Senior Class Picture 1942 Echo
This collection consists of fifty-six letters from Corporal Ross C Allen, Squadron A, US Army, Herington Army Air Field, KS, to his parents, Dr & Mrs Ross C Allen, Kirksville, MO.
Corporal Allen (1921-2003) was a Kirksville native who graduated from Northeast Missouri State Teachers College with a BS in Education in 1942. After graduation, he enlisted in the US Army Air Force and spent the next three years at Herington where he was Chaplain’s Assistant and base chapel organist. He joined the music faculty at Indiana University in 1953 as instructor in opera history and stage direction and as stage director for the IU Opera Theatre. He was also host of “Your Sunday Opera” on the university radio station WFIU, and continued that weekly broadcast several years after his retirement in 1988. He died in Bloomington, December 30, 2003.
Dr Ross C Allen (1884-1975), was a well-respected Kirksville dentist from 1916 till the late 1960s. He was a 1910 graduate of the First District Normal School (later NMSTC) and a 1916 graduate of the Washington University School of Dentistry in St Louis. Floy Naomi (Howey) Allen (1887-1977), a native of Brashear, MO, studied organ at the Conservatory of Music in Quincy, IL after graduating from Kirksville High School. She was First Methodist Church’s organist for over 50 years.
These letters were written as the Herington base was being deactivated at the close of World War II. They are all “staying in touch” letters, written on a daily, sometimes twice daily, basis. Ross chats about things he is doing at work and leisure, places he goes on his weekends away from base, popular radio shows, the latest movies, his musical activities and friends at home, at the college and on base.
|Correspondence and biographical research|
|A3/1:1||September 4-16, 1945 (10 letters)|
|◙ New Base Commander, Col Morgan (9/6) ◙ New Squadron commander, Capt McKeehan (9/10) ◙ Enclosed Order of Worship for base chapel provides names of Base Commander, Lt Col M C Morgan, and Chaplain Victor Pennekamp (9/16)|
|A3/1:2||September 18-30, 1945 (12 letters)|
|◙ Description of Methodist Church in Wichita, KS, & it’s organ; organist Myrt McGraw, pastor Dr Williams, secretary Mrs Culp and janitor Mr Steward (9/23) ◙ Signal officer Capt McCarthy’s father died in New York ◙ Have accumulated 36 points so am ineligible for overseas duty (9/27) ◙ Processing Unit T6 & T7 leaving for separation center, Mather Field, CA ▪ Frank Moffatt among those leaving (9/30)|
|A3/2:1||October 1-15, 1945 (11 letters)|
|◙ Lois Hill, base librarian, is getting married tomorrow ▪ Rev Hughes, pastor Herington Methodist Church, transferred to NE Kansas (10/1) ◙ Base will deactivate Oct 15 (10/3) ◙ Have been assigned to ‘house-keeping’ unit which will be last to leave (10/4) ◙ Phil [Hoffman] played for his last chapel service here (10/8) ◙ Bernice Shott, Kirksville organist|
|A3/2:2||October 18-31, 1945 (14 letters)|
|◙ Congratulations on your 26th wedding anniversary today ▪ Sgt Richard Concklin has received discharge due to wife Mary’s illness and will go home to Long Island City ▪ Whittaker transferred to Roswell, NM (10/18); ◙ Elias brothers new owners of the Kirksville Grand Leader store (10/20); ◙ Met new Herington pastor, Rev Matthews, and 4 of his 9 children (10/21) ◙ Mary Concklin broke (or sprained) her ankle in auto accident; her son and parents, the Duffs, unhurt ◙ Everyone remaining at Herington as of midnight Oct 31 will be transferred to the Air Transport Service Command ▪ Chaplain Pennekamp transferred to Kearney, NE ▪ Percy Edgerly to be discharged ▪ Erwin Peterson (of Kirksville) stationed at McCook [Army Air Field, McCook, NE] (10/27) ◙ Sgt Major Dave Bryant is leaving (10/30)|
|A3/3:1||November 2-14, 1945 (9 letters)|
|◙ Base will be closed down by the 15th ▪ Am slated for transfer to Merced, CA ▪ Army requires only 50 points for discharge now (11/2) ◙ Took a spontaneous trip to Salina over the weekend & spent Sunday with the Freeman family [LeVern Freeman, former pastor Kirksville First Christian Church] (11/5) ◙ Louis Garhart got married (11/45) ◙ Ran into Gwen (Mrs Darrell) McClure & 7 week old Darrell Jr in Herington on their way to her grandparents’ home in Wichita; Darrell still in Germany|
Note: Only clearly identifiable people & items of note with letter or postmark date (not necessarily date of event) are included above. More often than not, Allen refers to individuals by given or surname only, rarely both, so they are unidentifiable and events connected with them have no context.
For information concerning this collection contact: firstname.lastname@example.org