Tonganoxie Community Historical Society publishes a quarterly newsletter to update members of on-going business of the historical society and any upcoming events. There is always a feature on local history.
Excerpt from 1st QUARTER NEWSLETTER March 2019
TONGANOXIE AND WORLD WAR II (Con't)
To most of the people around Tonganoxie, he was known as Leland. After WW II most of the people called him "BILL". The name change was "finalized" about the time he lived in Damascus, Maryland.
His interest in radio and communications began with a crystal radio set that required ear phones and the Jenny Wren Radio station which had its transmitters in Tonganoxie. Bill as a young person ca. age 9-10 would spend time at the WREN station absorbing what the people who operated the transmitters had to say. It was noted by Bill, there was plenty of free time when everything was working fine, but all hell broke loose when things didn't work correctly.
Bill was beginning his 3rd year in electrical engineering at KU. He had several part time jobs to help him with his school expenses. He also had joined the the National Guard, 137th infantry of he 35th Division. In December of 1940, Companies H & M assembled at the Lawrence Armory and became full time units of the army. By Christmas of 1940 the two units were in Camp Robinson, Arkansas. Bill was transferred to Hdqrs Co. 137th Infantry as a radio operator. From this point Bill had various schools and positions within his unit, all involving radio and communications. With all this he was promoted to Staff Sgt. and shortly after that he was made Tech Sgt.
Dec. 7, 1941 things changed.
Newsletters from past years are archived on this website. (in PDF format)
For newsletters older than archived here, please contact the Museum Director.