Cerro Gordo County

S/Sgt. John R. Gagnon





Marine John Gagnon, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Gagnon, 206 26th S. W., has been promoted to the rank of staff sergeant at Santa Barbara, Cal., where he is stationed as a mechanic with the ground crew in marine aviation. Marine Staff Sergeant Gagnon came back in January from 11 months of overseas duty in the southwest Pacific.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Tuesday, April 18, 1944, Page 6 (photo included)

Gagnon Killed in Action
in Germany on Sept. 18

Staff Sgt. John Gagnon Had Recently
Won That Promotion on Field

Staff Sgt. John R. Gagnon, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Gagnon, 206 26th S. W., was killed in action in Germany on Sept. 18, according to a telegram received from the war department Thursday.

The last letter from Sgt. Gagnon was received on Aug. 20. At that time he had been promoted to sergeant. According to the telegram he had again been promoted this time to staff sergeant.

John was born Dec. 26, 1925, in Colton, Cal. He was graduated from the St. Joseph’s high school here in 1942. In the service he was graduated from the parachute school at Fort Benning, Ga., but later was transferred to the infantry.

He is a brother of Tech. Sgt. Charles Gagnon of the marine corps at Santa Barbara, Cal., and of Mrs. Cecilia Craig, whose husband is in Italy.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Friday, October 06, 1944, Page 7; Photograph by Russell


Services Thursday Morning, St. Joseph’s

Memorial services for Staff Sgt. John R. Gagnon, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Gagnon, 206 26th S. W., killed in action in Germany, September 18, will be held Thursday morning at 9 o’clock at St. Joseph’s Catholic church. Rosary will be said at the residence Wednesday evening at 8 o’clock. The Meyer funeral home has charge of the service.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Tuesday, October 10, 1944, Page 12


Was Killed in Action in Germany Sept. 18

High mass for Staff Sgt. John R. Gagnon, who was killed in action in Germany on Sept. 18, was said at St. Joseph’s Catholic church Thursday morning with Father J. P. Behan celebrant.

“God loves sacrifices – He rewards unselfishness beyond measure,” said Father Behan in the sermon bringing out that though man should live to be 100 years, unless his soul was saved and his life would have been a failure.

  “This young man with promises before him has come to his eternal reward. Though we grieve for him we may feel satisfied that he has done his duty,” said the pastor.

“It makes no difference where the body rests; it is where the soul goes. With faith we can see God beyond and know that we can march into eternity no matter where we are, whether it be on the battlefield or in the ocean. As we have faith that the sun will shine again when the days are cloudy, so through faith is our hours of sadness we can see the glory beyond.

“. . . Our minds soar to the heavens but we do not do the things we will to do. If we did there’d be no fighting, no wars,” said Father Behan.

The Navy Mothers attended the services in a body. The Meyer funeral home was in charge.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Thursday, October 12, 1944, Page 15


Rogness Speaks for Services
Held at Music Hall for 12

The great problem in rehabilitation of men in service will be to find something to do as significant as the services they have given on the battlefield, the Rev. Alvin N. Rogness, pastor of Trinity Lutheran church, said at the monthly memorial service Sunday at Music hall, commemorating those members of the army, navy and marine corps who have given their lives in the service of their country.

“The minds of these boys often reach high points of service that these things for which we fight shall live, even if it costs their life blood to have them live,” said Mr. Rogness.

“We have honor today those whose lives have been cut short by war. It is the price man pays for not having walked the ways of God. God did not make war. He didn’t desire their death. It is not wrong for us to say that God may take the blood shed by these and cleanse the earth of such pillage that has been our lot for several years.”

. . .  The program was sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, with W. V. Clausen, commander of the post, in charge. Mrs. Harold Sayder sang 2 selections, accompanied by Mrs. Morris Laird at the piano.

The offering of symbolic tribute and roll call of departed comrades was given by Comdr. Clausen and this was followed by the presentation of flags and Gold Star citations to the next of kin assisted by H. A. Austin of the American Legion and by Cpl. Beverly Myers and Pvt. Jean Morley, WAC recruiting officers.

Those honored Sunday were:

Robert Harold Anderson
Jerold Richard Bond
Keith Ellsworth Dye
Willard Earl Dunton
Mickel John Garcis
Eugene Hall Kirshbaum
Louis Joseph Pion, Jr.
Ernest Hall Ruhnke
Robert Vance Ulin
Cecil Thomas Waldmoe
Lester Lee Williams
John Raymond Gagnon

The ceremony was concluded by the firing squad under 1st Sgt. Frank Shobin, with Major Jack Cheyne sounding taps. The next ceremony will be held the final Sunday in November.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Monday, October 30, 1944, Page 11

NOTE: There is a stone for Sgt. John R. Gagnon at Elmwood-St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Mason City, Iowa with the inscription of “60th Infantry.”

Source: ancestry.com