Homer R. Cooke

Word has been received by Mrs. H. R. Cooke, 415 Marston Avenue, that her husband, Staff Sergeant H. R. Cooke, has been transferred to a squadron with the Ninth Army Air Force. He was with the National Guard in Louisiana from October 1940 until he transferred into the Fifth Army Corps Headquarters Company at Fort Dix, NJ in February 1942. He left for overseas on May 10, 1942.

Staff Sergeant Arnold Carpenter and Homer Cooke of Headquarters Company, Fifth Army Corps, have arrived safely in Northern Ireland, according to cables received yesterday by their respective wives here.

Both had been transferred in January from the same National Guard unit at Camp Livingston to the Headquarters Company, Fifth Army Corps at Camp Beauregard.

Eau Claire Men in England "Adopt" Girl War Orphan
Headquarters, European Theater of Operations: Staff Sergeant Homer R. Cooke of  415 Marston Avenue, Technical Sergeant Archie J. Kain of 1626 Woodland Avenue, and Staff Sergeant Arnold Carpenter, Route 4, all of Eau Claire, are three of 80 sergeants of the United States Army unit who have adopted Maureen Amelia F---, a 10-year-old English orphan.

The unit is undergoing intensive training under the command of  Lieutenant General Jacob L. Devers in the European Theater of Operations.

The men were on hand recently when a full day's party was staged for Maureen. From the time she arrived at the American post to find a huge sign, reading "Welcome, Maureen," until she left, loaded down with gifts, the sergeants did everything possible to give the little girl the time of her life.

The mess sergeant prepared a meal which included steak, ice cream, and a huge cake, inscribed with her name. The soldiers also subscribed to a fund to buy Maureen a complete new outfit--shoes, dress, hat, dressing gown, underwear, and a silver identity chain.

Maureen was made honorary president of the sergeants' club and was taken for a ride in a jeep to see her first baseball game.

Freeman Von Schrader, ardent short wave fan, was listening to his radio on Sunday morning at 10 o'clock when the British Broadcasting Company sent their program Stars and Stripes over Britain over the ether waves. This program is a weekly Sunday feature, in which Ben Lyons and his wife, Bebe Daniels, former movie stars, interview American soldiers over the air. 

In the Sunday broadcast were two Eau Claire men, Sergeant Homer Cooke, son of Mr. and Mrs. Homer Cooke of Starr Avenue, and Sergeant Arnold Carpenter, son of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Carpenter of Paper Mill Village. Both young men are well- known here as former football stars at the Eau Claire State Teachers College.

Sergeant Cooke left Eau Claire with the National Guard in 1940, and Sergeant Carpenter enlisted in February 1941, after completing his sophomore year at the college.

They met in Trenton, NJ, and have been together ever since.

At the close of the broadcast, it was announced that the program would be repeated in the evening at 6:30 over the Mutual Broadcasting System, so Mr. Von Schrader immediately attempted to contact the families of these men. He succeeded in reaching Mr. and Mrs. Cooke who, with the soldier's wife, went to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Von Schrader that evening to hear the broadcast over short wave. The Carpenter family was also notified of the broadcast during the day and "listened in" at their home. With them was Mrs. Carpenter, who is now a teacher at Colfax, WI.

It was an exciting moment for these relatives to hear the voices of their own soldiers broadcast from across the sea. Both young men have been overseas for almost a year and theirs was one of the first contingents of soldiers landed in Ireland. They have been in England for the past three or four months. Both are in training for commando service, in which their American football training will probably prove of great value. Both said they were in fine shape, that they liked the English soldiers, and enjoyed the commando training very much.

A cheering note in their comments occurred when they ordered their families to set an extra place at the table for Christmas dinner table, saying they would be home to join them.

Sergeant Carpenter and Dorothy Bullis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Verne Bullis of Route 1, were married at Camp Livingston, LA on October 26, 1941 and were later transferred to Trenton, NJ. Sergeant Cooke and Jeannette Olson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Helmer Olson of Marston Avenue, were married at Trenton, NJ. As many of the men who broadcast on Sunday were stationed at Trenton, the wives of these soldiers knew all who spoke over the air in this broadcast. Sergeant and Mrs. Cooke are the parents of a daughter, Patricia Gail, five weeks old.

Both families greatly appreciated the fact that they were told of the broadcast, so they might have the opportunity of listening in, as they had not known that the men were to appear over the air and would have missed hearing them but for this considerate gesture. This is a service we all owe to the parents and families of our boys, who are just as anxious to contact their families as the families are to hear from them.

What a happy day it will be w hen that extra place can be set at the table—it will truly be like a Christmas feast, no matter what time of the year it may come.

* * * * * *

Do you remember an old saying out of the days of the last war— "Go easy on the butter, kids, it's forty cents a pound"?—but we could still get it.

Mrs. H. R. Cooke, 415 Marston Avenue, has received word that her husband, Sergeant Cooke, is now serving with the Air Force in France. Sergeant Cooke left Eau Claire with the National Guard in 1940. He received training in Louisiana and Fort Dix.

Staff Sergeant H. R. Cooke, Air Corps, returning from 34 months overseas in the European Theater of Operations, arrived on approximately March 7 at Fort Sheridan, IL, prior to reaching his home at 415 Marston Avenue, where he will visit his wife, Mrs. H. R. Cooke.

Contributed by Dottie Carpenter, Eau Claire

Maneuvers at Camp Grant, Wisconsin

Far Right: Homer Cooke and Arnie Carpenter

American Football in England

American Football in England

First Football in Britain