Woodbury County

Lt Donald W. Hess


Don W. Hess Is Missing
Second Lieutenant on B-24 Disappears Over Germany

Second Lieut. Don W. Hess, 27, a navigator on a B-24 bomber, is missing in action, as of April 29, while flying over Germany, his father, Arthur G. Hess, 1915 Grandview Boulevard, said this morning.

Lieut. Hess’ wife was informed by the government Monday that her husband is missing. The younger Hess served as an assistant county attorney here for about five months in 1942.

He enlisted for service in the air corps in 1942 but was not called until February of 1943. He received his training as a navigator in Monroe, La., was stationed at Tucson, Ariz. at Blythe, Cal., Clovis, N.M. at Langley field, Va. At Mitchell field on Long Island and flew overseas March 15 of 1944. He was here on a furlough in November of last year.

Lieut. Hess took his bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and his law degree at Southern Methodist University of Dallas. His wife and infant daughter have been residing in Waukegan, but are expected to arrive here this week.

Also survived are the parents and a sister, Dorothy, a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, March 16, 1944 (photo included)

2nd Lt. Donald W. Hess
December 12, 1915 ~ April 29, 1944

In April of 1944, a B-24J Liberator was conducting a bombing mission over Berlin. The plane crashed near East Meitze, Germany. There were no survivors. On board the plane was 2nd Lt. Donald W. Hess of Sioux City, Iowa, and ten other crewmen. 2nd Lt. Hess was a navigator during the mission

The airmen were classified as missing in action.

The Germans had buried three of the bodies near Hanover, Germany shortly after the crash. These remains were exhumed in 1946 and reinterred in an American cemetery located in Belgium.

The crash site was located in 2003. Among human remains, dog tags and a class ring were recovered. Forensics and DNA analysis was conducted by a joint POW/MIA Accounting Command team. The remaining crew was interred in Arlington Cemetery with full military honors.

The son of A. G. and Mazie Hess, 2nd Lt. Hess graduated from Central High School in Sioux City. He practiced law with his father in the Sioux City firm of Hess and Hess and was an assistant Woodbury County attorney in 1942. A memorial stone in his honor is located in Ida Grove’s cemetery.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Saturday, October 22, 2011