In the archives at the Post are four scrapbooks covering World War II dating from 1941 through 1945. (One measures 18” X 14” X 4” and weighs almost 8 pounds!) They were apparently kept by four individuals; the only one identified is Frances Portner, a sophomore at New Ulm’s Holy Trinity High School. They contain hundreds of undated biographies and photos of service men and women. Over 600 were published by the New Ulm Daily Journal during the course of the war. Included are detailed stories of noteworthy individuals such as Willibald Bianchi, Gordon Lang, Clarence “Bull” Aschenbrenner, Otto Seifert, Donald Besmehn, and the Domeier brothers, Sylvester and Roland. Also included are group photos of draftees on their way to training camps; photos of local, national, and international events; and some photos of the horrors of war.
Of special interest is this photo of the Boeing B-17 “Flying Fortress” named: City of NEW ULM Minnesota.” The irony is that this type aircraft was probably among those used during American and British air raids on Ulm and Neu Ulm, Germany which devastated those cities on March 1 and April 19 shortly before the end of the war in Europe on May 7, 1945.
EDITOR: George L. Glotzbach
CREDITS: Frances Portner, New Ulm Daily Journal