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Emma’s Worrisome World War II Years

Emma spent many sleepless nights praying for her servicemen.  UPPER LEFT:  Emma’s son, Pvt. Delbert Aldrich, fought with General Patton’s 95th division of the third army.  He received the Combat Infantryman’s Badge for exemplary conduct in action against the enemy and also the French Liberation Medal.  LOWER LEFT:  Her Grandson, George (Melvin) Verhagen, enlisted in the Coast Guard and was engaged in four major invasions in both the Atlantic and Pacific: the Normandy, Southern France at Nice, Iwo Jima and Okinawa invasions.  UPPER RIGHT:  Her grandson Wilbert Verhagen also enlisted in the Coast Guard and was stationed in Puerto Rico.  LOWER RIGHT:  Merlin Verhagen enlisted in the U.S. Navy and fought aboard the U.S.S. Pensacola in the Pacific.

News of the Verhagen Brothers in Action...  Their grandmother, Emma Aldrich, kept these newspaper clippings in her scrapbook until her death.  They have been passed down in the family through the years.

Merlin A. Verhagen, Seaman Second Class, USNR

Serves on the U.S.S. Pensacola - The “Gray Ghost” With Five Lives

Emma’s grandson, Melvin Verhagen, fought in the invasion of Iwo Jima, which is the theme for this “Mighty 7th War Loan” stamp.

Emma’s War Efforts

During World War II, Emma prayed for her loved ones in service as though their safety completely depended on the Lord but she worked as though their safety all depended on her, which is what the Lord wants us to do, to live by our faith.  She was given several citations like this for her efforts in heading war bond drives in one of her patriotic groups to raise finances for the war effort.

RIGHT:  Emma Aldrich in about 1945, the year that she received this citation for the 7th War Bond Drive.  It was not the only one she received.

BELOW:  Her 7th War Bond Drive citation under the signature of U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau, Jr. and the Wisconsin State Chairman, Walter Kasten.

Alma Verhagen hosted a big family picnic when Mel came home on furlough.  She invited the Glassnap family to celebrate with them, as Henry Glassnap was also home on leave.  In the above picture, left foreground (L. to R.) Mel sits and chats with his uncle (in-law), Albert Glassnap, and Al’s brother, Henry Glassnap (on the chair).  On the right (L. to R.) little Kenny Verhagen chats with his aunt, Estella Glassnap, who is standing, while both her mother-in-law, Eliza Glassnap, and her mother, Emma Aldrich, sit on chairs visiting.  Below, Henry Glassnap smiles broadly in his U.S. Army uniform while Melvin Verhagen laughs heartily in his U.S. Coast Guard uniform.  When Delbert Aldrich and Henry Glasnap were both stationed in Camp Swift, Texas, Del looked Henry up for a visit, too.

World War II Years