Muscatine County

Walter Gesell

(Photo published, DesMoines Register, January 2, 1944)



Messages of DEATH, Word of Valiant Soldiers, Sailors “Missing in Action,” Brought Sadness to Families Here

“The Navy deeply regrets……”
Messages addressed to a number of Muscatine county parents or next of kin of men in the service of their country, carrying this sad phrase or one similar to it from army or marine corps officials, have brought sorrow to a number of homes in this area in the slightly more than 12 months since Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese struck at Pearl Harbor and Manila.

Muscatine county me gave their lives for their country in that initial attack, which plunged the nation into a globe girdling war.

In Thick of Fight.
Muscatine county men have figured in most of the history making engagements which have been recorded since that date. Some have escaped, unharmed, but in other cases, engagements with the enemy have been followed by official notices of men either killed in action, missing in action, or taken prisoner and gold stars have replaced those of blue on service flags in the community.

Wartime casualties increased sharply in June, as the result of naval action in the Pacific war zone, with official notice received June 20, that two Muscatine sailors had been killed in action and that a third was missing.

Served On Same Ship.
All had been in service aboard the same destroyer, which had figured in the Coral Sea engagement, and which was officially announced as lost subsequently by the Navy department.

Officially listed as killed in the action were Walter Gesell and Robert C. Richardson; Warren Richardson, cousin of Robert and who had enlisted at the same time, was reported as missing.

Source: Muscatine Journal News-Tribune, December 30, 1942 (photo included)

Here are more Iowans who have been killed in action. The final line beneath each picture gives the geographical location in which the man was killed. Additional Honor Roll pictures will be carried on future Sundays.

Source: The  Des Moines Register, Sunday, January 2, 1944  (photo included)