MOVILLE, Iowa | Howard Logan graduated from Moville High School in 1942 and set off for Iowa State University to study ag economics, having every intention of coming home to work at First Trust & Savings Bank, the financial institution his father, Charles W. Logan, founded in 1919.
War got in the way.
"I enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve in February 1943," said Logan, now 91 and still at his desk, serving as a consultant for Security National Bank, which bought First Trust & Savings Bank on May 1, 2015.
Logan chose to enlist because he would have been drafted in April 1943. By enlisting, he figured he could maybe exert a little more control over his military path. He chose the Navy's V-12 program as a prospect for officer's training, a tract that allowed him one more year of college before entering service full-time. Logan was sent to Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, for one year, from July 1, 1943, to July 1, 1944. He then headed to school for midshipmen in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and then on to Columbia University in Manhattan, New York, to earn his commission as an ensign.
Logan graduated in December 1944 and was assigned to a submarine chaser off the coast of Florida. When the threat of German U-boats subsided, he began preparations for the invasion of Japan. He trained in Virginia and Texas and was in the Gulf of Mexico, en route to Hawaii, when the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, forcing Emperor Hirohito's surrender on Sept. 2, 1945.
Logan was released from his tour in March 1946 and took a two-week banking course that summer at Iowa State. The highlight of his summer? "I saw the prettiest girl I'd ever seen before, at a table at Iowa State," he said with a smile.
He returned to Iowa State that fall to resume classes and a dating schedule with the "girl," Ila Jeanne Hagie, of Osceola, Iowa, the woman he'd date off and on the next four years.
Logan graduated from Iowa State in March 1948 with a bachelor of science degree in ag economics. He returned to his father's bank to start his banking career, but remained in the Naval Reserve and attended weekly meetings in Sioux City.
He proposed to I.J. while on a country drive one evening in April 1950. They set an autumn wedding date, but had to move it up as Uncle Sam needed Howard Logan for another war.
"We married on July 30, 1950, on a hot, humid day in Osceola," he said. "I know we'd considered a fall date because I.J.'s dress was a heavy, long-sleeved gown."
The newlyweds traveled together to Tongue Point Naval Base in Astoria, Oregon, where Logan helped return Navy LSTs, mothballed after World War II, to active service.
After a move with his ship to Bremerton, Washington, Logan was reassigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service in San Francisco. He reported to the commander of Naval Operations overseeing the Far East and boarded a ship with 1,200 officers and 3,000 enlisted men, bound for Tokyo.
"We were still occupiers of Japan at that time," he said. "In February 1951, I was put in charge of contracts between U.S. forces and the Japanese ships we hired to carry food and material from Japan to Pusan, Korea."
I.J., meantime, went back to live with her parents in Osceola, then headed north to Moville, where she worked as a teller in the bank.
As the Korean War raged in early 1951, Logan went about his work in Tokyo, inking contracts with the Japanese. When peace talks began that May, Logan's commander sent him home, for good. He was 26 and ready to reestablish roots in his hometown. He and I.J., who died in 2012, raised three children in this Woodbury County community; Chuck, Jane and Amy. Logan is now a grandfather to seven, a great-grandfather to seven more.
A member of the American Legion, he still reports to work each day at Security National Bank. He makes numerous trips west each year, often to Montana to buy cattle, and can still be found golfing in Moville and attending various events in town or at Woodbury Central High School.
"I'm still in the Naval Reserve," said Logan, a lieutenant, sharing a giggle. "I don't think they'd want me now!"
And while he didn't come under direct enemy fire, Howard Logan knows the rigors, the sacrifice of war. He speaks of a high school classmate, David Bahmer, a Marine, who was killed in World War II.
And he mentions a grandson, U.S. Army Capt. Todd Kuebler, who has flown numerous missions in the Middle East in recent years while serving with the 101st Airborne Division. Kuebler is the trusted keeper of his grandfather's medals, three of them, reminders that Grandpa Logan answered his country's call, twice.