One of MacArthur’s ‘Jungleers’

(This article was first published on Nov. 13, 2004, in observance of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, when Hood River News invited veterans to write their World War II memories. Bartlien is co-grand marshal of the July 4 parade in Hood River.)

I was a Jungleer. Better known as the 41st Infantry Division or Sunset Division.

The 41st consisted of 9,000 men from the Northwest.

The 41st made more D-Day landings than any other division in World War II. Our first was Papua New Guinea, next was Port Moresby. Then we headed for Dutch East Indies (Altape, Biak, Hollandia) and on to southern Philippines and to Manila.

We had many hardships to go through, lost some buddies, made some lifelong friends, and as young 17-, 18- or 19-year-old kids when we started out, we came back as men.

I was a sergeant in the 41st Signal Company, attached to headquarters, and my boss was the general himself. I was in “Special Troops.” Also attached were the MPs and medics. Signal Company’s job was communications. One of the toughest jobs we had was to lay submarine cable from Biak to our island. Men standing side by side and laying cable hand over hand, standing knee deep in water, under intense heat, also tired and fatigued to a point of collapse. The terrain was extremely difficult. But we made it.

We were given the title “MacArthur’s Jungleers.” All of us in Special Troops were on the beach when MacArthur walked ashore on his way back to Philippines. We were “MacArthur’s Jungleers” and we earned the right to be there.

Next year will be 60 years since our return from war in 1945. I will be having lunch with some Jungleers of the 41st, ones who are left like myself.

Some of them I have been having lunch with on the last Friday of the month for 59 years.

Ed Bartlien lives in Hood River. He refers to two books about the 41st: “The Jungleers: History of the 41sth Division” by William McCortney (Battery Press) and “41st Infantry Division: Fighting Jungleers” (Turner Publishing).

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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