Charles E. Fellers
Sergeant (T-4)
U. S. Army
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 08/08/1945 - 01/01/1947
3rd Army, 3rd Army

Charles, or "Chuck" as he was called, was born in Oxnard, California, to George Webster Fellers and Grace Van Cleve Fellers, who had moved to California from Fremont, Iowa. His father worked in western movies, riding with Big Boy Williams and William S. Hart in the 1920s, usually playing roles as part of a posse or "one of the bad guys." When Chuck was only a few months old the family returned to Iowa. They lived in a large house on a farm where they raised grain crops, sheep, and Black Angus cattle, and bred Belgium stallions and mares. Chuck believes his father received $15 as a breeding fee. Chuck graduated from Fremont High School in 1943 and went on to Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, on academic and athletic scholarships, each $50. "You could go to college for $450 a year," he recalls. Living in the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house he earned income by delivering papers and working for an undertaker. At his induction physical Chuck was classified 4F because of a deviated septum. "I'd been playing football for two years at Wesleyan and I was in great shape," he recalls of his physical condition. His father took him to a doctor in Ottumwa, Iowa, who charged $45 to correct the septum. When they tried to pay the doctor he wouldn't accept the money, because Charles wanted to join the service. He was drafted and was sent to Camp Maxey near Paris, Texas, for basic training, and then to Camp Robinson in Little Rock, Arkansas. Some of the training included 25-mile marches. "We come down this hill, across a wooden bridge, and that'd wake us up. We'd be asleep, marching," he recalls. He was then sent on to Fort Ord, California, for two or three days, then returned across the country and shipped out from Fort Kilmer, New Jersey to Europe in "March or April" of 1946. He entered Europe at Le Havre, and was sent to the replacement depot, or "Repple Depple" as it was known, in Bamburg, Germany. He was assigned to the Secretary, General Staff Section of the Third Army. "That's as high as you can go as an enlisted man," he says. That section carried out orders of the general staff. He worked with "six, eight, enlisted men, who did all the work," he recalls, laughing. He worked for General Lucian K. Truscott, Jr. and for General Jeffrey Keys, who was then commander of Third Army. Chuck lived in a barracks in Heidelberg, and came to know many of the German people who were "just like they were in Fremont, in that they had families and they loved those families and they cared for them," he says. "The people are the same," he says. "They care. They are kind and thoughtful. They get hungry. They get sick and they get cold and they get hot. The people themselves are the same. It's the governments and the leadership that's different." Chuck traveled with the general staff on a luxury train that had belonged to one of Hitler's top assistants. As his end in service neared, Chuck sailed to the States on a Liberty ship at the end of 1946. Discharged in Chicago, Chuck was attending a business college and working in a service station when a former instructor at Iowa Wesleyan, by then head of the speech department at Louisiana State University, urged him to come down to Baton Rouge to study journalism and work at the new campus radio station, WLSU. He graduated in 1949, then completed master's work at Northwestern University Graduate School in the Medill School of Journalism. Needing a job, Chuck began a professional career in broadcast journalism as the "morning man" at a station in Alexandria. He worked in Charlotte, San Antonio, and Ottumwa, Iowa, before coming to KWKH in Shreveport as sales manager where he hosted a call-in show, "Party Line." In 1950 he married Nancy Wilson, who died in 1974. In 1986 he married Ann Braswell. He has one son.