Eight classmates left for the Army on the same day

Eight Eagle Grove High School classmates left for the Army on the same day. Front row, from left: Lyle Amonson, Robert Mellgren, and Gordon Sunner. Back row, from left: Daryl Harlan, Gerald Sunner, Robert Pyle, Leonard Morphew, and Ramon Ulstad. Photo provided

The year was 1947 - Lyle Amonson, Robert Mellgren, Gordon Sunnes, Daryl Harlean, Gerald Sunner, Robert Pyle, Leonard Morphew, and Ramon Ulstad had just graduated from Eagle Grove High School. On the day of their senior class picnic, these eight young men would do one more thing together - join the United States Army.

“We wanted to feel like we accepted our responsibilities (to serve the country),” Lyle said proudly, noting that WWII had ended only two years before.

After the picnic, this group was picked up at the Whimpy Sandwich Shop and taken to Des Moines to an Army base.

From there, they were headed to Chicago to take their physicals. Daryl Harlan did not pass, but the other seven made it through and were sent next to Fort Knox, Kentucky.

“That’s where they put us through basic training,” Lyle, a lifelong resident (except during his service) of Eagle Grove recalled. After that, the seven young men headed in different directions, each pursuing their own field of training. It might not come as a surprise to anyone that Lyle got into parts service.

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