Cedar County

Lt. Paul Buchanan



Year End Review Edition

Sorrowful news, in the form of messages advising the next of kin of the death of a loved one somewhere in the service of their nation, came to an increasing number of homes in Muscatine and vicinity during 1944 as the country’s military operations against enemies on World war No. 2 proceeded on an accelerated pace. Emphasis upon the tremendous cost of warfare in human lives was called in repeated instances, by official messages, relating that men from this community had made the supreme sacrifice while following the flag with the respective branches of the armed services. News dispatches from the scenes of history –making engagements recorded in the third year of this nation’s participation in war were followed, in the course of a brief lapse of time, and with distressing regularity, by official notification to the effect that someone from this community was included among those who had given their lives.

But brief bits of information were available, in most instances, for the bereaved relatives of servicemen whose deaths were written into the record during this third year of the war. The date, the theater of action, perchance a note to the effect that the serviceman had been buried in an American cemetery abroad- and but little more were ordinarily included. Subsequently, in instances, letter from companions in service, or others in close association, gave additional details. For some, whose death occurred while in service in this country, funeral services were conducted when bodies were returned to the home community for burial. For others, who died on foreign soil, memorial services were conducted at various churches of their affliction.

Community memorial services, honoring those whose lives were given in the service of their country were conducted at the Muscatine high school auditorium Sunday, Nov. 26, with representatives of various pastoral organizations participating establishing a custom of holding on the last Sunday afternoon of each month, similar memorial service for the community’s war heroes.

Brief sketches of those who gave their lives in the service of their country since the outbreak of the war, compiled from causality list and information obtained from relatives follow:

The son of Mr. and Mrs. Alex Buchanan, of Tipton, Lt Paul Buchanan met his death on Oct. 20, 1944, in an aircraft accident in Sweden, his wife, who lives at Mechanicville, was informed. He entered the service in June, 1941, and went to England early in 1943. He had completed 50 missions at the time of his death and was awarded the distinguished flying cross.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, Friday, December 29, 1944

140 Have Made Supreme Sacrifice in Muscatine Area In War Against Axis Powers; Many Reported Wounded

First Lt. Paul Buchanan, son of Mr. and Mrs. Alex Buchanan, of Tipton, killed Oct. 20, 1944, in an aircraft accident in Sweden.

Source: Muscatine Journal, Victory in Europe Edition, May 7, 1945

Solemn Procession Continues Through 1948 as War Dead Are Returned Home

Flag-draped caskets, coming from the European and Pacific war theaters, were brought to Muscatine county and other neighboring communities at intervals throughout the year of 1948 as the solemn procession of the country’s war dead continued to move home.

As each casket carrying a soldier, sailor, marine or flier who died during World War II was returned, last honors were accorded to the servicemen at funeral and burial rites.  Final interment was in the cemetery chosen by his next-of-kin.

This year was the second for the government’s program of returning the bodies of war dead to the United States for burial in keeping with the wishes of their family. Inaugurated in the fall of 1947, the program has to date seen the return from overseas cemeteries of more than 50 bodies of men from this vicinity who died in the service of their country during the war.

The list of war dead returned to Muscatine and surrounding counties includes the following:

First Lt. Paul Buchanan, son of Mr. and Mrs. Alex Buchanan of Tipton, killed Oct. 20, 1944, in an airplane accident in Sweden. body returned from Europe in August of this year.

Source: The Muscatine Journal, December 30, 1948

Robert Paul “Paul” Buchanan was born July 25, 1919 to Alex and Vera Buchanan. He died Oct. 20, 1944 and is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery, Mechanicsville, IA.

Lt. Buchanan served in World War II with the U.S. Army Air Corps and died in Sweden when his plane crashed in dense fog.

Source: ancestry.com