Black Hawk County

Pfc. Wesley W. Briner



Private Briner Wounded in Leg

Pfc. Wesley W. Briner, 19, of Waterloo, is recovering in a hospital in England, being wounded in the leg Nov. 4, 1944 while serving with the infantry in Germany.

The son of Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Briner, 1128 Mulberry street, he was previously wounded in action in Germany Oct. 4, but had recovered and returned to action. He has been presented the Purple Heart for the wounds suffered the first time.

A former employe (sic) of the Rath Packing Co., he entered the service in October, 1943, trained at Ft. Sill, Okla., and went overseas in April, 1944.

Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, Waterloo, Iowa, Thursday, January 11, 1945, Page 7

Soldier Killed in Highway Accident

Pfc. Wesley W. Briner, 20, home on a convalescent furlough in Waterloo, was killed early Sunday morning when his car struck a culvert and dived 10 feet into a creek bed south of Denver, Ia. Merland Fisher, 29, was injured. Briner, veteran of army service in Germany, was recovering from wound received in action. Story on page 3.

 ~ ~ ~ ~

Overseas Veteran Killed, One
Injured in Highway Accident

Parents of Pfc. Wesley W. Briner, 20, holder of the Purple Heart medal for wounds received in action in Germany, mourned Monday the ironic fate by which their son, who had survived the war, met his death early Sunday as Waterloo’s first postwar highway traffic victim.

Highway patrolmen said the accident must have occurred about 3:15 a. m., when the car struck a cement culvert on highway 63, two and one-half miles south of Denver, Ia.

The car was found in a creek beneath, where it had landed after a 10-foot fall, throwing Briner from one of its doors. Briner’s body was found partially in the water.

Merland Fisher, 29, Plainfield, Ia., also an overseas veteran and a passenger in the wrecked car, was found in the vehicle suffered severe lacerations abut is face and jaw. Fisher said that Briner had been drinking.

Private Briner, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Briner, 1128 Mulberry street, was home on convalescent leave from O’Reilly general hospital, Springfield, Mo.

Private Briner had taken a friend, Miss Frances Anderson, employed at J. C. Penney Col store in Waterloo, to her home in Waverly. He had picked up Fisher at Waverly to give him a ride to Waterloo.

Black Hawk County Coroner Sidney Smith said that Private Briner was apparently killed instantly as the result of a broken neck and a skull fracture. Smith attributed the accident partly to poor visibility because of fog.

A highway patrol car containing beryl Hansen and Hugh Grandfield had passed the accident scene just south of the Bremer county line at 3 a. m. Sunday, and reported no sign of any accident at that time.

State highway Patrol Sgt. Russell Fisher passed the scene at 3:30 a. m. running over something on the highway, which on investigation proved to be an automobile hood. He found the car, Briner’s body and Fisher with his head hanging out of the wrecked car into the water. Sergeant Fisher, unable to remove Fisher from the car alone, propped up his head to insure him against drowning. An ambulance was summoned.

Fisher was taken to Allen Memorial hospital in Waterloo, Briner’s body to Kearns Garden chapel. Fifty stitches were required for Fisher’s wounds and he was released and returned to his Plainfield home.

 Highway Patrolman Earl Immer, among those who investigated the accident, said that Briner and Fisher reportedly had left a tavern in Waverly at 3 a. m. and that both Briner and Fisher had been drinking. Immer said there was no fog.

The front section of the car, a 1939 Plymouth sedan, was demolished. Patrolman Immer said that there was no indication that a tire had blown out. Patrolman Immer said that Briner had picked up a third unidentified man, along with Fisher, at Waverly. The unidentified man left them at Denver, Ia. Patrolman Immer reported Fisher told him that he did not recall details of the accident as he had fallen asleep in the car at Denver.

Private Briner was wounded in the leg on Nov. 4, 1944, while serving with the infantry in Germany. He was previously wounded in action in Germany Oct. 4, 1944, but had recovered and returned to action. He had been presented the Purple Heart for wounds suffered the first time and an Oak Leaf Cluster for the second injury.

He was formerly employed at Rath Packing Co., had entered service in October, 1943, training at Ft. Sill, Okla. He went overseas in April, 1944.

Wesley Wayne Briner was born on Apr. 22, 1925, son of Clyde and Rose Briner, at Waverly, Ia. He attended Waverly schools and was graduated from Waverly high school. The family moved here [Waterloo] from Waverly two years ago. He had arrived in this country from overseas duty last February.

Surviving are his parents, 1128 Mulberry street; one brother, Pfc. Harland, with the army in the Philippines; two sisters, Mrs. Arlene Kemming and Miss Darlys Briner, both of 1128 Mulberry.

He was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran church.

Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, Waterloo, Iowa, Monday, August 20, 1945, Pages 1 & 3



Funeral services for Pfc. Wesley Briner, who was killed Sunday morning when the car he was driving struck a cement bridge two and one-half miles south of Denver, Ia., were announced Wednesday.

Rev. Otto Fangmeyer, pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran church of Waverly, Ia., will conduct services at 1 p. m. Thursday in Kearns Garden chapel and at 2 p. m. Thursday in the church. Burial will be at Harlington cemetery at Waverly, Ia.

Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, Waterloo, Iowa, Wednesday, January 11, 1945, Page 2