Pottawattamie County

Lt. Leland J. Evers

 

EDITORIAL – THREE HEROES

Perhaps it was because they all came at one time, on a single day, in fact, that Friday’s paper brought the war closer to us than at any time since the third battalion of the 168th suffered so heavily at Kaiserine pass.

But to us the announcement that Maj. Bob Blaylock, Lt. Leland Evers and Pvt. Francis Dale Bird had been killed in action was a shock which will be hard to overcome.

Three deaths from the war in a town the size of Council Bluffs and all announced on the same day really bring the war home.

The writer was not personally acquainted with either Lt. Evers or Pvt. Bird, but Bob Blaylock was a personal friend. He knew him as an idealist, who sought and earned his position in the army even before the war took us into the midst of the carnage.

[Text regarding Major Blaylock omitted but appears on his webpage.]
As we said, we did not know Lt. Evers and Pvt. Bird, but from accounts we have heard of them, they were different only in branch of service and in rank. They too had fought for an ideal and they gave their lives for that ideal, not willingly, perhaps, for no one likes to die, but nevertheless faithful to their trust and to their training in the Americans spirit.

It is hard to lose such men as these, boys whom the city has watched grow into manhood, and whom we have held in such high hopes.

Our sympathy goes out to Mr. and Mrs. John F. Blaylock, to Albert Evers, and to Mrs. Mary Bird, the parents, and to Mrs. Bob Blaylock. They have suffered a tremendous loss, but we too feel that we have suffered a loss too.

And every time we hear of another of our boys gone in defense of the liberties in which they believed, it will be a personal loss, for one more future citizen has left us.

To all men and women who have suffered such losses in the past, and to those who will suffer them in the future, we offer our heartfelt sympathy.

We have all lost something precious when they die.

Source: The Council Bluffs Nonpareil, Council Bluffs, Wednesday, April 29, 1944, Page 4

Lt. Leland Evers Dies in Action
War Department Sends Back Word

Albert Evers, 738 First avenue, has received official announcement from the war department stating that his son, Lt. Leland J. Evers, 25, has been killed in action over England.

A veteran of more than two years service with the American air force, he had served with the Royal Canadian air force prior to Pearl Harbor.

Lt. Evers attended Thomas Jefferson high school and before entering the service of the Canadian air forces was connected with the Iowa state highway commission in Council Bluffs and at Creston. He had attended Boyles college two years.

A pilot of a Flying Fortress, he had participated in several bombing missions over Germany, according to the war department announcement.

Source: The Council Bluffs Nonpareil, Council Bluffs, Tuesday, April 28, 1944, Page 7

DECLARED DEAD

Lt. Leland Evers, 25, pilot of a Flying Fortress, was killed in action over England. He was a veteran of two years’ service with the AAF and service with the RCAF before Pearl Harbor.

Source: The Council Bluffs Nonpareil, Council Bluffs, Sunday, April 30, 1944, Page 10

Return Bodies of 4 Local Soldiers
98 Iowans Aboard Lawrence Victory

Bodies of four Council Bluffs soldiers are being returned to the United States from Europe aboard the army transport, Lawrence Victory, the department of the army announced Friday. The vessel will arrive at New York.

Council Bluffs soldiers are being returned: 2nd Lt. Leland J. Evers, son of Albert F. Evers, 908 Avenue H; Sgt. Richard M. Petrus, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Petrus, sr., 219 Frank street; Pfc. Martin Renteria, son of Paul Renteria, 1922 South Fourth street; and Sgt.
Kenneth H. Stockman, son of Mr. and Mrs. E. F. Stockman, 905 Twenty-sixth avenue.

Stockman, Petrus and Evers were all members of the army air force. Renteria was assigned to the infantry.

A total of 98 Iowa bodies are included in the shipment of 5,374 Americans who lost their lives in Europe.

Source: The Council Bluffs Nonpareil, Council Bluffs, Friday, July 02, 1948, Page 15

Obituaries
Lt. LELAND J. EVERS

MISSOURI VALLEY – Funeral services will be held Thursday at 2:30 p. m. at the Hardy Funeral home for Lt. Leland J. Evers, 25, former Missouri Valley and Council Bluffs resident, who was killed April 12, 1944 in an airplane crash in the North sea. The Rev. Harold Platt will conduct rites, with the American Legion.

Source: The Council Bluffs Nonpareil, Council Bluffs, Friday, August 16, 1948, Page 3