Verner Claude Curtis

Army Badge
  • Name: Verner Claude Curtis
  • Location of Birth: Bovey, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: November 15, 1919
  • Date of Death: June 23, 1992
  • Parents: Joseph Curtis & Eve (McKeeby) Curtis
  • High School and Class: 1937 Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College: Duluth State Teacher's College, Duluth, Minnesota
  • Highest Rank: 1 LT (First Lieutenant)
  • Branch: Army
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: January 1942
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge: November 20, 1945
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:
    3 Campaign Stars
    Meritorious Service Wreath
    ETO (European Theatre Operation) service ribbon

  • Military Highlights:
    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Minnesota
    Name: Verner Claude Curtis
    Race: White
    Age: 21
    Birth Date: November 15, 1919
    Birth Place: Bovey, Minnesota, USA
    Residence Place: Bovey, Itasca, Minnesota, USA
    Registration Date: July 1, 1941
    Employer: Student (Duluth, Minnesota)
    Weight: 222
    Height: 6-3
    Complexion: Light
    Eye Color: Blue
    Hair Color: Blonde
    Other characteristic: 2 small scars on forehead, scar on left hand
    Next of Kin: Eve E. Curtis, Bovey, Minnesota

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – 17 Apr 1942 – “Dear Folks: I received my service book today from you and I want to express my sincere gratefulness to you for your remembrance of me. It is really very pleasant to hear from the people back home. It is very comforting to know that they are thinking of us boys who are in the service. At times the going gets pretty rough, but when we remember our folks back home who are thinking of us and praying for us, it cheers us up a lot. Ever since my induction, I have been going through training here in the Medical Replacement Center. I spent my first two weeks here in “basic training”. At the end of this time we were classified, and I was classified as a clerk. I then attended a six weeks course in clerk school. We had a regular graduation the 28th of March. There were 94 in my class. These men were gradually assigned to all parts of the state at different station hospitals, besides some who went to Denver to an air base hospital there. Sixteen of our class of 94 were selected to go to Officers Candidate School, which I am attending now. It is a one month course at the end of which 22 will be selected to go to Medical Field Service School, and will graduate from there in two months as Second Lieutenants in Medical Administration. The men who don’t go there will be given high non-commissioned officer grades, such as Staff Sergeants, First Sergeants, and Technical Sergeants, which pay from $72 to $84 a month. I will know in one month what my stake will hold. All I can do is study as hard as possible – and that’s a lot harder than any college – and drill my best. Maybe I’ll have a chance to sport some gold bars around on my shoulders someday. Again, I want to express my appreciation to the people of Bovey for the Service Book. It means a great deal to us. Sincerely yours, Vernon C. Curtis.”

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – 29 May 1942 – “Dear Folks: It is very thoughtful of all the kind people of Bovey to keep in touch with all their boys in the armed services of this country. It means a lot to all of us to hear from the folks back home. I get the Bovey Press every week or so from Uncle George and Aunt Emily McKeeby, so I usually get all the news of the community in that. I have shown the exceptional column that you put out every week and many have expressed the thought that they wish that their home town would be as thoughtful of their boys in the army. It is truly a joy to read the letters other boys write home and it is especially interesting to me to read them from my standpoint because I am in full understanding. What the Bovey Soldiers’ Gift Fund Club is doing for all their boys will mean a lot when any crisis comes because they know there is someone behind all that thought. Sincerely yours, Verner C. Curtis, School Detachment, M.A.C.O.C.S., Camp Barkeley, Texas, U.S. Army.”

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - June 4, 1943 - "Camp Barkley, Texas, May 23, 1943. Dear Mrs. Barnes: Not so long ago I got one of those mimeographed letters that are sent out to us boys and which made it much nicer, to have your little letter added on. It makes it more personal and friendly when that is done, rather than just stick the mimeographed letter in an envelope and send it to us as is. I sent the letter on to Mother in Ajo and she surely enjoyed it. She sent it back to me so I could send it on to Vivien along with a letter I wrote. Vivien is still in Africa, although she is no longer at her original landing place. They moved considerably from that point to a distant place where they set up their hospital. She is now doing actual nursing work. She works hard, but she says she loves it. If you can imagine her wearing men's G.I. shoes, and coveralls and liking it. She told me in her last letter that when she comes back to the States, she'll never wear slacks again! Of course in combat zones where she is, there is little need for attractive looking clothing. There is little social activity and when she can, she gets a pass for one to three days and goes to the nearby city again being dressed like a human being. No doubt she will have a lot to tell us when she comes home. Boy, that will be the day. Mother is getting along fine. She surely thrives on that warm Arizona climate. Even when I was out there for the Christmas holidays it was plenty warm. I would sure hate to be there this summer, although it won't be bad for her as she is pretty well acclimated by this time. The people dress for comfort on these extremely hot days, and they don't exactly care what their appearance is. It is a town much like Bovey, where the people are miners, and love a good time, and are friendly as can be. You asked me what I thought of that Easter Greetings the Press put out. You can sure hand it to Horace for that brain-storm. It was about the best form of Easter Greetings that could be thot up. I doubt if it has ever been done before by anyone. I read those signatures for hours, and boy it can take hours when you stop and think about all the people who signed that. Naturally every one couldn't sign it but I think you did exceptionally wonderful by getting as many as you did. I bet that the fellows all think that was a wonderful idea. Leave it to Bovey to lead the list of what Servicemen's Clubs are doing. They can't be beat for originality and attention de-lux. Ann Shu is doing a monsterous job in keeping up with the Service Men, isn't she. I think the army should give her an honorary appointment as Colonel or General or something like that. I get the Press practically every week, and sure appreciate getting it. Naturally the first thing I turn to is the Club page. It's the one thing I look forward to getting faithfully every week. Thanking you for all of your kindness to us fellows, I remain, Sincerely Yours, Verner Curtis."
    [A note of explanation about the Easter Greetings mentioned in this letter. The newspaper used a full page of signatures by local people who wanted to extend greetings to all members of the military who are away from home.]

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - January 7, 1944 - "Dear Club Members: Reader's Digest has been my favorite magazine for the past 12 years. I have always purchased it month by month and never had a subscription to it. There is no more worthwhile gift for a soldier. No matter how long the hours may be that he works, when he does relax and read, it's always the "Digest". I surely want to thank you all for such a considerate and well chosen gift. Sincerely, Verner Curtis."

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - September 15, 1944 - "Somewhere in France, August 30, 1944. Dear Ann: Just a "shorty" of a letter to let you know I'm over where the "Frogs" are. From the small part I've seen it's quite a poverty-stricken place. After German occupation for 4 years, they have nothing except apple orchards. Even the beautiful French gals have disappeared. I haven't received any mail for over a month. If you would check on the Press and Iron News for me, I'd appreciate it. If my subscription has run out, ask them to continue, and I'll send the money as soon as I hear about it. Soon will be Farmers' Day, and I'll sure want to hear all about it. Be sure and let me know who was around town. I'll be looking for your letter. Sincerely, Lt. Verner Curtis."

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - June 22, 1945 - "Hagenow, Germany, May 30th. Dear Ann: Of all people I should not fail to write to, you are one, because you have been so untiring in answering all of the letters we fellows write to you. I can tell that you have been working hard lately from your letters, and that spring fever has really set in back there. Don't let things get you down, and always remember you've got about 500 or 600 fellows who will gladly share your troubles and let you weep on our shoulders for a change. We have sure poured our troubles out to you plenty, so always remember we are behind you in all you do. Although VE day has come over here, it doesn't seem to make a great deal less work to do. In fact, we are as busy as ever. It is surely a terrific job to take care of the thousands of people who are trying to get back to their homes in Poland, Russia, and the other countries which have voluntarily contributed to the slave labor of Germany. There is so much medical work to be done and naturally, being in the Medical Department, we are acutely aware of this particular phase of the big job. Others are working as hard or even harder than we. There is surely enough for everyone, I know that. Naturally, we are all hoping that not too far off we will be home on furloughs. This is naturally nothing which we can decide, and all we can do is sweat it out, and hope to hell that we get the rest, and in addition, we can hope that we don't go any further west than San Francisco. That is where I want to limit my oriental movement. I'll be glad to go to Chinatown and get all the oriental exposure I need. That Pacific affair is bound to be a dirty mess, and costly, too. If it would end soon and they would blow the place off the map, then there would be no place for us to fight over there. Vivien is out in Santa Monica, really living. She is so glad to get back home here where men are men, and women act like women. It is rough on girls to serve overseas in some of these field units. General hospitals like she was in are not too bad, but it isn't always the unit - mostly the location. Bruce is still at sea, in the Pacific and hoping to get home soon on leave also. Well, Ann, this is all for tonite. Promise to write more later. Sincerely, Verner Curtis."

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - July 1945 – First Lt. Verner C. Curtis of Bovey is returning home from Europe with the Eighth Infantry Division. Lt. Curtis was with the Medical Detachment, 13th Infantry. The Eighth Infantry Division (Golden Arrow) was in the Normandy breakthrough, the capture of Brest, and the bitter fight in the Hurtgen Forest. Troops of the Eighth were the first to cross the Roer river, launching the drive that reached the Rhine. The Golden Arrow Division then cut the Ruhr pocket in two and finished the ETO fighting by crossing the Elbe and linking with the Russians. Lt. Curtis has three campaign stars, Meritorius Service Wreath, ETO Service Ribbon. He is a graduate of Greenway high school and has his Bachelor of Science degree from the Duluth State Teacher’s College.

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Verner Curtis started his teaching career in Deer River, Minnesota after discharge from service.

    Verner died in Arizona and is survived by his brother, Bruce, and one cousin, Robert F. Dehmer.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):