Henry County

S/Sgt. Leo E. Jeambey



S. Sgt. Jimmie Smith, One of Hell’s Angels

Hutchins—Mr. and Mrs. John Smith received word of the death on the European front of their son, S/Sgt. Jimmie R. Smith. He was first reported missing after going out on a mission Sept. 28, 1944. The later telegram gave that date as the day of his death.

Jimmie was an engineer-gunner on a B-17. He was a member of the 303rd squadron, “Hell’s Angels” of the 8th Air Force.

Sgt. Leo E. Jeambey, whose parents, the Rev. and Mrs. E. Jeambey, live at Mt. Pleasant, a prisoner of war in Germany, was a crew member of Jimmie’s plane. No word has been received here of the fate of others of the crew.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, December 30, 1944


Rev. and Mrs. E. L. Jeambey and Mrs. Leo Jeambey received cards Wednesday afternoon from their son and husband, Sgt. Leo Jeambey, a prisoner of war in Germany. The cards are dated Oct. 13, 1944.

He writes to his parents: Dear Folks: I am now at my permanent P. W. Camp. My address is in the little box on the opposite side. I’m O.K. now. My wounds are healing up nicely and I’m getting enough food to live on. I’ll sure appreciate a good, home cooked meal though. Don’t worry. Love, Leo.

His address: S/Sgt. Leo Jeambey, 3610, M-Stammlager-Luft, NR 3, Germany (Allemagne).

Source: Mt. Pleasant News, January 25, 1945

Received 67 Letters At One Time

Three letters from Sgt. Wilbur Cooper, prisoner of war in Germany the last several months, were received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Cooper.

He stated he had received 67 letters at one time and also had received four packages. He greatly enjoyed the letters and pictures he said.

His further comment also disclosed that he and Sgt. Leo Jeambey of Mt. Pleasant are together. In commenting about the letters and pictures, he said that he had showed them to Leo Jeambey.

Source: Mt. Pleasant News, February 6, 1945

Leo Jeambey Writes From Prison

A letter from Leo Jeambey, a prisoner of war in Germany, received today was dated October 18, 1944.

I just received this form and I get one more this month, so I’m writing. …….Living conditions here could be lots worse, but I do miss a good square meal. I’m making good use of my time----reading the Bible and Theological books. We hold a prayer service each morning and Bible Class in the P. M. When we were shot down, I got four pieces of shrapnel in my left arm, one in right, and one in the back. I had a bad gash on my head and a cracked rib, but other than that I came out O.K. The rest of the crew were killed except the Bombardier and Waist Gunner. We were very lucky. The Germans treat us well ……… (censored)……….Don’t worry….. I’m not unhappy as I keep busy all day long. I only hope that a suitable peace is reached soon, that satisfies everyone. Pray for that………

Source: Mt. Pleasant News, February 27, 1945

Sgt. Leo Jeambey Writes From Prison

Sgt. Leo Jeambey, a prisoner of war in Germany, in a letter received by Mrs. Jeabmey Friday writes in part:

“Maybe you’re wondering how we’re treated, etc. I assure you there is absolutely nothing to worry about on this matter. We do just about as we please. To tell you the truth, I’d almost as soon live in some parts of Germany as I would back in good ole Forest Home…..(censored portion.) If you do send a package, send candy bars, sugar, etc. All kinds of sweets, except gum. I don’t want any clothes as it will be warm before they will get here.

Source: Mt. Pleasant News, March 10, 1945


Henry county relatives of men who were prisoners of war in Germany anxiously await word from them. All likely have been freed, information from Germany indicates, but the mail facilities out of the country have broken down temporarily. A list of the prisoners from the county has been compiled by the News. It may not include all. Corrections and additions should be mailed or telephoned to the News office.

The List:
Prisoners in European Theater:
St. Sgt. Leo Jeambey, son of Rev. and Mrs. E. L. Jeambey and husband of Evelyn White Jeambey, in Germany.

Source: Mt. Pleasant News, May 11, 1945


St. Sgt. Leo Jeambey, who wrote Mrs. Jeambey here recently that he had been liberated from a German prison camp and was all right, was liberated before V-E day, a telegram received today from the adjutant general indicated. The telegram is as follows:

Secretary of War desires me to inform you that your husband, S. Sgt. Jeambey, Leo E., returned to military control 29 of April, 1945. ~J. A. Ulio, adjutant general.

Source: Mt. Pleasant News, May 24, 1945

Blown From A Bomber; Held In 3 German Prisons

Staff Sergeant Leo Jeambey, who had some narrow escapes in Germany and was a prisoner of war there after Sept. 28, 1944, arrived back in Mt. Pleasant today, happy to be back with his wife, the former Evelyn White, and his parents, Rev. and Mrs. E. L. Jeambey.

At least four incidents will stand out in his memory: the explosion of his plane; an attempt of a German to shoot him as he floated down in his parachute; a parachute of a fellow crew member burning immediately below Leo as they went down; and his near failure to make a between-camp march because of a knee injury. Failure to make the march undoubtedly would have meant death.

On Sept. 28, 1944, the plane which Jeambey was serving was hit, went into a spin and it appeared the crew was doomed when suddenly the plane blew up and four of the nine blown out parachuted to safety. Jeambey’s back was wrenched when his parachute opened and one knee was badly injured when he landed.

German Pilot After Them
On the way down, an FW-190 pilot tired to get in to fire on Jeamby and the others parachuting downward. They were saved by two P-38 pilots who bore down on the German and put him out of the war. His bullet fire, however, may have started the fire which burned the parachute of one of the crew.

German farmers took Jeambey into custody and immediately turned him over to the luftwaft who took him to the interrogation center. There some scratch paper which Jeambey had in his possession and which had obsolete code on the back side caused quite a commotion. The officers worked hard to translate the code, which, if they ever succeeded, meant nothing.

He was placed in stalagluft 4 at Keifiede where he remained for four months. He then was transferred to Nurnberg on Jan. 31, this year, where he remained two months. The trip was made by train, an eight day ride with an uncomfortable stopover in the railroad yards at Berlin, where the RAF was bombing.

Near Railroad Yards
At Nurnberg the prison camp was near the railroad yards between the old and new parts of the city. The U. S. eighth air force and the RAF bombing the area steadily, kept the prisoners continually alarmed and they “practically lived in slit trenches,” which were dug with Spam cans.

“And the Germans told me the war was over for me when they took me prisoner,” Jeambey said today as he recalled the ramblings.

Food conditions were much worse at Nurnberg than at Keifiede. At the first camp several packages of Red Cross supplies were distributed, but there were none at Nurnberg. [several lines of type here are not readable]

To Mooseberg

[three lines of type are blurred/not readable]
….types, Americans, British, French, and Russians, about 110,000 in all and with airmen and infantrymen all together. Earlier they had been in separate camps. Lieut. Glen Hultquist of Swedesburg was at Nurnberg and Mooseberg, it will be recalled.

The thirteen-day march from Nurnberg to Mooseberg will not be easily forgotten by Jeambey, for it was that march that nearly proved too much for him because of his knee injury.

A short time later came the Americans and liberation. Shortly before the liberation, SS troops appeared and ordered German guards to join in the defense of the towns. Some guards refused and about 12 were shot.

Treatment received depended largely upon the guard in charge of a group. Bad treatment far outweighed the good, but as an example of the latter, Jeambey cited a German sergeant in charge of his group on a march. The German made efforts to get bread for the group, and succeeded in getting enough to feed them four times a day and whenever possible permitted them to sleep in barns. Another individual roughly kicked men who fell behind or failed to obey to the letter.

Two pieces of shell fragment struck Jeambey when his plane was hit. The wounds went without medical care for four days. Germans then used some iodine on the, the only attention received. Jeambey’s knee injury was not treated except whatever could be done for it by fellow prisoners. He limps considerably and will undergo treatment when he reports at Miami after his furlough.

His awards include the purple heart, the presidential citation, which was given the 303 group—Hell’s Angels air medal, good behaviour recognition and he wears a battle star.

Source: Mt. Pleasant News, June 7, 1945

S-Sgt. Jeambey Speaks at Rotary

S-Sgt. Leo Jeambey, liberated prisoner of war, told of his experiences at the Rotary meeting Monday evening.

He related in detail the different phases of training for the air corps preparation for missions, briefing, and finally the mission on which his plane was shot down, his capture and the prison camps in which he was held. He held the closest attention of the Rotarians for an hour.

Source: Mt. Pleasant News, July 10, 1945

Will Speak At Winfield

Winfield, Ia.—Staff Sergeant Leo Jeambey, son of Rev. and Mrs. E. L. Jeambey of Mt. Pleasant, will speak at the Winfield Presbyterian Church at the regular worship hour services at 11 o’clock Sunday morning. The Methodist church will suspend services to hear his talk. Rev. D. E. Freeman, pastor of the church, and his family are on vacation.

Source: Mt. Pleasant News, July 13, 1945

Sgt. Leo Jeambey received his discharge from the Army Air Corps Tuesday at Lincoln, Nebr., and arrived in Mt. Pleasant Wednesday. He had been in the armed forces three years and four months and served overseas about eleven months. During this time he was stationed at an air base near London for about three months. Sgt. Jeambey was a radio operator on a B-17 flying fortress, which was shot down over Germany. He was a prisoner of war in Germany for eight months and was liberated by the American forces in April. He has received the purple heart, overseas air medal, and two battle stars. His wife is the former Evelyn White.

Source: Mt. Pleasant News, November 3, 1945

Leo Edward Jeambey was born Aug. 7, 1923 to Edward L. and Clara Graham Jeambey. He died Apr. 30, 2009 and is buried in Lincoln Memorial Park, Lincoln, NE.

Source: ancestry.com