Plymouth County

Pvt. Wayne H. "Baldy" Albert

Born 26 May 1922
Died 14 Jun 1944


Mrs. Gertrude Albert has received a card from her son, Wayne Albert, stating that he has been graduated from a paratroopers school at Fort Benning, Ga. He made his last jump Friday and received his “wings” Saturday. Five successful jumps have to be made to win the paratrooper’s “wings.” Pvt. Albert volunteered for paratroop service and was transferred from an armored division at his request. He was drafted last fall.

Source: LeMars Globe-Post, July 8, 1943

Baldy Albert Wines & Dines With Generals

Nottingham England, March 23—Amid all the red-robed ceremony the ancient city of Nottingham, England, could supply, 48 “GIs” from 48 states drank toasts, ate luxurious food and rubbed shoulders with generals Thursday in celebration of American-British friendship.

Iowa was represented by Pvt. Wayne H. Albert, of LeMars, a paratrooper.

Lord Mayor Frederick Mitchell, in a red robe adorned with gold buttons welcomed each soldier at the top of a white marble staircase in the council house. The town arranged the luncheon as a show of hospitality.

Source: LeMars Globe-Post, March 27, 1944

Was First LeMars Paratrooper to Give His Life For Country

One of those ominous telegrams sent by the war department, Wednesday afternoon, brought sorrow into the life of Mrs. Gertrude Albert, 120 Second Ave. S.W., in announcing that her son has been killed in action, somewhere in France. The telegram read:

“The secretary of war desires me to express his deep regret that your son, Pfc. Wayne H. Albert, was killed in action on June 14, in France. Letter follows. Ulio, the Adjutant General.”

That is the complete official story, but to Mrs. Albert and her other children it seems hard that Wayne’s voice is forever stilled, and that they will never see his laughing face again.

“Baldy” Albert, as he was called by many of friends here, was 22 years of age last May 26. He was born on a farm near LeMars, and after the death of his father in December, 1928, the family moved to LeMars. Wayne attended the LeMars schools and during part of this time carried one of the Globe-Post city paper routes. He later worked in the Gamble store, and on November 25, 1942, he was drafted into the army and received his training at Camp Cook, California.

On June 1, 1943, he decided to volunteer for the paratroopers and took his basic training at Fort Benning, Ga. He completed his training at Alliance, Neb., and upon the completion of this work he came home on furlough in October, 1943. He was shipped to England in November of the same year.

The last letter received by his mother was dated June 11. He stated that he had seen action but at the present was enjoying a rest period. He assured his mother that he was ok at that time. The letter was received here July 3, having been held up by censorship and other delays for nearly a month. In this letter he promised his mother that he would try to get a letter out to her about once a week. He was not heard from again.

Members of the family believe that Wayne took part in the D-day invasion of June 6, and that his death occurred during one of the later allied offensivies in Normandy. According to press reports at the time, many paratroopers were used, some of them being dropped far back of the German lines. Some of these were wiped out, but many others fought their way back to the Allied beach-head. Wayne must have been among these, and the letter dated June 11 must have been written as he was in rest camp upon his return. Since then paratroopers have been used many times in the continuing offensive and at present there is no indication of where Wayne met his death.

The young paratrooper is survived by his mother, two brothers and two sisters who are: Carl Albert, Portland, Ore.; Richard, LeMars; Mrs. Farley Peterson, LeMars; and Mrs. Ed Kehrberg, near LeMars. Pfc. Farley Peterson, husband of the victim’s sister, is now serving in the armed forces somewhere in Africa.

He was engaged to LaVon Jacobs, who is employed in the bookkeeping department of the Plymouth Co-op.

Memoral Services Sunday For Pfc Wayne Albert

Memorial services will be held Sunday for Pfc. Wayne Albert, son of Mrs. Gertrude Albert of this city, who was killed fighting in France on June 14.

Services will be held at the First Baptist Church Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. Pfc. Albert was a member of a paratroop division.

Source: LeMars Globe-Post, July 27, 1944

Mother Receives Sad Tidings From War Department

Mrs. Gertrude Albert, residing at 120 Second Avenue SW, received a telegram from the War Department at Washington D.C. Wednesday saying: “The secretary of war desires to express his deepest regret that your son, Pfc. Wayne H. Albert, was killed in action June 14 in France. Letter will follow.”

Pfc. Wayne Albert was inducted into the Army on November 14, 1942, and was sent to Camp Cook, Calif., where he was assigned to the reconnaissance squad in an armored division and in June 1943 was transferred to Fort Benning at Columbus, Ga., where he received training and was graduated as a paratrooper. He was at Alliance, Neb., for further training and in November 1943, went to Ireland and England, where he was stationed until ordered to the front line.

Pvt. Albert was home on a brief furlough in October 1943.

While stationed in England Pvt. Albert was one of the American soldiers who attended a banquet given by the Mayor of Nottingham on March 23, 1944, to cement relationships and good feeling between American G. I.’s and British Tommies. Forty-eight of the states in America were represented at the gathering and Private Albert was the representative for the state of Iowa. The Mayor Frederick Mitchell, in red robe, lavishly adorned with gold braid, welcomed each soldier at the top of a white marble staircase in the council house. The town of Nottingham arranged the luncheon as a toke of hospitality to U.S. troopers stationed in that part of the country.

Wayne H. Albert was born on a farm in Elgin township, May 26, 1922, and was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Albert. The father died in 1928, and the mother was left with five young children. They moved to LeMars fifteen years ago to make their home and Wayne attended school here and at the time he entered service was employed in the Gamble store.

His death is mourned by his mother, Mrs. Gertrude Albert; two brothers, Carl Albert, working in the shipyards at Portland, Oregon; Richard, living at home; and two sisters, Mrs. Ed Kehrberg and Mrs. Farley Peterson, living near LeMars.

Wayne Albert was a member of the First Baptist Church. He was well liked and popular among his associates.

Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, Friday, July 28, 1944

 Honor Memory of Pvt. Wayne Albert At Service Sunday.

A memorial service for Pvt. Wayne H. Albert, son of Mrs. Gertrude Albert, of this city, will be at the First Baptist Church Sunday afternoon at 3 o’clock.  Services will be in charge of Rev. Earl Dale, pastor of the church, and Rev. S. A. Jones of Independence, Iowa, a former minister of the LeMars church.

Pvt. Wayne Albert was killed in action June 14, while fighting for his country in the battlefield of France.

Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, August 4, 1944

Purple Heart Posthumously To Wayne Albert

Mrs. Gertrude Albert has received a letter from Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson, informing her that a Purple Heart decoration has been awarded posthumously to her son, Pfc. Wayne H. Albert, paratrooper infantryman, who was killed in the invasion of Normandy.

“Little that we can do or say,” writes the secretary of war, “will console you for the death of your loved one.  We profoundly appreciate the greatness of your loss, for in a very real sense the loss suffered by any of us in this battle of our country, is shared by all of us.  When the medal, which you will shortly receive, reaches you, I want you to know that with it goes my sincerest sympathy, and the hope that time and the victory of our cause will finally lighten the burden of your grief.” 

Source:  LeMars Globe-Post, November 16, 1944

[A later news report found & submitted by Mrs. Janice Albert]

Miltary Rites By LeMars Legionnaires

Funeral services for Wayne H. Albert, who died in Normandy during action with paratroopers, June 15, 1944, will be held in LeMars at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 29. Graveside funeral services will be held by Rev. Frank Anderson of the First Baptist Church.

Wayne was born May 26, 1922, on a farm six miles north of LeMars. He attended school in LeMars, where the family moved when he was six years old.

In November, 1942, Wayne joined the Army and was sent to Camp Cook, California. He received his paratroop training at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was transferred to Alliance, Nebraska.

His next move was overseas in November of 1943. He trained further in England and participated in the invasion of France and was killed on the Normandy beachhead, June 15. His body was placed in St. Mere Eglise cemetery where it stayed until returned to this country recently.

Surviving Wayne are his mother, Mrs. Gertrude Albert; two sisters, Mrs. Edward Kehrberg and Mrs. Farley Peterson, both of LeMars; and two brothers, Carl and Richard, who also live here. He was preceded in death by his father and one brother.

Military rites will be provided at the grave by members of Wasmer Post of the American Legion. Legionnaires will be honor guards and will provide a salute and taps at the services.

Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, May 28, 1948

Wayne Harold Albert was born May 26, 1922 to Charles George and Gertrude Vandermeer Albert. He died June 14, 1944 and is buried in Memorial Cemetery, LeMars, IA.

Pvt. Albert served in World War II with the U.S. Army Co. 3, 507th Parachute Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division and was KIA in France.