WAPAKONETA — Anyone who knew him will tell you Ed Doseck was a proud American.
“He was the kind of guy that would wear his World War II veteran ball cap everywhere he went,” Glenn Doseck, Ed’s son, said nostalgically. “He always had a flag with him. Those colors stood for something to him.”
Ed Doseck, 85, died Dec. 12, but his patriotic spirit and his service as a Navy gunner in the South Pacific are forever remembered.
“Oh heavens, he was just a great American,” said Ed’s sister, Alice “Allie” Kuhlman. “We had so many discussions about the war the past few years. We were together on a trip to Washington, D.C., and it was very emotional for both of us. He worried so much about our country and where it was headed. Now he can rest and not worry anymore.”
Doseck was 18 when entered the Navy in 1943. He graduated from Blume High School in Wapakoneta, where he was born and raised.
He served on the USS Howard F. Clark, a destroyer escort in the waters of the South Pacific. Kuhlman saved a letter Doseck wrote home while serving. It includes great descriptions of what the young sailor was experiencing.
Dated Tuesday, April 3, 1945, the letter starts off greeting his parents and letting them know he was doing fine.
“It’s rather hot out today. You just sit still and the sweat runs off you. I went on liberty today on one of the islands out there, ‘The Carolina,’” the letter reads. “About all you can do is sit and look at the coconut trees and swim. I guess we are allowed to tell where we have been, as long as it’s over 30 days old.”
Mentioning he’d been to places like Manus and Leyete, Doseck described the warfare landscape.
“There wasn’t much there, but it’s something to remember,” he wrote. “You’re probably wondering if I was at Luzon. Yes, I was. We got two Jap planes to our credit.”
Doseck was referring to the March, 1945, Battle of Luzon in the Philippines, which resulted in an Allied victory.
He continued: “It was rough as the devil around the China Sea and the Philippines. I hope you can make out the names of those islands,” he said.
“Dad, one thing you can tell some of the boys around home is that you have a son who is doing his share. I’ll tell you more as soon as we can,” Doseck wrote. “Mom, tell Alice and Carolyn as soon as I get back around Honolulu, I’ll send them a grass skirt, but I don’t know how long that will be. Hawaii is sure a nice place. I would almost like to live there after the war, but there’s no place like home. “
Glenn Doseck said that was his father’s nature: family-oriented. Ed Doseck married Jean Maxine Hartman on Dec. 19, 1945, while he was on leave — to begin his own family before returning to Japan.
“I haven’t received that picture of Alice yet. I would like to have some of the old pictures we have around home,” he wrote. “It would be darn nice to sit down and look at them. Last year at the time, I was on my way home, remember? Well, I can’t think of much more to say, except that I would like to see all of you.”
Glenn Doseck said his father proudly displayed his veteran status but never really talked about what happened in the war.
“He always voted. He supported his political party that he backed very strongly,” Glenn Doseck said. “But he never shared his military stories with me. He was tight-lipped about them. I’m not sure if there were things that happened that he wasn’t willing to share, but he never really talked about them.”
Ed Doseck was discharged in April 1946 and began married life with Hartman. They had two sons, Glenn and Mike, and a daughter, Susan.
After his time in the Navy, Ed Doseck was employed by Fisher Cheese in Wapakoneta as a dairyman. After that, he served as a sanitarian for Allen, Auglaize and Shelby County health departments.
He remained active in the community: a member of First English Lutheran Church, American Legion and the Hammer Lodge 167 Free & Accepted Masons. He was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8445.