Kossuth County

Cpl. Irvin W. Behrends

Born 25 Sep 1916
Died 02 Oct 1944


Cpl. Irvin W. Behrends Writes Letter Sept. 29, Buried Oct. 4, According to Chaplain.

“You no doubt have been notified by the War Department of the death of your son, T-5 Irvin W. Behrends,” read the beginning of a letter received by Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Behrends, Algona, Monday forenoon. And the tragedy of this was that the parents had not been notified by the government of their son’s death. In fact, it was only recently that they received a letter from Irvin, written Sept. 29, in which he stated that he was feeling fine.

Buried October 4.
The letter received by the Behrends was written by the company chaplain, Rev. Emil Terto, from somewhere in New Guinea. And it further stated that Cpl. Behrends had been buried in the cemetery there on Oct. 4, with military honors. Therefore, judging from the time the corporal wrote to his parents, Sept. 29, he could have been ill but a short time, as the burial was made five days later.

Was Aviation Mechanic
Corporal Irvin W. Behrends was a ground mechanic with an aviation battalion in the New Guinea area. He had been overseas since May 1, 1943, eighteen months. He had written regularly and had never complained of being in poor health. He joined up with the Army here on July 8, 1942, he married Anna May Haar, daughter of Mrs. Edna Haar, Algona. Mrs. Behrends, shortly after the marriage took up defense work in Battle Creek, Mich., while he continued his training at Fort Leonard Wood until he was sent overseas. Mrs. Behrends was notified of her husband’s death by local relatives and is on her way to Algona.

Was Kossuth Boy
Irvin W. Behrends, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Behrends, was born at Ledyard September 25, 1916. He was an only son. The family moved to Algona about 20 years ago and Irvin attended the public school and was graduated with the Class of 1933. He was employed at the Algona Produce Company following his graduation until his entry in the armed forces.

Corp. Behrends was a popular young man in Algona and enjoyed the confidence and respect of a host of friends, and all who knew him. The only son of a father and mother, the blow is doubly hard for them. And the sympathy of the entire community is sincerely extended to the grieving parents and wife, also to the sister, Mrs. J. L. (Wilma) Dickens, whose husband is a staff sergeant at the Algona PW camp.

Source: Algona Upper Des Moines, October 17, 1944


According to a letter from a buddy of T-5 Irvin Behrends, written to Mrs. Behrends, it is understood that Irvin was ill but a day before death overtook him in a camp somewhere in the New Guinea area. The letter stated that he felt fine up till Saturday night the 30th, but was stricken with a reported bowel obstruction and died in the hospital Monday, Oct. 2. It will be remember that this is the case where the parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Behrends, were not yet officially notified by the government of the son’s death.

Source: Algona Upper Des Moines, October 24, 1944


Mrs. Irvin Behrends, who was here visiting her mother, Mrs. Ella Haar, received official notice from the government Saturday, Nov. 4, of the death of her husband, Cpl. Irvin Behrends. This was the first official notice, but Irvin’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Behrends had been advised by letter on Oct. 16 of their son’s death. The information was received from Irvin’s Chaplain, who wrote that Irvin died Oct. 2 after a day’s illness. Irvin was on Biak Island, off New Guinea, and the death was due to a bowel obstruction.

Mrs. Irvin Behrends left last Wednesday with Mrs. Robert Simpson for Idaho Falls, Idaho, where they were to accompany Mr. and Mrs. James Finkbohm of Forest City, who are moving to Idaho. Mrs. Behrends and Mrs. Simpson have been employed in Battle Creek, Mich., but returned a few days previous to make the trip west.

Source: Algona Upper Des Moines, November 14, 1944

80 Kossuth Men Officially Listed As Casualties In War 

Eighty men from Kossuth county lost their lives while in the service of their country in World War II.  

Behrends, Irvin W. T-5 Aviation Mechanic.
Buried in New Guinea, Oct. 4, 1944, where he was killed. Parents: Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Behrends, Algona, Ia. Wife: Mrs. Anna May Behrends, 112 W. McGregor, Algona, Ia.

Source: The Algona Upper DesMoines, Tuesday, January 22, 1946 – page 7.