Wilbert Edwin Kangas

Army Badge
  • Name: Wilbert Edwin Kangas
  • Location of Birth: Itasca County, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: March 16, 1926
  • Date of Death: January 19, 1981
  • Parents: John E. Kangas and Lydia (Isokangas) Kangas
  • High School and Class:
  • College:
  • Highest Rank: CPL (Corporal)
  • Branch: Army
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: February 1, 1945
  • Place Sworn In: Fort Snelling, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Date of Discharge: December 9, 1946
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Units and Locations:
    Start Date End Date Unit(s) and Location(s) Served
    February 1945 Camp Wolters. Texas
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Minnesota
    Name: Wilbert Edwin Kangas
    Race: White
    Age: 18
    Birth Date: March 16, 1926
    Birth Place: Bovey, Minnesota, USA
    Residence Place: Bovey, Itasca, Minnesota, USA
    Registration Date: March 16, 1944
    Employer: William Kangas, Route 1, Bovey, Itasca, Minnesota
    Weight: 140
    Height: 5-5
    Complexion: Light
    Eye Color: Blue
    Hair Color: Blonde
    Other characteristic: Scar on right wrist
    Next of Kin: Lydia Kangas, Route 1, Bovey, Itasca, Minnesota

    WW II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946
    Name: Wilbert E. Kangas
    Birth Year: 1926
    Race: White
    Nativity State or Country: Minnesota
    State of Residence: Minnesota
    County or City: Itasca
    Enlistment Date: February 1, 1945
    Enlistment State: Minnesota
    Enlistment City: Fort Snelling
    Branch: No branch assignment
    Branch Code: No branch assignment
    Grade: Private
    Grade Code: Private
    Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
    Component: Selectees (Enlisted men)
    Source: Civil life
    Education: 1 year of high school
    Civil Occupation: General farmer
    Marital status: Single without dependents
    Height: 08 [no original available to verify]
    Weight: 000 [no original available to verify]

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - March 30, 1945 - "Camp Walters, March 11, 1945. Mrs. Dargan: I received the birthday card this noon when we had mail call. It came a little early because my birthday is on the 16th, but it's better early than late. Thank you and the Service Club also. I sure appreciate it a lot. Well, today we have the day off and here I am writing my letters to the ones back home. So far I've written seven letters and I have three more to go. I am not very good at letter writing, but I'll do my best. Out here we don't have much time during the week. Even if the lights go out at 10:00 we don't have much time. We clean our equipment, shoes and rifles, and also every Tuesday and Friday night we get the job of cleaning the barracks. We G. I. the floors and all of that kind of work, carry the beds out, and then when the floor is dry, we carry them back. The chow isn't bad at all. Today we had a chicken dinner and it sure tasted good. Well, I haven't any more news to write about and I'm not much good at writing, so will close. Again, I want to thank you and the Bovey Service Club for the fine work you are doing to help us. Sincerely, Wilbert Kangas."

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Wilbert Kangas married Margaret Coatsworth in Coleraine, Minnesota in 1949. He was a welder for the U.S. Steel Mining Company, retiring in 1976. He was a member of the Itasca Finnish Club and was treasurer for Grand Rapids Township for many years. He was also a Boy Scout leader and participated in Scouting activities for many years.

    Wilbert died at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is buried in Lakeview Cemetery, Coleraine, Minnesota. He is survived by his wife Margaret; two daughters, Marilyn (Thomas) Newman and Kristine (Stanley) Watson; a son, Calvin Kangas; three brothers, Wayne, Wilho, and Walter; and five sisters, Hattie (Robert) Coatsworth, Hanna Mallum, Hilda (John) Norgard, Helmie (Ainar) Salo, and Helen (Irvin) Cyrus.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):