Plymouth County

Harm Kock




HARM KOCK—sent an interesting letter with his picture, reprinted here because it gives a good idea of life in camp:
“I have been in the armed forces since June, 1941. Two weeks ago I was transferred from Camp Pickett, Va., to Indian Town Gap reservation in Pennsylvania, near the state capital, Harrisburg.

“Indiantown Gap reservation covers 17,000 acres and is located in the Blue mountains. It is a very clean and neat camp. The climate is not so hot and the air is not so heavy as it is at Camp Pickett. We get very good food here and plenty of it, including coffee and butter. So far I have been gunner No. 1 on the 75 millimeter howitzer, and I have scored highest on the range with the 75 millimeter howitzer, which is mounted on a light m-8 tank; the 30-cal Browning machine gun which is mounted on a T-30 half-track truck; the 30-calibre Thompson submachine gun, which is a shoulder weapon, and the 45 caliber Colt pistol, dismounted.

“The 36th armed infantry regiment of which I am a member was designated to put a stop to the coal mine strike at Wilkesbarre, Pa., last week.

“We were just settled down, ready to go to bed, when the alert alarm sounded. We loaded all weapons, ammunition, equipment and rations on trucks which took us until midnight; then the rest of the night we were on guard. The next day we drove out of camp on our way to the coal mines. But the miners went back to work except about 3,000 of them, so we went back to camp, and were still on alert all that following night.

“Then the next day at 1 p.m. all miners were back on the job, so we could unload our trucks again.

“We missed only one meal in that alert, which is to be expected, and one night’s sleep, which isn’t so bad. Now I hope the coal miners keep on working.

“We got about one foot of snow here now. We go on 15 or 20 mile hikes two or three times a week with weapons and full field packs, including gas helmets.

“Last Thursday we were all issued 4-buckle rubber overshoes which we sure are very thankful for. We were hiking with just our shoes and our feet got wet.

“We get up at 6 a.m. and get 1 ½ hours for noon, and the lights go out at 9:45 p.m. The barracks are heated with coal furnaces. Three soldiers are firemen in each company and work on 8-hour shifts. The temperature has ranged from zero to 38 above. We have 3 barracks for our company and about 28 men on each floor.

“Everything is kept very neat and clean. I feel fine and like it swell here. I am gaining weight, and am taking the infantry training very well. I am surprised that I can stand straight duty after being so terribly sick with double pneumonia while on furlough last July.

“I was give very good care at the Sacred Heart Hospital in LeMars with Dr. F. C. Bendixen the attending physician. So far I’ve had three furloughs. I expect to be home on another furlough before long.”

Source: LeMars Globe-Post, March 18, 1943 (photo included)

Pfc. Harm Kock, who has been stationed at Indiantown Gap military reservation near Harrisburg, Pa., since Jan. 15, was appointed by the Officer of the Day as the best instructed sentry while on guard in the 36th armed infantry motor pool regiment area last Friday night.  A regiment guard consists of 33 privates, 3 corporals, 1 sergeant, one second lieutenant and one captain.  The privates are on duty 2 hours and off 4 hours for a period of 24 hours.  Then a complete new guard takes over and the old guard is relieved till their turn comes again which is every eleventh day.  Pfc. Kock was granted a 3-day pass for his good work and will spend his short vacation in Washington, D.C.  The 36th armored infantry regiment will get furloughs in June and July if nothing unexpected happens before that time as they are now on a 7-day a week schedule.

Source:  LeMars Globe-Post, May 17, 1943

Soldier On Leave Takes Bride At Pretty Ceremony

(By Special Correspondent)
The wedding of Miss Nora Winterfeld  and Pfc. Harm Kock was solemnized at St. Johns Lutheran Church Wednesday, June 23, at 6 p.m. Attendants were Miss Lois Winterfeld, sister of the bride and Clarence Kock, brother of the groom.  Mrs. Elmer Oloff presided at the organ and Leonard Schmidt sang a solo.  The bride wore a street length dress of blue marquisette, trimmed with appliqué and the bridesmaid wore yellow marquisette of identical pattern.  The bride carried crimson roses.  The groom wore his military uniform.  The groom will leave Saturday to return to his military duties at the military reservation at Indiantown Gap, Pa.

Source:  LeMars Globe-Post, Monday, June 28, 1943

CRAIG: (By Special Correspondent)
Mrs. Harm Kock left Wednesday for Indian Town Gap, Penn., where she will visit her husband, Pfc. Harm Kock.

Source: LeMars Globe-Post, August 2, 1943


Mr. and Mrs. Ulrich Kock received a telegram from Washington Thursday morning notifying them of the death of their son, Pfc. Harm Kock, January 8, in England.  The telegram stated that a letter would follow so his parents do not know any particulars.

Harm Kock had been in the Armored Infantry 2 ½ years and had been in England since fall.  He was married in June 1943, to Nora Winterfeld.  He would have been 28 in February.

Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, Friday, January 14, 1944

His Widow, Rev. L. L. Belk, and Dr. Bendixen Receive Belated Messages

Mrs. Nora Kock, Rev. L. L. Belk, and Dr. Bendixen, have received letters written to them by Harm Koch, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ulrich Kock. The letters are dated Jan. 6, two days before Harm died in England, according to a War Department telegram to his parents. His death occurred Jan. 8, and the telegram came Jan. 13. Memorial services were held at St. John’s Lutheran Church January 16.

In none of the letters does the soldier say anything about not feeling well, indicating that his death must have been very unexpected.

Source: LeMars Globe-Post, January 24, 1944

Harm Kock Passed Away In England
Interment Will Be In LeMars Cemetery

(the other soldier listed with his own obituary was Dale Kunkel)

A military funeral will be held for Private First Class Harm Kock, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ulrich Kock, of LeMars, Thursday, when he is buried in the LeMars City Cemetery.

Private Kock died in England January 8, 1944, while he was in the United States Army.  His body was returned to this country from the U.S. Army Cemetery in England.  He was brought back aboard the United Army Transport Lawrence Victory.

Private Kock was born February 15, 1915, in Plymouth County.  He was 29 years, 4 months and 29 days old at the time of his death.

He is survived by his parents, and his widow, Mrs. Nora Kock; three brothers, Gerhardt of Ireton; John, in the Army in Germany; and Clarence, who lives in LeMars.  Also surviving are three sisters, Mrs. Marie Janssen, Merrill; Mrs. Margaret Pecks, Storm Lake; and Miss Irene Kock, LeMars.

Funeral services will be in Mauer Funeral Home, LeMars, at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 22.  Rev. L.L. Belk will be in charge of the services and interment will be in LeMars City Cemetery.

Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, July 20, 1948

NOTE: Pfc. Harm Kock, buried LeMars City Cemetery, Block 7