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Kimball, Minnesota
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November 4, 2010     Tri-County News
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November 4, 2010
 

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Remembering the Greatest Generation Veterans Day is Nov. 11 By Duane Stanley First Lieutenant Dean A. Stan- ley of Kimball, a C-47 combat pilot, was one of the select Troop Car- rier combat crew members cho- sen for the all-important job of flying resupply items of food and ammunition to the trapped Amer- ican First Army units in the Bas- rogue area in Belgium (Decem- ber 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge). Troops, including the 101st Airborne that had parachuted in, were cut off and surrounded. Only airdropped supplies allowed them to hold out against the German war machine until Allied rein- forcements could arrive. The oper- ation was the greatest supply mis- sion ever organized in the Euro- pean Theater of Operations. This information was part of the military news release that Dean's father, Lafe Stanley, carried in his billfold for so long that each fold pretty much disintegrated. He was more than happy to pull it out and tell how proud he was of his son. The Kimball flyer had previ- ously taken part in the airborne invasions of the Cherbourg pen- insula and German-occupied Holland. He was awarded the Air Medal and first Oak Leaf Cluster for these operations. Dean was also part of the mas- sive invasion on D-Day, providing air support during the storming of the beaches of Normandy. The pilots of First Squadron (Dean, second from right, kneeling) were based out of England and had this photo taken June 5, 1944, the day before D-Day. The next day, five of the pilots were shot down; three would never return. Following Germany's surren- der, Dean was shuttling prisoners of war who had been released from the German Stalags to the coast of France where they boarded ships to return to the U.S. As he prepared to make his next run, a recently- released prisoner crowded up to the pilot. He stuck his face in front of Dean and yelled, "Stan, don't you know me?" It was Jerry LeVas- seur, who recognized the letters marking Dean's plane. Jerry was a good friend, glider pilot, who had been captured on D-Day, and was rescued at the end of the Euro- pean action. Only the day before his capture, Jerry had learned that his wife had given birth to their first child after the flyers had been deployed to England. The wives of the two flyers were good friends and after their husbands returned to America in 1945, the four of them spent a week together at White Bear Lake. Today, the only one still liv- ing, Blanche (Todd) Stanley is an active 90-year-old living in Flor- ida. Her son, Craig and his wife Kathy, took Blanche to Hawaii this past September. Dean returned to the U.S. and to his young bride Blanche, whom he had met at a roller skating party in Kimball, where Blanche was a teacher in the Kimball school. The Stanleys moved to Washington, Iowa, where Dean, despite being offered the opportunity to serve as a corporate pilot for Northrup King, decided to hang up his wings and focus on a career in agriculture. A University of Min- nesota graduate, Dean was an agricultural research scientist for Northrup King until he retired. The old squadron continued to hold annual reunions for many years, until only Dean and one other member remained. Dean Around Stanley died in February 1998, at Fort Myers, Fla., where the Stanleys made their retirement home. A gravestone in the fam- ily plot at Maine Prairie Cemetery honors his life. "Stirring up Memories" 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16, at the Kim- ball City Hall. Come and partici- pate in the fourth annual Holiday Pot-luck supper and social. All ~7ou need to bring is a dish to pass, your appetite, family and friends. Or come alone and meet some of the great folks who wrote our keep- sake cookbook. Utensils and bev- erages will be provided. This is your final reminder. Rave reviews are still heard from previous years. Won't you join us? All are welcome, and it's free. Fall is definitely upon us and imagination abounds as we jour- ney into the holiday and winter months. Want a great gift idea? Consider a new or renewed mem- bership into the Kimball Area Historical Society, for yourself or someone else, all tax deductible, as well as several commemora- tive souvenirs. Keep these in mind while thinking Christmas. Today in history: In 1842, Abraham Lincoln mar- ried mary Todd in Springfield, Ill. In 1880. the first cash register was patented by James and John Ritty of Dayton, Ohio. First Lieutenant Dean A. Stanley Paratroopers of 101st Airborne collect supplies dropped by the C-47s. Submitted photos. In 1952, Dwight Eisenhower was elected president, defeating democrat Adlai Stevenson. In 1980, Ronald Reagan won the White House as he defeated Presi- dent Carter by a strong margin. We want to hear your story. Our society's gifted writer for this and other column stories in this news- paper, volunteered to help you write or re-write your family story, if you can even submit a "rough copy" of the information to the address below. Doesn't that sound like a great idea? For more information, column stories, photos, comments, mem- berships and memorial donations, you're invited to contact the Kim- ball Area Historical Society, Box 106, Kimball MN 55353, or phone (320) 398-5743, or 5250, or e-mail The richest people are not millionaires, they're volunteers The squadron pilots the day before D-Day, June 5, 1944. Dean Stan- ley is second from right in front row, kneeling. The next day, five were shot down; three never returned. Bal I'' 320"295"5387 "-' 320-764-9972 I Now offering MigraSpray Migraine relief and prevention! c Mi~ Safe Natural Effective Dr. GaryVerbovanec WATKINS Chiropractic Clinic 320-764-3000 Central Avenue Watkins (320) 398-5000 www.TriCountyNews. MN nnnn i r i Contact us for all your printing needs We offer: business cards brochures inserts postcards letterheads invitations announcements labels web pages web sites .... more ............................ ~ama~ln~n" Garage Tim Ellis, Owner HRS: Mon-Fri: 7:30-5:30; North of Hwy. 55 on Hw~/. 15 in Kimball 7:30-I 2 398-2200