T5 Roy Allan Lindell meets Gertrude Stein
Roy Allan Lindell, the only child of Swedish immigrants, was inducted into the U.S. Army on 22 March 1943 at Fort Snelling, Saint Paul, MN. He was stationed stateside for training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO, Fort Riley, KS, and Camp Breckenridge, KY. He achieved the rank of Tech 5 with the 75th Infantry Division having served in the Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe Campaigns (including the Battle of the Bulge) as a driver of an M-8 “Greyhound” reconnaissance Armored Car nicknamed “88 Bait”. (see photo of Roy and his crew standing next to their vehicle Recon-11. Left-to-right: Roy Lindell, Don Kreger (Chicago, IL), and Chuck Roland (unknown).
After combat operations were over in Europe, he had opportunities as a Jeep and Truck Driver to take GI’s on leave from military camps into Paris. He shared the following story of one such visit to Paris many years later with his son Richard.
"On one occasion, during a trip to Paris in 1945, the USO had posted a note that the world famous poetess, Miss Gertrude Stein, would be walking to do some grocery shopping and I volunteered to accompany her. She asked what vocation I was going to be in when I returned to the US. I told her that I was a machinist apprentice on the railroad. She thought that I should do something else because railroads, to her, were very antiquated. She said that she rode in a train coach during WW I, with oil lamps for lighting the coach. Then she said 'I think I rode the same coach now during WW II.' She was very interesting to walk and talk with, and I only regret not having a picture taken with that charming lady".
T5 Lindell received the Good Conduct Medal and the ETO Campaign Ribbon with 3 stars. He was discharged from Military Service on 18 February 1946 at Camp McCoy, WI.
Curator's note: You can view some of Roy's war souvenirs on display now across from the P-38 aircraft on the lower level exhibit area in the Heritage Center. One item is a Mauser 7.92mm K98k Carbine and Bayonet that Roy put together from individual pieces he found discarded in a military salvage dump after VE day. He later mailed the pieces back to the states one at a time and reassembled them at home after he was discharged from the service.