Woodbury County

T/Sgt. William Jepson





T. Sgt. William Jepson, after more than two years of services overseas in Ireland, England, north Africa and Italy, is back in Sioux City for a 30-day furlough. He is visiting in the home of his sister, Mrs. Frank Erpelding, 3342 Dearborn avenue. T. Sgt. Jepson went into service from Sioux City, having been employed for several years in grocery stores. He has been serving overseas in the First armored division, which has seen much action in north Africa and Italy.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, January 3, 1945

“Bill” Jepson, Motor Sergeant, Injured at Anzio

By August W. Karcher

T. Sgt. William (“Bill”) Jepson nearly four years ago laid aside the bow and arrows which won him the Iowa State Archery championship twice successively for the uniform of a soldier. After serving 31 months overseas, he returned to Sioux City on furlough recently, and on his tunic were the award of the purple heart, three campaign stars, pre-Pearl Harbor ribbon, European theater of operations ribbon and one for good conduct.

The former state archery expert is a brother of Mrs. Frank Erpelding, 3342 Dearborn avenue, and has made his home here most of his life. Before entering the service, he had been employed for nine years by O. P. Skaggs system.

Sgt. Jepson, who also answers to the nick name of “Willie” is a company motor sergeant and a good one, too, as shown by the record of his accomplishments over there.

“Four of my eight-man crew went through with me from the beginning,” the chief mechanic stated. “That makes for real good team work. Everyone knows what he’s supposed to do and then does it.”

Crews Close to Action.
The crew follows up close behind the advancing motorized units, he explained. Members are never more than 1,000 yards behind. When a tank or half-track is knocked out or hit, they bring it to the rear and restore it to service.

It was on the Anzio beachhead that Bill and a German shell met up and it was close company, too. “We went in on Anzio on D-day plus one and a half,” he said. It was on March 1, 1944, that he was wounded. The sergeant had gone up front in a half-track when a nazi shell landed in the vehicle. A fellow G-I riding with him jumped but Bill didn’t make it. He was wounded in the back and in the leg.

Despite his injuries he managed to run to a cave under fire where he was given first aid treatment three minutes later.

But that didn’t finish Sgt. Jepson’s career. He was removed to a hospital in Naples, Italy, stayed there six week and then rejoined his company. He was just in time to help the Yank doughboys make the breakthrough and spearhead their way out.

In Various Theaters.

Anzio was one of the last places where Bill and his crew operated. Before that it was Ireland and England. They then were in north Africa 11 months. Tunisia and Italy also were on their list. After Anzio they went to Rome for a brief rest and Bill saw the city on a five-day pass. Before coming home, about the middle of December, the “sarge” took part in the crossing of the Arno river in Italy. He came to the States via ship and was sent to Sioux City from Jefferson Barracks, Mo.

Bill, an ardent fan of the sport of archery for many years, is a past president of the Sioux City Bowman Archery club. It was in 1938 and 1939 at Cedar Rapids and Iowa City that he won the state championship. In the national meet at San Francisco in 1938, he ranked 23d in the final standings. A year later, at the national tourney in Minnesota, he placed 22d in competition with more than 480 shooters.

In 1940 at Minneapolis, Bill and his bow competed against a pistol shooter in a special match. Using steel arrows, the Sioux Cityan won the match.

Bow Good Weapon.
“A bow and arrow wouldn’t be bad to have on night patrol up in the front lines,” Sgt. Jepson declared. “It would be very silent and sure.”

When Bill returns to action after completion of his 30-day furlough, he will have even more reason to get the war over in a hurry. Sgt. Jepson and Miss Eletha Mannion of Sioux City were married earlier this week at Blessed Sacrament church. Mrs. Jepson is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Mannion of Newcastle, Neb.

The army is a pretty good place after all and the food is always good. However, Bill stated that he gained only two pounds in the last four years. He tips the scales at 206 pounds and it’s all brawn, too.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, January 10, 1945 (photo included)