Edwin Earl Swanson was the only child of Ebbie Edward & Marie (Miller) Swanson who married in Portland, Oregon in 1907. His father was born in Nebraska of Swedish immigrants and his mother was born in Missouri of German immigrants.
Edwin's father was a typewriter repair man for Underwood Typewriters Co. in Portland Oregon.
Edwin graduated in 1927 from Thomas Jefferson High School, Portland, Oregon and went on to attend North Pacific Dental College of Oregon (later known as Oregon Health and Sciences University or OHSU).
On 26 Oct. 1935 Edwin married #1 to Emogene Alise Huntley from Stevenson, Washington but that marriage did not last long and they soon divorced.
A second life changing incident came in Edwin's life when his father, Ebbie, died 12 July 1937 and was buried at Rose City Cemetery in Portland, Oregon.
Edwin married for a second time on 20 Feb 1938 to Margaret "Peggy" Frances Grow of Goldendale, Klickitat county, Washington. Peggy was born 10 March 1917 in Eureka, Montana to Frances and Emma Grow.
In 1938 Edwin and Peggy were living in Portland, Oregon where he was working as a dentist.
By 1940 Edwin, his wife Peggy and his widowed mother, Marie were living in Roseburg, Oregon. He had a private dental practice.
Edwin enlisted 1 July 1940 in the Dental Medical Corps he was attached to the 64th Coast Artillery and stationed at Ft. Shafter in Honolulu, Hawaii where he held the rank of Captain.
Dentistry played a significant role in World War II. The dental field often goes unappreciated. The dental professionals during World War II did a remarkable job with the technology and medical knowledge they had available to them at the time. Because of all the men they would have to take care of, the dental officers would often use no pain killers and try to execute the procedure, such as a tooth extraction, very quickly.
During WW2 Medical Detachments were “attached” to Infantry Regiments. Their mission was to help conserve the strength of the Regiment by taking the necessary preventive and sanitary measures, and provide appropriate medical and dental treatment. Officers and Enlisted Men were adequately trained in medical and other skills.
Enlisted Men were not only trained for different duties such as: Dental – Medical – Sanitary and Surgical Technicians, but also as Record Clerks, Litter Bearers, Podiatrists, and Light Truck Drivers. Detachments were responsible for first echelon medical service in combat situations, including emergency medical treatment in the field, removal of battle casualties, and establishment of Aid Stations for the reception, triage, temporary care, and treatment of casualties.
According to the records of Rose City Cemetery in Portland, Oregon Edwin died 3 August 1941 in Honolulu, Hawaii of nonbattle causes. His body was transported to Portland, Oregon where he was laid to rest next to his father on 22 August 1941.
Edwin's widowed mother, Marie Swanson married for the second time on 27 Sept 1943 to Fred Vincent Marsh, a barber in Portland, Oregon. She died in 1972 and is also buried at Rose City Cemetery next to her second husband Fred Marsh.
Edwin's widow, Peggy, married #2 James Augustus Clithero on 25 Oct 1941 in Yakima, Washington. That marriage lasted only a short time. Peggy then married Thomas E. Spilker of Thurston county, Washington. Peggy and Thomas married in Seattle on 22 December 1945. The couple moved to The Dalles, Oregon where they both lived out their lives. Peggy died 7 Oct 1992 and is buried across the Columbia River from The Dalles, Oregon in the Mt. View Cemetery at Goldendale, Klickitat county, Washington. She is buried near her parents.
This story is part of the Stories Behind the Stars project (see** www.storiesbehindthestars.org**. )This is a national effort of volunteers to write the stories of all 400,000+ of the US WWII fallen here on Fold3. Can you help write these stories? Related to this, there will be a smart phone app that will allow people to visit any war memorial or cemetery, scan the fallen's name and read his/her story.