Marty Wyall Last WWII WASP in Indiana

Marty Wyall served as a WASP during WWII

Marty Wyall served as a WASP during WWII

“Being a WASP changed our thinking about everything,” said Marty Wyall of Fort Wayne.

Among the 25,000 applicants for the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots), Mary Anna Martin of Indianapolis was one of 1,830 women accepted and one of only 1,074 who completed the program.

Marty showing her WASP uniform.

Marty showing her WASP uniform.

This is an excerpt from my book,

World War II Legacies: Stories of Northeast Indiana Veterans. It deals with the life of Marty Wyall, a former WASP during World War II.

 

Spending time w/ Marty on her birthday was a joy.

Spending time w/ Marty on her birthday was a joy.

It was a privilege to spend time with Marty on her birthday recently. She is just as vivacious and energetic as I imagine she was in her early 20s when she finished the WASP training.

 

Marty thinks she is the last living WASP in Indiana.

If you’d like to know more about her story and that of 27 other World War II vets, please send $20+$4.95 P/H=$24.95 via the Buy Now button on my home page. We will send the book to you ASAP.

 

World War II: Legacies of Northeast Indiana Veterans

World War II: Legacies of Northeast Indiana Veterans

I’m also available for speaking to your group about interviewing my mission to interview as many World War II vets as possible to preserve this part of our nation’s history. At this point I’ve interviewed 50+ from all branches except Coast Guard. Most stories have been published in magazines, newspapers and books.

 

Even if you can’t write a story, you can tell a vet thank you! Don’t wait for Veteran’s Day or another military holiday—do it today! It could make a big difference in the life of a vet!

Meet Distinguished WWII Vets at Free Event!

Ruth Licking

Ruth Licking

Homer Bates

Homer Bates

If you’ve wanted to meet a World War II vet and ask questions about his or her service, you’ll have a unique opportunity to do so on Sat, Jan 24 at River Terrace Estates in Bluffton, Indiana.

 

Ruth Licking married while in service.

Ruth Licking married while in service.

Two vets from my book, World War II Legacies: Stories of Northeast Indiana Veterans, have agreed to talk about their military service and answer questions about it.

Homer Bates flew as an aerial gunner in B29s, F47s and F51s. He flew 33 bombing missions over Japan in 1944 and 1945. His planes were often involved in combat and received heavy flak from the enemy.

He was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross medal. He also met American president Franklin D. Roosevelt.

 

Another World War II vet from my book who will attend is Ruth Licking. She was enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) assigned to a clerical position at Kelly Field in San Antonio. “I kept track of paperwork for officers’ transfers and those headed overseas,” she said. Her assignment at HQ earned her the rank of corporal and later, sergeant.

 

In December 1943, Cooper received a special honor when the other WACs at Kelly Field chose her as their representative for ‘Miss Victory’. “I was thought to be the female counterpart to the male soldier,” she said. “The other WACs saw me as someone who was willing to work hard, sacrificially and with little fuss.” Cooper and two other WACs from neighboring bases were recognized at a military ball during which the acclaimed Andrews sisters sang.

 

The hour-long meeting will be held in the River Terrace Independent Living front room at 10am.

 

World War II: Legacies of Northeast Indiana Veterans

World War II: Legacies of Northeast Indiana Veterans

My book will be available for purchase ($20) and as a special bonus, you may ask these vets to sign it!

 

Please come and honor these vets with respectful questions and comments about their military service.

Bob Batchelder’s Unusual WWII Surrender

Bob Batchelder in uniform.

Bob Batchelder in uniform.

Robert ‘Bob’ Batchelder of Fort Wayne landed on Omaha Beach at Normandy on June 6, 1944, as part of the D-Day invasion. “I crawled down the side of our landing craft with medical supplies into the cold water while guns strafed the water around us,” he said. “Thankfully, I knew how to swim.”

He was a member of the 457th Medical Collecting Company. “We collected injured and dead bodies on the battlefield,” he said. (excerpt from World War II Legacies: Stories of Northeast Indiana Veterans)

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Bob Batchelder served with 457th Medical Collecting Company at D Day.

Bob Batchelder served with 457th Medical Collecting Company at D Day.

It was a privilege to meet Bob Batchelder through an acquaintance, John Homrig. John had heard me speak to his Rotary club about my project of interviewing WWII vets. He recommended I talk with his friend, Bob. I am so glad I did so!

Mr. Batchelder’s story is remarkable first of all because he served at Omaha Beach. The tales various soldiers, sailors and airmen have told me about that conflict are harrowing.

Second, he was involved with an unusual surrender. Since his story is in my new book, World War II Legacies: Stories of Northeast Indiana Veterans, I won’t give it away here. Hint: The man who surrendered to Mr. Batchelder one night when he was on guard duty was highly sought after by the Americans.

Sadly, Mr. Batchelder passed from this life on January 10, 2015. I appreciate his service to our country and hope he has found rest and peace with his wife and son who proceeded him in death.

You can read more about Mr. Batchelder and 27 other WWII veterans in my book WWII Legacies: Stories of NE IN Veterans. Click Buy Now button at top of my home page. And don’t forget to thank a veteran for his/her service!

WASP Margaret Ringenberg’s Life as Revealed Through Her Daughter

Marsha Wright wrote book about her mother, Margaret Ringenberg, who is profiled in my WWII book.

Marsha Wright wrote book about her mother, Margaret Ringenberg, who is profiled in my WWII book.

My privilege as a writer and now author of World War II Legacies: Stories of Northeast Indiana Veterans is to celebrate occasions when the subject of World War II is promoted to the community.

World War II: Legacies of Northeast Indiana Veterans

World War II: Legacies of Northeast Indiana Veterans

I admit, before interviewing nearly 60 World War II vets, I might not have been as interested in the subject as I am now. Now that I understand the magnitude of sacrifice and challenges and courage it took to overcome that period, I can’t get enough of it!

WWII WASP Margaret Ringenberg

WWII WASP Margaret Ringenberg

Recently one of the people in my book, Margaret ‘Maggie’ Ray Ringenberg was featured during a talk by her daughter, Marsha J. Ringenberg Wright, at the Fort Wayne History Center.

It was the first Mather Lecture of 2015 at the History Center. Marsha spoke well about her mother Maggie Ray Ringenberg and Maggie’s life as an early female pilot. Marsha often flew with her mother as a young girl as Maggie kept her aviator license and in fact, Marsha even obtained her private pilot’s license and acted as co-pilot with her mother and even raced against her in air races!

Margaret, who died in 2008, has received posthumously two Congressional medals – one for being a WASP and another awarded in December 2014 for her involvement in Civil Air Patrol. The medals were on display.

The 1 –hour lecture was free and open to the public. There was a turnout of approximately 50 people, many of whom had known Maggie. Keep in mind it was a cold wintry day so that really was a great turnout!

Marsha stands at her book table with 1st Lt. John Deitrick, squadron commander of Civil Air Patrol, and Marsha's brother, Mike Ringenberg.

Marsha stands at her book table with 1st Lt. John Deitrick, squadron commander of Civil Air Patrol, and Marsha’s brother, Mike Ringenberg.

Marsha and I are friends as we have participated in a Christian writing club together for several years. She wrote a book with her mom about Maggie’s experiences as a pilot: ‘Maggie Ray, WWII Air Force Pilot’.

WASP Margaret Ringenberg

WASP Margaret Ringenberg

It was an honor to feature Margaret’s story in my book and support Marsha in her speaking ventures.

Several of these photos of Margaret are in my book, World War II Legacies: Stories of Northeast Indiana Veterans. You may purchase it by clicking the ‘Buy Now’ button at the top of the page. $20+$4.95 P/H=$24.95. Please indicate if you would like the copy personally signed. We mail as soon as payment is received.

Tom Brokaw featured Margaret Ringenberg in his book, The Greatest Generation.

Tom Brokaw featured Margaret Ringenberg in his book, The Greatest Generation.

The scope of our country’s involvement in 70+ countries that were involved in the war during those 5 or so years means countless experiences to be reported.

I’m doing my best to get as many World War II stories recorded as possible in my area of the world.

Please, if you have access to someone who was involved in World War II and is willing to talk about it, sit down with them and record it and take notes and ask as many questions as they’ll allow. Future generations will gain from our diligence in pursuing these stories!

World War II Legacies: Stories of Northeast Indiana Veterans is available!

WWII vet George Buhler displays his medals earned during military service in Europe.

WWII vet George Buhler displays his medals earned during military service in Europe.

World War II: Legacies of Northeast Indiana Veterans is available for purchase: Kjreusser@adamswells.com

World War II: Legacies of Northeast Indiana Veterans is available for purchase: Kjreusser@adamswells.com

It’s the start of a new year and I’m excited about the possibilities!

In 2014 I published my first book— World War II Legacies: Stories of Northeast Indiana Veterans. My publisher was Oak Creek Publishing. The man in charge, Ed Schwartz, has now changed it to Oak Creek Media. I highly recommend Ed and his crew, including his son Rick Schwartz who shot my cover photo, for anyone wanting to self-publish.

My book, World War II Legacies: Stories of Northeast Indiana Veterans, is available from me for $20+$4.95 P/H=$24.95. Please send a check to Kayleen Reusser, 1524 N Sutton Cir Bluffton IN 46714. We’ll mail it the day after the check is received.

Christmas might be over but you have friends and relatives who would love to read about 28 World War II vets who risked their lives for our country’s freedoms!

Here’s an excerpt from a story about U.S. Army MP George Buhler:

In summer 1945 Buhler’s division moved to Brest, Germany. Brest was a major German submarine port in northwestern France that Allied forces hoped to seize. Securing it from the highly trained Germans had proved extremely difficult in the past. Now British troops dropped 2,000-pound bombs on them. “We stayed in fox holes much of the time to avoid concussion from the explosions,” said Buhler. By September 1944 the Allies had recaptured the town.

George Buhler from New Jersey served as Army military police during WWII.

George Buhler from New Jersey served as Army military police during WWII.

In September Buhler was part of the Allied liberation of Paris. He performed traffic duty at the Champs Élysées. That fall Buhler’s division encountered further ferocious combat in Germany’s Hertgen Forest, east of the Belgian–German border. “It was cold and brutal,” said Buhler. “Mud came up to our knees.” Casualties in Hertgen Forest were said to number in the tens of thousands.

Buhler was 1 of 4 brothers who served in WWII. One brother survived a German POW camp after his B17 was shot down.

Buhler was 1 of 4 brothers who served in WWII. One brother survived a German POW camp after his B17 was shot down.

Buhler went next to the Battle of the Bulge, another violent melee in Belgium’s Ardennes Forest. “We lost a lot of people,” said Buhler. “There was a lot of misery.” Sleeping outside for weeks in fox holes in record-low temperatures caused frostbite for many GI’s.

In March 1945 Buhler was involved with the taking of the railroad bridge at Remagen, Germany. Aware that the Rhine River posed the last major geographic obstacle to Allied troops, Hitler had ordered the bridge over the river destroyed. “The Germans shot 18-inch shells from railroad cars at us,” said Buhler. Allied troops saved the bridge, enabling 8,000 Allied troops to cross it.

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I am part of a US military family—my husband is retired from the Air Force and our son is a pilot in the Air Force. My goal with this book is to promote patriotism and appreciation for our soldiers, young and old. My other goal is to try to interview as many World War II vets as possible while they’re still available.

The book also lists the World War II vets who have participated in the Honor Flight of Northeast Indiana. This is a terrific organization that helps send World War II and Korean and Vietnam vets to Washington DC to see our country’s military memorials. I hope to accompany a flight in 2015 as a companion to a veteran.
Please support our military with financial and emotional encouragement to organizations like the Honor Flights in your area and other military organizations.