O'Fallon Progress

World War II hero of Our Town

In October 1943, word came to O’Fallon about the heroics of one of its own, Pvt. James Yaeger, in the Aleutian Islands.

The story was reported in the Kodiak Bear, published at Ft. Greely, Alaska.

“The war has given us many heroes, some of whom did great things to earn that name. Even here in our own little isle we have several heroic men. At Sgt. Jacob ‘Jake’ Arnston’s domain three of our fellows fearlessly battled against the elements to rescue a comrade-in-arms from the icy clutch of the great Pacific.

“These heroes are Cpl. Louis ‘Petey’ Peterson, Pfc. Wendell ‘Specks’ Tomford and Pvt. James Yaeger, who, without a moment’s hesitation, went to the rescue of a sailor who had been knocked overboard by the boom on his boat.

“The trio saw the mishap, left their positions and raced to the rescue in an old, weather beaten, barnacle-covered rowboat. They did not have any oars so they paddled their unreliable craft with pieces of old board they found on the beach. Although the boat threatened to capsize in the rough water, the soldiers fought through and pulled the hapless sailor from the water.”

75 years ago, Oct. 14, 1943. Citizens are asked not to become alarmed when they hear the wail of an air raid siren Friday night, purchased by officers of the O’Fallon War Council. There will be signal blasts at 8, 8:10, 8:20 and 8:30 o’clock to ascertain its effectiveness in various sections of the city. It is being installed at the Louis Plab service station (200 S. Lincoln).

50 years ago, Oct. 17, 1968. Contracts for construction of additions to O’Fallon High School have been awarded by the Board of Education. The additions include 22 planned classrooms plus the library, girls’ physical education areas, music areas and two shop teaching areas which are supposed to be completed in time for the 1969-70 school term.