As you read this article on Wednesday, April 15th, patriotic Americans like yourself will be gathering around the country, holding tea parties to protest the slipping away of the America that most of us hold dear. At The American Legion Fort Mason Post 285’s meeting last Thursday, Roy and Rae Lehmberg, two Mason County patriots who fought in WWII, gave a talk concerning their participation in attacks against the Japanese in the Philippines, defending the very freedoms that are now under attack from within our country.
Roy and Rae were inducted into the U.S. Army on Jan. 25,1944, trained at Camp Roberts (CA), and in Sept., 1944, were shipped out to New Guinea, which was the staging area for the invasion of the Philippines. The Lehmbergs were assigned to the 21st Cannon Co., 24th Infantry Division, and their primary duty would be to knock out pill boxes and gun emplacements occupied by the Japs.
The twins were first posted to Leyte, the smaller middle island of the Philippines, where they spent about 30 days, mostly on guard duty. Roy recounted the story of his first night on Leyte, pulling guard duty. When a coconut fell from a tree close to Roy’s position, he was sure that he had been shot by a Jap.
After Leyte, Roy and Rae went to the larger island of Luzon, where the capital, Manila, is located, and their company was attached to the 11th Airborne Division. Roy and Rae, and their platoon, were instrumental in re-taking Nicholas Air Field from the Japanese, and the entire platoon was awarded the Bronze Star.
After Roy and Rae’s informative talk, the members of Fort Mason Post 285 and Ladies Auxiliary discussed plans for the upcoming events during May; placing cemetery flags on veterans graves in Mason County’s 25+ cemeteries and the Memorial Day Salute. The salute will be held at the Veterans Memorial on the Courthouse Lawn on Monday, May 25th, at 11:00am.
Post 285’s next meeting will be held on Thursday, May 14th, at 7:00pm, at The American Legion Post Hall, 237 Post Hill Road (behind the Jail). Members of The American Legion, other veterans as well as the public are invited to attend this and all other meetings. For more information on The American Legion, call Mike Shanley, 347-9016, or Lawrence Spell, 429-6224. For God & Country!