One of the things my mom did in her retirement years, was to go to the “Plainsman Herald” newspaper office and hand copy news items which she had someone else type then she self published.  The following items are from January and February, 1944 in her booklet, “Baca County History, the Forties.” 

I was ten years old in 1944.  These items show what influenced me at that time in my life.  Most of the men in my family were exempt from draft because of being farmers.  But you can see that the “folks back home” were supportive of the men who had gone to war.  We had only a radio and a weekly newspaper.  We were deeply patriotic.  To this day I regard myself as a Patriot and I am offended that the term “White Nationalist” is degraded and sneered at.  I am white; I was born that way.  I did not choose my color.  However, I am a supporter of my country, America, the USA.  I think it has been highly blessed by God and I think it has blessed other nations of the world.  I guess that means I choose to be a nationalist.  White Nationalist?  Do I need to apologize for that!


Dec. 9, 1943  Earl E. Doty, son of Mr. & Mrs. Ott Doty, was born in Springfield in 1919 and died Nov. 13, 1943 on foreign soil in Sicily at the age of 24 years.

Jan. 13, 1944  Thirteen men leave for Army examinations:  James Hargis, John Hicks, Byron Russell, J.D Whitted, Calvin Moody, Bob Rich, J. W. Rutherford, J. R. Coulter, and Eugene Dillon.

Jan. 13, 1944  Sgt. Eugene Dunlap arrived here to spend a 10 day furlough with his aunt, Mr. & Mrs. C.G. Eckles.  Sgt. Dunlap is stationed in Deridder, Louisiana.

Jan. 20, 1944  Five hundred Baca County men are now in the Armed Service.  Buy Bonds to Help!

Jan. 27, 1944  Baca County is still sending men to the Armed Service.  (Lavoe Holt, a well known young man of Springfield was among this group.)

Feb. 10, 1944  The War Department notified Mr. M.R. Sunday that his son, Lt. Markham R. Sunday, had been killed in action in the Pacific.

Feb. 24, 1944  “41 Leave for Uncle Sam’s Services” Forty-one young Baca County men were forwarded for physical examinations to the armed forces induction station at Denver, Colorado by the local draft board at Springfield on Feb. 21st.

Feb. 24, 1944  Sgt. Russell Robinson of Springfield, Colorado, parachuted to safety after his pilot and co-pilot were both hit and the Fortress was crippled.  The story began with a burst of cannon fire from enemy fighters that killed the pilot and seriously wounded the co-pilot.  On the orders of the control tower, four men parachuted to the ground.  The Fortress crashed onto the field and exploded, killing the engineer, navigator, and the pilot.

Excerpt of letter from Mr. and Mrs Ira Chenoweth’s son, Marion – January, 1944

Dear Folks,  I am in New Guinea.  We went ashore yesterday for a few hours.  It was really a change to get off of the ship for a while.  I had an extra meal that day.  It was a treat to get three meals in one day  I tried climbing a coconut tree but had to give up and have a native go up and cut down the coconuts.  You can’t fool them on money for they know when they are getting hooked  They sure like cigarettes though.  For three cigarettes, they will climb any tree and cut down coconuts for you.  I went swimming in fresh water that runs out of the mountains.  It sure beats these salt water showers we get on board ship.  Marion E. Chenoweth

Mar. 23, 1944  Staff Sgt. Jesse L. Woodhouse, motor mechanic in the Air Corps, is stationed somewhere in Italy with the 82nd fighter group.

Mar. 23, 1944  Part of a letter written from North Wales by Wilbur Konkel, son of Sam Kpnkel:   “We are all on the front lines over here you know.  People in America who have never experienced an air raid have very little idea of what that kind of war means.  I see lots of boys from America over here.”


I am indeed thankful for the military men and women of the world including 416,800 Americans, about 500 of whom were from Baca County – family, friends, and neighbors from a small dot in fly over country – who gave their lives for my freedom.  My generation is fading fast.  Will anyone remember?


Picture is my mom, Amy Rodgers Venter, whose work reminds me today to be thankful.

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
This entry was posted in 1940's, Baca County, patriotism, Uncategorized, war and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful article. You are a true patriot.

    God bless you!

  2. Thank you, Oneta, for sharing a piece of your mom with us. None of us really know what those boys went through. However, I am forever grateful to them for my freedom and liberties. ❤

    • oneta hayes says:

      She was one special lady. I get a lot of my ambition from her – problem is that my ambition does not result in end products as much as hers did. 😀 Thanks, Dorinda.

  3. pranabaxom says:

    Your Mom was an enterprising lady. Thanks for a look at a little corner of USA from 75 years back.

    By the way, I always thought of you as a “white nationalist”, albeit with some humor. Glad that I was not mistaken😂

    • oneta hayes says:

      Maybe you have identified me better with the words not capitalized. Perhaps that would separate me from the radical “White Nationalists.” Anyway I am offended by the terms being regarded as offensive. Thanks. And my mom was a “producer” for sure. I’m going to look up the year when the war ended. It might have some good stuff also.

  4. this, Oneta, is in part how we will remember!!

  5. Elihu says:

    Thank you for this, Oneta. I am so grateful for the brave people who fought to protect others. ❤️ My late grandpa enlisted at 16, lying about his age so he could go and fight for his country. He didn’t share his stories with us, but I wish he had. He was definitely a patriot to the very end.

  6. Faye says:

    Thank you for this. Remembering is also important for me here at this time. We approach Anzac Day the (day which made us a NATION). The way forward loomed ‘bright and hopeful.’. But thousands upon thousands died (Godly men and women) but so much of their legacy I believe is lost if we honour only the battles and the courage and forget to honour the God who strengthened and gave them Hope and Courage. Yep, I guess I’m a white nationalist too .Australian – from the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit.
    I’m certainly nott a white supremacist but one with a passion to have the God who travelled with our soldiers honoured as well as the fallen, black white, yellow, brown and all the shades in between.
    Thank you for an insight into your Mum. She must have been a remarkable woman. .

    • oneta hayes says:

      Thank you. Being a white nationalist has nothing in common with White Supremacists as far as I know. A white nationalist is a white person who loves his country/nation made up of people of all colors; a white supremacist is one who loves whites and it has nothing to do with loving his country. In fact they seem to hate their country and most everybody in it.

  7. I will remember. 🇺🇸

  8. grAnnie Roo says:

    Gripping account and a great share, Oneta.

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