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Today’s regular hard news outlets are, sadly, primed with COVID events and lawbreaking. Back in 1944, The war was the news.

The back page of the Saturday, January 22nd Fargo Forum listed 29 Minnesotans and North Dakotans captured or killed in combat. The daily casualty count was a sad, but constant reminder of the war’s daily horror. Virtually every day of the war was a national test of courage, hope and resolve. On the pages of newspapers came stories of civic events, rationing suggestions, shock, and hope.

The stories that Saturday were typical of the daily wartime fare. In Bismarck, a native of the capital city was being honored for his service. Lieut. Commander Paul Register was killed in the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, on the largely unknown island of Oahu. The Bismarck High School grad had attended the U.S. Naval Academy and was serving on the U.S.S. Arizona at the time of the attack. The story reported on the launching of the U.S.S. Register, a United States Navy high-speed transport, named in Lt. Register’s honor. It took to sea from the navy yard in Charlston, South Carolina.

Happier news greeted a Kindred, Minnesota family that same day. After sustaining a number of shrapnel wounds, soldier Marcus Ringen was reported alive. His brother Harvey was also in the military, serving with the Navy in Florida.
Their father was the former editor of the Kindred Tribune.

In other news, Private First Class Miron Burnham was reported killed in action while serving in Italy. The Twin Valley native and former Hawley, MN resident had four brothers, three of whom were also serving in the Army.

Meanwhile, an Ironton, Minnesota man was welcomed home with a big party. The paper reported that Major Michael Dobervich had accomplished a rare feat – escaping from a Japanese prison camp in the Philippines and finding his way to safety.

According to the editor of the Ironton Ranger newspaper, “Everyone was there and everyone had a great time.”

Dakota Datebook by Steve Stark

Source: The Fargo Forum, January 22, 1944

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