Let’s Talk Clovis: 1945 Clovis District World War II Honor Roll

1943 Postcard (Photo courtesy of Clovis Museum)

On Nov. 8, 1945, the Clovis Independent published the names of 853 men and women that lived in the Clovis Union High School district and served in World War II. M.A. Hinkley was editor and publisher.

The 853 names were also posted on a large wooden white sign at the Clovis Avenue City Park. The family name of Anderson appeared seven times, Nichols six times, Turner six times and Smith six times. There would be 28 WW II Clovis Gold Star Heroes.

We are quoting the full page article titled: “In This Hour of Triumph.” The article was sponsored by 37 advertisers who supported the eighth War Loan Victory Bonds drive.

“Behind us lie three and a half years of deadly struggle in which, with God’s help, we have prevailed.

So, today, we celebrate a victory.

After the celebration, what lies ahead?

For most of us, the outlook is a bright one. If we will simply use the brains, the will, the energy, the enterprise…the materials and resources…with which we won our war, we can’t fail to win peace and to make this the richest, happiest land the world has known.

For most of us, the years ahead are bright with promise. But for others of us and, ironically enough, their part in bringing victory was a major one—the years to come must bear a different look.

In America today are hundreds of thousands of injured men. Men with neatly pinned up sleeves and trousers. Blinded men. Men with clever iron hooks instead of hands. Worst of all, men with hurt and darkened minds.

These men need our help. Helping them will cost a great deal of money. We can help them best by buying Victory Bonds.

Far away from America today are millions of Americans. As we would be, they’re on fire to get back—to their wives, to the children some of them have never seen, to their jobs.

These men need our help. Helping them will cost a great deal of money. And we can help them best by buying Victory Bonds.

This is our day of triumph. But it’s theirs too—the injured men, the men who are still far away.

Let’s not forget them, in our just rejoicing. And the one way we can help most to care for our wounded…to bring our veterans home…to give them a fresh start in the country they fought for…to care for the families of those who died before the Victory was won…is simply this:

Buy all the Bonds you can. Keep all the Bonds you buy.”

Judith Manera Preuss remembers her grandmother Ismene Grossi, who had recently attained citizenship, purchasing a Victory Bond. They celebrated that patriotic investment by attending a movie show. Ismene’s husband Siro had paid her passage from Italy for the purpose of marriage. The couple arrived in Clovis in 1924.

The bonds could be purchased for $18.75 and had a maturity value of $25 in 10 years. Ten cent saving stamps could be purchased to reach the above amount.

Americans invested $185 billion during the bond drives.

Twenty-six Clovis service women were identified: LaRue Allison, Vernal Anderson, Ammie Antonio, Ysabel Contreras, Wilma Hogue Dasher, LaVerne Fennell, Renie Gilmore, Myrtle Griffith, Bonnie Howison, Hilda M. Kaneg, Elizabeth Knight, Vivian Lowe, Vera Martinez, Dora Matteson, Kathleen McMurtry, Angelina Panero, Wilma Parker, Zola Rae Pendergrass, Carmen Piombino, Meredy Pritchett, Jeanette Riley, Loree Saunders, Ashley Topping, Kathryn Tranberg, Mabel C. Turl and Anna Meek Whittaker. (List may not be complete.)

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. Flowers were placed at Arlington National Cemetery on the graves of the Union and Confederate soldiers.

Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, will provide us an opportunity to remember and honor all who have served our armed forces. They remain a vital part of our Clovis heritage.

Peg Bos is the president of the Clovis Museum on 4th and Pollasky avenues in Old Town Clovis. She not only manages the museum but she also writes her Let's Talk Clovis column in our publication which features and highlight the amazing history of our city and culture. One fun fact about Peg Bos, she was the first female mayor of Clovis from 1984-86.