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Class of ’45

Class memories include living in a world at war

Staff writer

Members of the class of 1945 were hit with the reality of a world at war during their high school years.

Their final year in high school, the allies fought the Battle of the Bulge and bombing raids took place on Dresden, Germany. Fighting on Iwo Jima and Okinawa led to the end of the war — capped by Hitler’s suicide and Victory in Europe Day.

Three students left school early to fight and several others enlisted after graduation.

Class member Jim Hett said the student council sold war bonds and stamps to support the war effort.

The money raised was enough to buy a $1,165 Jeep and equipment for one infantryman.

Tires, gasoline, sugar, and many other things were rationed because of the war.

Gasoline cost 20 cents a gallon.

Three boys, Rosse Case, Don Wright, and Bob Edmunds, left before graduation to serve in the military.

Rosse Case’s father walked across the stage to pick up his son’s diploma at the graduation ceremony.

Many other boys left for military service after graduation, Hett said.

“It was the year they dropped the atomic bomb and the year the war ended,” Jim Hett’s wife Carol said.

The war ended in August, following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan surrendered Sept. 2, 1945.

The Hetts said the class has no plans for a reunion this year.

Of the 54 students in the class, only Hett and Ella Meier Swain still live in Marion, Carol Hett said.

Not many other class members are still alive, she said.

“We know of five others, and there are several others who passed away,” she said.

Last modified Sept. 24, 2020

 

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