Commanders Messages 1993-1994



May 1993



I am saddened to tell you that we have lost another member, Erwin Bridson. This was Erwins 45th year as a member or our Legion.

Memorial Day

Because of the late spring we are going to do some things different to try to let the farmers stay in the fields as much as possible. First we are going to put the flags and pole up on the same day, Sunday at 7:30, meet at the fire station. If you have never helped with this you are missing out on something that is real impressive. Next the SAL will not serve a meal because if the weather is nice everyone will want to get back to planting. The program will start at 10:00 on Memorial Day.

We will recognize the following Legion members on Memorial Day for their continuous membership.

45 years:

Cleo Hopkins

Lawrence McVicker

Weldon Lewis

Erwin Bridson

40 years:

Wilbert Bielfeldt

Darial Determan

Dale Luehring

35 years:

Bernard Kelley

James Mortenson

Carroll Erickson

30 years:

Gordon Tonderum

This year we will dedicate three flags Claire Bielfeldt, Erwin Bridson and Wendell Taylor.

I would like to thank everyone that helped with the pancake breakfast. They took in about $330.00.

And I need to give a special thanks to Guy Eick for building us a gun cabinet. It is obvious that he spent a lot of time building it and people have already told me how nice it looks. (Legion was being used for graduation)

Meeting 8:00 May 27



June 1993



Memorial Day went great with standing room only. Nice to see a turnout like that. Thanks to everyone that helped with the flags.

We have our info on the twins game that we can discuss at the meeting on Thursday June at 8:00. Hope the weather is nice so everyone is in the field and no one shows up. Not nice to say but it's the truth.

Because of the weather we have canceled our Vegas Night. We didn't want to hold it and then have the weather be nice and end up with no workers.

Guess the weather has taken all hot air out of me so I'll end here.






July 1993



Commanders Steak Fry will be Thursday with the starting at 6:30 with the meeting to be held at 7:30 or 8:00. Come and get your steak, you pay for it even if you don't come.

I would like to thank Guy Eick for building us a weapons cabinet. It looks great and it took a lot of work. Next time you see Guy let him know how much you appreciate it.

The mold is off our dance floor now thanks to a lot of people (mostly women). We now have our second air conditioner working so it should be cooler upstairs now.

The Street Dance was a big success, everyone had a good time and I only heard good comments. The bar took in almost $1900.00.

Harley Kraft has everything lined up for our twins baseball game on the 8th of August. The cost is $30.00, this should allow us to break even if we don't get the bus full. Call Steve, Harley or myself to get your ticket.



September 1993




Note: this month's meeting will be held on September 23rd at 8:00 due to homecoming.

I had the privilege to run into Scott Tifft at the fair. He was home on leave before going on to his next duty station for sonar training. He was looking forward to the challenge. We know he will do well and wish him luck.

The Terril Fun Day went well. The Legion's Jail and Bail netted about $350.00 for the Centennial. It sounded like the guys had a lot of fun putting people in jail.

The S.A.L. ran the dunk tank and put on the pedal tractor pull. I can't tell you how much the dunk tank took in but there was always a waiting line to throw. The pedal tractor pull took in a little over $70.00 in donations. I'm glad that we let the kids pull for free, that gave everyone a chance to participate. Judging from the size of the crowd it was a big success. It is my understanding that three of our winners went on and pulled in the state pull but didn't qualify for the national pull.

The Legion has been asked to lead the homecoming parade and raise the flag at the game as well as have our color guard for the opening ceremonies.

The S.A.L. presented the school with a flag the first day of school. Thanks to Dan Kelley, Keith Van Kleek, Dale Langner and Robert Von Ehwegen for being in the color guard, and thanks to Craig and Josh for presenting the flag to the school.

If you see an Auxiliary member, thank them for giving us $500.00 to remodel our bathrooms.

We took in about $650.00 on the wedding dance.

Roger, Steve and myself had a meeting to redo our committees and discuss how we were going to become debt free in 93. If things go as planned we will be selling brats at the homecoming ballgame and we will start up the pancakes again now that the busy summer is over. We plan to get six people to head up the pancakes.  That means each person would only have to do it twice in one year.


Jerry Nelson



October 1993



Shane, Shane, Shane. Who is he?  He doesn't think I know who he is. This is twice now that he has participated in a S.A.L. activity and I have given credit to someone else.  I told him next time it happened that I'd bend over and he could give me a swift kick. Sorry Shane.

I knew when I started thanking people in this letter that I would run the risk of omitting someone from the thank you’s but I felt that it was necessary to recognize the people that donate of their time to make not only the Legion a better place but also the community.  So with that in mind here I go again.  Thanks to the following people:

Color Guard            Brautwerst              Pancakes

Don Ehwegen           Dale Langner            Marv Swenson 

Craig Ehwegen         Craig Ehwegen         Mike Powell

Bernard Kelley         Bernard Kelley         Bernard Kelley

Dan Kelley               Dan Kelley                Dan Kelley

Dennis Jackson        Dennis Jackson         Kieth Van Kleek 

Lyman Bailey           Adam Nelson           Adam Nelson

Thad Nelson             Sharon Ehwegen      Josh Nelson

                                 Linda Dingle            Stanley Nelson

                                 Dave Dingle

The best part of the evening is when we gave the brats to the football players. We watched as the kids from Ruthven came out of the school going slowly, dragging their feet, shoulders drooping, heads hung low, to their bus. Dale suggested that we give them the brats we had left over. It's amazing what food will do for a kid’s spirit, those kids came piling off that bus to get in line. As they reached the end of the line to pick up their pop some of the comments I heard was "wow these brats are good" "This is really nice of you to give us these" and of course many thank you’s. All the football players and coaches that wanted brats got one.

The National Legion has voted to raise their dues by $3.50 in 1994. We need to discuss how much we will raise our dues starting in January.  We are sending out your membership cards with this letter for those of you that have paid. If you have paid and haven't received your card please let us know. For those of you that haven't paid the dues will be higher in January.

Feather Party Nov. 20. We need everyone's help, call Bernard Kelley (853-6432) or myself (853-6260) to help.

I'm working on a list of past Commanders for the Centennial History Book. We are missing the minutes for 1951 to 1954 so I need your help for those years.  In 1950 Oliver Johnson was Commander and in 1955 Stanley Nelson. Maybe that will help jog your memory.



December 1993






After drawing all those emblems by hand I will have to keep my letter short.

Steve came up with this 75th emblem, we are thinking about using it for our 75th anniversary and on the centennial rifle. Any comments?

Bernard Kelley wants to thank everyone (especially the ladies ) that helped make the Feather Party a success.  I would like to add my thanks also. I think we made about $2200.00 but Steve’s financial report should give us more information. The winners of the steak for two at The Hangar are Julie Fairchild and _____.               the Aux is going to hold their county meeting at Terril sometime in January. Dorothy thinks it will be the 15th or 21st she will know more latter.

Dan, Dale, Dennis and I presented the colors at the basketball game. Until now I couldn't figure out how come I was always out of step with the other guys, I never had a chance since my first name doesn't begin with a d.

If you didn't make it into the last meal Chet put on for us you missed some good biscuits and gravy. Chet made the gravy and Jeff made the biscuits . There won't be a meal in Jan. We are planning to have waffles and sausage in February. If you have a waffle iron that we could use please let me know. We would like to have about nine of them.

Scott Tifft will be home from the 29th to the 4th of Jan. so you might see him around town.

S.A.L. members please get your memberships ($11.00) in to Mark Oleson or Robert Ehwegen before Jan. because they are going up $2.00 also.

There will not be a meeting this month because of the holidays. With that in mind I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Jerry Nelson



January 1994



For those of you that haven't heard yet we lost another of our comrades, Vivian Hales.  It's always sad to lose part of our history.

Thanks to a lot of hard work by Roger Tifft we have all but five of our memberships paid before the dues went up to $25.00. If you haven't paid please send them in, don't make Rogers job any harder than it already is. Because we didn't find out about the S.A.L. increase in dues until late, the S.A.L. paid for all of their members with the hope that they could collect, please don't stick them with the bill. Send your dues to Robert Von Ehwegen, 203 W main, Terril, Ia. 51364.

We plan to have waffles on the 6th of Feb but we still need people to volunteer waffle irons. Call Chet (853-6521) or me (853-6260) if you have one we can us.

We will have our Super Bowl party again this year. If you would like a square call Steve or myself.

We will have a Winchester lever action 30-30 at the meeting so we can decide how we want to have it made. The most expensive one we could have would be gold barreled ruby studded with engraving of our choice ($950.00)

The Centennial Committee is looking for an organization to build a train like we had at fun days last year. This would be a good project for the Legion or S.A.L. The State Bank and the Centennial Committee will each donate $200.00 to the project. The town will let us use their lawn mower, the elevator will give us the barrels and we have wheels from Toro. So there isn't much left to do.





March 27, 1994


The Terril American Legion suffered a great loss last month with the death of Roger Tifft. Roger had a lot of plans and ideas for the future of our Legion. He was tremendous  help to Steve and myself and will be greatly missed.


I have had a lot of questions on our Centennial rifle. I have some engravings that we can choose from that I will bring to the meeting.


We have received a letter from the Centennial Food Committee wanting to know if we plan to serve anything during the Centennial. Chet has volunteered to do some cooking for us. There are services that are need for the Centennial that we can supply.  It doesn't make sense to me to have outsiders come in, provide the service and take all the money out of town. If we work hard the Legion stands to make a lot of money from the Centennial.


The sons of the American Legion will hold a farm safety class for the Terril school. The plan right now is to hold it on  Monday, April 4 at Roberts place. Craig will be asking for help, better yet why don't you call him and volunteer.


Meeting this Thursday-Legion building-7:00 p.m.




May 1994


Memorial Day  we will hold our Memorial Day program on Monday May 30th at 10:00.  This year’s speaker is Zipp Koon.  Many of you know Zipp. He used to live in Terril after WWII and has spoken at our Memorial Day services before. Zipp has an impressive war record.

We have only one continues membership award this year, Darrell Benson- 40 years.

As of this writing we have two flags to dedicate. Roger Tifft and Tommas Fetty.

The S.A.L. is going to serve a meal after the service so plan to stay and enjoy the time with friends.

We will set the flag poles and flags out on Sunday at 7:30 a.m. if you can help we would appreciate it. We have a good time and it is real impressive.

Legion meeting Thursday at 8:00. We will have a short meeting and then use the rest of the time to get ready for Memorial Day.  Our rifle will be here for Memorial Day.


Jerry Nelson



June 1994



Memorial Day went very well. Franklin Koons did an excellent job speaking. Afterwards he gave us some papers about the raid on Dieppe, and told us about his part in it, very interesting. He also had a lot of nice things to say about our town. He said our Legionaries looked nice dressed up with hats. Zip expected to speak to a group of 15 to 20 people so he was pleasantly surprised. Zip said that this was going to be his last speaking engagement.

Thanks to Chet and gang for putting on the breakfast this month. We needed the money.

I took the train to Spirit lake for The State Bank. It was a big hit, I think we must have given 300 kids rides. The telephone co. is sponsoring us on the 9th of July at Ruthven's Bully Bullhead Days and on July 30th at Truman. We need someone to take the train to Armstrong the 4th of July, volunteers? S.A.L. is booked for Pioneer Days at Milford. I 'm checking on our insurance problem, hopefully I will have more info for the meeting.

The 9th of July is the street dance . We need workers to tend bar, if you can help please let us know, it saves us a lot of work trying to line up helpers. We will be selling tickets for the Centennial rifle also. Guy Eick has built a booth that we can sell tickets from.

The bathrooms might be done by our meeting. We have spent two days on them so far and it will take another two days to finish. Thanks for helping, Steve, Harold, Bernard Kelley, Dave and Stanley.

June 1944

3 De Gaulle's Alfiers Committee becomes French Provisional Government

4 Allies enter Rome

5 King Victor Emmanuel of Italy abdicates

6 Allied landings in Normandy

7 King Leopold of the Belgians arrested

7 Allied bombing concentrates on aircraft fuel depots

10 Japanese begin offensive towards Changsha

10 SS tropes massacre inhabitants of Oradour

13 First V-1 flying bombs hit England

14 U.S. B 29s bomb Kyushu

14 British Bombers destroy German MTB pens in Le Havre

15 U.S. invasion of Saipan

15 British censor reports of deaths from flying bombs

18 Japanese capture Changsha

18 Russians break through Mannerheim line in Finland

19 Battle of the Philippine Sea

21 Soviet partisans lay 50,000 demolition charges on railroads in three days

22 Russian offensive begins on central front

26 Chindits take Mogaung

27 Allied are chiefs decline to divert bombers to Auschwitz rail links

27 U.S. forces capture Cherbourg

28 Germans lose 34,000 men at Bobruisk

29 Hitler dismisses Rundstedt

When Don Ehwegen took our check for the grave markers display we purchased to Dickinson VA, they refused to except it. Instead they thought each post in the county should have a display so they ordered them one.

Meeting Thursday June 30th 8:00

Commander Nelson


July 94



Candie & I had a good trip to Alaska.  It wasn't a vacation, we call it an adventure. The street dance was held while we were gone, it sounds like it was a big success. Steve estimates that we made $1,000 on the dance, a few more of those would be nice. On the 6th of Aug we have a wedding dance that we will need workers for.

The bathrooms aren't 100% done but they look great compared to what they were like. I understand that there was some confusion as to which bathroom was which. They tell me Tom Mart thinks the inside of the ladies bathroom looks nice!

The S.A.L have built another pedal tractor pull which they were able to try out at Milford Pioneer Days. There weren't as many kids there as they would have liked but they still received over $200. When the kids were done they had adult team pulls. The adults had more fun than the kids. We will see if we can do this at Terril Fun Day.

Our train has been out twice now and Steve and I are planning to take it to Truman on the 30th. We need two volunteers to take it to the Emmet Co. Fair on the 31st.

After reading last month’s letter about allied troops entering Rome Don Erickson called to say his tank co. was one of the first into Rome.

Commanders Steak Fry Thursday July 28th 7:00 pm.


Jerry Nelson


July 1994

2 Troops landed in Normandy exceed 1 million

3 London children re-evacuated as v-1 assault continues                              3 Russians take Minsk with 150,000      German prisoners

7 Admiral Nagumo commits suicide as Saipan falls

7 Military coup in Guatemala ends Ubisco dictatorship

9 Allies take Caen

13 Russians take Vina (Vilnius)

13 Koniev's troops cross the bug (the Curzon line)

18 500 Maquis slaughtered in the Vercors

18 Tojo resigns as Japanese Prime Minister

20 Hitler bomb plot fails

26 U.S. forces capture Guam

30 Soviet air attack on Warsaw

30 Japanese withdraw from Myitkyina (Burma)

31 U.S. breakthrough in battle of Saint-Lo








August 1994



J  Fun Day is over and I hope everyone had a good time. The Jail & Bail collected over $200 from the bad guys, Chet made us $100 on the meal, dunk tank $211. I don't know how the peddle tractor pull made, the adult pull was better that the kids and a lot of work & fun for us fools that tried it, I didn't think my legs would last long enough to get me back to the bleachers.

Building use -  Fun Day reminds me that a lot of you don't realize how much this community relies on our Legion. On Friday it was used as an organizational headquarters  plus a practice area for the Miss Terril Pageant. Saturday it was used for the pancake breakfast, a noon meal, Terril Memorabilia, change area for Miss Terril Pageant, staging area for the evening entertainment, a cooking place for the evening meal and of course the bathrooms got their fair share of use.   This is on top of wedding dances, showers, family get-togethers, Centennial meetings, After Prom meetings and steering committee meetings. You can be proud you are helping your community.

On opening day of school the S.A.L will again be presenting the school with a flag to fly  this year. I would like everyone that can come to this to show up at the school at 8:00 Aug 29. Bring your hat if you have one.

I would like to thank Mike Powell, Tim Matthews and Dale Langner for helping with the wedding dance. We have one of our S.A.L. members (Shane Tonderum) getting married Sept. 3rd. We need volunteers to help with that dance.

Because of the Methodist chicken supper on Thursday a lot of the Aux. couldn't make it to a joint meeting so we postponed the meeting with the VA director until a later meeting. However Merlin Shipper (the state chaplin) called and said that he would like to come to this meeting. Lets have good attendance to show him what a small town can do.

Congratulation to Stanley Nelson for receiving this years Legionnaire of the year award of his many years of work on the Avenue of Flags.

And another one of our Legionaries received an award. Harley and Delores Kraft received the Governor's lifesaving award for pulling a victim from the vehicle just before it was engulfed in flames. Good job Harley and Delores!

And while we are on the subject of Legionnaires and helping others, I thought it interesting to note that when the public was invited to help spruce up the town and help Harold with his building over 75% of the families that helped were Legion families.

Do you have your new S.A.L. member yet? Remember we all dedicated ourselves to get one new member each!!! meeting 8:00 Aug 25.

Commander Nelson

August 1944

1 Rising of the home Army in Warsaw

1 Major partisan campaigns in Balkans to disrupt German withdrawal

2 U.S. pilot George Bush shot down in the Pacific but survives

2 Germans evacuate Channel Islands

2 Nearly 5000 people in England killed by V-1s since June 13

4 gestapo arrest Ann Frank and her family in Amsterdam

8 50,000 poles dead in Warsaw

12 Pluto begins operation

12 Allies advance in Normandy as U.S. forces take Mortain

15 Allied landings in south of France

17 Soviet troops reach East Prussian border

18 First use of napalm by U.S. bombers

19 Rising in Paris

21 Allied Forces close Falaise pocket

22 Antonescu deposed in Romania

23 Jewish Brigade Group formed in British Army

25 Paris liberated

25 Romania declares war on Germany

26 Roosevelt rejects Churchill's plan to use Russian airfields in Poland to aid Warsaw

27 first Polish death camp shown to press reporters

28 Only four out of 97 V-1s reach their target in England

31 Russians occupy Romanian oil fields            











The AAL and the Legion will participate in a fund raiser for the first responders.  It will be pancakes and sausage on the first Sunday in November.

I would like to thank the members that I know worked the last pancake breakfast. Marv Swenson, Robert Tifft and a special thanks to Chet for putting these on for us. Chet said we made $290.00.

We have three new SAL members this year, Robert Tifft, Ron Eick and Dave Determan. Bernard Kelley and I have our new members, the rest of you Legionaries get out there and fulfill your promise!

Please send in your dues if you haven't already paid.

Joe Feldman would like to come to meeting and talk to us.

Dennis Jackson, Guy Hoppe, Steve Oleson, Don Ehwegen and Dan Kelley were the color guard at the last home football game this year, thanks guys.

The senior class is going to have a Veterans Day program again this year. I think it's great the Terril students think enough of us to put on this program. Please if at all possible attend.  We will meet at the school at 8:45 Nov 11.  If you know of a veteran that isn't a Legion member invite them, this is for all veterans.

Legion meeting Oct. 27 8:00


October 1944


2  British landings in Crete

7  gas chamber destroyed in Jewish revolt at Auschwitz

9  basis of un charter announced by allied governments

13  British troops inter Athens

13  V-1s and V-2s attack Antwerp

13  Soviet forces take Riga

14  Rommel commits suicide

15  Germans oust Hungarian regime and kidnap Horty

18  Red army enters Czechoslovakia

19  Soviet forces and Titoists capture Belgrade

19  German city of Aachen captured

20  Macarther returns to the Philippines with 100,000 troops

23  Japanese defeat at Leyte Gulf

28 De Gaulle orders disarming of resistance

31  Germans crush Slovak rising

31  precision bombing raid destroys gestapo records at Aarhus


Commander Nelson









 November 1994



We will hold our meeting Nov. 17 at 8:00. We will get things ready for the Feather Party Nov 19th. The more people that show up the less work for everyone. If you can't make it to the meeting call Bernard Kelley (853-6432) to volunteer to help with the Feather Party.

 The fund raisier went well for the ambulance. I understand we took in $680.00.  With the $650.00 matching funds from AAL the squad can buy equipment that will benefit our community.

 Sorry about leaving early from the fund raiser but I had to go to the 9th district meeting to fill them in on the law suit that Wendy Kilts has filed against the Commander of Arnolds Park and the State Adjutant. More about this at the meeting.

Merlin Shipper (department Chaplin) was at this meeting. He said he shouldn't have turned us down completely for Memorial Day, he has 1997 open and will pencil us in for then.

Our Centennial picture is done and back the Auxiliary is deciding where to hang it, looks great.

We also have 12 coffee cups for sale at the Country Boutique with our medallion of IWO JIMA on it. I haven't seen them yet but I'm told they look real nice.

We will raffle a glider rocker with an ottoman for the Feather Party. Again the top ticket seller will get a $20.00 gift certificate at The Hangar. The tickets (enclosed) sell for $1.00 each, don't need to be present to win and they can choose the color they want.

Some of you will find your membership cards enclosed so look carefully.

Local members should get this in time to be your third reminder of the Veterans Day program the school is holding for us. We will meet at the school at 8:45.

November 1944


1  British take Salonik

5  Soviet tanks in Budapest

6 Stern gang assassinates British Minister, Lord Moyne, in Cairo

7 Soviet Agent sorge Eexecutedin Tokyo

7  Roosevelt elected for fourth term

8  British and Canadians cleat the schelde

10 allies recognize partisan leader Enver Hoxha as Albanian head of government

11 British home guard disbanded

12 British bombers sink the Tirpitz

18 General Stilwell leaves Chinese command

19 British invade Burma on wide front

20 London blackout ends

24 Japanese southward drive in China captures Nanning

25 Patton takes Metz

25 British submarine destroys Japanese cargo ship with 50 east Indian women and children on board

28 port of Antwerp opened to allied shipping


Commander Nelson




December 1994



It's been a busy month since our last meeting with the Feather Party and the holidays. I would like to thank Bernard Kelley for putting together another successful Feather Party. Bernard ask me to thank all Legionaries, SAL members and wives that helped with the Feather Party, its greatly appreciated.  Lonie Brant got or rocker for us from Stylecraft, thanks Lonie. Bev McBreen won the rocker and sent us this thank you.

Dear Legion members, I want to send a note to "thank you" for drawing my name at the Feather Party for the glider rocker and ottoman. I've always wanted one of them.  As always, you organized a great Feather Party.  We had a good time and look forward to it every year.  Thanks to Bernard and Ronnie for being such great dealers---you weren't too bad either Jerry!!! (the chair wasn't the only thing she was winning).   Dave won a turkey that night, and hopefully he'll be cooking and I'll be rocking!! Thanks again, Bev.

I won't break down what each game made but we netted $2500.00, not bad! In January we will have our Super Bowl Party that will net us around $900.00.

Commander Van Kleek told me the SAL have depleted most of their funds in building the new pedal tractor pull. I would like to see them have their colors for the Centennial. Maybe we can buy them or help them out somehow. I think they will cost around $600.00. While I'm on SAL I will remind all of you that you each pledged to get new members and so far Bernard and I are the only ones that have fulfill our pledge. The SAL is our life line.

I'm sure with the holidays no one will mind staying home for a while so we will not have a  meeting this month.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.     

Commander Nelson

December 1944

1 Eisenhower becomes the first U.S. Five Star General

2 General Slim's 14th Army opens Burma offensive on the Chindwin

3 Communist rising in Athens

4 British resume incendiary attacks on German cities

8 U.S. air assault on Iwo Jima

12 Philippines invasion force suffers casualties from kamikaze attacks and hurricane

16 V-2 rocket kills 550 people in Antwerp cinema

17 SS unit massacres 72 U.S. prisoners at Malmedy

18 British troops attack Elas in Greek civil war

24 Germans use jet aircraft in Ardennes offensive

25 Churchill's mission to Athens

31 British install regency in Greece

31 Hungary declares war on Germany

31 heavy civilian casualties as British bomb gestapo hq in Oslo