Howard County

S/Sgt. Virgil L. Barnes


Selective Service Board Selects Man for First Call

The Howard County Local Board met Saturday the 23rd, and made their selection of the man to be inducted into Selective Service for the first call.

The quota for Howard County on the first call was one man and the selection was made from the list of volunteers.

The five registrants who have volunteered and from which the first quota was filled are: Virgil Lyle Barnes, Helmer Arthur Anderson, Jimmie O’Pat, Robert John Burns and Manford Eugene Anderson. Virgil Lyle Barnes being the first name drawn for induction.

Source: Lime Springs Herald, November 28, 1940

Virgil Barnes Is Feted as Howard’s 1st in Draft Army

CRESCO—Virgil Barnes, first volunteer inducted into selective service in Howard county, was honored in a patriotic program Thursday afternoon, held in the Cresco Community Hall with J. D. Bouska, as chairman of the local board.

Music was furnished by the Cresco high school band, and addresses were given by Dr. F. O. Luehr, post commander American Legion, G. E. Lyons and others.

The other four volunteers from which the first selection was made are Heimer A. Anderson, Jimmie O’Pat, Herbert J. Burns, and Manford E. Anderson. [Transcriber Note: The first name for Burns is different in this news item than what was printed in the above news selection.]

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, November 29, 1940


CRESCO—Virgil Barnes, son of Mrs. Mary Barnes (Mrs. Anna Barnes) of Cresco, who was the first Howard county registrant to volunteer under the first call draft, is at Fort Snelling, Minn., for his year’s military training. He is the first one from Howard county to enter the United States military service under the first call.

Virgil went to Des Moines following the ovation given him at the Community Hall in the afternoon when the program was carried out as announced last week.

J. D. Bouska, chairman of the Howard County selective board, took him, his mother and sister Mary, to New Hampton following the program. He was joined there by the Chickasaw county volunteer and all had dinner together before the young men left by train for Des Moines where they took their second physical examinations and were outfitted before leaving for Fort Snelling.

Howard county’s second quota call will not be until after the new year.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, December 13, 1940

NOTE of Correction: His mother is not Mary Barnes, but Anna Barnes (Anna Baethke).

Cresco, Ia.—(Special)—After nearly two years as volunteer in the United States military service, Virgil Barnes, the first Howard county man to answer the call under the selective service law, was recently promoted to the rank of corporal. He began his military training at Fort Snelling, Minn., and is now attending the motor transport school at Fort Crook, Neb.

Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, July 31, 1942

First Howard County Selectee, Prisoner of Germany, Is Released

—S/Sgt. Virgil L. Barnes, who was a prisoner of war, has been released from a German prison camp.

Sgt. Barnes, who was the first Howard county registrant under selective service. He went to Fort Des Moines Thanksgiving night, 1940, for induction and from there was sent to Fort Snelling, Minn. He went overseas in May, 1944.

Word of his release was received Tuesday by Cresco relatives from his mother, Mrs. John Gates of Milwaukee, Wis. He is a member of a mechanized cavalry unit and was serving as platoon sergeant in scouting and patrolling.

It is believed he was out on a scouting mission when captured by the Germans, August 27, 1944.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, March 21, 1945

WWII Bonus File for Virgil L. Barnes:
Military Organizations during WWII:
Co. A, 87th QM, Ft. DesMoines, Iowa
Troop B, 15th Cavalary, Ft. Riley, Kans.
Troop A, 42nd Cavalry, Ft. Jackson, S.C.
England & France
Troop A, 2nd Regiment, CRTC, Ft. Riley, Kans.

Date of entry, extended active duty: Nov. 29, 1940
Place of entry: Ft. Snelling, Minn.
Date of discharge or separation: October 18, 1945
Date of departure for foreign service: April 22, 1944

World War II Prisoners of War
Name: Virgil L. Barnes
Race: White
Residence State: Iowa
Capture Date: Aug. 27, 1944
Release Date: March 20, 1945
Grade: Staff Sergeant Bluffs
Service Branch: Army, Cavalry
Organization: Reconnaissance Mechanized Separate
Unit Type: Squadron/Government
Detaining: Germany
Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated
Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

Germany POW camp : Stalag 3c Alt Drewitz Brandenburg Prussia 52 14 **Source: