Indian Service Employees in World War 2
Twenty-one employees of the Indian Service gave their lives for the cause of freedom and justice, some of them in action against the enemy, some in training, some by accident, and some by illness. There will be more names to add to the list when the reckoning is completed. Captain Homer Claymore, pilot of a B-17 bomber in the 8th Air Force, has been missing for many months and must be presumed lost. He was employed as a baker at Pine Ridge before he entered the AAF. Lt. Orian Wynn, of the Consolidated Ute Agency, was reported missing after a raid on enemy territory from his base in Italy.
The prisoners of was released by the victorious armies of the United Nations include Soldier Sanders, baker at the Sequoyah School, Wallace Tyner, clerk at Jicarilla, and Marion Chadacloi, assistant at Navajo. They were all prisoners of the Germans. Cornelius Gregory, teacher at Fort Sill, spent eleven months interned in Sweden, following a raid on Germany during which his plane was damaged and had to land in neutral territory. Mrs. Etta S. Jones teacher, who was captured when the Japanese invaded the island of Attu in June 1941, was found in a camp near Tokyo and brought back to the United States. Her husband, who was a special assistant and operated the radio station on the island, was killed at the time of the invasion. Dr. Sidney E. Seid, formerly physician at the Chilocco School, survived more that three years’ imprisonment in Japan.
Still to be heard from are Louis E. Williams, clerk at Pine Ridge, and Roy J. House, clerk at Jicarilla, who were made prisoners by the Japanese during the first campaigns in the Philippines.
Indian Service employees have won decorations for gallantry and courage. Lt. William Sixkiller, Jr., who died of wounds received in action on Saipan, received the posthumous award of the Silver Star. Another Indian Office employee, Sgt. Robert Duffin, wears the same decoration, awarded for exploits in Germany, and Philip Kowice, of the United Pueblos Agency, earned his Silver Star in the Italian campaign. Bronze Star Medals were awarded to Lt. James M. Ware, of the Osage Agency, who directed evacuation of the wounded in an Italian engagement, although seriously wounded himself; to Colonel E. Morgan Pryse, Director of Roads, for the construction of airfields in advance combat sectors; and to Major Delmer F. Parker, Physician at the Pawnee Agency, for his work as surgeon in the Pacific theatre. Capt. Louis J. Feves, furloughed from his position as physician at the Umatilla Agency, Oregon, won the Soldier’s Medal when he went to the rescue of Injured crew members of a bomber, which had crashed, on a heavily mined reef in the Gilbert Islands.
The list of those wounded in action includes Henry McEwin (Engineer, Chilocco School), Walter W. Nations (Agricultural Extension Agent, United Pueblos), Nelson Thompson (Assistant, Navajo), Walter Campbell (Barber, Sherman Institute), Franklin Gritts (Teacher, Haskell Institute), Michael Bordeaux (Clerk, Rosebud), James M. Ware (Clerk, Osage), Henry Garcia (Orderly, Navajo), and Morris James (Mechanic, Pine Ridge).
- Joe Singer, Assistant, Navajo Agency, May 10, 1942
- C. Foster Jones, Assistant, Alaska Service, June 8, 1942
- Percy Archdale, Clerk, Truxton Canyon Agency, February 7, 1943
- Irwin G. Price, Forest Ranger, Fort Apache Agency, November 23, 1943
- Alfred Begay, Framer, Navajo Agency, October 26, 1943
- Cruz McDaniel’s, Clerk, Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, May 18, 1944
- Richard Monte Strong, Engineering Aide, United Pueblos Agency, June 1, 1944
- William Sixkiller, Jr., Clerk, Chicago Office, July 13, 1944
- Harold A. Wood, Engineer, United Pueblos Agency, July 17, 1944
- Esther F. Henry, Field Nurse, Osage Agency, August 18, 1944
- Susan Motylewski, Teacher, Navajo Agency, October 29, 1944
- James F. Klock, Physician, Consolidated Chippewa Agency, December 12, 1944
- Winfield Robinson, Forester, Colville Agency, December 15, 1944
- Velma Miller, Nurse, Navajo Agency, December 19, 1944
- Allen E. Lovine, Boys’ Adviser, Carson Agency, March 27, 1945
- Joe Gonzales, Pump Operator, Sells Agency, March 31, 1945
- Ted Bird, Truck Driver, Unite Pueblos Agency, April 1, 1945
- Vicenti Mirabal, Teacher, United Pueblos Agency, April 7, 1945
- William Silas Coons, Farm Agent, Shawnee Agency, April 14, 1945
- Fred James, Bus Driver, Pima Agency, May 7, 1945
- Wilson Tso, General Mechanic, Navajo Agency, May 13, 1945