The Red Arrow Division

Eldred G. Kollman, '49

El was drafted into service in January 1943 and was sent to Ft. Snelling, MN for his entrance physical. From January 1943 until November of 1944, El and his wife (Joyce) lived all over the United States. Joyce was the proverbial army wife, working at all the bases that El was in training.

El's tour took them to Ft. Campbell, KY, to Keesler Field, MI, to Foster Field, TX, to Air Cadet School for pilots at NW State College at San Marcos, TX. It was while in college at San Marcos the US Air Corps decided, because the war in Europe was wrapping up, there was no need for all the pilots that were in the cadet program. The cadets that were Ground Force Army, were dropped from the program on April 21, 1944 and the cadets left in the program were the ones that entered from the Ground Force Air Corps. That meant El had to leave the program as he entered the Air Corps from the Ground Armored Corps.

El and five other cadets were slated for Eisenhower's headquarters in Europe, but in a typical army snafu, the Army lost those six men. On April 22, 1944, they were transferred to Camp Livingston, LA, to Camp Howze, TX, to Ft. Meade, MD, to Camp Reynolds, PA, back to Ft. Meade, MD, and finally to Ft. Ord, CA. In November 1944, El shipped overseas (from San Francisco) as a replacement Sergeant to the 32nd (Red Arrow) Division that had fought its way through the island of Leyte and were then in serious combat on the island of Luzon. El came through without a scratch (except for serious bouts of malaria). After Japan's surrender on August 14th, 1945, El was shipped to Japan with the Occupation Forces.

While in combat on the island of Luzon, El lost his younger brother, Justin, who was serving with the Marines on the island of Okinawa. His only other sibling, Maurice, was serving with the Air Corps in the U. S. and was never sent overseas.

He returned to San Francisco in January 1946 and was discharged from the service January 25, 1946 at Ft. McArthur, CA.

El returned to college at NDSU August 1946 and graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering December 1949. He went on to establish his own business, Construction Supply, Inc. in Fargo and is now retired. He and his wife live in Phoenix, AZ in the winter and at their ranch in northwestern Montana (Plains) in the summer. His son, Kurt, is CEO and owner of CSI since 1986.

University Archives, 701-231-8914
Published by the University Archives, NDSU
Last Updated: 8/27/04