Volume II of Tributes to Cocalico Valley WWII Veterans available

By on October 8, 2014
Private First Class Luke Royer of Denver served in the Army Air Corp and was stationed in England and Belgium in 1944 and 1945.

Private First Class Luke Royer of Denver served in the Army Air Corp and was stationed in England and Belgium in 1944 and 1945.

The Historical Society of the Cocalico Valley announces the publication of the second volume of the two volume set titled, “What’s Cookin’ Among Our Boys and Girls in the Armed Forces – The Cocalico Valley and World War II,” compiled by local historian Clarence E. Spohn, with the cooperation of The Ephrata Review.
The second volume will feature newspaper articles, originally published in The Ephrata Review during WWII, on the men and women who lived in or were affiliated with the Cocalico Valley, prior to or at the time they entered military service. Included are articles relating to those individuals having ties to the boroughs of Adamstown, Akron, Denver and Ephrata, and the townships of Clay, East and West Cocalico, Ephrata and West Earl, as well as the Hinkletown area of Ephrata Township.
The newspaper articles are arranged in chapters by date of publication. Each chapter begins with an abbreviated time-line of the war during the period covered by that chapter. The second volume will contain articles published between May 1944 and December 1945. The first volume, published in 2013, contained those articles published between December 1941 and April 1944.
Volume two contains 473 pages and over 580 photographs of Cocalico Valley veterans, along with a surname index. The newspaper articles include letters written home by those in the military, along with articles found in the paper’s weekly columns, “What’s Cookin’ Among Our Boys in the Armed Services,” the weekly Denver column, “With Those in the Service,” and extracts from community “Personals” and news columns relating to individuals in the military.
Among the accounts found in volume two are the deaths of approximately 45 Cocalico Valley soldiers.
Included are the stories of Father Lawrence E. Lynch of St. Clements Mission, who was killed in the Battle of Okinawa in April 1945 and Calvin Rickenbach of Ephrata, whose bomber crashed into a mountain in New Hampshire in December 1944 killing him.
The volume also contains Rudolph Nessinger’s fascinating account of his two-year imprisonment in Italian and German prisoner of war camps in North Africa, Italy and Germany.
Included in the volume is the emotional letter written by Quintin Eisemann to his mother regarding his visit on June 20, 1945, to his brother’s grave in St. Laurent-sur-mer, American Military Cemetery No. 1, in France. His brother Henry Milton Eisemann was killed on D-Day, June 6, 1944, on Omaha Beach.
Probably one of the most moving letters found in the book is the one written by Clifford Doremus to Katie Lewis in November of 1945 following his visit to her son Chester Lewis’ grave on Luzon in the Philippines.
Doremus, along Lamar Kinch and John Gudikunst, two other Ephrata boys, arranged a flight through the Red Cross to the Philippines specifically to visit Lewis’ grave. He wrote “How quiet and peaceful everything was. The grounds are completely surrounded with tall coconut trees and in front a large lawn with a tall flag pole guard the approach. Flowers line the front of the cemetery and Old Glory floats high above while to the right of us was a little white chapel. Chet is buried in grave No. 3321 in row 61. His grave is directly under the branches of a coconut tree and lies in about the middle of the lot. Each grave is marked with a white cross and is kept mowed and clean by the natives. As we stood there, we realized the day was Nov. 14 [Veteran’s Day] and that back home people were visiting graves and remembering other fellows. It was certainly one day I will always remember and I hope this letter will be of some help to you.”
The second volume of “What’s Cookin’ Among Our Boys and Girls in the Armed Forces – The Cocalico Valley and World War II,” of which a limited edition of 600 copies are being printed, can be ordered from the Historical Society of the Cocalico Valley, 237-249 West Main St., Ephrata, at a cost of $37.50. A limited number of two volume sets are also available at a total cost of $75. To place an order for volume two or the two volume set, clip the order form from the display advertisement found elsewhere in this issue of the newspaper.
Books will be available in time for Christmas. Those individuals placing an order will be contacted by either telephone or E-mail when the books have been received by the Historical Society and are available for pick-up. For those individuals who need to have their books shipped, there is an additional shipping charge.

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