DEC 1941

Mason City, Iowa, Globe Gazette



The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Saturday, December 13, 1941

North Iowans are Reported to Be Serving in War Zones

Nora Springs Youths in U. S. Marines at Midway, Pearl Harbor

NORA SPRINGS – Mrs. Louise Jerrell received her first word Thursday evening from her son, Philip Jerell, stationed with the U. S. marines at Midway Island in the Pacific, when she received a telegram from that point which simply read, “Okay, Mom.” Grave concern was held among Jerrell’s family and friends here for his safety, since Midway island was reported attacked by the Japanese last Sunday and several times since. Jerrell was graduated from the local high school in 1938 and joined the marines shortly after his graduation.

Charles Kennedy, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Kennedy, and Burr Squier, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Squier, are two more Nora Springs boys in the marine corps who are stationed in the danger zone at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and relatives are anxiously awaiting word from them. Dwight Baker of the United States navy, son of Roy Baker of Nora Springs, is also at Pearl Harbor.

Lloyd “Dynamite” Anderson of Nora Springs was stationed at Shanghai according to the last information local people received, and anxiety is also felt for his safety.


GOLDFIELD – A number of Goldfield youths are located in the war zone in the Pacific. No word has been received from any of them since hostilities began with Japan on Sunday.

Those from this vicinity include Shirley Griffith, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Griffith, who has been employed as a painter on Midway island the past several months. His parents received a letter Sunday, mailed on Dec. 3, stating they ere amply protected on the island.

Bernard Folkedahl, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Folkedahl, is stationed on the U. S. S. New Orleans at Pearl Harbor.

Duane Bonwell is located in the vicinity of Manila and his brother, Allen, who is in the army, is stationed at Pearl Harbor. Both boys are the sons of Harry Bonwell.

The two sons of Mr. and Mrs. Jess Anderson, Morris and Clarence, are stationed on the U. S. S. Concord and U. S. S. Maryland, respectively.

James Edwards, the son of Mr. and Mrs. W. V. Jones, who has been attending a naval school at Norfolk, Va., has been called into active service.

C. H. Cochrane, husband of the former Miss Elizabeth Rulettes of this city, is located at Pearl harbor on the destroyer Alwyn.


TITONKA – William Kennedy, son of Mrs. Elizabeth Kennedy, and a sailor in the United States navy, when last heard from, was on board the battleship Oklahoma, reported by the enemy to have been damaged by Japanese action. Mrs. Kennedy has received no news from her son or navy headquarters.      


EAGLE GROVE – Wright county has many soldier and sailor boys in the Pacific war zone, but so far there has been no word of death or injury to any of them.

Charles Hall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Hall, has been stationed in the Philippines for more than a year; Leif Kloster, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hallvard Kloster, was recently sent to the war zone in the air corps.

Duane Bonwell is believed in the vicinity of Manila, on the U. S. S. Blackhawk, and his brother, Allen, is in the army at Pearl Harbor. They boys are the sons of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Bonwell. Pete Turgeon is working as a machinist on Wake island.

Max Groves is on a tanker, making regular trips between Hawaii and the mainland. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Groves. Shirley Griffith of Goldfield is on Midway island. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Griffith of Eagle Grove.

Nels Shurson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Shurson, is on the U. S. airplane carrier Lexington, presumably with the Pacific fleet. Ed Hartsook and Don Butler of Clarion are on Midway island. Charles Messer is on a U. S. ship sailing between Hawaii and Wake island. Charles Keppers Jr., is supposed to be on a ship sailing in the vicinity.


OSAGE – Mr. and Mrs. Fred Smith have received word from their son, Lawrence Smith, that he and his wife are safe in Honolulu, Hawaii, where they have made their home a number of years.

Paul Teegardin who is stationed at Bellows Field in Hawaii, wired his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Shirley Teegardin, that he is safe.


HAMPTON – Relatives and friends are awaiting word from Alvah George Gillett, son of Mr. and Mrs. Forest Gillett of Alexander, and Leo Kenninger, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Kenninger of Faulkner; stationed on the U. S. S. Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor, and Miss Clara Blank, former Franklin county home demonstration agent, how home demonstration agent near Kealakekua, Hawaii.


THOMPSON – A radiogram was received Thursday afternoon informing them that their two daughters, Mrs. William Hodgins, who lives on Lanai island, and Miss Louise Alquist at Honolulu, and their sister, Mrs. Ted Colett, also of Honolulu, were safe from the recent bombardment by the Japanese. The message came by radio to San Francisco and from there by air mail to Thompson.

The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Tuesday, December 16, 1941


Mason City’s First, Hancock County First  War Death Reported

North Iowa’s second and third World war II deaths were reported Tuesday. Both men were sailors and lost their lives in the Pearl Harbor naval engagement.

Guy Wayne Carroll, son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter G. Carroll of Lehigh addition, Mason City, is Mason City’s first casualty in the war. Carroll, a quartermaster second class, lost his life aboard the ill-fated destroyer U. S. S. Shaw. He has been in the navy six years.

Wilbur Theodore Smith, son of Frank Smith and Mrs. Pearl Smith of Crystal Lake, is Hancock county’s first war casualty. He has been in the navy one year. No report has arrived on his brother, Orlan Floyd Smith, who was on the same ship. Both were seamen second class.

Cerro Gordo county and North Iowa’s first World war II fatality was Melvin Laskowski, 19, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Laskowski of Sheffield.

Relatives Receive Word North Iowans
In War Zones Are Safe

Nashuan in Marine Corps at Hawaii Is “Safe and Well”

NASHUA – Mr. and Mrs. Lew Wayne have received a cablegram from their son, Lieut. Russell Wayne, stationed with the marine corps, Pearl Harbor, to the effect that he is safe and well. Lieutenant Wayne went to Hawaii in October and his wife had just recently joined him, about a week before the bombing of Pearl Harbor.


FENTON – Word has been received here by relatives of Luella Newel, who is in Hawaii, that she is safe.

Luella who is on leave of absence from her teaching duties at Chicago, is attending the University of Honolulu which is 12 miles from Pearl Harbor.

Luella plans to visit her sister, Sylvia, who is home demonstration agent at Hilo, Hawaii, at Christmas time and plans to be back in Chicago by January.


WESLEY – Relatives here are concerned over the fate of the occupants of the U. S. S. Arizona which has been officially reported as sunk in Pearl Harbor during the recent attack by the Japs.

It is known here that Morton Sturdivant, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Sturdivant of Winlock, Wash., formerly of Wesley, had been assigned to this ship.

No word has been received here Monday from the Sturdivants. Mr. Sturdivant was formerly editor of the Wesley News-World in Wesley.


WAUCOMA – Mrs. Hazel Webster received a cablegram Sunday from her son, Neil Webster, a radio-tower operator stationed for two years at Hickman Field, Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, stating that he is well.


PLYMOUTH – Mr. and Mrs. John Pearce received a telegram Sunday morning from their son, Alvia of Pearl Harbor, saying he was safe.


CORWITH – Corwith youths located in the war zone include Harry Gordon, son of Hugh Gordon, U. S. S. Lamson, who has been at Pearl Harbor for more than two years; Charles Martin, son of Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Martin, and Donald Brown, son of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Brown, both with the U. S. coast guard at Honolulu; Guy T. Swanson, son of Mrs. Freida Swanson, with 16th Coast Artillery, Headquarters Battalion, Fort Ruger, Honolulu; Paul Bousion, brother of Mrs. John Daniels, H-8 Batter 84 Coast Artillery, Fort Shaffer, Hawaii.

Harold K. Clapsaddle, son of Frank Clapsaddle, who has been in service for seven years, is stationed at the U. S. Naval Ammunitions depot, Cavile, in the Philippines.

Ralph Beckman, son of A. S. Beckman, is at France field with the 9th Bombardment Corps, Canal Zone.

In the U. S. navy are Eli Brown, son of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Brown, on the U. S. S. Texas; Kenneth Stephens, son of Shelby Stephens, U. S. S. Maryland; Hugh Kelch, son of Peter Kelch, U. S. S. Colorado; Ralph Hunsley, son of Mrs. Maude Hunsley, wrote from Angel Island, after his ship turned back from its trip to Hawaii.

Bruce Suthers, son of Dr. and Mrs. W. A. Suthers, chief petty officer, now at the naval hospital, Chelsea, Mass., notified his parents that the expects to receive orders this week to go to a new location.

Orvis Clapsaddle, son of Frank Clapsaddle, A and R division, Naval Air station, Alameda, Calf., and Sgt. Milo Risvold, brother of Alvin and Carvel Risvold, of Mather field, Cal., both had their furloughs cancelled after hostilities began and returned to their posts from Corwith.

Clyde Johnson, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Johnson, completed his furlough at home and left Corwith Monday to return to First Base Guard company, Marine corps base, San Diego, Cal. Paul Johnson, son of Mr. and Mrs. David Johnson, is with the Marine corps base, Company A, San Diego, and Leroy Wolf, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Wolf, is with Platoon 17, Marine corps base, San Diego.

Also on the west coast at Camp Roberts, Cal., are Robert G. Barracks, son of Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Barracks, Batt. C. 51st P.A.; Lester Mertitle, brother of Mrs. Robert Rockwood, 31st Inf., and Phillip Arfreon, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Arfreon, Co. B., 89th Inf. Robert Houston, brother of Mrs. John Daniels, is at Camp Callen, Cal., with Batt. C.,
Coast artillery.

~ ~ ~ ~

CORWITH – Sergt. Milo Risvold left Saturday for Mather Field, Sacramento, Cal., after receiving word to report back for duty. Sergeant Risvold had spent one week of his 30-day furlough with his brothers, Alvin and Carvel and their families in Corwith and with his sisters, Mrs. Clem Schultz at Rutland and Mrs. Don Enderson of Dickins.

ORCHARD – Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Morse have word from their son, Dwight, in the army in California, that he has been in the hospital with skin trouble on his hands for the past six weeks.

The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Thursday, December 18, 1941

Chaplin Was On “Oklahoma”

Smith (sic Schmitt) Is Killed on 6th Anniversary of Ordination

CALMAR – Relatives received word late Wednesday of the death of the Rev. A. Smith (sic Schmitt), chaplain on the U. S. S. Oklahoma, which was bombed during the raid on Pearl Harbor.

The Rev. Mr. Smith, formerly of St. Lucas, had been ordained into the priesthood six years on the day he was killed in the attack. He is the brother of Mrs. Ernest Hauber of Calmar.

Northwood Youth Killed In Action

NORTHWOOD – Forrest Perry, son of Henry Perry of Northwood, was killed in action during the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, his father was notified by the navy department this week. Perry had been in the navy two years, and visited at his home here while on furlough last summer. He is the first World war II victim in Worth county. Surviving are his father and 11 brothers and sisters. He was the youngest member of the family. (Photo courtesy Northwood Anchor)


Orlan Smith                         Wilbur Smith

Wilbur and Arlan (sic) Smith of Crystal Lake Die in Attack

Thornton Man on Ship Sunk by Japs Is Safe

CRYSTAL LAKE – Mr. and Mrs. Frank Smith received a telegram Tuesday morning stating that their son, Wilbur Theodore, lost his life in action for his country on the Pacific.

A short time later another word arrived that their son, Arlan (sic) Floyd, too, had lost his life in action on the Pacific. Both boys were second class seamen and on the same ship. Wilbur was 22 years of age and joined the U. S. navy Jan. 6. Arlan was 20 and joined the U. S. navy Feb. 10.

The boys were at Pearl Harbor when last heard from. A card arrived from them Tuesday night after word of their deaths.



THORNTON – Mr. and Mrs. Emil Jacobsen received a telegram Wednesday morning from their son, Irving, who is in the United States navy, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, saying he was safe. Mr. Jacobsen was a storekeeper on the mine layer “Oglala’ that was sunk in Sunday morning’s surprise raid by the Japanese.



CLARION – The following men from this locality stationed in the Pacific war area have notified their families of their safety: Kenneth C. Russie, aviation machinist’s mate, first class, A and R. department, Pearl Harbor; son of Mr. and Mrs. Eldon Russie; Emory Barker, private, first class, marine corps, Midway, son of F. L. Barker; Richard Doherty, U. S. S. Keosauqua, Pearl Harbor, son of Mrs. Lena Doherty; and Lief Kloster, lieutenant in air corps stationed in Manila, Philippines, son of Halvard Kloster of Eagle Grove.

Mr. and Mrs. O. B. Burhan received word from their son, Leslie, who is on the U. S. S. Portland, that they were in Pearl Harbor Dec. 5 and were leaving the next day.



CALMAR – Clarence Brom left Wednesday for Des Moines to take examination for service in the army. Clarence is the fourth son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Brom to be in the service. Two sons, Walter and Leo, both have served in the U. S. navy for several years. Walter has spent the past week here with his parents while his ship is in for repairs, while Leo is stationed at Pearl Harbor.

Another son, George, was released several weeks ago from selective service only to be called back last week. Besides their four sons, Mr. and Mrs. Brom have one daughter, Eleanor, at home.

Mr. and Mrs. Brom have not yet received word from Leo since the raid on Pearl Harbor.

Walter will go to Brooklyn and from there to Boston, where he will board his ship for Iceland.


CHESTER – Mr. and Mrs. Robert Larson received a letter Wednesday morning from their son, Ensign Robin E. Larson from Hawaii, stating he was o.k. He went to Hawaii in September.


NEW HAMPTON – Mr. and Mrs. Harry J. Carney of New Hampton received a wire Tuesday stating their son, Ensign Gerald Carney, who is stationed at Pearl Harbor, was well. The wire stated that a letter would follow.

~ ~ ~ ~

VENTURA – Mrs. Rasmus Nelson returned home Monday from Ankeny, where she spent the weekend with her husband, who is employed at the munitions plant there.

HUTCHINS – Ellsworth Spencer, who was at the induction center at Des Moines has been sent to Camp Claiborne, La., according to word received here. Mr. Spencer is the husband of the former Miss Adeline Wirtz, who made her home here with her sister, Mrs. Paul Montage, for three years.

GOODELL – Virgil Sellers, who is in the army and stationed at Southgate, Cal., is enjoying a two week’s furlough with his home folks.

CLARKSVILLE – Raymond Rhoads, Camp Claiborne, La., son of Mr. and Mrs. M. C. Rhoads of Clarksville, is spending a 16 day furlough with his parents.

The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Saturday, December 20, 1941

Former Iowan Dies of Jap Raid Wounds

Richard Coster, grandson of A. B. Coster of Burlington and a former Burlington junior college student, died of injuries received in the Japanese air raids at Pearl Harbor. He ws attached to Hickman field.

Services for Pearl Harbor Victim to Be at St. Lucas, Dubuque

WEST UNION – Memorial services for Father Aloysius Schmitt, U. S. navy chaplain killed in action at Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941, will be held at 10 a.m. at St. Lucas by Father John Schmitt of Manchester, a cousin.

Another service will be held at St. Mary’s church in Dubuque at 10 a.m. Monday by the Archbishop F. J. L. Beckman. The Rev. Mr. Schmitt was assistant pastor of St. Mary’s until March, 1940 when he entered the service.

He is survived by the following brothers and sisters: Will, West Union; Nick, St. Lucas; Mrs. L. T. Sloan, St. Lucas; Mrs. Ernest Hauber, Calmar; Sister M. Germaine, teaching at Pocahontas; Matt Schmitt, St. Lucas; and Mrs. Richard Burcheit, St. Lucas.

The Rev. Mr. Schmitt was educated in the parochial school at St. Lucas, attended Loras college from 1929 until 1933; attended the American college in Rome from1933 to 1936 and was ordained in Rome Dec. 8, 1937. He served as assistant pastor at the cathedral in Cheyenne, Wyo., from Sept. 1938; then assistant pastor of St. Mary’s, Dubuque, until March, 1941, since when he had been a chaplain in the United States navy.


Youth Serving as Marine on Midway Island Also Safe

MITCHELL – Mr. and Mrs. Matt Clayton have received word that their three sons, Harold, Robert, and Kenneth, who are serving in the United States navy in the vicinity of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, are unharmed.

Mr. and Mrs. Fred Schmidt have received word that their son, Clifford, who is serving with the United States marines on Midway island is safe. Another son, Alvin, who is also with the marines at Pearl Harbor has not yet been heard from.

Mr. and Mrs. Tony Lorene have received word that their son, Stanley, who is serving in the U. S. navy, is safe.

Decorah Man Was Shipmate of Kidd, Killed in Hawaii

DECORAH – Rognvold Jacobsen of Winneshiek county, who has been assessor for many years in Glenwood township, was a shipmate in the World war of Rear Admiral Kidd, who was killed in the bombing of Pearl Harbor. At that time Mr. Kidd was a lieutenant.

~ ~ ~ ~

RUDD – Willard Ryner came Monday from Camp Bowie, Tex., to spend his furlough with relatives here.

ROWAN – John Bottom and Morris Drury left Des Moines to enter the coast guard in the state of Washington.

ROCK FALLS – Pvt. K. Jerome Wilkinson has been called back to Chanute Field, Ill., cutting his furlough short on account of the war.

LUVERNE – Walter Brayton, son of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Brayton, is home on furlought. He is stationed at Fort Sill, Okla.

POSTVILLE – Adrian Stockton, who is located at Fort Sill, Okla., is here on a furlough visit with his sister, Marguerite.

SPILLVILLE – Pvt. Robert Swehla of Fort Leonard Wood is home on a two week’s furlough.

THOMPSON – Milton Stewart arrived here Wednesday from Alexandria, La., to spend the Christmas holidays with his parents, Dr. and Mrs. E. E. Stewart. Milton was released from the army six weeks ago, and joined an orchestra in Alexandria since. He expects to be called back in the army at any time.

ST. ANSGAR – Richard Chancellor of Fort Sill, Okla., is spending a furlough with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Alva Chancellor and family.

The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Monday, December 22, 1941

Titonka Youth Killed in Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor

Brother of Garner Woman Also Killed;
Ackley Boy Missing

TITONKA – William Henry Kennedy, 24, son of Mrs. Elizabeth M. Kennedy, was the first Titonka casualty in World war II, it was learned Sunday when his mother was notified he was killed in the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7.

The youth was a fireman first class in the United States navy. He enlisted in the navy on July 9, 1940. He was born April 6, 1917, at Swea City, and was educated in the Titonka schools, being graduated from Titonka high school in 1934.

He took a Diesel course at Des Moines and then attended a business school at Tyler, Tex., before enlisting in the navy.

His mother resides one and three-fourth miles southeast of Titonka. Other survivors are his father, in Nebraska; two sisters, Minnie Kennedy, at home, and Mrs. Betty Sturdevandt of Fort Dodge, and three brothers, Homer and Paul Tienan of Titonka, and Frank Tienan of Garner.

NOTE: Fireman 1st Class William Henry Kennedy was serving aboard the USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor. There is a memorial stone for him at Buffalo Township Cemetery, Titonka, Iowa.


GARNER – Coach and Mrs. Watt Kiester received a telegram from the navy department stating that Chester Kleist was killed in the recent attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Mr. Kleist was a brother of Mrs. Kiester’s and had been in the navy for the past 13 years.

NOTE: Coxswain Chester Frederick Kleist entered the U. S. Navy from North Dakota and was serving on the USS West Virginia. He is memorialized at the Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii.


ACKLEY – Mr. and Mrs. Frank Keninger received a telegram early Sunday morning informing them that their son, Leo Keninger, who was with the Pacific fleet on Dec. 7 is among the missing. Leon Keninger enlisted in the United States navy one and one-half years ago.


GREENE – Mrs. Anna Stevenson of Rockford, Ill., and her son, Charles Stevenson, who is located at Fort George G. Meade, Md., in the United States army, who are visiting friends at Greene, have received word that her son, Arthur R. Stevenson of the United States navy and who was at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, at the time of the bombing, is safe.

Mrs. Stevenson and her sons are former residents of Greene.


THOMPSON – Corporal Clifford Wade of the 34th division company H, 133rd infantry, arrived in Thompson Saturday afternoon having been granted a 16 day furlough to visit his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jay Hamlin. He brought his mother the news that his brother, Clarence, on board a U. S. ship near Pearl Harbor was safe and well after the Dec. 7 bombing. Clarence is in the U. S. navy.


ALEXANDER – Mr. and Mrs. Henry Stoffer have received word that their son, Bernard Stoffer, on the U. S. S. Arizona stationed in Hawaii, is safe.

~ ~ ~ ~

JOICE – Russell Field is home from Camp Claiborne, La., on sick leave. He suffered a broken wrist. Emerson Evans is home from Camp Shelby, Miss., on a furlough.

POSTVILLE – Harlan Wegner left Sunday for Camp Claiborne, La., following a furlough visit spent here with his mother, Mrs. Charles Wegner.

DECORAH – Jesse Wepler, son of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Wepler, returned to Decorah this week having received a medical discharge from the army. He had been stationed in the service battery in Camp Claiborne, La. He is under medical care in Decorah.

LEDYARD – Henry Rieffer, Fort Knox, Ky., is spending a few days of his furlough at the Jack Lynch home.

POSTVILLE – Cadet Robert Harrington of West Point military academy arrived here Monday to spend the holidays with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Harrington.

McINTIRE – Lorain Hockens of Camp Clairborne, La., visited this week with his mother, Mrs. Geneva Hockens and brothers.

The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Friday, December 26, 1941

Goodell Youth Safe at Manila

GOODELL – Mr. and Mrs. Harve Christensen received a cablegram Thursday from their son, Stanley, who is in the army at Manila that he was safe.

~ ~ ~ ~

NORA SPRINGS – Pvt. H. Glen Hedden of Camp Claiborne, La., arrived home Saturday for a 16 day furlough.

RUDD – Marlin Kneisel, formerly of Rudd, has been promoted to the position of first class cook in the army

RIDGEWAY – Pvt. Carlton Holden of Fort Belvoir, Va., was a visitor from Monday until Thursday at the Norman Tryllen home.

GARNER – Cholm Houghton, formerly with the Garner Leader and now connected with the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, plans to join the naval reserve immediately after the first of the year. (photo at right)


HUTCHINS – Lester Thompson, who is in training at Camp Polk, La., is home on furlough and is staying at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Thompson. His furlough expires Dec. 20.

BELMOND – Stephen Hinman has arrived home from Camp Claiborne, La., to spend his Christmas furlough with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Hinman.

KANAWHA – Mrs. Dale Conklin and sons, Dale Lee and David, of San Diego, Cal., came Sunday for the duration of the war at the home of her parents, Mrs. and Mrs. E. L. Morris. Mr. Conklin is in the U. S. navy.

LUVERNE – Earl Logler, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson Logler, who is stationed at Fort San Houston, Tex., is home on a 10 day furlough.

The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Wednesday, December 31, 1941

“That They Shall Not Have Died In Vain”

~ “From these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Effect of World War Was Biggest Story of ’41 in North Iowa

Many Men From this Sector Battle Japanese Invaders
On Midway, In Philippines, Helped Defend Wake

(Globe-Gazette State Editor)


Those startling headlines of Dec. 7 told Americans that the United States had been forced into a second World War, they shrieked the news into every home in this country of the greatest crisis since the days of 1917 – 1918, and it was news which was very definitely linked in this sector, as the No. 1 story of North Iowa, as well as that of the nation.

For there were at least 13 North Iowans in the armed services who lost their lives in this disastrous sneak Jap raid on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on that terrible Dec. 7 – that at least seven more North Iowans were reported “missing in action” and three seriously injured in the initial fighting of World War II.

While North Iowa joined with the nation in unity and grim determination toward victory, after recovering from this bitter stab in the back at Pearl Harbor, the navy department issued its casualty lists and once again American parents begin receiving those dreaded telegrams . . . “The navy department regrets to inform you . . . “

In North Iowa the toll was as follows:

Killed in action:
Guy Wayne Carroll, Mason City.
Erwin Leroy Searle, Mason City.
Melvin Laskowski, 19, Sheffield.
Wilbur Theodore Smith, 22, Crystal Lake.
Arlan Smith, 20, Crystal Lake.
Forrest Perry, 22, Northwood.
The Rev. Alois Schmitt, 31, St. Lucas.
Earl Burch, 22, Elma.
Frank D. Borchers, 33, Charles City.
Lester Zuheck, 22, Elma.
William Henry Kennedy, 24, Titonka.
John D. Hayes, 28, Charles City.
William G. Turner, 22, Algona.

Missing in action:
Edwin Earl Jante, Garner.
Paul Johann, 22, Alta Vista.
Leo Keninger, Ackley.
Karl Glesen, Calmar.
Leo Arick, Mitchell.
Arnold Wilcox, 23, Durmont.
William H. Peavy, Iowa Falls.

Wounded in action:
Harry Keith Manning, Mason City.
Gordon Waters, Hampton.
Irvin Stiles, Clear Lake.

This, however, was only a partially complete casualty list. Each day brought still more such news, and it was a certainty that before the aggressors were defeated that lists would mount. North Iowans were taking an active part in the Battle of the Pacific. They were among the gallant garrison of Marines at Wake Island, the were fighting the Nipponese at Midway Island, they were resisting Japanese invaders in the Philippines, they were participating with their comrades at every danger point on the new war front.

Algona Diplomat Amid Japanese

Only North Iowa diplomat reported in the far east when the Japanese attacked was Harold B. Quarton of Algona, United States consul general at Keijo, Korea. He had previously served in the diplomatic service posts in South America, Rotterdam, and Berlin.

Four German aliens were arrested in Wright county by F. B. I. agents: at New Hampton 51 year old Don Loane, a veteran of 18 years service in the United States armed forces, enlisted when the Japs attacked.

First reported North Iowan connected with the air corps to be killed in action was Frank D. Borchers of Charles City, who was stationed in the Philippine Islands. He was a mechanic and had the rank of private first class. Melvin Laskowski of Sheffield was the first reported casualty in North Iowa. He lost his life at Pearl Harbor. Mrs. Pearl Smith of Crystal Lake lost two sons, Wilbur and Arlan, both in the navy, and stationed at Pearl Harbor. Another North Iowan killed in action at Pearl Harbor was Father Alois Schmitt of St. Lucas, a chaplain on the U. S. S. Oklahoma which capsized at Pearl Harbor.



Transcription & Notes by Sharon R. Becker, Dec 2012

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