Muscatine County

T/Sgt. Mearl E. Daufeldt

 

Sgt. Daufeldt, Listed As Missing, Back On Duty

Staff Sgt. Mearl E. Daufeldt, who was reported missing in action on March 14, 1944, has returned to his base and is hospitalized for observation and treatment of minor injuries according to a message received Wednesday night by his mother, Mrs. Stella M. Daufeldt, 1008 East Seventh street.

Sgt. Daufeldt was reported missing between the American and North African areas on March 14 and returned to military control on March 15, according to the message.

The message was signed by Adjutant Ulio and contained the information that Sgt. Daufeldt would communicate with his relatives soon.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, March 23, 1944

PROMOTED IN RANK
Mearl E. Daufeldt, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Daufeldt, 1005 East Seventh street, has been promoted to the rank of technical sergeant, according to word received here.

Sgt. Daufeldt is with the 15th Army Air Force as a radio gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress, operating from an advanced air base in Italy. He attended West Liberty high school and studied radio and television at Los Angeles.

After completing his operational training at Rapid City, S.D., and MacDill Field, Fla., Sgt. Daufeldt was assigned to active duty with the 15th air force in the Mediterranean theater. He has just completed his tenth mission.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, June 8, 1944

Sgt. Daufeldt Member of Shuttle-Mission To Soviet

Tech. Sgt. Mearl E. Daufeldt, 26, a radioman-gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress operating from an advanced base in Italy, was a member of a task force of flying and ground personnel from the 15th Air Force recently returned from a 10-day stay at an American base in Russia. The historic visit of the American airmen marks the first shuttle-mission to the Soviet.

Leaving their Italian bases on June 2, the B-17 Flying Fortresses attacked a railroad yard and junction at Debresczen, Hungary, and then continued on to an undisclosed American base in Russia. Operating from the Soviet Union, the American Fortresses and their Mustang fighter escort attacked an airdrome near Galatz, Roumania. On June 11 they attacked the airfield at Focsani, near Budapest, on their return to Italy.

Even more important than the three successful missions was the close understanding between the two Allied nations made possible by the coordinated operations in Russia, when typical Americans met and worked with typical Russians. Pilots compared tactical notes and discussed performance of airplanes, ground crews exchanged servicing suggestions, while Lt. General Ira C. Eaker, Commanding General of the Mediterranean Allied Air Force, and other AAF officials met with officers of the Russian Air Force.

Sgt. Daufeldt, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Daufeldt, 1005 East Seventh street, attended West Liberty high school and National Radio and Television school, Los Angeles, before he entered the Army Air Force. He received technical training at Scott Field, Ill., and won his gunner’s wings at Kingman, Ariz., in August, 1943. Later he was assigned overseas service with the 15th AAF in the Mediterranean theater.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, Monday, July 17, 1944

Sgt. Daufeldt Is Presented With Air Medal

Fifteenth AAF in Italy
—Technical Sergeant Mearl E. Daufeldt, 26, radio gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress at an advanced base in Italy, has been awarded the air medal by the order of General Nathan F. Twining, commanding general of the 15th AAF, “for meritorious achievement in aerial flight.”

Sgt. Daufeldt attended radio school at Scott Field, Ill., and was awarded his gunner’s wings at Kingman, Ariz. He was later assigned to active duty with the Fifteenth air force operating in the Mediterranean theater, where he had flown 32 missions.

Sgt. Daufeldt is the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Daufeldt, 1005 East Seventh street, Muscatine.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, July 31, 1944

ON OFFICIAL LIST.
An A. P. dispatch from Washington, D.C., today, released by the War Department, included the name of Tech. Sgt. M. E. Daufeldt of Muscatine as missing in action in the European theater of operations. Names of seven other Iowans missing in action were included, the balance being in the Mediterranean theater.

Word of his being missing in action was carried by The Journal when the family received notification on Aug. 7. He was reported missing over Germany since July 18.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, September 18, 1944

LIST OF MISSING IN ACTION GREW IN 1944
Among those from this area who have been listed as missing in action in official dispatches to next of kin, and upon casualty lists of the armed services, are: 

TECH. SGT. MEARL E. DAUFELDT—Serving as a radioman-gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress, Tech. Sgt. Mearl E. Daufeldt was reported as missing in action over Germany since July 18, 1944. His parents are Mr. and Mrs. John Daufeldt, 1005 East Seventh street.  Records on July 31 revealed he had completed 32 missions.

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

Bodies of Four Muscatine County Veterans Being Sent Back for Burial

Bodies of four Muscatine county war dead are being returned to the United States aboard the U. S. Army Transport Barney Kirschbaum coming from Europe with war dead originally interred in France, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg. According to an announcement by the Army today, the 76 bodies being returned upon instructions of next of kin residing in Iowa include:
Tech. Sgt. Mearl E. Daufeldt, air force, son of Mr. and Mrs. John H. Daufeldt, 2116 West Fifth street, Davenport, formerly of Muscatine;
Tech. Sgt. Karle E. Kolmerer, air force, son of Mr. and Mrs. Karl A. Kolmerer, 913 East Sixth street, Muscatine;
Pvt. Dale C. Motis, army, husband of Marian L. Motis, 1019 Calhoun street, West Liberty;
Pvt. Clarence A. Plank, army, son of Jessie L. Freise, 1232 Dale street, Muscatine.

Plans for burial in Muscatine of the bodies of Tech. Sgt. Kolmerer and Pvt. Plank have already been announced by their families.

MEARL E. DAUFELDT
Tech. Sgt. Daufeldt, whose parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Daufeldt, formerly resided at 1005 East Seventh street, was first reported missing in action July 18, 1944, in a flight over Germany and was later officially listed as dead.

His body is to be returned to Muscatine and arrangements for funeral services will be in charge of the Ralph J. Wittich Funeral Home.

Sgt. Daufeldt, a radioman-gunner on a Flying Fortress, was a member of the crew of a bomber shot down over Kempten, south of Memmingen, Germany. Sgt. Daufeldt had been a member of a task force making the first shuttle-mission from Italy to Russia in June of 1944.

Born June 30, 1917, Sgt. Daufeldt received his education in the West Liberty schools and attended radio and television school at Los Angeles before entering the army air corps. He received his training at Scott Field, Ill., and was awarded his gunners wings at Kingman, Ariz., in August of 1943, later being assigned for duty with the 15th Air Force.

He is survived by his parents and a sister, Ellen Lanfier, of Davenport. A brother, Pvt. Marvin Daufeldt, was killed in action in France on Jan. 25, 1945, and his body was returned to the United States and buried in the cemetery at Moscow on April 25, of this year.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, December 28, 1948 (photo included)