|Carroll County IAGenWeb|
In Memory of:
Nick Vasos was born in Carroll, Iowa on November 23, 1918, a son of Gus and Myrtle Belle James Vasos. He attended the Carroll Public Schools and Carroll High before graduating in Sioux City, Iowa.
On February 12, 1941, he enlisted in the army at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, while working for his Uncle, Sam Vasos. A member of the 30th Infantry, he trained in Michigan and Illinois, then was sent to The Presidio at San Francisco, where he alternated his time between there and Ft. Lewis, at Tacoma, Washington. He was later transferred to Fort Ord, California and then to Fort Pickett, Virginia, before shipping out in October, 1942, for the North African theatre as a part of "Operation Torch."
Nick was serving as a Third Division Transportation Sergeant in a sub-op of "Torch" called "Brushwood," when, at noon on November 8, 1942, on the first day of the invasion, he was killed in action by shrapnel from enemy artillery fire falling on the beach at Fedala, French Morocco, a small fishing village 12 miles north of Casablanca.
Sgt. Vasos was the first soldier from Carroll County killed in action in World War II.
His Officers, as quoted by the Carroll Daily Times Herald, Wednesday, May 5th, 1943, wrote the following in letters to his father:
Lieutenant Frank W. Shaw, Jr.:
"The death of Sgt. Nick G. Vasos was a great blow to the Third Battalion, Headquarters Company, and to me, his company commander... The vehicles of the battalion were subjected to artillery fire and in the face of this fire, he continued to think only of saving the transportation and in doing so he lost his life, but he did not die in vain, for by his example the transportation of the entire battalion kept rolling and resulted in our successful operation."
Capt. S. J. Rogers, Assistant Adjutant of the 30th Infantry:
"Your son held a responsible position in the regiment, and we feel his loss as you must. I would like to express the deep sympathy of all of us who knew him, to you, and I can only say that he performed his duty to his country with complete devotion, and without regard for his own safety. No one can ask a person to do more than this, and we are proud of him."
Maj.-Gen. J. W. Anderson, divisional Commander:
Sgt. Vasos "did his full share to add to the glorious history of our country," and that full military honors and religious services, conducted by the chaplains, were rendered at his graveside.
Sgt. Nick G. Vasos, a true Carroll County hero, lies interred at the North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial in Tunisia, plot E, row 11, grave 3, see photo, below.
Other memorials include a marker in the Carroll Cemetery, and a tribute in the Military Room at the Carroll County Historical Society that includes a framed photo, clippings of newspaper articles, and the purple heart posthumously received by the family.
Click below to see more photos, and to read letters between Nick and his family.
Photos and video were contributed by Judy Vasos-Baczewski