Sioux County

T/5 Cpl. Neal H. Jager

Born 6 Dec 1919
Died 18 Dec 1944

Northwest Iowa Soldier Killed in Action December 23

Alton, Ia.—Special:  The family of Cpl. Neal Jager was notified January 16 that he had been killed in action December 23 in Belgium.  Cpl. Jager had been serving with an armored division.  An earlier telegram stated that he was missing in action.

Surviving are his widow, the former Katherine Cleveringa of Alton, whom he married May 26, 1943; his father and stepmother, Mr. and Mrs. Peter J. A. Jager of Orange City; one brother, Hilbert, and three sisters, Dorothy (Mrs. A. Wielenga) of Orange City, Alice and Wilma (Mrs. John Wynstra) both of Linden, Wash.

Neal was inducted into the army December 1, 1941, at Fort Leavenworth and served in various camps in the southern states before going overseas in May, 1944.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, January 23, 1945

Memorial Services Friday For Cpl. Neal H. Jager

T/5 Cpl. Neal H. Jager, son of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Jager of Orange City, was killed in action in Belgium on Dec. 23, 1944, at the age of 25 years and 17 days.  Memorial services will be held on Friday afternoon, Jan. 26, at 1:30 at the First Christian Reformed Church of Orange City.

Neal was born Dec. 6, 1919, on a farm near Sioux Center.  He left for the service from Orange City, Iowa, Dec. 2, 1941.  While in the States, he was stationed at 14 different camps. He was home on his first furlough in May 1943, when on May 26 he was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Cleveringa of Alton, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L. Cleveringa.  He had his second furlough in Nov. 1943 and in March 1944 his wife visited him before he left for overseas duty.  He arrived in England May 26, 1944, and then to France on July 11.  He then was attached to the 33rd Arm’d Regt. Third Arm’d Div. of the First Army and came all the way through France, Belgium and into Germany.  The Third Div. was better known as the “Spearhead Div.” On Jan. 12, 1945, his wife received a telegram from the War Dept. stating that her husband was missing in action, since Dec. 23rd and on Jan. 16, she received word that he had been killed on Dec. 18. 

-----[one line is missing] and Good Conduct service and on the 18th of Dec. 1944, a ceremony was held at which he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Heroic Action against the enemy in France.  His last letter received by his wife had been written, Dec. 18, 1944.

He leaves to mourn, his wife Mrs. Catherine Jager; his father and stepmother, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Jager; three sisters, Dorothy, Mrs. Albert Wielenga; Alice; and Wilma, Mrs. John Wynstra; and one brother Hilbert.  His mother preceded him in death 13 years ago.

Source: Sioux Center News, January 25, 1945


Mrs. Neal Jager received a telegram Friday saying that her husband was killed in action in Belgium December 23, 1944.  This was preceded by a telegram saying that he was missing in action.

Cpl. Jager is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Jager of Orange City.  He entered military service at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  From there he was transferred to Camp Roberts, California, and then to Santa Rosa, California.  After this he was sent to Stony Field, Charleston, South Carolina; then to Brunswick, Georgia; Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi; and then to his embarkation station at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.

He arrived in France July 11th, 1944, and served with the 33rd Armored Regiment of the First Army under General Hodges.  He was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery in action.  Cpl. Jager was born December 6, 1919, and was 25 years old at the time of his death.

He was married May 26, 1943, to Miss Catherine Cleveringa of Alton, while home on his first furlough.

Surviving are his wife, his parents, three sisters, Dorothy, Mrs. Albert Wielenga, of Orange City; Miss Alice Jager, of Lynden, Washington; Wilma, Mrs. John Wynstra, of Lynden, Washington; and one brother, Hilbert Jager, also of Orange City.

Memorial services will be held in the First Christian Reformed church Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. with Rev. R. Bronkema officiating.

Source: Alton Democrat, January 25, 1945

There is no point in glossing over the fact that we have had casualties from this county in the past two months of hard fighting. Several men have paid the supreme sacrifice and more have been wounded and hospitalized. Closest home and hardest to take was the news that Ray Friedman had been killed in action over England. He had just received his promotion to staff sergeant and had been on only a few missions. Details are still lacking; but the community feels for the breaved wife, mother and family. 

Also for two other young war widows who are Alton girls:  Mrs. Neal Jager (nee Catherine Cleveringa) whose husband was killed in action in Belgium, Dec. 23rd; and Mrs. Arnold Vander Wilt (nee Lois Reinders) whose husband, a graduate of Alton high school, was killed in a collison of two B24s. 

Source: Alton Democrat, February 8, 1945

Sgt. Neal H. Jager is buried in West Lawn Cemetery, Sioux County, IA.