Anchors aweigh for area vetsIt was a fishing frenzy last Friday for veterans who took part in the Let’s Go Fishing day for area veterans.
By: Celeste Beam, Alexandria Echo Press
It was a fishing frenzy last Friday for veterans who took part in the Let’s Go Fishing day for area veterans.
Guides for the Alexandria chapter of Let’s Go Fishing took two pontoons of veterans – some of them World War II vets – out on Lake L’Homme Dieu for a couple of hours of fishing and fun.
According to the organizer of the event, Sally Baumann of Let’s Go Fishing, the trip proved to be successful. A total of 90 sunfish were caught and cleaned, and will be used for an upcoming fish fry for the veterans who participated in the event.
The 18 veterans not only enjoyed time on the water fishing and relaxing, but also enjoyed a box lunch courtesy of Knute Nelson.
The Let’s Go Fishing guides, according to Baumann, were Ron Finelon, Reid Baumann, Roy Kramer, Dick Welder and Jim Schoeberl.
Baumann submitted stories behind a few of the area veterans who fished with the Let’s Go Fishing guides. Here they are:
•Marvin Dobberpuhl served in the U.S. Army for four years, from 1942 to 1945. His title was company supply sergeant in the 95th Inventory Division.
Dobberpuhl was in charge of stocking ammunition in the trucks and then he would haul it wherever it needed to go. He spent 11 months in Europe.
•Bob Thompson served in the U.S. Navy from 1950 to 1954. He was in the submarine branch and maintained submarines in Key West, Florida. While serving on the submarine, he and his comrades were surprised with a visit from President Harry Truman.
Thompson, who also had two brothers who enlisted in the U.S. Navy, served during the Korean War.
•Dick Sammons enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1946 as a private first class. He first worked as an ammunition carrier and then as a machine gunner.
While aboard a Navy carrier ship, Sammons used a 30-caliber machine gun that was water-cooled. The gun itself was about three-feet in length, but about two-feet of that contained water.
His job as a Marine soldier was to capture and protect. He spent two years in China and whenever his boat would come ashore, the Marines were always the first ones off the ship.
When he enlisted in 1946, the pay was $21 per month. In 1948, it was raised to $48 per month.
•Enfred “Shorty” Norling was drafted on May 30, 1944. At that time, his brother also enlisted so that the two of them could serve together and take care of each other. However, it didn’t work out for the Norling brothers as Shorty was drafted into the U.S. Army and his brother ended up in the U.S. Navy. They never saw each other again until they were discharged. Two months before he was discharged, Shorty was transferred into the Army Air Corps.
In basic training, Shorty, who may have gotten his nickname because of his short legs, marched 10 miles a day, seven days a week for 10 weeks during training. However, he was disqualified from going overseas because of his short legs. Little did he know at the time it would be a blessing as his company fought in the Battle of the Bulge and more than 90 percent of them perished.
VETERANS ON BOARD
Veterans who spent a few hours with guides from the Let’s Go Fishing group included:
•Boat one – Warren Hansen, Bill Baumann, Dick Sammons, Marvin Dobberpuhl, Bob Thompson, Leland Pederson, Enfred “Shorty” Norling and Doug Sherman.
•Boat two – Martin Rettig, Marv Slama, Norman Dittberner, Andy Karlsgodt, Fred Lindstrom, Ervin Keitz, Don Leland, Michael Lanigan and Marvin Roers.
LET’S GO FISHING
Let’s Go Fishing is a non-profit organization whose principal objective is to provide community members 55 years of age or older with fishing and boating excursions at no cost.
The mission of the group is to give back to the community of senior citizens some small token of appreciation for all they have done to build a community that sometimes is taken for granted.
For more information, visit the Let’s Go Fishing website at www.lgfws.com. Click on the LGF Chapters tab to view information about the Alexandria area chapter.