Woodbury County

Pvt. Walter B. Lawrence


“It’s Thrill of Lifetime,” Says Mother of Sioux Cityan Rescued From Jap Prison  
Cpl. “Larry” Lawrence Has Been in Philippines 31 Months

“It’s a thrill that comes to a person only once in a lifetime,” said Mrs. Zylpha S. Lawrence when she heard of the release of her son, Cpl. Walter B. (“Larry”) Lawrence from a Japanese prison camp in the Philippines where he has been for 31 months.

Following rescue of the prisoners in the camp, Cpl. Lawrence formerly with the 20th air base at Nichols field, told Dean Schedler, an Associated Press staff correspondent: “We went through the bombing to Corregidor to sweat it out. My heart almost broke with the first burst of fire last night because I thought the Japanese had reached the end of their patience and decided to wipe us out.”

Received Card Monday.
Mrs. Lawrence received a postcard from her son last Monday which was dated July 22, 1944.  On it he wrote, “My health is good, give my regards to everyone, received the box but no letters or pictures. All my love to you, brothers, families, Larry.”  He also mentioned seeing some friends who were also in the camp. His mother said that she had received five such cards since Cpl. Lawrence was taken prisoner.

His mail was all addressed to 509 ½ Pearl street, the former address of his mother,” which indicated  that no mail was getting through to him, his mother said.

Cpl. Lawrence had been reported a Japanese prisoner on January 29, 1943.  Previously he had been reported missing in action on May 7, 1942, when Corregidor fell.

Another Son in Navy.
Also living in Sioux City with his mother at 2204 Levitt avenue is a brother, Willis.  Another brother, Willard, is a seaman second class in the Navy.

A graduate of the Walthill, Neb., high school in 1933, Cpl. Lawrence was employed in Sioux City until his enlistment in November, 1939, at Fort Des Moines.  He received his training at Sacramento, Cal., and was assigned April, 1940, to Nichols airfield at Manila, P. I.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, February 1, 1945 (photo included)


Pvt. Walter B. Lawrence, left in the photo, son of Mrs. Zylpha S. Lawrence, 2204 Levitt avenue, one of some 500 Americans released from the Jap prison camp at Cabanatuan, Luzon, Philippine islands, by the Sixth rangers division, visits with one of the ranges, Dalton H. Garrett, Pahokee, Fla. Pvt. Lawrence had been reported a Japanese prisoner on January 29, 1943.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, March 8, 1945 (photo included)