Muscatine County

Lt. Walter H. Hendrickson, Jr.



Number From Area Included On Missing Lists; Safety of Some Subsequently Reported.

“Missing in action.”
Official notifications from the war and navy departments, bearing this saddening information about a loved one, have come to a number of homes in this area since the Pearl Harbor attack back in the waning days of 1941.

For some relatives, this opening sentence was followed by happier information in the course of time. For others, where no further details have been received, only the hope will come, revealing the safety of a loved one.

For, in a number of cases, some of the men who were reported as missing in action were later reported to have rejoined their combat units, or rescued by comrades. Others, subsequent messages related, were being held prisoners by enemy countries and have communicated with relatives.

Others, about whom their commanders have had no additional information to relate, have, after an interval, been declared officially to have been killed in action.

And, for the parents and relatives of some, the suspense of waiting has continued month after month, as they clung to the hope that no news may be good news and that some day, soon if possible, a message may clear, reporting that the absent member is alive and well.

From official lists issued at intervals, augmented in instances by information obtained from relatives and friends, the following information relative to those from this area who have been reported missing in action was obtained.

Lieut. Walter Hendrickson, Jr
., 25, bombardier on a U. S. Flying Fortress, was reported missing in action in the North Africa area on Aug. 27, according to a message received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Hendrickson, Sr., 1708 Mulberry avenue.

Lt. Hendrickson had been in the thick of action in the North Africa area. He took a CPT training at Iowa City and enlisted in the air corps on Aug. 26, 1941, taking his preliminary flight training at Cal Aero academy, Ontario, Calif. Later he trained at Santa Ana, Calif., and in Florida before receiving his wings and commission as a second lieutenant at Albuquerque, N. M. on Aug. 15, 1942.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, December 30, 1943 (photo included)

Among those from this area who have been listed as missing in action in official dispatches to next of kin, and upon casualty lists of the armed services, are:

LT. WALTER HENDRICKSON, JR.—Mr. and Mrs. Walter Hendrickson, Sr., 1708 Mulberry avenue, were advised that their son, Lt. Walter Hendrickson, Jr., had been missing in action since Aug. 27, 1943. He had been in service in North Africa following his enlistment in the air corps on Aug. 26, 1941, and was in action since about Mar. 14, 1943. In November, 1944, his parents received a Purple Heart Medal which had been awarded to Lt. Hendrickson.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, Friday, December 29, 1944

140 Have Made Supreme Sacrifice in Muscatine Area In War Against Axis Powers; Many Reported Wounded
The names of those who have made the supreme sacrifice in World War No. 2, compiled from records maintained by The Journal, follow:

Lt. Walter Hendrickson, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Hendrickson, Sr., 1708 Mulberry avenue, presumed as dead after being listed as missing in action since Aug. 27, 1943, in North Africa.

Source: Muscatine Journal, Victory in Europe Edition, May 7, 1945

Solemn Procession Continues Through 1948 as War Dead Are Returned Home

Flag-draped caskets, coming from the European and Pacific war theaters, were brought to Muscatine county and other neighboring communities at intervals throughout the year of 1948 as the solemn procession of the country’s war dead continued to move home.

As each casket carrying a soldier, sailor, marine or flier who died during World War II was returned, last honors were accorded to the servicemen at funeral and burial rites. Final interment was in the cemetery chosen by his next-of-kin.

This year was the second for the government’s program of returning the bodies of war dead to the United States for burial in keeping with the wishes of their family. Inaugurated in the fall of 1947, the program has to date seen the return from overseas cemeteries of more than 50 bodies of men from this vicinity who died in the service of their country during the war.

The list of war dead returned to Muscatine and surrounding counties includes the following:

Lt. Walter H. Hendrickson, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter H. Hendrickson, Sr., 1708 Mulberry avenue, killed in action on Aug. 27, 1943, on a bombing mission to Cape Bonto, northwest of Anzio, Italy. Burial at Memorial Park Cemetery in Muscatine.

Source: The Muscatine Journal, December 30, 1948