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The Beseman brothers go to war

All three sons of Albert Beseman served during World War II in the early 1940s, said their nephew Clarence Badger, sharing photos of the three Wright-area men after the war.

The photo of Leo, Jasper and John Beseman was taken in 1946, shortly after the war ended. Leo was on destroyers from 1941 to 1945. Two of those destroyers were torpedoed and he was lucky to be rescued both times. He ended his service in the Pacific Theater on another destroyer, the USS Elliot.

Eldest brother John joined the Army Air Corps in 1942, which later became the Air Force. He was an airplane mechanic stationed at Bowman Field in Kentucky, then Randolph Field in San Antonio, Texas until 1946.

Jasper was supposed to stay on the farm and keep it operating during the war, but he decided to join his two brothers. Jasper joined the Navy and was put on a new carrier, the USS Wasp, in 1943. It replaced the old USS Wasp that was sunk by the Japanese in 1942. Jasper was off the coast of Japan when the United States dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end the war in the Pacific.

All three brothers returned home to Wright after the war and started careers and lives with memories and stories of WWII. Leo owned the Beseman Truck Stop at the intersection of Interstate 35 and Minnesota Highway 210, now Kwik Trip. Jasper returned to the farm in Wright. John was a mechanic at Beseman's Garage in Mahtowa and then Quality Cleaners on Carlton Avenue in Cloquet.

Clarence and his brothers also served in the military. Clarence was in the Air Force and the 146th Airlift Wing of the Air National Guard for six years. His eldest brother, Quentin, was in the Tank Corps in Korea. Second eldest, Adrian, was in the Army and youngest brother, Phillip, was in the Navy.

Badger said Quentin - who was 6-foot-3 - was asked if he would be in the military police before the Kaesong negotiations. Each day the negotiators had to walk through a line of guards: North Koreans on one side, Americans and South Koreans on the other.

"His size and height would be used to impress the North Koreans, who were very short," Badger said. "They hoped it would help speed the peace treaty. Maybe it did, because a short time later, on July 27, 1953, the armistice was signed."

In case the name sounds familiar, Beseman Township in northwest Carlton County was named after their grandfather, Ernst Beseman, Badger's great-grandfather.