Vermoine Klauss’ Photos

1941 – 1945


Vermoine Klauss – known universally as “Curly” for his distinctive hair – was a sophomore at Linfield College when war clouds began to gather in 1941. Rather than return for the fall semester, he decided to enlist in the Navy, and entered the service less than two months before Pearl Harbor. After completing his medical training, Curly’s first duty was with a naval base in Seattle; in early 1943, he attended Field Medical School and joined the First Battalion, 24th Marines at Camp Pendleton as a pharmacist’s mate.

Although technically part of the battalion headquarters medical section, Curly was evidently a company aidman attached to a platoon from C/1/24. He would serve with them in every one of the Fourth Marine Division’s battles, treating countless wounds and being wounded himself. A Marine who fell near “Doc” Klauss was in good hands: Curly received a merit-based promotion for his skill under fire, and was twice decorated with the Bronze Star for valor in action. And his compassion extended to his fellow corpsmen; he took such good care of a seasick Walter Dodd that the two became fast friends.

Curly was discharged in November, 1945, after four years in the Navy. He re-enrolled at Linfield, where he met and married Thelma McPike (with Walter Dodd as best man) before completing his bachelor’s of science. The Klausses and the Dodds raised their families together in Missoula, Montana, and the two “Docs” remained close friends until Curly’s death in 2004. (Walter Dodd recently passed away on October 25, 2016.)

All images on this page are courtesy of Carol Yenne, Mr. Klauss’ daughter.

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