Muscatine County

Leroy A. Engstrom



Memorial for Leroy Engstrom Being Planned

West Liberty—A memorial service for Leroy Engstrom, son of Mr. and Mrs. Axel Engstrom of Clinton, formerly of West Liberty, will be held at the Presbyterian Church in West Liberty on Sunday, Aug. 6, at 4 o’clock p.m. with the Rev. L. L. DeFlon in charge.

Leroy, listed as missing in action since June 10, 1943, after the sinking of the S S Esso Gettysburg off the coast of Georgia, was announced as officially dead by the Navy department in June of this year.

After his graduation from the West Liberty high school he served efficiently as city mail carrier from the local post officer.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, August 1, 1944

Memorial Rites Noted For Leroy A. Engstrom

West Liberty—Memorial services for Leroy Axel Engstrom, who lost his life June 10, 1943, when a submarine torpedoed the merchant ship SS Esso Gettysburg 100 miles off the coast of Georgia, were held Sunday at the Presbyterian Church with the Rev. L. L. DeFlon, pastor in charge.

Representatives of his high school class of 1939, the post office, Mt. Calvary Masonic Lodge and the Mansell L. Phillips Post of the American Legion were present at the ceremony.

Leroy, who enlisted in the U. S. Navy at Davenport, was inducted into the service at Des Moines July 22, 1942. After training at Great Lakes, he studied radio for five months at the University of Wisconsin and from there went to Noraton Heights, Conn., where he studied advanced radio and signal work.

He left the United States from Brooklyn, N.Y., on April 12, 1943, and on a 10,000 miles journey his ship stopped at South America, Africa, and Iran. His ship returned to New York on May 26.

Ship Torpedoed.
Almost at once the ship was sent to Texas for gas and oil and on the return trip was twice torpedoed off the Georgia coast. Fire, which spread quickly was so intense the crew members were unable to man the life boats. Survivors were not picked up until the next morning.

He was born Feb. 21, 1921, in Burlington, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Axel Engstrom, who now lives in Clinton. With his parents, he moved to West Liberty in 1931 and started in the Presbyterian Sunday School that year. He was graduated with the high school class of 1939 and the following year carried mail in West Liberty. He was a member of Mt. Calvary Masonic lodge in West Liberty.

Surviving besides his parents and a sister, Sharon, are his maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hellenthal of Burlington; two aunts, Mrs. Wade Schlorbbaum and Miss Hildur Engstrom of Burlington; T/5 Frank Hellenthal in Iran; Pvt. Harry Hellenthal, Camp Barkeley, Tex., and Staff Sgt. Roy Hellenthal of West Liberty, now serving in Normandy.

Program Offered.
The following program was offered at the memorial rites:
Prelude, Lucille Smith; placing the colors by William Merridith and Otto Nealson; scripture reading; invocation; hymn; scripture reading; prayer by the Rev. Maurice E. Lesher, pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Clinton; life history of Leroy Engstrom, Rev. Lesher; reminiscences by Harry F. Lewis, West Liberty postmaster; memorial message and prayer, Rev. L. L. DeFlon; hymn; scripture; presentation of the U. S. flag by American Legion commander Ben F. Nichols and Chaplain Paul Angerer; benediction, Rev. Lesher; sounding of taps, Robert Black and Willis Pike.

Flower arrangements were by the Presbyterian ladies aid society and Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Snider.

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


LEROY A. ENGSTROM, Radioman 2/c
—Formerly employed as a carrier at the West Liberty postoffice, Leroy A. Engstrom was reported as being killed in action in July, 1944, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Axel G. Engstrom of Clinton, were informed. He enlisted July 21, 1942.

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

140 Have Made Supreme Sacrifice in Muscatine Area In War Against Axis Powers; Many Reported Wounded
The names of those who have made the supreme sacrifice in World War No. 2, compiled from records maintained by The Journal, follow:

Leroy A. Engstrom, radioman second class, of West Liberty, serving on tanker officially reported lost in action June 10, 1943, off the coast of Georgia.

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