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Scene In TimeWhat’s In a Name: The Hanna Family of U.S. War VeteransBY ELIZABETH NEUMEYERIn this Veteran’s issue, I want to highlight the Hanna family. They repre- sent the many fami- lies who served our country. I met Don Hanna as part of a group of fellowswho helped develop the Kimball House Museum and the Historical Society. When they were older and retired, these men met regularly for coffee. When I retired in 2007, I asked if I might join them as they had many years of Battle Creek history under their belt and I wanted to heartheir stories. Besides Don, there was Michael Martich, Ralph Christman, Junior Thornton, Orville Convis, and Duff Stoltz. Unfortunately they are all no longer with us. We eventual- ly met at NorthPointe Woods when Don (1920-2014) moved there. At that time I also met Don’s sister, Doris. Doris just celebrated her birth- day and is 95 years young. Although Don told me some of his experiences in WWII in the Navy, Doris was able to tell me more.Their father, Glenn Hanna, served in World War I in the 27th Engineer Battal- ion. They specialized in mining equipment to make trenches but when they got to France, they were generally repairing or rebuilding bridges destroyed by the Ger- man troops. They were in many danger- ous campaigns including Belleau Wood, St. Mihiel, and Meuse-Argonne. He was near Verdun when the Armistice came, November 11, 1918. Glenn formed a con- struction company when he came home and his sons joined him later. This next month of November, 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the ending of World War I. See Scene issue 4211 for an article on the Burley Corners monument (now in Hicks Cemetery) honoring four Pennfield men who gave their lives. There is a memorial on Third Street in Oak Hill Cemetery: the names of the 89 men and one woman from Battle Creek gave their lives. There is also a combined World War I/II memorial at McCamly Park.Glenn’s wife Ruby lost a brother in WWI. She and Glenn were very active in Veterans groups. Glenn was a commander in chief in the VFW and Ruby was a “gray lady.” Doris said her mother took her with38 SCENE 4310 I VETERANS ISSUEher to visit soldiers and helped her to un- derstand that many of the men they were visiting had “Shell Shock,” the term for PTSD at the time. Doris’s mother would also become active as a commander of the Navy Mother’s Club in World War II.All three Hanna children of Glenn and Ruby entered World War II. Don was in the Navy, Duane (Johnny) (1924-2011) in the Army, and Doris joined the SPARS. This was a women’s Coast Guard unit of WW II, their name coming from the Coast Guard motto, Semper Paratus Always Ready.one-half pound of potatoes. He said occasional Red Cross food boxes were very welcome. On the ship, USS Monticello, taking him and 4,000 other POWs home, he was ecstatic over a box of 24 candy bars all for each person every day. He had Milky Way, Clark, Butterfinger, and Three Musketeers and he said he ate them all. In the dark of the night on June 3, 1945 their ship came into New York City harbor and as they passed the Statue of Liberty, “You could have heard a pin drop aboard ship.”All of the Hannas were graduates of Bat- tle Creek Central High School. Doris was married to Clair Morse, nicknamed “Moose,” a champion swimmer in BCCHS and also at U of M. He joined the Coast Guard, Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class. Doris followed him later. She was assigned to Boston where she had a surprise welcome from other another Battle Creek woman and BCCHS grad, Elizabeth “Betsy” Spyker (1921-2011). She also joined the SPARS. In an inter- esting “full circle” turn of events, Doris introduced her to her broth- er Don when they got home from the service. Don and Betsey weremarried May 18, 1946.Doris was a telephone operator in theSPARS, Seaman 2nd class, and when the ships came into port, they would connect to the landlines and the calls began. Readers of a certain age will remember that this was not an easy task then to put through a long distance call. Doris said her most exciting time was when the ships were bringing the troops home after VE Day. They would go out on decorated tugboats and accompany the troop ships in. Doris said one exciting occasion was when another SPAR spotted her brother on one of the troop ships. The ships got close enough so the brother and sister could briefly join hands.This is indeed a remarkable family and is symbolic of all the families who sacrificed for our country. Thanks to Doris Hanna Morse Costa for her inter- view about herself and her family, as well as Duane’s Memoir, A POW’ S STORY: In His Own Words. Letters from Don, Duane, and Doris, printed in the Enquirer, also provided more information. Histories of all the units mentioned are available online. My materials are on file at the Bat- tle Creek Historical Society’s Community and Research Archives.Hannasiblings (1943). (L to R): Duane, Doris, and Don. Inset: Doris in uniform.Don was a car-penter’s mate andserved on manyships with the finalassignment beingthe destroyer es-cort Earl V. John-son DE-702. Don said there wasn’t much to do as a carpenter on a steel ship so he kept the fire-fighting equipment up to date, a crucial job since they were fired at regu- larly by the Japanese as they guarded con- voys between New Guinea and Leyte Gulf. They supported the invasion of Okinawa and faced off enemy submarines in the Pacific.Duane served in France and Germany. He was in the 2nd wave of soldiers in the Normandy invasion, 120th Regiment, 30th Division, in constant and intense combat over 200 days. As they advanced through France and Germany, he was wounded and later taken as a prisoner of war by the Ger- mans. In his memoir about his POW expe- rience, he said he weighed 95 lbs. on his 6’ 1” frame after release in April of 1945. Their rations consisted of boiled cabbage, rutabaga and other vegetables, one loaf of bread divided among five men, and a


































































































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