Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 5, Number 3, September, 1995 Page: 147
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Supreme Sacrifice: Colorado County's World War // Dead
Sgt. Edward H. Bubolz, Jr.
Died May 7, 1945
By January 1945, Edward H. Bubolz, Jr., the son of Edward H. and Edna
Bubolz of Columbus, found himself stationed in England, assigned to the 8th Air Force
as a ball-turret gunner on a B-1 7 bomber. The following month, he participated in his first
bombing run, a raid against a railroad bridge in the German city of Cologne. Probably,
he continued to fly such missions for the next few months; however, his unit made its
last bombing runs on April 24. By that date, they had basically run out of targets; sites
that they might conceivably bomb were dangerously close to Allied ground troop
positions. Within days, Hitler had committed suicide and Berlin had fallen to the Soviets.
On May 7, 1945, the German general Alfred Jodl signed the inevitable surrender. Bubolz
died the same day. The plane he was on had completed a routine flight over Holland to
drop food and supplies. On their return to England, the plane caught fire, and he and other
members of the crew parachuted into the North Sea. The pilot and co-pilot stayed with
the plane, crashing into the ocean. Ironically, they were the only two survivors of the
incident. Bubolz was survived by his parents and his brother, Robert. A service was held
in his memory on July 19, 1945.85
PFC Elo August Wilhelm Ahlgrim
April 14, 1919 - May 21, 1945
Elo August Wilhelm Ahlgrim was born April 14, 1919, the only child of Max
Ahlgrim, a gravel pit worker, and Hattie Mehrens Ahlgrim of Columbus. Ahlgrim's name
is at the very top of the courthouse plaque, and his tale is one of extreme heroism and
extreme pathos. Many won medals in the fighting on Okinawa. Elo Ahlgrim won a Bronze
Star. The citation, received by his family in October 1946, more than a year after his
death, stated that Ahlgrim
displayed exceptional heroism, [as] he continued to crawl forward to the crest of
the hill; there he observed 12 enemy riflemen and a heavy machine gun preparing
to counterattack. He called to his platoon leader requesting mortar fire, and
staying in an exposed position, directed the mortars. He then opened fire with an
automatic rifle. PFC Ahlgrim's action was directly responsible for the killing of 1 2
Japs and the destruction of their heavy machine gun.
The timing of Ahlgrim's death on Okinawa incidates that he was killed in the heavy
fighting on the southern end of the island, after the Naha offensive, during the period
in which army and marine units fought through the final Japanese resistance. He was
survived by his wife, Janetta Schmidt Ahlgrim, and two small children, seven year old
Gloria Jean and two-year-old Ronald Elo. He was buried in Honolulu.86
85 Colorado County Citizen, January 11, 1945, January 25, 1945, February 1, 1945, March 1,
1945, May 24, 1945, July 19, 1945. Additional information was provided by Bubolz' brother, Robert.
86 Colorado County Birth Records, vol. 4, p. 4; Colorado County Citizen, July 19, 1945, October
1 7, 1 946. Ahlgrim's death on Okinawa did not end the misery for this little Hillcrest family. At about noon on
April 15, 1947 Ahlgrim's mother, Hattie Ahlgrim, was found dead in a tank near their home four miles north
of Columbus. An autopsy showed that she had been shot through the heart with a .22 rifle. There was no water
in her lungs, which indicated that she had been dead when her body was placed in the tank. Two days later,
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 5, Number 3, September, 1995, periodical, September 1995; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151395/m1/39/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.