Monday, May 29, 2006


Both of my grandfathers served in World War II. One, Charles J. Schueller, was an Army Captain and a doctor who spent four years in North Africa and Italy, from 1942 to 1946. He survived the war--though he nearly succumbed to a extreme case of malaria--and returned home to Dubuque, Iowa. My mother was four years old and met him for the first time when he got off the train. He practiced medicine in Dubuque for another forty years, and he died not quite six years ago after a long illness. He was an often cantankerous man who did not suffer fools gladly, but he was also, I'm told, an expert diagnostician and deft surgeon who was held in high esteem by his patients.

My other grandfather, Nicholas L. Koster, was not so lucky. After growing up in Cascade, Iowa, he enlisted in the Navy in the mid-1930s and served on a number of submarines, rising to the rank of Chief Motor Machinist Mate. On December 29, 1943, he left Pearl Harbor aboard the USS Scorpion (SS-278) for a war patrol in the northern East China and Yellow Seas. Contact with the Scorpion ceased in February 1944, and on March 6, 1944, the vessel was presumed lost, probably due to a recently laid enemy mine line.

I have nothing to add, really. I just thought that Memorial Day was deserving of some memorializing.


Nice post!

By Anonymous Viva Las Vegas, at 12:46 AM  

I have some photos of Nicholas Koster, your Grandfather. Contact me at
what_color_b at hotmail dot com

and tell me his wife's name and I will scan and send them.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:27 PM  

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