By Gary Collins
Pine Bluffs Post 

The honored fallen

 


On Monday, May 29 of this year the nation will come together to recognize those of her young who have given their lives in the service of our country.

In Pine Bluffs and the surrounding communities there is much to be grateful for the fact that so few of their sons and daughters have paid the supreme sacrifice. Of the more than 200 veterans interred in the Pine Bluffs Cemetery, only two were discovered to have lost their lives in service.

One of them was Pfc. Donald Eisenhauer. The other as Pfc. Fay F. Marlatt, United States Army.

From the Pine Bluffs Post May 3, 1945:

“The war laid his heavy hand on another Pine Bluffs family Friday when a War Department telegram notified Mr. and Mrs. Fred Marlatt that their son, Pfc. Fay F. Marlatt, had been killed in action on Luzon on April 7.

He was 35 years of age, having been born at Lowell, Neb. On Nov. 1, 1909.”

From the Pine Bluffs Post March 15, 1945:

“Pfc. Fay Marlatt, infantryman with the battle-hardened 43rd Division in the campaign to liberate Luzon, is a bazooka man in his outfit and a good one, according to his platoon sergeant. During one stage of the campaign in the hilly terrain, Jap artillery was slowing up his company's advance. Patrols ferreted out the observation post from which the Nips were directing their accurate fire. So it was necessary to knock it out, and Marlatt's bazooka was a tremendous help in blasting the Japs out of their heavily fortified pillbox overlooking the American position. 'We had to go right in there after them with grenades and bazooka,' the former Pine Bluffs resident said, 'because they were holed up like rats in there. We finally blasted them out, though, after a lively battle.' Pfc. Marlatt landed with the initial assault troops which liberated the first towns on Luzon. He is a veteran of two major campaigns during his 13 months of service.”


In addition to his parents, Marlatt was survived by two brothers, both of whom saw service during WWII, S/Sgt. Donn Marlatt and Pfc. Edward Marlatt. The later Marlatt, Edward, was himself wounded on Luzon on Jan. 30, 1944, but survived the war. According to a second cousin, George Marlatt, Edward was the owner and operator of the bar in Albin for some years.

A search of the archives of the Pine Bluffs Post from WWI through the Vietnam War there were found only four other of our neighbors in surrounding communities who had been killed while in service, all from WWII.

From the Pine Bluffs Post July 15, 1943:

“Arthur Ray Osborn, was originally reported missing in action in the battle of Midway Island , on June 4, 1942. It was later revealed to his mother, Mrs. Beulah Osborn of this city that he had lost his life during the engagement. The official report of his death stems from a custom of officially listing as dead all men missing in battle who have not been heard from within a year. He had re-enlisted in the Navy, after Pearl Harbor, on Jan. 12, 1942, having previously finished a four year hitch with the Navy in August 1940.”


Osborn, according to a April 27, 1944 article in the Post, “was a member of the famed Torpedo Squadron Eight in the Midway battle. He served as a radio-man-gunner.”

From the Pine Bluffs Post December 28, 1944:

“Hopes that their son, Pfc. Kenneth Jewell, would yet be reported as a German prisoner of war were dashed for Mr. and Mrs. O. F. Jewell yesterday when they received a telegram from the War Department stating that he had been killed in action in Holland on Sept. 17”

In October of 1944 Mr. and Mrs. Jewell had been told that their son was missing in action. Jewell saw his service as a paratrooper. He entered the service on Oct. 27, 1942 and had been overseas since July 1944.”

From the Pine Bluffs Post March 8, 1945:

“Hopes of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Schliske of Burns that their son, Lt. Elmer E. Schliske might yet be returned to them alive were dashed by word from the War Department that he was killed Sept. 7 when a Japanese freighter carrying prisoners was torpedoed off Mindanao by U.S. bombers. Previous notice to the parents had stated that he was aboard the ship but was presumed to have been retaken prisoner.

Lt. Schliske had been a prisoner of the Japanese since April 1942.”

Schliske was born April 28, 1917 and moved with his family to Wyoming in 1924.

From the Pine Bluffs Post March 15, 1945:

“Pvt. James G. Claypool, 20-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Mark W. Claypool of Grover, was killed in action in Germany on Feb. 27, 1945 according to a War Department telegram received by his parents. More details were to follow by letter.

Private Claypool was born Jan. 31, 1925 on a farm near Grover. He attended the Grover schools and graduated from high school there in 1942. Before entering the service on July 27, 1944, he attended Colorado A and M at Fort Collins for one semester.”

The last letter his family received from Pvt. Claypool was dated February 22, just five days before his death.

 

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