Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.


Morning Star, May 26, 1996, pg. 13

Over the past several months in the "50 Years Ago" column we’ve been seeing the names of Albion soldiers who served in World War II who were discharged and returned home during late 1945 and early 1946. A few months ago here in the Morning Star I placed an advertisement looking for a copy of the October, 1942 issue of the National Geographic magazine, and here is why: there are two Albion soldiers pictured in it!

The reason I know this is that one of them happens to be my uncle, Michael J. Kulikowski, now of Kalamazoo. The other is Donald Morgan, now of Quincy, who for many years was a linotype operator at the Albion Recorder. Ironically, I received my copy of this Geographic issue from Steve Grob, who works for the Recorder.

The picture appears in an article entitled "Wartime in the Pacific Northwest," on page 422 with the caption reading, "We don’t Know Where We’re Going, But We’re on Our Way!" It shows soldiers preparing to depart from a warehouse, with boxes in the background.

My uncle had joined the National Guard at Charlotte, and during the war his unit was placed in active service. The picture was taken in Seattle, Washington as they were about to embark for Alaska, then a U.S. Territory.

Don Morgan wrote me, "I remember that we were all scared. We arrived in Seattle in the middle of the night, not knowing where we were headed for. It was very frustrating. We were the 119th field artillery when we left for Fort Knox. We were put on active duty April 7, 1941. We were shipped to Cold Bay (Alaska) for about one year, attached to the 250 F.A. Then we were shipped to Adak and attached to the 30th Coast Artillery, where we stayed for about a year and a half before returning to the USA. When we returned to the USA we were sent to North Camp Hood, Texas, where we were all sent to other outfits. It was a terrible experience to say the least, but I would not trade it for a million dollars."

From our Historical Notebook we present a portion of that National Geographic Photo showing my uncle Mike Kulikowski (arrow pointing) on the right with a duffel bag over his shoulder. Don Morgan appears several men to the left (arrow pointing). Both men today can name the others in the picture who were from across the country.

Someone from Albion many years ago had a copy of this issue and recognized my uncle in it, and that is how we found out about it. A special thank-you to that unknown person. If anyone has an extra copy of this Geographic issue, there are others who would like one, too. Let me know.

National Geographic, October, 1942


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