Cedar County

Pfc. Bernard E. Lynch



First Youth of West Branch Is On Missing List

West Branch—M. T. Lynch of West Branch has received word from the War Department that his son, PFC. Bernard E. Lynch, is missing in action in North Africa since Feb. 17. Bernard was one of a dozen West Branch boys who were among the first American soldiers to land in Ireland a year ago. His father, M. T. Lynch, is a farmer north of West Branch, a widower with two other children, Hubert and Anna Cecilia, at home. This is the first missing in action report of West Branch boys in this war.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, March 8, 1943


Davenport, Ia.—(AP)—
Most Rev. Henry P. Rohlman, bishop of the Catholic diocese of Davenport, announced Thursday the names of 21 Iowa soldiers who are being held prisoners of war by the Italians.

All the soldiers reside in the Davenport diocese, which embraces 22 counties. Their families already have been notified by the bishop.

Word of the fate of the soldiers was received at the chancery office here from the Apostolic Delegate to the United States, Most Rev. Amlito Giovanni, in Washington, D.C., who was notified direct from Vatican City.

The soldiers and their home towns were given as:

Pfc. Bernard Lynch, West Branch;

Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, April 22, 1943

Washington (AP)—The War Department announced today the names of fourteen Iowans who are held as prisoners of war by Italy. They were:

Pfc. Bernard E. Lynch, son of Michael T. Lynch, route 3, West Branch;

Source: Carroll Times Herald, May 13, 1943

Bernard Lynch Of West Branch Reported Prisoner

PFC Bernard E. Lynch, son of Michael T. Lynch of rural route No. 3, West Branch, is listed as a prisoner of war of Italy, a War Department announcement issued through the Associated Press at Washington, D.C. today informs.

The list contained the names of 14 Iowans but none other were from the Muscatine area.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, May 13, 1943

Number From Area Included On Missing Lists; Safety of Some Subsequently Reported.

“Missing in action.”
Official notifications from the war and navy departments, bearing this saddening information about a loved one, have come to a number of homes in this area since the Pearl Harbor attack back in the waning days of 1941.

For some relatives, this opening sentence was followed by happier information in the course of time. For others, where no further details have been received, only the hope will come, revealing the safety of a loved one.

For, in a number of cases, some of the men who were reported as missing in action were later reported to have rejoined their combat units, or rescued by comrades.  Others, subsequent messages related, were being held prisoners by enemy countries and have communicated with relatives.

Others, about whom their commanders have had no additional information to relate, have, after an interval, been declared officially to have been killed in action.

And, for the parents and relatives of some, the suspense of waiting has continued month after month, as they clung to the hope that no news may be good news and that some day, soon if possible, a message may clear, reporting that the absent member is alive and well.

From official lists issued at intervals, augmented in instances by information obtained from relatives and friends, the following information relative to those from this area who have been reported missing in action was obtained:

PFC. Bernard Lynch, son of Michael T. Lynch of West Branch, was reported missing in action in North Africa in a telegram from the War Department received March 25.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, December 30, 1943

Tipton Soldier Reported Among Missing, Returns

Tipton—Pfc. Bernard E. Lynch, reported as missing in action a year ago, and later reported as a prisoner of war in Italy, returned to duty with his company June 20, according to word received by his father from Washington this week. The father has received no direct word from his son since August, 1943. Through a returned soldier, who was at one time in the same prison camp as Pvt. Lynch, it was learned that the two men had escaped.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, July 8, 1944


News of victory in Europe had special significance in many Muscatine home where relatives have “sweated it through” for months and, in some cases, years with their husbands, sons and brothers who were being held in prisoner of war camps in Germany.

Others Are Home.

In August, 1944, Pfc. Bernard E. Lynch arrived at his home in West Branch to visit his father, M. T. Lynch. Pfc. Lynch, who was reported missing in action in North Africa in February of 1943, was captured by the Italians and escaped and returned to duty in July of 1944.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, Monday, May 7, 1945