|Robert S. Hempelman|
|Shell Okinawa from Battleship|
|ABOARD A U.S. BATTLESHIP, off Okinawa (Delayed)—Robert
S. Hempelman, Coxswain, United States Navy, whose wife lives on Route 4, Eau Claire,
and Edson F. Bolles, Watertender, Third Class, son of Louis G.
Bolles, 1420 Ninth Street, Menomonie, are fighting aboard this veteran
battleship, which poured 1,500-pound shells onto Okinawa for six days to
clear the way for troops taking part in the greatest amphibious landing
of the Pacific War.
His ship, which saw service in World War I and has blasted the Japs through five previous campaigns of this war, underwent numerous air attacks during the last few days before the landings. Two torpedoes launched against her never reached their mark.
Before dawn of "Love Day," she was brought into position to give the beaches a final working over. The men were up at 2:30 a.m. and at their battle stations soon afterward, undaunted by three Jap suicide planes which made futile runs against the ship.
At 6:30 a.m., along with other ships of the task force, the battleship began her final bombardment on pillboxes, airplane revetments, observation posts, and caves. Scores of Navy planes struck at inland targets at the same time, while to seaward, landing craft were moving in.
By 7:30, smoke from the intense barrages screened the island. In a lull that came an hour later, some of his mates were able to watch through the smoke with binoculars as the first waves of Marines hit the beach.
Anxiously awaiting reports of the Marines' progress over the ship's loudspeakers, he and the crew sent up a cheer at the news that strategic Yontan Airstrip had been taken. The ship's bombardment had paid off.
|Wisconsin Woman Trains Luzon Guerrillas|
[Associated Press Wirephoto from Signal Corps]
AMERICAN WOMAN LEADS FILIPINO GUERRILLAS--Mrs. Elizabeth Fontillas, formerly of Eau Claire, believed to be the only American woman in the Philippines to lead a band of guerrillas, reviews a small section of her troops at Paete Mountain Headquarters on Luzon Island. Her husband, Captain Angel Fontillas, whom she married eight years ago in California, stands at the head of the formation (in background). He is Executive Officer of the unit.
|Former City Woman Helped Lead Filipino Resistance to Japs|
|Unreported Since '41; Picture Gives Clue|
|An Army Signal Corps photograph, serviced by the
Associated Press late Wednesday, gave the first clue to the whereabouts
of an Eau Claire woman who, apparently, has been helping direct Filipino
guerrillas in warfare against the Japs since Pearl Harbor.
She is Mrs. Elizabeth Fontillas, formerly Nellie Elizabeth Stocks, who has three brothers and other relatives residing here. Relatives received word of her present activities with amazement. The news came as a shock since they did not know whether or not she was alive. They could give no explanation as to how she achieved her present position in the guerrilla bands, nor to the work of her husband, who is also an American citizen. They went to the Philippines in 1937. Last heard from in August 1941, that time she told relatives not to write again, as all officers' wives were being moved to the interior or possibly to the United States. A Christmas gift sent to her in 1941 was returned here in February 1942, without reaching her.
No Reply to Red Cross
Three brothers are residents of Eau Claire: C. R. Stocks, 709 Margaret Street, owns the Stocks Electric Company on South Barstow Street. Petty Officer Second Class, Vernon Stocks, 220 Maple Street, returns to Eau Claire on a Navy leave Friday. Staff Sergeant Glen Stocks, who was severely injured in a land mine explosion in Africa two years ago, is at a hospital in the United States.
Four Children in Service
The children in service are Robert Hempleman, 24, United States Navy for the past four years; Wayne Hempleman, 22, United States Navy, captured by the Japanese in December 1941 and still a prisoner of war; Cadet Nurse Alice Joy Hempleman, 20, at a hospital in Utah; and Corporal David Hempleman, 18, with the Army in France.
Went to Manila in 1937
Captain Fontillas was called back to Navy duty shortly before Pearl Harbor.
Born in the town of Washington, Eau Claire County on April 26, 1902, she attended grade school there and at Altoona. Her parents, both dead, were Samuel F. Stocks and Anna Marie Stocks. Mrs. Fontillas attended Eau Claire Rural Normal School here when it was in the Courthouse Annex.
While she was married to Hempleman, she resided in Milwaukee for several years.