Claude R. Baumgartner

City Men Flying Control Officers at Big Air Base
Some of the work done by Eau Claire men in the European Theater of Operations is recounted in an interesting article by Al Crocker, St. Paul Dispatch and Pioneer Press war correspondent, about an American Air Force Service Command Depot in Ireland and published recently.

The Commanding Officer of the depot is Lieutenant Colonel A. W. (Nellie) Nelson, 1701 Eleanor Avenue, St. Paul, whose wife is the former Lillie Lee, from Eau Claire. Colonel Nelson has been overseas for two years. His son, Lee Nelson, project engineer for Consolidated Aircraft, was killed in a plane accident in Alaska.

Chief Flying Control Officer at the field is Lieutenant George L. Steinfeld, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. C. Daub, Eau Claire, Route 4.  His wife and son reside on Route 5, Eau Claire.

Lieutenant Dilon Hagen of Eau Claire is also a Flying Control Officer.

“I can’t say how much traffic these youngsters handle from their control tower but, from short observations periods over a coupld of days, the place makes Grand Central Terminal look like a way station,” Crocker wrote.

Among other boys at the base are Corporal Kenneth W. Melville, Chippewa Falls, and Sergeant Claude R. Baumgartner, Merrill.

“Colonel Nelson’s headquarters are at the seat of a magnificent old Irish estate,” Crocker writes.  “Colonel Nelson may have spent every duty hour and quite a few extras on the job, but he apparently has spent every other hour at work, restoring the faded glory of this particular bit of heaven.”