Cerro Gordo County

S/Sgt. Kenneth L. Ingebretson




THORNTON – Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Ingebertson and Marybelle, Max and Betty Christensen have returned home from Camp Forrest, Tenn., where they visited Kenneth Ingebretson.

Source: The Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Tuesday, August 11, 1942, Page 3

Staff Sgt. K. L. Ingebretson
Is Twice Awarded in Pacific

EDITOR’S NOTE: - From the 38th division headquarters on Bougainville island in the southwest Pacific comes this story of Staff Sgt. Kenneth L. Ingebretson, Thornton, honored with decorations for exceptional leadership and exemplary conduct. Staff Sgt. Ingebretson is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Ingebretson, Thornton.  He entered the service in February, 1942, and has been overseas 19 months.

“WITH THE 7TH ARMY DIVISION on BOUGAINVILLE ISLAND” – (Delayed) – For exemplary performance of duty as a soldier and a leader in a major operation, a native-born former Thornton, Iowa, bank clerk has twice been honored within a span of 14 days – by promotion in grade and award of a medal – while serving on the front lines of this northern Solomons stronghold.

He is Staff Sgt. Kenneth l. Ingebretson, veteran of more than 19 months of overseas service, who was advanced from the rank of sergeant for “exceptional leadership ability” and 2 weeks later was presented with the infantry’s coveted new award for “exemplary conduct” in action against the enemy, the Combat Infantryman Badge.

Ingebretsen, rifle squad leader, landed here last November with the 7th infantry division, first army unit to attack Bougainville. He started his tour of foreign service in September, 1942, and was stationed on the Fiji islands, the New Hebrides and Guadalcanal before coming to this key island. He is taking part in his first offensive campaign.

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Ingebretson, Kenneth was employed at the First State bank, Thornton, for 2 years prior to induction in February, 1942. He is a graduate of Thornton high school. Sent to Camp Forrest, Tenn., for training, he is a sharpshooter with the famed Garand (M-1_ and Springfield (1903) rifles.

The Combat Infantryman Badge is the 2nd award Ingebretson has received within a year. While stationed in the New Hebrides, he was presented with the Soldier’s Good Conduct medal for “loyal and efficient service” over a 12-month period of war-time duty.

Source: The Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Monday, May 15, 1944, Page 8 (photo included)

Thornton Soldier Helped
Buddies Escape Jap Ambush

Staff Sgt. Ingebretson and Fellow Sergeants
Maneuvered Escape

EDITOR’S NOTE: Staff Sgt. Kenneth L. Ingebretson, Thornton, recently helped his buddies somewhere on an island in the south Pacific escape a Jap ambush, according to the following story coming from headquarters of the 37th army division of that area. Sgt. Ingebretson is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Ingebretson, Thornton. He has been overseas 20 months and was recently honored with decoration for exceptional leadership and exemplary conduct.

With the 37th Army Division on Bougainville Island – A couple of sergeants maneuvered a group of men to flank a Jap ambush and thereby allowed 3 of their trapped buddies to escape in a recent patrol action 9 miles beyond friendly lines on this northern Solomon stronghold.

The two are Tech. Sgt. Charles S. Marren, 31, of Stenington, Ill., and Staff Sgt. Kenneth L. Ingebretson, 24, Thornton, Iowa, platoon sergeant and squad leader respectively. The patrol had been sent out deep in Jap land to obtain information on the remnants of a force of several thousand Nips that unsuccessfully had tired to break through U. S. defenses to capture air strips a month previously.

About 3 miles beyond the base camp the leading element of the patrol spotted Japs ahead and within 30 seconds the enemy had 2 light and 1 heavy machine gun firing, pinning the men to the ground. Only cover they had was behind rocks in the creek bed where they were trapped.

Ingebretson’s squad was in the 2nd element and did not get into the trap. For 4 hours the group of about a dozen men under the 2 sergeants attempted to bring fire on the Jap positions. Unable to do this, they crossed the stream and worked their way to a firing position almost on the flank of the Nip ambush. They yelled over the edge of the bank to their lieutenant, who was trapped by the Jap fire, telling him of their plans. Then the group crawled 150 yards further up and cut loose at the enemy positions. While this fire attracted the attention of the enemy, one of the trapped men dashed over the bank to safety.

Returning to the lieutenant’s position a second time they decided to repeat the performance, and then another man escaped. The third time the lieutenant was able to get to safety behind the bank.

Another Iowan, Pfc. Logan S. Tharp, 29, Mouton, is credited with silencing one of the Jap heavy machine guns by pouring 100 rounds of automatic rifle ammunition into the enemy position.

Ingebretson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Melvin A. Ingebretson, Thornton, has a brother, Pvt. Max, 19, in the air corps in England.

Inducted into the army in February, 1942, he received basic training at Camp Forrest, Tenn.  Overseas 20 months he has also served in Fiji, New Hebrides and Guadalcanal.

Source: The Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Wednesday, May 31, 1944, Page 3

Sgt. Kenneth L. Ingebretson
Killed in Action on Luzon

Thornton Soldier Had Served
Overseas Nearly 2 ½ Years

S/Sgt. Kenneth L. Ingebretson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Ingebretson of Thornton, was killed in action on Luzon on Feb. 10, according to a message received from the war department.

S/Sgt. Ingebretson entered the service in February, 1942, and had been overseas in the Pacific theater nearly 2 ½ years. While fighting on Bougainville he had been instrumental in effecting the escape of his buddies from a Jap ambush, according to a story received from the 37th army division headquarters. He had been honored with decorations for exceptional leadership and exemplary conduct.

Prior to entering the service S/Sgt. Igebretson was employed for 2 years at the First State bank, Thornton. He was a graduate of the Thornton high school.

Source: The Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Friday, March 09, 1945, Page 11


Services Will Be Held for Veteran of Luzon

Thornton  -- Memorial services will be held Sunday afternoon at 3 o’clock for Sgt. Kenneth L. Ingebretson of the Richland Lutheran church. Rev. A. Ranzau, pastor, will be in charge. Sgt. Ingebretson was killed in action in Luzon in the battle of Manila on Feb. 12, 1945.

The soldier's family requests no flowers be given.

Staff Sgt. Ingebretson had served in the United States Army for three years, entering the service in February, 1942, and spent the entire time in the pacific theater of war.
A letter from his Commanding Captain states that Staff Sgt. Ingebretson was interred with full military honors in an American cemetery on Luzon Island.

He is survived by Miss Betty Christensen, fiancée, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Ingebrtson, 2 sisters, Mrs. L. H. Hiller of Thornton, and Marybelle at home, also one brother, Max, who is in service stationed in England, and one niece, Joan Hiller, besides his uncles, aunts and cousins and his many friends. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him for his friendly thought and kindness shown to all he met.

Source: The Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, Wednesday, May 23, 1945, Page 8

North Iowans Among Yanks on Transport

Remains of 4,459 Americans who lost their lives during World War II are being returned to San Francisco from Manila aboard the United States Army Transport Lt. George W. G. Boyce, the department of the army announced Monday.

Armed forces dead originally interred in temporary military cemeteries in New Guinea and the Philippine Islands are among those being brought to this country. 

A total of 110 remains are being returned upon instructions of next of kin residing in Iowa.

North Iowans in the list include the following:
S/Sgt. Kenneth L. Ingebretson, Thornton.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, June 1, 1948