Greene County

Bill McCoy


23 Greene County Boys Are Reported Missing in Action
Telegrams Are Still Arriving of Losses On Tunisian Front
Believe Most Are German Prisoners of War

The full impact of the war fell upon Greene county this week with the news that many of our boys are “missing in action” on the Tunisian front.

To date The Bee has learned of a total of 23 telegrams received by relatives here, all bearing the information that the soldier named has been missing in action since February 17. That was the date that one battalion of Iowans escaped through German advance lines after being cut off from the main body of Allied troops following the German break-through at strategic Faid Pass.

Actual fate of the men reported missing, of course, cannot be known at this time. However, it is reported that the adjutant general in the War Department at Washington stated that most of the men reported miss in Tunisia have not been killed or wounded but are prisoners of war.

Germany, it is said, has been prompt in informing American forces of the men which it holds as prisoners, so more word may be expected.

Telegrams started to arrive Sunday and continued all day Monday and others were still coming Tuesday, so all of the names may not be included here. The list as compiled to date by this newspaper is as follows:

Bill and Bob McCoy, sons of Mrs. Minnie McCoy.

Source: Jefferson Bee, March 9, 1943

Personnel of Jefferson Company with Boys Now “Missing in Action”

Here is the national guard company which left Jefferson in March, 1941, taken in the Jefferson armory just a few days before starting its trip to Camp Claiborne, La. The company has been in the thick of the battle in Tunisia and reports of “missing in action” have been received this week by many families.

Source: Jefferson Herald, March 11, 1943 (includes photograph of National Guard group)

Jefferson -- Mrs Minnie McCoy of Scranton has received notice that her son, William McCoy, held a prisoner in Germany, died Apr. 27.

Source: The Des Moines Register, June 4, 1943

For 2 Scranton War Victims

Scranton (THNS) -- Memorial services were held Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Methodist Church for William McCoy who died in a German Prison camp. Rev. E.L. Stone, local pastor, had charge of the services.

Memorial services were held 10 a.m. Monday at the St Paul's Catholic Church for Corp. Vernon Bock, who was killed in action May 29 on the Aleutian Islands. Father T.J. Perion was in charge with Father A.E. Zimmerman of Jefferson giving the funeral oration. Both services were under the auspices of the American Legion.

Source: Carroll Daily Times Herald, June 24, 1943


Bob McCoy, who is a prisoner of war of the German government, May 2 sent a letter to his mother, Mrs. Minnie McCoy, and to his grandmother, Mrs. Hollie McCoy, both of Scranton, in which he told of the death of his brother, Bill McCoy, who died in the prison camp. The letter, received recently by them is as follows:

“Dearest Mother and Grandmother: I hardly know how to start this ordeal. I know how it will be for you folks to take, but please don’t go to pieces. Everything was done that was utterly possible in the way of medicinal treatment. He personally investigated it. Bill died April 27 about 9:30 p.m. at Guben. He was buried April 30 at Guben cemetery. A beautiful cemetery, a very decent casket, three magnificent wreaths. The Pallbearers were Bill’s and my friends and comrades: Sgt. Murray, Sgt. Hanson, Cpl. Condon, Cpl. Dale Ray, also two other friends, Sgt. Rudi and Sgt. Bennet.

Folks, I know how hard it is, but please believe me, everything was done that was possible. Decent funeral, fine service. Folks thank the Red Cross for all they have done. Please take it easy. I’ll be home when this is all over. Remember this: “When God calls, we must go.” Folks—chins and heads held high. Love forever, Bob.”

Source: Jefferson Herald, September 2, 1943


These Iowans, like the many carried here in previous Honor Roll listings, have given their lives for their country. Each one was either killed in actual combat or died in prison camp. The fourth line beneath each photograph indicates the war area in which the Iowan was serving. Additional pictures will be carried on future Sundays.

Source: The  Des Moines Register, Sunday, February 6, 1944  (photo included)

Scranton -- Final rites will be at the Methodist church in Scranton at 2:30 tomorrow afternoon for Sgt. William Guy McCoy, prisoner-of-war, whose death occurred April 27, 1943, in a hospital at Guben, Germany.

The body arrived in Scranton this noon and was taken to the Huffman Funeral home here.

The Rev. Roy Pfaff will officiate at the services. Reburial will be in Jefferson cemetery.

The soldier was born at Scranton April 19, 1920, a son of Mr. and Mrs. William McCoy. He was a graduate of Scranton high school.

A member of the National Guard since 1937, his World War II service record began February 10, 1941. He was taken prisoner-of-war February 17, 1943.

Surviving with his parents of Scranton are a sister, Mrs. Muriel Eckstein of Oklahoma City., a brother, Bob McCoy, of Omaha, and his grandmother, Mrs. Holly J. McCoy of Scranton.

Source: Carroll Daily Times Herald, June 7, 1949