Kossuth County

Arnold Becker






In the thick of the battle at Pearl Harbor was William Turner, son of Mrs. Jessie Turner. Harold Felter, formerly of Irvington, is in the air corps at a field bombed there. Robert J. Ditsworth is on the Portland, a ship stationed at Pearl Harbor.

Thomas Wagner, St. Joe, has been stationed on the West Virginia battleship reported sunk in the first attack at Pearl Harbor. On the California there is Ferdinand Koppen and Arnold Becker, both of Lakota, and this ship was also recently stationed at Pearl Harbor.

Edward Klein, St. Joe, is reported a member of the crew of the Oklahoma battleship reported set afire by Japanese bombs and possibly lost.

Source: Kossuth County Advance, December 9, 1941

Arnold Becker, 20, first Kossuth boy reported killed in action at Pearl Harbor, is alive according to a telegram received New Year’s day by his guardian, Nick Koppen, Lakota.

New Year’s Day Telegrams Report Becker, Heetland and Koppen Safe and Alive

The year 1942 had a joyful beginning for a number of Kossuth families when telegrams from the government on New Year’s day brought word that two Lakota boys who had been reported killed in action in the Pearl Harbor attack were alive and safe.  They are:

Arnold Becker, 20, ward of Mr. and Mrs. Nick Koppen, previously reported killed in action at Pearl Harbor.

Merle Heetland, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Heetland, regarding whom there had been conflicting reports, although he had once been reported killed in action.

A third telegram advised Mr. and Mrs. Nick Koppen that their son Ferdinand, previously unreported, was alive and O.K.

Thought Becker Dead
As the Koppens had previously received two telegrams regarding Becker, they believed that he must not be alive, and he was reported as being the first Kossuth boy to be killed in action since the U. S.—Japanese war broke out. The boy had been in the Navy two years. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. August Becker have been dead for several years.

Becker has two brothers, Martin and Raymond, also a half-brother, Robert and a sister, Kathryn, all of Lakota. Uncles and Aunts are Mr. and Mrs. Nick Koppen, Mr. and Mrs. P. L. Koppen, Lakota, Mrs. Anna Caylor, Bancroft, and Mr. and Mrs. Martin Becker, Burt.  Rachel Becker of the Advance is a cousin.

Source: Algona Upper Des Moines, January 6, 1942 (photo included)


Lakota: Nick Koppen and son, Elmer, drove to Williams last week Tuesday to meet the son, Ferdinand, M.M. 1st class, and nephew, Arnold Becker, W.T. 2nd class, who came from California for a 12-day furlough with the home folks. Ferdinand joined the Navy three years ago, in April, and Arnold joined three years ago this month and this is his first furlough. Ferd was home for a furlough two years ago. Both young men were in the Pearl Harbor disaster a year ago and have seen real service. Esther Olson of Williams accompanied the group here Tuesday and Ferd took her home Thursday afternoon, returning here Saturday.   They expect to leave for their ship off the California coast, Dec. 8th.

Source: The Algona Upper-Des Moines, December 8, 1942