STANHOPE - Just in time for Memorial Day 2012, the Stanhope Library has received a donation from the family of a fallen World War II soldier who grew up on an area farm and went on to serve his country.
Lt. Merle Sandal was killed on Dec. 7, 1942, when the plane he was piloting crashed into the side of a mountain in Algeria. A graduate of Stanhope High School in 1936, Sandal was 24 at the time of his death. He is buried in Algeria.
Charles Pierce, Sandal's nephew, and wife Ramona, of St. Ansgar, presented the historical items at the library on behalf of the family. A portrait of Second Lieutenant Merle L. Sandal, a memorial flag, and a condolence document signed by President Franklin Roosevelt will now be on permanent display at the library.
- Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Billie Shelton
Ramona and Charles Pierce, Merle Sandal’s nephew, of St. Ansgar, presented a photograph of Sandal, a memorial flag and a condolence letter signed by President Franklin Roosevelt to the Stanhope Library on behalf of the family.
"My family agreed that this is a suitable place for this treasured memorabilia," Pierce said. His mother, Evelyn Pierce, now 93 and living in California, is the last of the six siblings in the Martin Sandal family. All are alumni of Stanhope High School.