Clabe and Leora Wilson, the end of 1945

The war had been over officially since early September, 1945, but the Wilsons were still in limbo with one son buried and two sons still listed as Missing in Action. Danny had been missing since February, in Austria. The war in Europe had ended in May. Still no word by Christmas.

And Dale. He and his crew were shot down in November two years earlier. Nothing. At least they were able to write the families of the other crew members, but they were all left with a strange anxiety.

When Junior was killed in August Delbert was discharged from the Navy. He and his family moved to Iowa to be with his parents.

Leora Darlene with her father and the wagon he built for her.

With precious sons still missing how can life begin to settle into a routine? But Clabe was having tooth problems and had been to the dentist. Leora regularly churned butter now that they had cows.

Finally they got a phone installed. It rang one night after 9:00. Donald and Rose had just arrived in Perry in their Studebaker. Donald was still in the Navy, thinking that he would make a career of it, having served since 1934.

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Donald and Rose Wilson with their Studebaker, back to Iowa from Washington State.
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Warren Neal holding Joy, Donald Wilson, Clabe Wilson, Delbert Wilson holding Leora Darlene, October 1945, Perry, Iowa.
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Sam and Darlene Scar with Richard and baby Robert.

Clabe had a tooth pulled, and they picked up fish from the depot that Donald and Rose had sent when they got back to Washington.  

Donna Gaye was born to Delbert and Evelyn in Perry, November 21 at 12:55 p.m. Ten days later, Evelyn and baby went home from the hospital. Leora churned four pounds of butter, and sold butter, eggs, and twenty hens in Perry.

December 4 was Leora’s 55th birthday. She got her annual “kerchief” from her mother, a plant, nightgowns, and a box of Drews chocolates.

Clabe helped Delbert begin to wire the house for electricity. And Clabe was still having toothaches, and his wife also. Clabe had a tooth pulled the next day. Leora’s jaw was swollen by Thursday, but she waited another week to have two teeth pulled. The same day they got a Guernsey bull, and Leora churned more butter.

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Clabe & Leora Wilson, Perry, Iowa.

Sleet and snow fell all day Christmas Eve. Sam and Darlene, with Richard and seven-month-old Robert were to come the next day but couldn’t. So Clabe and Leora, Delbert’s family, and Doris’s family had a Christmas dinner of bacon and eggs.

What a comfort to have their oldest son and his family living with them, a blessing to end such a terrible year. Even in the middle of the heartache.


    • Yes. It’s an odd thing, bolted together at the top and such fragile pages. She mostly recorded temps and weather in it. I have dozens of her later diaries. She usually recorded the temperature three times a day!

      • Interesting! I have my grandfather’s diaries, and he mostly recorded the temperature, the barometric pressure, and whatever home maintenance he had to do.

    • Don and Rose got that far, and I’ll bet that Rose told him it’d be nicer to warn his folks that they’d arrived than to show up at that time of night. At least it meant that Clabe and Leora finally had a phone! Wonder if Don called from a motel in Perry?

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