Pharos-Tribune

Local News

January 23, 2011

Personal remembrances

Library home to first-hand accounts from WWII vets

The Logansport-Cass County Public Library now houses two firsthand accounts of Cass County soldiers who fought in World War II.

The library acquired the two books through a series of events that began when Elizabeth McQuinn volunteered to assist the Cass County Veterans Council distribute the 4,200 or so nameplates from the Roll of Honor currently undergoing renovations.

McQuinn has spent well over a year giving the nameplates to the veterans or their families. Along the way, she spoke to Leroy Rehwald and the widow of W. Clifford Wray.

Rehwald, a former Cass County resident now living in Pennsylvania, wanted his nameplate as well as the ones for his three deceased brothers.

Wray’s wife, Phyllis, requested that her husband’s name be added to the Roll of Honor, something they had reportedly been trying to do for more than 60 years.

During the discussions, McQuinn learned of the writings by Rehwald and Wray. After reviewing the materials, she knew they should be made available.

“These need to be made available to high school students, to the public,” McQuinn said. “It doesn’t get any better than this — a first-hand account of our World War II veterans from Cass County.”

McQuinn contacted library director David Ivey. He gladly accepted the books, which are displayed in a bookcase behind the second-floor reference desk.

Ivey mentioned that due to the rapid pace in which veterans are dying, there is a small window of opportunity for these accounts to be documented if someone has not already done so.

The director welcomed the first-hand accounts and encouraged people to submit more World War II stories. He also offered space for locally-written family histories.

Wray graduated from Twelve Mile High School in May 1942. He chose to enlist in the U.S. Army rather than be drafted.

In his 110-age account — written before his death in July 2002 — Wray detailed his encounters with Germans while crossing Europe before the Battle of the Bulge.

Along the way, he witnessed the deaths of many fellow soldiers, dug numerous foxholes and took a bullet to the chest.

“Suddenly, I was hit and what a shock it was!” Wray wrote of that moment in Jan. 31, 1945.

In the book dedicated to his family, Wray wrote about the nature of the injury that left him partially disabled for the rest of his life.

“A bullet had entered my chest to the right of the sternum between two ribs, punctured the upper right lung, exited at the armpit, and entered the upper right arm and lodged against the arm bone,” he wrote.

Wray was discharged on Jan. 22, 1946. He went on to raise a family.

In Rehwald’s 28-page account, he described his time in the South Pacific with the Navy. Rehwald served from Feb. 18, 1943, to April 15, 1946.

After caring for his wife who had Alzheimer’s, Rehwald realized he, too, could lose his memory. That, he told McQuinn, was when he decided to write down his experiences The Rehwald family seemed destined for war. His dad fought in World War I and his three brother also fought in World War II.

The 1941 Logansport High School graduate said he plans to return to Logansport in September to celebrate his 70-year high school reunion.

McQuinn will also be giving a copy of each account to the Cass County Historical Society.

As for getting Wray on the new Roll of Honor, McQuinn assured his widow that her husband’s name would be among those etched in marble.

• Kevin Lilly is news editor of the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5117 or kevin.lilly@pharostribune.com.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS-PT082114 WWII Ship 2.jpg Return voyage: Logansport veteran to crew WWII ship A Logansport man and U.S. Navy veteran is getting a chance to sail on a military vessel again.Starting at the end of this month, Rex Mitchell Ashby will spend about three weeks working in the engine room of LST-325, the last fully operational World W

    August 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • AP for free? Yes — for low incomes The U.S. Department of Education awarded $28.4 million dollars Aug. 12 to schools across the nation for Advanced Placement test costs for low-income students.Indiana received just under $500,000 from the Advanced Placement Test Fee Program. That amou

    August 22, 2014

  • Round Barn Festival canceled ROCHESTER — A 44-year-long festival will end its run in downtown Rochester indefinitely, according to the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce. Executive Director Diane Spore and the chamber of commerce’s board of directors met Wednesday to discuss and

    August 22, 2014

  • Twelve Mile farming contractor files counter-suit TWELVE MILE — A local farming contractor has filed a counter-suit against a farming company that accused him of defrauding them of millions of dollars over the course of several crop seasons.A lawyer for Chad Rudicel, the Twelve Mile contractor named

    August 22, 2014

  • Police Blotter: Aug. 21, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    August 21, 2014

  • Firefighters investigate smoke downtown Firefighters investigate smoke smell downtown

    Firefighters with the Logansport Fire Department responded to a call of a smell of smoke in a downtown office building.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-PT082114 Opera House Now.jpg Dreaming the old dreams over DELPHI — “To dream the old dreams over is a luxury divine.”That line from the late local poet James Whitcomb Riley was mentioned several times Wednesday at a celebration in Delphi. Those who quoted the line said it was a fitting description for one o

    August 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Schools react to report on bullying The Indiana Department of Education released the first-ever statewide data on school bullying three weeks ago, and a local school found out its data was not entirely accurate.Columbia Middle School — the only school in the Logansport Community School

    August 21, 2014

  • Logansport Learning Academy now open

    The city’s only current licensed early childcare center opened earlier this week.Logansport Learning Academy has been in the works since summer 2013 and finally opened its doors Monday with 12 kids attending and 30 signed up, according to owner David T

    August 21, 2014

  • Police Blotter: Aug. 20, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    August 20, 2014

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: Rescue Efforts Suspended at Japan Landslide Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Raw: Smaller Marches in Ferguson Marathon Suspect's Friend Pleads Guilty Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer Ky. Firefighters Hurt in Ice Bucket Challenge Federal Investigation Will Look at Use of Force Community Deals With Michael Brown Aftermath US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists Ferguson Teachers Training to Deal With Trauma Jon Hamm on the Unrest in Ferguson Tit for Tat? McDonald's Shuttered in Moscow Life on the Professional Video Game Circuit TX Gov Perry in Washington: 'Confident' in Case Hospital Releases Two Missionaries Who Had Ebola Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle NYC Doctor-in-chief Seeks Community Approach Indonesian Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Does Indiana need a statewide water management plan and an administrator to implement it?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
eEdition