Veteran’s memorial project sparks interest in genealogy for Jensen family

(Above) Walter Jensen proudly admires the four blue stars on the front door of his Clear Lake home in 1942 representing his four sons serving in the miltary.-Submitted photo.

by Marianne Gasaway

The veteran’s memorial currently under construction at Clear Lake V.F.W. Post 4868 on Main Avenue has done more than simply pay tribute to those who served.  The project has inspired at least one family to take a closer look at their family tree.

“We are definitely pleased about the local memorial,” said Craig Jensen, who has taken his interest in genealogy to a whole new level as a result of the memorial.  “I knew a lot of stories, but not a lot of facts.  The memorial really got me going and motivated me to get information from my cousins.”

In preparation for submitting names and photos to the Post for the memorial, Craig learned his family had four members who served during World War II.  Craig’s father, Joe (given name John), was one of eight children in the Walter (Walt) and Alice (Kate) Jensen family from Clear Lake.  Joe and his three brothers all enlisted in the military in 1942.

Joe was a mechanic in the Army Air Corps who advanced to become an aircraft crew chief at Taft Air Force Base in California and then as aircraft maintenance line chief at Hickam Air Base in California. Vic, the youngest of the boys, was a pilot.  He flew Liberator 4 engine B-24 Heavies on bombardment raids throughout the European area from France to the Caspian Sea.  Gordon, the oldest, was  a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps who served as a mechanic who registered in the Army and spent the war at a Maryland base. Gil (Gilbert) Jensen was a mechanic, servicing all “Flying Tigers” aircraft at the 8th Aerodome Squadron in Kunming, China.

All four boys returned home to Clear Lake after the war and were re-

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