aaron Ralston Lighter Killed in Mindoro Explosion Navy Says,” Chico Record (Chico, California), 8 December 1945, page 8; digital image, ( : viewed online 27 May 2021).

The story of the U.S.S. Lewis L. Dyche can be found on Wikipedia.

Thus, the death of Aaron Ralston Lighter aboard the U.S.S. Lewis L. Dyche in Mindora Bay made his mother, Eva Northern Lighter a Gold Star Mother.

Thank God We Don’t Need Your Kid!

By a Marine in the South Pacific

You say he can’t stand the Army
The life is too tough for him,
Do you think he is any better
Than some other mother’s Tom or Jim?
You have raised him like a girl
He don’t smoke or drink, is your brag,
If all the boys were like him
What would become of Our FLAG?

Then you say let the roughnecks do the fighting
They are used to the beans and stew,
I’m glad I am classed with the roughnecks
Who fight for the red, white and blue
You say his girl can’t stand it
To see him go with the rest,
Don’t you think she would be glad
When she felt a Jap’s breath on her breast?

Think of the women of Belgium
Of the hardships they have to bear,
Do you think you want that to happen
To your sweet daughter so fair,
You can thank GOD for the Stars in OLD GLORY
Are not blurred with that kind of stain
Because there are millions of roughnecks
with real red blood in their veins.

They go and drill in bad weather
And come in with a grin on their face,
While your darling sits in the parlor
And lets another man take his place,
Maybe we do smoke and gamble
But we fight as our forefathers did,
So warm the milk for his bottle —

Found on Guadacanal, Solomon Is.
November 8, 1942

Published in the 29 April 1943 issue of the Corning Gazette, Corning, Kansas. Digital copy available on

Home on Leave

For years, the Emporia Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) has had a column pulling historical tidbits from 20 and 30 years ago. On 28 May 1964, the ‘20 Years Ago‘ column reported on sailors home from leave from the war.

1944-Emporia-Gazette-Sailors-HomeThe Emporia Gazette (Emporia, Kansas)
28 May 1964, Thu
Page 4

Twenty Years Ago

Eleven men, seamen 2-c in the U.S. Navy, were in Emporia on 12-day leaves from Training Center at Great Lakes, Ill. The men were Floyd Felt, Walter Dunn, Ormond Parker, William Yearout, Russell Seacat, Paul Hankenson, Wallace Daniels, Cleo Smalling, William Nickel, William Eubank and Lee Brown. has the digitized version of this issue of The Emporia Gazette.

PFC Lovell Mentzer

While searching the Yates Center News for an article stating that Cleo B. Peake was awarded the purple heart, I discovered another cousin killed during World War II: PFC Lovell Mentzer.

Notice of the death of Private First Class Lovell J. Mentzer first appeared in the May 3, 1945 issue of the Yates Center News on Page 1.

1945-May3-YatesCenterNews-Death-LovellMentzer350PFC Lovell Mentzer

Killed in Germany
Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Mentzer received the information Tuesday from the War Department that their son, Private First Class Lovell J. Mentzer had died in Germany.
Nineteen-year-old Lovell had seen ten and one-half months service in the European theatre. Graduating from Yates Center high school with the class of ’44 he was inducted in the army and trained for an infantryman. In the latter part of last November he was sent over seas and was with the Seventh Army
Private Mentzer has five brothers in the service, Technician Fourth Grade Keith in south Pacific, Corporal Talmadge (Tye) in England, T/5 Burdette with the AAF at Coffeyville, T/5 Edward at the home on furlough, Lt. Austin (j.G.), Corpus Christi, Tex

On June 14, 1945, the Yates Center News had a notice of the memorial service on page 1.

1945-Jun14-MemorialService-Mentzer-Lovell350Memorial Services for Lovell Mentzer
Memorial services for PFC Lovell J. Mentzer will be held Sunday afternoon June 17 at 2:30 o’clock at the Methodist church. Rev. O. W. Dewey, pastor of the church, and the American Legion will conduct the services.
PFC Mentzer lost his life while in combat duty in Germany in April. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Mentzer.
Ask War Dads to Attend
Officials of the local War Dad chapter request that as many of the War Dad members who can, to attend the memorial services for Pfc. Mentzer.

A June issue of the 1945 Yates Center News included the obituary. Unfortunately, I ran out of time and did not get the obituary transcribed and the quality of my picture is too poor to transcribe the obituary from the image. Check back later and I will get the obituary transcribed.