Sioux County

Sgt. Nick Harens Jr.

Born 26 Mar 1919
Died 24 Jun 1943


Sgt. Nick Harens Dies In Africa
Mother Is Informed

The Alton community was deeply shocked Monday when the death of Staff Sergeant Nick Harens in North Africa was reported according to the Alton Democrat, which says:

The young man’s mother, Mrs. John Reeff, received a telegram that day from the War Department notifying her that her son died June 24th, in the north African area, and that a letter would follow.

Sgt. Harens sailed for north Africa on April 15th, and his mother did not hear from him until the past week, when a letter came saying that he had tonsillitis and was receiving ice pack treatment.  The letter was dated May 28th.  The greatest sympathy is felt here for his mother, who is now also deprived of the presence of her husband, the latter having left Tuesday with the July selective service contingent for Army examination in Omaha.

Sgt. Harens is also survived by an older brother, Robert Harens, of Worthington, Minn.

Nicholas Harens, Jr., was born March 26, 1919, near Alton, at the home of his grandparents—the late Mr. and Mrs. Math Herrig—and was 24 years old at the time of his passing.  He was a delicate baby, having entered this world a few months after the death of his father, the late Nicholas Harens, on Dec. 28, 1918, during the influenza epidemic.

But with loving care he was spared to his family and grew to strong and robust manhood.  He attended St. Mary’s school at Alton, and while still a youth he went to Ashton to work on the Bill Nilchel farm.  He was employed on this farm for four years, but a few months before being inducted into the Army he went into the trucking business for himself and was meeting with good success, being dependable and well liked.

He was inducted into the Army from Osceola county in October, 1941, and has made a very fine record with rapid promotion, being capable, willing and obedient.  He received training in a number of different camps and for some months before his departure overseas was at Ft. Devons, Mass., where he issued supplies and did other responsible work.  He was with the Tank Destroyer Battalion.

Mrs. Reeff’s sister, Mrs. Al Jonas of Ashton and her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Robert Harens of Worthington are with her, both families having driven here Tuesday.

Memorial mass was held at 7:30 Thursday morning at St. Mary’s Catholic church.  Members of Floyd Post were present with the national and post colors in a simple tribute.  D. T. Hoxmeier of the Legion had the men in uniform, now home on furlough, act as color bearers.

Source: LeMars Globe-Post, July 19, 1943

Nick L. Harens aka Leonard Nicolaus Harens was born Mar. 26, 1919 to Nicholas W. and Mary Ann Herrig Harens. He died June 24, 1943 and is buried in Saint Marys Cemetery, Alton, IA.

Sgt. Harens served in World War II with the U.S. Army 645th Tank Destroyer Battalion and died in the North Africa area.