Leonel Jensen (4-8-17)

HARRY NOLLSCH (ARMY) FRANK MORAWA (GERM. ARMY) LOYD BRANDT (MARINES)        Life of Frank Morawa      Reluctant Heroes       The Purple Heart       I Flew the Big One CHUCK CHILDS (USAAF) HARRY PUTNAM (NAVY)       Veterans       Leaving Home for WWII JERRY TEACHOUT (USAAF) STEVEN WARREN (NAVY) GORDON LEASE (COAST GUARD)       Brothers in Arms CLARENCE CARSNER (ARMY) WALLY DAHLQUIST (USAAF) GEORGE W. LARSON (NAVY) ALAN HERBERT (ARMY) PETER DAHLBERG (ARMY)      Life-Changing Experiences     Friends for Life WARREN FAGERLAND (ARMY)      He Took My Place RICHARD PERKINS (MARINES)      Letter home, 1944 RUSSEL FRINK (NAVY) EJI SUYAMA (ARMY) THOMAS K. OLIVER (USAAF) JIM LOCKHART (NAVY) REX ALAN SMITH (ARMY ENG) VINCE FITZGERALD (NAVY) LESTER SNYDER (USAAF)       A Most Exciting Mission for Durkee's Crew HONOR FLIGHTS PRISONERS OF WAR CHARLES ANDERSON (USAAF)      Life of Charles Anderson      Tom Oliver in 2009 STAN LIEBERMAN (ARMY) HARLAND HERMANN (ARMY)      Letters during WWII      My Combat in the 442nd WALTER MARCHAND (ARMY)      D-Day Doctor's Diary JUNO SUNDSTROM (ARMY) KEITH CHRISTENSEN (ARMY)     Story of Stan Lieberman      John Fuller Goes to War HAROLD JANSEN (Navy) JOHN W. FULLER (NAVY) DEAN SHAFFHAUSEN (NAVY) CHARLES GERLACH (NAVY)      Combat Mission 15 WAYNE BREWSTER (ARMY) WILLIAM A. SEMLEK (ARMY) KENNETH HALLIGAN (ARMY) HAROLD TAYLOR (USAAF USAF) WALTER MEHLHAFF (ARMY) EDDIE KODET (ARMY) TOM McDILL (ARMY)      Story of Had Taylor PAUL PRIEST (ARMY)      Riding Rails before WW2      Oliver photos 2012 VICTOR WEIDENSEE (ARMY)       Weidensee maps OLA CAMPBELL (USAAF) DALLAS BLOMQUIST (Marines)       Christmas Lights BILL LOFGREN (ARMY) HOMEFRONT        Harry Nollsch       Taps Delayed JOHN WILKINSON (ROYAL AF) MARCELLA LeBEAU (ARMY) HILARY COLE (USAAF) TOM WENN (USAAF) JOHN GASTON (USAAF) MAURICE CROW (USAAF) GEORGE MOLSTAD (USAAF)

Ray and Josephine Cowdery, longtime members of the Black Hills Veterans Writing Group will present the fascinating story of Leonel Jensen, son of a Danish immigrant, a western South Dakota homesteader and later a large-scale rancher at Wasta.


Jensen worked for President Calvin Coolidge at the Summer White House in Custer State Park in 1927, was a banker in Wall before there was a Wall Drug and volunteered twice for service during World War II.   As the senior Red Cross official in the US 75th Infantry Division in Europe in 1944 and 1945 he witnessed combat campaigns in the Battle of the Bulge, the Battle of the Colmar Pocket and across the Rhine into Germany.


Unlike typical American GIs, Jensen occupied a very special niche among American soldiers.  He was a uniformed civilian with an assimilated rank equivalent to that of an army captain and had both a jeep and a small truck at his disposal so he was able to photograph and document his service on a daily basis while fulfilling his Red Cross duties, and inventing the concept of putting up Wall Drug signs throughout the war zone.


He kept a copious daily diary of his travels recording any interesting thing he saw or experienced along the way.  He took hundreds of photos of the things that interested him, probably without a thought about their eventual historical value, and many of which will be shown in this fascinating PowerPoint presentation.