Oscar Swenson

by

Chris Swenson

 

6th Grade 1998, Lancaster School, Lancaster,MN

 

For my story, I chose to do my Grandpa, Oscar Swenson.

My Grandpa was born on January 25, 1918 in a house 3 mileswest of Lancaster. He went to school until he was in the 9th grade thenhe had to go home to work on his Dad's farm. He has lived in Kittson Countyalmost all his life except for 4 years in the service.

Before he went into the service, he built clothes linesfor people.

Then on February 2nd, 1942, he joined the service. Heleft for Australia on March 2nd, 1942 after only 4 weeks of training. Heleft for Australia from San Francisco and arrived on boat 3 weeks later. He was an airplane mechanic and he had to learn all his stuff from theolder mechanics because they didn't go to school or anything.

One time when he was fixing a plane some Japanese flewover and started bombing. He said he's lucky he got out of there alive.

One time he and some other soldiers were in the battlefieldand they got bombed, then it stopped, then at night it started and theybombed 30 nights straight. Then the kangaroos went nuts from the bombingand trampled down everything in his camp.

He was also more than a mechanic and soldier, he was alsoan engineer. Many times he had to ride with some pilots to find out whatwas wrong with the plane.

There was a river called the Adelaide River and there werecrocodiles in it - and that was the one they washed in.

There were some Aborigines that lived about 50 miles frommy grandpa's camp and whenever a plane would get shot down, they would runabout 50 miles to tell the U.S. people that a plane had been shot down. Then my Grandpa would have to go to the plane and take off the wings andhaul back the rest of the plane for parts. They had to do this becausewhenever they tried to fly a plane it would get shot down, or when theytried to get some planes on a ship to Australia it would get torpedoed.

One time, he had to drive a 3 star general 2,000 milesacross the desert to a town called Alice Springs.

There was a town called Darwin and my Grandpa said it gotbombed really bad and they had to help evacuate people.

When the war was finally over in 1946, the war had broughthim to 40 states and half way around the world. He saw many things in thewar like giant lizards, wallabies, kangaroos, platypuses, and many otherthings.

He got back in the fall of 1946 and started farming thenext spring.

Around 1950 he helped build a road. When they got finished,he said they should call it the Tombstone Highway because there were tombstonesat the end of the road. To this day it's still called the Tombstone Highway.

Then, in 1994 after 48 years of farming, he retired.

I got my information from my Grandpa, Oscar SwensonIZE=+1>I got my information from my Grandpa, Oscar Swenson