Muscatine County

Pvt. Donald M. Cohen



Donald M. Cohen Suffers Wounds While in Battle

Pvt. Donald M. Cohen, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Cohen, 502 West Eighth street, suffered shrapnel wounds in a battle on the Italian front recently, according to a letter received by his parents.

The letter related that Pvt. Cohen had suffered the wounds to his hands, arm, head and over the right eye. He is hospitalized in Italy, Pvt. Cohen said, but the wounds are not that serious.

Pvt. Cohen entered the service on Sept. 17, 1943, and went overseas in February of this year.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, July 22, 1944 (photo included)

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:

Listed as missing in action in Italy, Pvt. Donald M. Cohen was later declared killed in action on Oct. 7, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Edward E. Cohen, 302 West Eighth street, were informed in November. He entered service Sept. 17, 1943, and left for overseas duty in February, 1944. He was graduated from Muscatine high school with the class of 1943.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, Year End Edition, Friday, December 29, 1944 (photo included)

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

Pvt. Donald M. Cohen, 19, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward E. Cohen,  502 West Eighth street, killed on Oct. 7, 1944, in Italy.

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:

Pvt. Donald M. Cohen, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Cohen, 502 West Eighth street, killed in action in Italy on Oct. 7, 1944.  Burial in Greenwood cemetery in Muscatine.

Source: The Muscatine Journal, December 30, 1948