Woodbury County

T/Sgt. Charles K. Ferris



Sergeant Ferris Finally Gets to Sleep on a Cot

Sioux Cityan Sees “Tough Fighting” in Tunisian Battle
By Hal Boyle

With the Fifth Army in Italy—(Delayed) (P) – Leaves from a war reporter’s note book:

Sergeant Charles Ferris, 21, 3801 Fifth Avenue, Sioux City, will always remember his first days in Italy. He told me about them after I gave him a hitchhike lift on a road to Salerno.

“I got to sleep on a cot then for the first time in nine months,” said this trooper who volunteered three years ago at the age of 18.

“I wanted to serve a year to get into the air corps,” he said. “I was to young then but I thought that the experience would help me. But the war broke out and there was no chance to get a transfer. They shipped us over-seas. I was in the first convoy to leave the United States for the European theater. We landed at Belfast, Ireland, January 26, 1941.

“I’ve been with the Third infantry all the way. Since we came over we have plugged through mud and filth and had to undergo everything from strafing to booby traps. We had some tough fighting against the Germans in the last stages of the Tunisian campaign.

“I had a lot of fun in Africa,” said Ferris, “I am of Syrian descent and could understand the Arab language. That way I could get around to more places and see much more than the average soldier.”

War hardships are no new thing to the Ferris family. His father, who operates a shoe repair business in Sioux City, was held as a hostage by the Turks in the last war and escaped on his third attempt to free himself. After the war he married and migrated to America to get away from the troubles of the old world which his son is now helping to settle.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, October 15, 1943

Returned Sioux City Veteran Blames O. W. I. for “Appalling Complacency”
Wearer of Purple Heart, C. Ferris Deplores “Sugarcoating”

“The office of war information is responsible for the appalling complacency of the American people,” says Charles K. Ferris, a platoon sergeant of a rifle company in the 34th infantry division, who was honorably discharged from the Army last December 11.

Mr. Ferris, who was a technical sergeant at the time of his discharge, left Sioux City in February, 1941, with the Iowa national guard, received his training at Camp Claiborne, La., and went overseas in January, 1942, to Ireland, Scotland, and then to England. He served with the rifle company through the African and Italian campaigns.

He was wounded November 5, 1943, recovered and was wounded again May 20, 1944, by shrapnel which struck him in the face, chest, shoulder, arms and one leg. He was hospitalized in Italy for several months and was returned to this county last September. He spent some time in the Army-Navy hospital at Hot Springs, Ark., before reporting to Camp Crowder, Mo, where he received his discharge.

“Many persons are hardly aware of the bitter fighting at the front and the blame for that can be placed directly on the office of war information,” Mr. Ferris said. “It sugarcoated our war activities to such an extent that we hardly recognized the fact that the news concerned us when we read it in the American newspapers.”

Mr. Ferris earned the silver star, the purple heart with an oakleaf cluster, the combat infantryman’s badge and the European-African-middle eastern campaign medal with two major battle stars before he was discharged.

Son of Mr. and Mrs. William Ferris, 3801 Fifth avenue, he attended East high school before he entered the service. His brother, Pvt. Abraham Ferris, has been overseas 20 months, and another brother, Albert Ferris, is a jeep driver in Louisiana.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, January 4, 1945 (photo included)