Author Archives: Sandy Shinn

Military History – June 2021

The Battle of Midway was a decisive naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II. Between 4 and 7 June 1942, only six months after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea, the United States Navy under Admirals Chester Nimitz, Frank Jack Fletcher, and Raymond A.  Spruance decisively defeated an attacking fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy under Admirals Isoroku Yamamoto, Chuichi Nagumo, and Nobutake Kondo near Midway Atoll, inflicting devastating damage on the Japanese fleet that proved irreparable. Military historian John Keegan called it “the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare.”

The operation, like the earlier attack on Pearl Harbor, sought to eliminate the United States as a strategic power in the Pacific, thereby giving Japan a free hand in establishing its Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. The Japanese hoped another demoralizing defeat would force the U.S. to capitulate in the Pacific War and thus ensure Japanese dominance in the Pacific. Luring the American aircraft carriers into a trap and occupying Midway was part of an overall “barrier” strategy to extend Japan’s defensive perimeter, in response to the Doolittle air raid on Tokyo. This operation was also considered preparatory for further attacks against Fiji, Samoa, and Hawaii itself.

The plan was handicapped by faulty Japanese assumptions of the American reaction and poor initial dispositions. Most significantly, American codebreakers were able to determine the date and location of the planned attack, enabling the forewarned U.S. Navy to prepare its own ambush. All four of Japan’s large aircraft carriers—AkagiKagaSoryu and Hiryu, part of the six-carrier force that had attacked Pearl Harbor six months earlier—and a heavy cruiser were sunk, while the U.S. lost only the carrier Yorktown and a destroyer. After Midway and the exhausting attrition of the Solomon Islands campaign, Japan’s capacity to replace its losses in materiel (particularly aircraft carriers) and men (especially well-trained pilots and maintenance crewmen) rapidly became insufficient to cope with mounting casualties, while the United States’ massive industrial and training capabilities made losses far easier to replace. The Battle of Midway is considered a turning point in the Pacific War.

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Marcia Meyer

Marcia Yaggy Meyer, 100, of Waverly, Iowa, passed away May 22, 2021 at the Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community.

Marcia was born on October 28, 1920, in Blairstown, Iowa to the Reverend Oliver and Mrs. Edna Yaggy. She was the youngest of three children. Her siblings were Miriam Yaggy Renz (Heine) and Mark Yaggy (Gweneth). Most of her youth was spent at their family home in Cedar Falls, Iowa, where her father ministered at the Evangelical United Brethren Church near downtown Cedar Falls.

Marcia attended Cedar Falls High School and enjoyed learning how to play the violin as well as becoming a member of the Red Peppers Cheerleading Squad. She also spent time during each summer at the Bible Conference grounds with her family as well as developing an interest in anything related to Home Economics—cooking, sewing, decorating and more.

It was during high school that Marcia somehow met John Meyer. He has told stories about how he and some of his friends would drive to Cedar Falls on Wednesday nights, which was church night, and she would sneak out of a window in the church basement to join them as they drove around town. She made the most out of Wednesday night church!

After graduation, Marcia attended Iowa State Teacher’s College (University of Northern Iowa) to major in Home Economics for two years. World War II interrupted her schooling as she and a girlfriend took off to get a job with McDonnell-Douglas aircraft in California. She wasn’t exactly ‘Rosie the Riveter’, but she did obtain a position in the plant office as a secretary. Eventually, she was called home to help out with a family health situation.

Marcia married John Meyer while he was on leave during the War. Joel, their first born child, was born on August 6, 1945, the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. When John returned to Waverly after the war, they settled in a home just north of the Waverly bowling alley. Later, they lived at 323 2nd Street SW and then were ‘pioneers’ as they built a home on the edge of town in the Ridgewood subdivision in 1959/1960.

Waverly was the only place to live, according to John and Marcia. John was very involved in the historical preservation of Waverly as well as the parks. He was very proud of his involvement in WWII and returned to Waverly after the war ended to help his Dad with Meyer Pharmacy.

Marcia enjoyed being involved in Waverly and made some very good friends. She enjoyed playing bridge, playing her violin in Waverly-Wartburg Community Symphony, was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, helped organize P. E. O. Chapter ML and took care of four children while John ran the drugstore.

Marcia’s faith in God was a constant in her life. She never missed a Daily Devotion—her favorite sources were Guideposts and the Daily Word. Prayer and a short meditation have continued to be a part of her morning ritual. Perhaps that has been why she has always had such a positive outlook about her life and events that have occurred over the years.

Among Marcia’s many talents was the creative touch she put on almost everything that she did. She loved to decorate her home not only with her interior design skills, but she also made every holiday special. Fall is probably her favorite season but Valentine’s Day, Easter, the summer patriotic holidays, Halloween and Christmas always brought forth different decorative touches.

Her family loved it! Her delicious and carefully decorated cut out cookies were always enjoyed by her family and friends—gingerbread boys/girls at Christmas, cutout sugar cookies for Christmas and Valentine’s Day (hearts), bunnies and eggs for Easter, pumpkins for Halloween. They were always special and good to eat!

Marcia was a great seamstress and made many a dress for herself and clothing for her four children to wear to church or special occasions, especially Liz who now wishes she would have appreciated them more in her youth when she ‘had’ to wear them rather than wearing store bought clothes as did her friends. Little did she know at that time that her mother’s creations were very special.

In 1984, Marcia was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy. She was a 37- year survivor and has remained cancer free ever since.

As Marcia resisted moving from her home and belongings after John passed away 15 years ago, the Meyer children definitely appreciated the friendship of Heidi Kramer over the past 15 years as she has helped Marcia in more ways than one. Heidi and her family have come to the rescue for us many times especially when it was not convenient for anyone ie. In the middle of night or on holidays. In August of 2015, the health event that we had anticipated occurred from which Marcia rebounded. After recovering from a blood clot/fall, she adjusted to life in the Bartel’s Community where she lived in Assisted Living at Linden Place and then to Woodland Terrace in recent years. Heidi has been there for Marcia and the family when it was difficult for us to get to Waverly. Heidi has been a true blessing to all of us, especially Marcia, because Waverly was her home and she wanted to live out her life there.

We also appreciate the care and attention that the fine staff at the Bartel’s Retirement Community have given to Marcia throughout the two years she lived at Linden Place and then the special care from those staff members at Woodland Terrace especially during the unusual year with Covid-19. In addition to the wonderful nursing staff, cleaning, kitchen, music/leisure activity staffs, they have developed some wonderful ways to work with communication for family members who are unable to visit residents often. We appreciate the extra time spent with Face Timing for each of us so that we could each have a day every week to visit our mother when we couldn’t visit her in person. Thank you so very much for all that you’ve done.

Marcia leaves behind four children—Joel (Gloria) Meyer of Plymouth, MN, Elizabeth/Liz (Paul) Kallestad of St. Charles, MO, Dr. William/Bill (Rosemary) Meyer of Ellensburg, WA and Thomas/ Tom (Ulrike/Ulli) Meyer of Juneau, Alaska; seven grandchildren—Kristi Kallestad, Katherine (Dan) Emrick all from St. Peters, MO, Kendra (Brad Nowak) of St. Charles, MO, Christopher (Mirentxu/Txu) Meyer of Charlottesville, VA, Johnathan (Carly) Meyer of Seattle, WA, Ida Meyer and Eva Meyer of Juneau, Alaska; six great-grandchildren—Sam Emrick, Adrienne Emrick of St. Peters, MO, Kallesta/Kalle Nowak and Karsten/Kari Nowak of St. Charles, MO and Cristian Meyer and Caroline Meyer of Charlottesville, VA. Marcia has a niece, Gayle (Ted) Wise who reside in Chino Valley, AZ.

Marcia was preceded in death by her parents, Reverend Oliver and Mrs. Edna Yaggy, older sister, Miriam Renz, an older brother, Mark Yaggy and her husband, John Edward Meyer who passed in December of 2005 at the age of 86 and a niece, Maureen Renz Esch Brimager who passed in 2015 and a nephew, Malcolm Renz, who passed away in 2016. We, Marcia’s children, appreciate everyone who has remained in contact with her over the years—Mom and Dad’s close friends and neighbors, people who knew us as youngsters, their hunting friends who had fun hunting mushroom, pheasants, asparagus, their biking friends, her P. E. O. Sisters who have watched over her especially in the past few years, her good bridge playing friends, those special people from our parents’ favorite place to get a good steak dinner—the former Amvets/Waverly Veteran’s Post, the fine people from Meyer Pharmacy, the Wartburg connection—lunches, dinner, the Artist Series and all of the treasured customers of Meyer Pharmacy who came from all over Bremer County.

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Raymond Leroy Fredrick

Raymond Leroy “Ray” Fredrick, 91, of Waverly, died on Thursday, May 19, at Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community.

Ray was born on November 5, 1929, in Strawberry Point, Iowa, the youngest of nine children born to William Andrew Fredrick and Emma Anna Baumgartner Fredrick. William was a farm implement dealer in Strawberry Point, and Emma was a very busy homemaker and mother to her six girls and three boys. Ray was baptized and confirmed at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Strawberry Point.

William died when Ray was fifteen years old, and Emma moved the family to Waverly, where Ray graduated from high school in 1947. In the fall of that year he started studies at Wartburg College, studying liberal arts and business administration. He transferred to the University of Iowa for his senior year, graduating in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce and a minor in English. Ray married Edith JoAnn (Jo) Arbogast in 1954, in Parkland, Washington. They raised three children, and although they later divorced, they remained friends.

From childhood, Ray was fascinated by engines and airplanes, and during late high school and college he served in the United States Naval Reserve. After graduating from college, he entered multi-engine pilot training with the United States Air Force as an aviation cadet from 1951 to Febuary, 1952, at Greenville (Mississippi) Air Force Base. His next stop (1952 to 1954) was Reese Air Force Base, Lubbock, Texas, where he trained on the T-6 and was also an electronic countermeasures pilot of B-29 and B-25 aircraft. From 1954 to 1957 he piloted DC-3 and DC-4 aircraft in special missions for both military and civilian VIP out of Frankfurt, Germany (Rhein-Main Air Base.)

Still in the Air Force, Ray worked as an Assistant Professor of Air Science and Faculty Advisor in Military Affairs in the ROTC program at Drake University, Des Moines, from 1957 to 1960. During this time he graduated from the Air University’s Courses in Academic Instruction and also from Squadron Officer’s School.

In 1960 Ray was transferred to “The Country Club of the Air Force,” Hamilton Air Force Base, along the western shore of San Pablo Bay near Novato, California. During his three years there, he flew special air missions in support of Army VIP at the Presidio in San Francisco and was an instructor pilot on the DC-3. This might have been his favorite assignment, as he always said Hamilton was the most beautiful air base in the world.

During 1963, Ray was part of the second contingent of U.S. Air Force pilots known as “The Dirty Thirty” (not to be confused with the 1959 Iowa State football team.) They were “on loan” to the Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF) and under the command of Lt. Col. Nguyen Cao-Ky, serving primarily as instructors for the VNAF pilots. As part of this operation, Ray was awarded the Air Medal and the Vietnamese Senior Pilot certificate. The Dirty Thirty was, and still is, the only Air Force contingent ever to serve under direct command of a foreign nation, and its pilots were the first U.S. airmen committed to combat in Vietnam.

After returning to the United States from Vietnam, Ray was happy to be stationed back at Hamilton, from 1964 to 1968, serving as Operations and Maintenance Officer in the Navigator Instructor Squadron. While there, he earned his Command Pilot rating, which he said he was “more proud of than anything else I did in the service.”

Another foreign assignment began in 1968, when he was transferred to Incirlik Air Force Base, Adana, Turkey. He served in several capacities there: Base Operations and Training Officer, Chief of Flight Operations, Deputy Base Commander, Aircraft Commander DC-6, and Instructor Pilot DC-4. He was able to have his family with him for this assignment, and they all loved the two years they spent there.

Ray’s final assignment with the Air Force was from 1970 to 1972, at Andrews Air Force Base (now Joint Base Andrews) in Prince George’s County, Maryland. He was an instructor pilot and Flight Examiner DC-6 in Air Transport Operations. He retired from the United States Air Force as a Major on May 31, 1972. Throughout his Air Force career he earned several medals, including the Air Force Commendation Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; Outstanding Unit Award; Expeditionary Medal; Republic of Vietnam Combat Medal/Vietnam Campaign Medal; Army of Occupation Medal (Germany, 1954); and Small Arms Expert Marksman Medal.

Throughout his career as a pilot, Ray flew official missions for the Air Force to over 70 countries, and this was something he very much enjoyed discussing with anyone who was interested. He also claimed to have “unofficially” touched down in countless other countries over those years, but don’t tell anyone….

Ray was not done working when he left the Air Force. After moving his family back to his hometown of Waverly, he began his second career in 1973 as Judicial Magistrate for the Iowa District Court, 2nd Judicial District. He remained in this position until retiring in August 1992. Although some who appeared before him might disagree, he was known as a fair and professional judge by most who came to his court. He very much enjoyed this job, his coworkers, and numerous others he had the chance to meet during this career.

Among Ray’s interests were watches and clocks; the weather; writing; United States and P.O.W. flags; airplanes; and trivia, but he could and did talk with anyone about anything, and enjoyed doing so with his many friends. He was also not shy about “re-educating” anyone he felt needed it, on proper display of the flag. Many family and friends will greatly miss his morning “trivia texts” that he really enjoyed sending.

Ray is survived by his daughters, Carla Lown (Tom) of Waterloo, and Christa Jacimore (Larry) of Little Rock, Arkansas; his son, Charles, of Waterloo; his former wife and mother of his three children, Jo Little of Little Rock, Arkansas; his grandchildren, Jessica Moser of Jacksonville, Arkansas, Jamie Ford (Corey) of Iowa City, Michael Newburg (Susan) of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; and his great-granddaughter Abigail Rae Moser, of Jacksonville, Arkansas; as well as several nieces and nephews, and numerous good friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; six sisters (Erma Eppler; Julia Jahr; Lillian Jahr; Deleva Oppermann; Gladys Burge; and Donna Andersen) and two brothers (William Fredrick and Arnold Fredrick.)

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Lawrence George Schmidt

Lawrence George “Larry” Schmidt, age 82, of Waverly, Iowa, died Sunday, May 9th, at Aase Haugen Senior Services in Decorah, Iowa. 

Larry was born June 5, 1938, in Butler County, Iowa, the son of Alfred and Minnie (Laube) Schmidt.  Larry was baptized in June of 1938 in Clarksville, Iowa and on March 18, 1951, he was confirmed at Peace United Church of Christ in Waverly.  He graduated from Waverly High School in 1957.  Larry served active duty in the United States Army from 1960-1962 then transferred to the National Guard and continued to serve until 1967.  On May 2, 1965, Larry was united in marriage to Joyce Brase at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Waverly.  During his life Larry worked for Fred’s Super Value, Shield Bantam, Oliver Corporation all in Iowa. While working for Bantam/Koehring as District Manager he and his family were transferred to Golden Colorado.  In 1979, he and his family moved back to Waverly, Iowa, where he was general foreman at Koehring.  In 1980, his career took him to GMT as a tool designer and then a year later he became a Production Manager at RADA Manufacturing where he then retired on June 1, 2000. 

Larry was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Waverly where he was on the counting committee for 20+ years. Larry was a devoted fifty plus year member of Tyrell Masonic Lodge in Waverly where he held numerous offices included a two time past master and chaplain .  He was very passionate about his involvement with El Kahir Shrine in Cedar Rapids where he was active in the cycle patrol unit and then the Mobile Nobles with also being a past director the Jesters, all within Shrine.  Larry enjoyed spending time fishing over the years with his daughter’s and then passing on that tradition to his granddaughters.  He also found a passion with woodworking and loved to golf with his brother, Smitty. Larry was created as a man of his word.  He had a strong love for his family and enjoyed watching his granddaughters in all of their activities.  He was respected by all those that knew him and he was always there to help a friend or someone in need.  Everyone seems to have a story about Larry or a kind word to share… he was loved by so many. 

Larry’s memory is honored by: wife, Joyce Schmidt of Waverly; two daughters, Heidi (Ed) Abben of Waverly and Gretchen (David) Smith of Rifle, Colorado; four beautiful granddaughters, Faith, Gracie, Lizzie, and Amelia Abben all of Waverly; brother, Emil Schmidt of Cedar Falls; sister-in-law, Carolyn Schrage of Shell Rock; and brother-in-law, Ron Brase of Waverly.  He was preceded in death by: his parents, Alfred and Minnie Schmidt; Brother, Vern Schmidt; Sister in-laws, Pat Schmidt and Mary Joan Schmidt; in-laws, Wilbert and Arlene Brase; and brother-in-law, Terry Schrage. 

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Thomas Joel Hicks

LTC Thomas J. Hicks USA Ret., 80, of Waverly, Iowa, passed away Saturday evening, May 8, 2021, at the Waverly Health Center. 

Tom was born on September 3, 1940, in Ames, Iowa, the son of Ruth (Schmitt) and Basil Dee Hicks. He attended elementary school in the Des Moines Metro area prior to becoming a resident at the Lutheran Children’s Home in Waverly. Tom attended Waverly High School and graduated in 1959, and then attended Wartburg College. On November 15, 1964, Tom was united in marriage to June Dreier. To this union their daughter, Lilah was born.  

Tom worked primarily as an electrician and was employed by Niewohner Hardware, Leuthold Johanssen Clothing, Ritchie Pontiac Olds, Shield-Bantam, Lauren Wedeking Electric, Chamberlain MFG., Black Hawk Electric, Dean’s Light Box and Wescott Clothing.  On February 26, 1962, Tom joined the United States Army Reserve and retired as Lieutenant Colonel on September 3, 2000, after proudly serving 38 years, 6 months and 6 days. 

Tom was a member of the Waverly Police Reserve, the Waverly Board of Electrical Examiners where he served as chairman, Waverly Amvets Post #79, and the Denver American Legion Post #653. He loved his model trains and also enjoyed camping, fishing, hunting and trapping. However, his greatest joy was time spent with his grandson, Tyler. 

Tom is survived by his wife of 57 years, June; daughter, Lilah (Karl) Grimm of Waverly; grandson, Tyler; siblings, Basil (Mary)Hicks, Jr of KS, Linda Sloan of CO, Ron Hicks of CO, Carol (JR) Schlarb of CA; sister-in-law, Diana Frye of AL; and brother-in-law, George (Jean) Dreier Jr; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; stepfather, Larry With; step-mother, Helen Hicks; brothers-in-law, George Frye and Gene Sloan; sister-in-law, Linda Hicks and step-sister, Sherrie Pilley.   

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Military History – May 2021

Berlin Blockade







C-47 Skytrains unloading at Tempelhof Airport during the Berlin Airlift.

The Berlin Blockade (24 June 1948 – 12 May 1949) was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War. During the multinational occupation of post–World War II Germany, the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies’ railway, road, and canal access to the sectors of Berlin under Western control. The Soviets offered to drop the blockade if the Western Allies withdrew the newly introduced Deutsche mark from West Berlin.


In response, the Western Allies organized the Berlin airlift (26 June 1948 – 30 September 1949) to carry supplies to the people of West Berlin, a difficult feat given the size of the city’s population. Aircrews from the United States Air Force, the British Royal Air Force, the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal New Zealand Air Force, and the South African Air Force :338 flew over 200,000 flights in one year, providing to the West Berliners up to 8,893 tons of necessities each day, such as fuel and food. The Soviets did not disrupt the airlift for fear this might lead to open conflict.


By the spring of 1949, the airlift was clearly succeeding, and by April it was delivering more cargo than had previously been transported into the city by rail. On 12 May 1949, the USSR lifted the blockade of West Berlin. The Berlin Blockade served to highlight the competing ideological and economic visions for postwar Europe.


For more information on this event, visit “Berlin Blockade” at!


Military History – April 2021

April 1, 1945 – Operation Iceberg

April 1, 1945 – On Okinawa, American forces launch Operation Iceberg, the invasion of Okinawa. Two corps of the US 10th Army (General Buckner) land in the area of Hagushi, in the southwest of the island.

US Task Force 51 (Admiral Turner) provides the 1,200 transports and landing ships including seven Coast Guard-manned transports, 29 LSTs, the cutters Bibb and Woodbine, and 12 LCI(L)s, with over 450,000 Army and Marine Corps personnel embarked. The troops landed are from US 3rd Amphibious Corps (Geiger) with US 6th and 1st Marine Divisions, on the left or northern flank, and 24th Corps (Hodge) with US 7th and 96th Infantry Divisions, on the right or southern flank. On land, US forces encounter almost no resistance on the first day and establish a beachhead three miles deep and nine miles wide. (Okinawa is 70 miles long and a maximum of 10 miles wide.) Kadena and Yontan airfields are captured.  Japanese forces on the island, consisting of the 130,000 troops of the Japanese 32nd Army (General Ushijima), are entrenched in concealed positions and caves, mostly to the south of the American landing area along the Shuri Line. (There are also 450,000 civilians on the island.) At sea, US TF58 and TF54 as well as the British Pacific Fleet conduct air and naval bombardments.  Japanese conventional and Kamikaze air strikes hit the battleship USS West Virginia, and the carrier, HMS Indomitable, along with eight other ships.

The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg, was fought on the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa and was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War of World War II. The 82-day-long battle lasted from early April until mid-June 1945. After a long campaign of island hopping, the Allies were approaching Japan, and planned to use Okinawa, a large island only 340 mi (550 km) away from mainland Japan, as a base for air operations on the planned invasion of Japanese mainland (coded Operation Downfall). Four divisions of the U.S. 10th Army (the 7th, 27th, 77th, and 96th) and two Marine Divisions (the 1st and 6th) fought on the island. Their invasion was supported by naval, amphibious, and tactical air forces.

The battle has been referred to as the “typhoon of steel” in English, and tetsu no ame (“rain of steel”) or tetsu no bōfū (“violent wind of steel”) in Japanese. The nicknames refer to the ferocity of the fighting, the intensity of kamikaze attacks from the Japanese defenders, and to the sheer numbers of Allied ships and armored vehicles that assaulted the island. The battle resulted in the highest number of casualties in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Based on Okinawan government sources,[10] mainland Japan lost 77,166 soldiers, who were either killed or committed suicide, and the Allies suffered 14,009 deaths (with an estimated total of more than 65,000 casualties of all kinds). Simultaneously, 42,000-150,000 local civilians were killed or committed suicide, a significant proportion of the local population. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused Japan to surrender less than two months after the end of the fighting on Okinawa.



James “Jay” Brian Jebe

James Brian “Jay” Jebe, age 80, of Waverly, Iowa, passed away at home on January 18, 2021, from complications of battling kidney failure for six and one-half years. 

Jay was born on April 8, 1940, in Waterloo, Iowa, the son of Kenneth Walter Jebe and Ruth Mayes (Kelley) Jebe.  In 1947, his family moved to Shell Rock, Iowa, when they purchased the Whitaker Funeral Home, where he grew up.  He graduated from the Waverly-Shell Rock High School in 1959.  Jay then entered the United States Air Force, serving in the 8th Airforce during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  He was honorably discharged after six years of service.  On May 29, 1965, Jay was united in marriage to Patricia Jerolaman, two children were born to this union.  In 1965, Jay began working for Carnation in Waverly.  In 1970, he graduated from Hawkeye Tech with a degree in commercial photography.  In 1978, Jay began working for Waverly Municipal Electric Company, retiring in 2005. 

Throughout his life Jay had many interests and took pride in mastering many disciplines; mechanic, electrician, lineman, commercial photographer, ham radio operator, and pilot.  He loved flying and was a longtime EAA member and Oshkosh volunteer, where Jay and his son volunteered two weeks each summer for thirteen years.  He enjoyed traveling and saw much of the world from Puerto Rico to Alaska and Hawaii to Germany. 

Jay’s memory is honored by: wife, Patricia of Waverly; daughter, Laura (Heath Schneider) Jebe of Las Vegas, Nevada; son, Brian Jebe of Waverly; two beloved grandchildren, Rachel and Michael Jebe of Waverly; and his very spoiled black lab, Sadie.  He was preceded in death by his parents and a younger brother in infancy. 

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Military History – January 2021

Operation Thunderbolt, also known in China as the Defensive Battle of the Han River Southern Bank was a US offensive during the Korean War.

It represented the first offensive under the new commanding officer of the 8th US ArmyGeneral Matthew Ridgway. It started less than three weeks after the Chinese Third Phase Campaign had forced UN forces south of Seoul.

Thunderbolt was preceded by Operation Wolfhound, a reconnaissance in force by the 27th Infantry Regiment ‘Wolfhounds’ that began on 15 January 1951.[7] At this time the Chinese forces in the central sector were still in possession of Wonju and a full assault could not be made until this sector was under US control. Thunderbolt itself began on the 25 January, when troops of I and IX Corps advanced from the western sector of the front northwards towards Seoul.[7]

This attack was heavily supported by artillery and air support, in accordance with Ridgway’s policy of attrition[7] by superior firepower against a numerically superior foe. By 9 February, the offensive had reached the Han river with the rest of the Chinese defenders retreating to the north of Han River by the end of February.[7]

X Corps, once again part of the 8th Army, held the central sector[8] and moved forward as Operation Roundup on 5 February. Responding to the UN advances, Chinese forces under Peng Dehuai then counter-attacked as the Fourth Phase Campaign, achieving initial successes at the Battle of Hoengsong.[7]

Chinese forces were later held off at the Battle of Chipyong-ni and the Third Battle of Wonju. The concentration of firepower and reliance on close air support in the face of large numbers of light infantry employed here[7] would later become an influence on US doctrine during Vietnam.

Thunderbolt was followed almost immediately by the second UN counter-offensive, Operation Killer.

*For more on this subject see the full article for Operation Killer at


Denise Ellen Bolhuis

Denise “Dee” Bolhuis, 68, of Clarksville, Iowa passed away suddenly on Sunday, December 13, 2020 at Unity Point Health – Allen Memorial in Waterloo with her husband and daughters by her side.

      Denise Ellen Bolhuis was born on October 4, 1952, the daughter of Robert Harris and Nora (Plummer) Hanlin in Waterloo, IA.  She graduated from Aplington High School in 1971. On October 24, 1990, she was united in marriage to Garry Bolhuis in Waverly, IA. Dee was employed at Farm Bureau Bremer County for 20 years until the time of her death.

      Many will remember Dee as a social, fun loving, warm person who never met a stranger.  She lived life to the fullest and did so every day.  She had a passion for horses, Hy-Vee cake, decorating/painting, traveling, tubing trips with family and friends, annual road trips for flowers in the spring and summer deck parties.  She especially loved her weekend getaways with Garry and she enjoyed attending Church with her husband at Peace United Church of Christ.

      Her warm smile and infectious laugh could brighten the gloomiest day and will be missed by all.

       Survivors are her husband, Garry Bolhuis of Clarksville; two daughters, Glynna Borwig (Mike Riechmann) of Aplington and Denielle (Bret) Badker of New Hartford; two sons, Joshua (Tracie) Bolhuis of Dows and Justin (Heidi) Bolhuis of Aplington; 15 grandchildren; 1 great grandchild; brothers and sisters, Jeffrey Hanlin of Kirksville, MO, Larry (Vicki) Hanlin of Kansas City, MO, Tracey Harris ( Brad Herzog) of Denver Colorado, Scott Harris of Waterloo, Kelly Harris of Denver, Colorado and Heidi (Mark) McEntire Biglione of Denver Colorado and several uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; son, Jonathon; sister, Georganne Harms and brother, Gary Hanlin, Nephew Eli Harms and many aunts and uncles.

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