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Last charter member of local VFW passes away

Posted 2/07/17 (Tue)

By Jack Dura
Farmer Staff Writer

John Hellandsaas looks around McKenzie County and sees the work of the generation before him, including his father Orville.
“Look around town,” he said. “See what they built, what they carried on.”
Orville Hellandsaas, a seaman, 1st class, and acting gunner’s mate on the USS Hornet during World War II, passed away last month at the age of 89 as the last charter member of Post 9005 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Forty-four WWII veterans and one World War I veteran founded the post in January 1947 in Watford City.
As its last living charter member and one of McKenzie County’s last WWII veterans, Hellandsaas’s passing is a significant loss, said Jerry Samuelson, the county’s veteran services officer.

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