Cerro Gordo County

Cpl. Orval J. Grell





Draft Board No. 1 Sends Men to
Ft. Des Moines for Induction

Eight Cerro Gordo county selectees were sent to Ft. Des Moines Wednesday by local draft board No. 1 for induction into the army.

The men who reported to Ft. Des Moines are: Wilbur Knoll Paul, Mason City; Orval John Grell, Ventura; George Arnold, Jr., Mason City; Robert Leroy Christensen, Thornton; Paul Resmond Callanan, Clear Lake; Donald William Coyle, Thornton; James Andrew Berbryck, Mason City; and William James Hurd, Clear Lake.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Thursday, January 22, 1942, Page 8


Service Man Killed in Germany April 14

Clear Lake – Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Grell received word Sunday that their son, Cpl. Orville (sic) Grell, 25, was killed in action in Germany April 14. Cpl. Grell entered service in January, 1942, and went overseas last October, being located successively in England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, where he had been since November. He was slightly wounded in November and again in March and had been awarded the Purple Heart.

Cpl. Grell was born Oct. 1, 1919, in Hancock county and later lived in Fayette county, moving with his parents to the McGrady farm northwest of Clear Lake when 4 years old. He was graduated from Clear Lake high school in 1937 and attended Iowa State college, Ames, briefly.

Besides his parents he is survived by a brother, Ruben Grell, Clear Lake; 4 sisters, Pvt. Frances Robbins, Battle Creek, Mich.; Sgt. Viola Grell, Fort Bill, Fla.; Mrs. Clayton LaCore, Hayfield; and Mrs. John Shaw, Auburn, and 4 half-brothers.

Source: The Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Monday, April 30, 1945, Page 5

Clear Lake Briefs

Mrs. Walter Pramer, president of the United Service Women’s unit, requests members of the organization to meet at Legion hall Sunday at 2 o’clock to go in a body to memorial services for Cpl. Orval J. Grell at the Methodist church.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Friday, August 24, 1945, Page 4


Services Sunday at Methodist Church

Clear Lake – Memorial services for Cpl. Orval J. Grell, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Grell, Ventura, who was killed in action in Germany April 14, were held in the First Methodist church Sunday afternoon with the Rev. Warner M. Hubbard, pastor, in charge.

The Rev. Mr. Hubbard read from John II and took as his text “Whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.” He quoted from a letter written his parents by Cpl. Grell from the front lines in which he said, “We have services (church) whenever we have a chance, it would really be tough going if it were not for Him with you. You may get it but you don’t worry much about that when He is with you.”

Mr. Hubbard said, “…We ask why our boys had to give up their lives and why the good people must suffer for the evil of the world. Such deaths and sacrifices make us long for a better world and if we wish it enough the deaths of loved ones can be made of great value to the world in a better way of life. The deaths of these young men is a challenge to us to meet their sacrifices with some of our own to make the world a place to which such things may not happen again. This would be true if we all did our parts as well as Orval did his.” Mr. Hubbard concluded.

Kenneth Eli, Harry Mason and Mmes. L. F. Jacobson and C. H. Hines, with Mrs. Mason at the organ, sang “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind” and “Oh Love That Will Not Let Me Go.” Lee Stock and Paul Rader were color guards and R. G. Thompson and Harlan Ott color bearers in charge of Jens Wind. Shirley Stanfield sounded taps. Members of Stafford Post No. 222, the American Legion Auxiliary, Navy Mothers club and United Service Women’s unit attended in groups.

Mrs. S. S. Hudson, Mrs. Louis Sandquist and daughter, Dorothy, and Mrs. Hubbard arranged the flowers. R. D. Robbins, Gerald Treu, Ralph Ott and G. E. Punke were ushers. Memorial gifts were received for the Red Cross, missions, blood plasma fund, Soldier’s Memorial fund and the new Methodist church fund as well a several not designated for any specific purpose.

Cpl. Grell was born Oct. 1, 1919, in Hancock county, moved to Fayette county when 2 and to Cerro Gordo county at 4. He was graduated from Clear Lake high school in 1937, and attended Iowa State college, Ames, 4 moths and engaged in farming with his father until inducted into the service in January, 1942. He went first to Camp Wallace, Texas, and thence to Camp Stewart, Ga., where he became a member of an anti-aircraft company which was on duty at Terminal Island, Burbank, Culver City and Englewood, Cal.

He was trained in tank defense at Camp Haan, Cal, and then transferred to the infantry at Camp Phillips, Kans. From there he was sent to Fort Benning, Ga., and Fort Meade, Md., leaving the states in October and passing successively through England, France, Belgium and Holland into Germany. He received wounds in November and again in March and was awarded the purple heart. He was in action against Gen. Von Rundstedt’s army in the Battle of the Bulge when struck by machine gun fire, dying within a few minutes. He was buried with military honors and appropriate Protestant religious services in the United States Military cemetery at Margraten, Holland.

Mr. and Mrs. Grell have received a letter from Capt. A.  P. Yunker, personnel officer, and from Maj. Gen. A. R. Bolling, commander, telling details of Cpl. Grell’s death and of the esteem in which he was held by officers and men alike and extending sympathy to the family. Cpl. Grell had been awarded the combat infantryman’s badge.

Relatives from a distance attending the memorial service included 4 sisters, Mrs. Clayton Lacore, Hayfield; Cpl. Frances Grell Robbins, Percy Jones Hospital, Battle Creek, Mich.; S/Sgt. Viola Grell, Washington, D. C.; and Mrs. John Shaw, Waterloo; Mr. Lacore, Mr. Shaw and 4 half-brothers, Merele Schram, with Mrs. Schram and son, Hawkeye; Roy Schram and wife, Forest City, and Floyd Schram and wife, Chicago. Other relatives were present from Garner, Ventura and other nearby towns.

Besides his parents, Cpl. Grell is also survived by a brother, Ruben Grell, Clear Lake. A sister, Myrtle [Myrtle Mae Grell Bowlin], died in January, 1941.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Monday, August 27, 1945, Page 16


Eighty-five Iowans are among the remains of 2,918 Americans who lost their lives during World War II and were due to arrive from Europe aboard the U.S. Army transport, Haiti Victory, Thursday.

Armed forces dead originally interred in temporary military cemeteries in northern France, Holland, and Luxembourg are among those being brought to their homes in this country.

North Iowans in the list include the following, the next of kin being indicated with each:

Cpl. Orval J. Grell; John E. Grell, Ventura.

Source: The Mason City Globe-Gazette, March 18, 1949