Book fills void in WWII history
Paul Goebel has filled a void in the history of World War II, telling the story of his father’s experience with a small book titled “The 224th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Searchlight Battalion.”
Goebel and his wife, Beni, raised their family in Ozawkie and now reside in Lawrence. His father, Pete Goebel, resided in Valley Falls from 1997 until 2005.
The 224th was activated at Fort Bliss, Texas, in 1943 and the book tells its story from the training in the states to their service in New Guinea and the Philippine Islands.
Many of the men of the battalion, like his father, are gone now. This unit history tells their story from the records and memories of its members.
Official Army sources and pictures from archives and private albums show some of what the men saw and experienced.
“The book came about as the end result of my interest in and research on my dad’s Army unit. The book tells the unit’s story in words written by anonymous sources found in the National Archives and in a newsletter created for a battalion reunion,” the Goebel said.
“The heart of the story is really the rosters. These are the names of the men that served in the 224th in the Southwest Pacific, first on New Guinea and then the Philippines. My intent when writing the book was to get the battalion’s story entered into the pantheon of all the other men and units that served during World War II,” he said.
The story closes with “From War to Peace” with one soldier writing, “We’ll see you on the main streets, in the churches, on the highways, the ball parks, the bowling alleys . . . from the four corners of America. Our paths shall cross again.”
After the war Pete Goebel worked in farming and ranching near Winona and in 1956 moved to Kansas City for industrial work. He worked as a clerk in the Postal Service a few years later and retired from that in 1979.
Those interested in the book can contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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