Reuben Nelson

Three Brothers Overseas; One Sends Stamps from Holy Land

WHITEHALL, WI (Special) Mr. and Mrs. Julius Nelson of the town of Hale have four sons in the Army and three of them overseas. All four were ski-riding champions in civilian days, and their absence is one reason why the Whitehall Ski Club will not have a tournament this year.

Sergeant Walter Nelson, who won the most ski laurels of the four, has been in the African area since September 1942 and has written his parents recently of an 8-day furlough, which he spent in the Holy Land. First Sergeant Raymond, who is with an Air Borne Division, has been in England now for about a year and, a couple of months ago, Corporal Reuben was sent to the same country and is training there now with an Armored Division, driving a heavy tank. Sergeant Thomas, the last to go into the service, is at present on maneuvers in Arizona. All four were employed in the Fairbanks-Morse Plant at Beloit at the time of their induction.

In April 1942, Walter was inducted and sent immediately to the  Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland and was soon sent overseas. A mechanic, his parents believe that he was stationed for some time at Alexandria, working in the English shops there. He has a camera and has sent his folks many snapshots.

On his trip into Palestine, Walter accompanied a group of soldiers on an American Red Cross-conducted tour. He wrote home that he had been swimming in the River Jordan, in the Dead Sea, and in the Sea of Galilee. He had pictures of the Garden of Gethsemane and other places of Biblical history. He visited many churches, but the most beautiful of all, he said, was the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is also called the Church of Nations. In this church is the spot marked off where Christ's last prayer is said to have been uttered.

"I certainly had a surprise one morning, when I was still in bed, while on my furlough at Tel-Wi, as Edward Schaefer walked in, wrote Walter. Edward is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Will Schaefer, who live not far from the Nelsons in Hale township. The two boys spent the afternoon and evening together, swimming in the Mediterranean and doing a lot of talking about home.

Raymond Nelson, who was stationed at Camp Claiborne, LA; Fort Bragg; NC; and Maxwell Field, NC, before he went overseas a year ago, has written about seeing the historic spots of London and vicinity. At one time, he wrote that he believed he and Reuben were about 40 miles apart, but they had not as yet had an opportunity to meet. While still in this country and on maneuvers, Raymond experienced the thrill of a close call. Riding in a glider carrying tons of explosives, the tow line connecting with the plane ahead gave way. They were only 600 feet above the ground, too low to parachute. Raymond and the pilot were stationed in the nose of the glider with the tons of ammunition behind them, which fortunately did not become untied during their dive and landing.

Corporal Reuben received his training at Camp Polk, LA; Fort Knox, KY, where he went to school; was on maneuvers in the California deserts; was located a time at Camp Picket, VA; then at Indiantown Gap, PA, before going across.

The Nelsons, who have a family of nine boys and four girls, all living, also have a son-in-law in service, Lieutenant Douglas Mortenson, who has been in the New Guinea area for one and one-half years with an anti-aircraft company.