Greene County

Sgt. Bob 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)


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 that 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

Mr. and Mrs. Jess Ray recently received a letter from their son, Dale Ray, who is a prisoner of war at Stalag III in Germany. The letter was written Oct. 17, 1943, as follows: “Dear Mom and all. Got a nice big letter from you a few days ago. Glad everything is all right at home. Hansen and I are fine. See Bob McCoy every day and he is fine. Dale.”

Source: Jefferson Bee, March 14, 1944

Mrs. Hollie McCoy received a letter from her grandson, Bob McCoy, who is a prisoner of war in Germany, and said he was well and all the other boys were, too. He was receiving his packages from home. The letter was written Oct. 22. He also said to tell all his friends hello.

Source: Jefferson Bee, January 9, 1945


Word continues to come of the liberation of Greene county men who were taken prisoners of war February 17, 1943, in North Africa. These were in the national guard and left Jefferson early in 1941 for training at Camp Claiborne, La., and after being in Ireland, Scotland and England, participated in landings in North Africa.

Thus far, 15 men of the approximate 25 who were taken prisoner, have sent word home either in letters, Red Cross telegrams, personal telegrams, or by word sent through friends.

Indications are that after the invasion of Europe, the men who had been together in prison camps, were separated in moved to other camps. Delay in the messages is attributed to the fact that the camps were largely liberated by the Russians, and communication with the United States has had to wait until the men could get to territory held by the Americans.

Sgt. Bob McCoy
Mrs. Minnie McCoy of Scranton received a letter Friday, May 18, from her son, Sgt. Bob McCoy, who was a member of the headquarters company from Jefferson, that he has been liberated from the hands of the Germans after being held prisoner since February of 1943. The letter was written by Sergeant McCoy and was dated May 5. He said he was so excited he could hardly keep still and at that time was waiting for a plane. He said they were being treated “swell” and had plenty to eat now. He told his mother to have the chicken plates and ice cream dishes ready, because he might use them in three weeks—the last of the month or the first of June.

Source: Jefferson Bee, May 22, 1945

Bob McCoy and James Sayre, who were prisoners of war in Germany, arrived home Saturday night.

Source: Jefferson Bee, June 19, 1945