Linn County

S/Sgt. Thomas R. McDonald



According to Sgt. Howard F. Wood, formerly of Grundy Center, Iowa, four Cedar Rapids men are among 78 Iowa men held in a German prison camp, Stalag XVII B, located at Krems, Austria. Sgt. Wood left the camp as an exchange prisoner, returning to the United States on the Gripsholm. The Cedar Rapids men in the camp are David Blodgett,Winston Lowe, Robert Vollbrecht and Thomas McDonald. Sgt. Wood said he left camp on July 26 and that all the Iowa men were well and reasonably happy under the circumstances. They are kept busy with their theater, library, studies and sports. They are receiving Red Cross packages regularly each week.

Source: Cedar Rapids Tribune, October 26, 1944

12 Iowans on Gripsholm

Washington, D. C.—(AP)—Twelve sick or wounded Iowans are aboard the Gripsholm, Swedish exchange ship, which is due to arrive in the United States next week, the War Department announced Thursday night.

Aboard the Gripsholm are 463 Army officers and enlisted men, 665 United States civilians and 78 Canadian military personnel, the War Department said.

The soldiers were exchanged in Switzerland for German prisoners of war.

The War Department said that leave or furlough would be provided for those physically capable and hospital treatment would be continued for those needing it.

Pay accounts of the soldiers and officers will be settled, necessary clothing will be issued and awards and decorations made to those who have been designated to receive them.

Next of kin of the following Iowans have been notified they are returning aboard the Gripsholm:

Cpl. Hollis E. Baker, Inf., Carbon, Iowa;
Pfc. George C. Barger, Inf., Laurens, Iowa;
Second Lt. Clyde V. Cassill, AC, Lenox, Iowa;
Cpl. Clifford M. Olerich, CE, Carroll, Iowa;
Staff Sgt. Edward E. Cussen, AC, Sioux City, Iowa;
Lt. Laurence B. Higgins, Inf., Clarinda, Iowa;
Staff Sgt. Sam D. Humphrey, AC, Clinton, Iowa;
Staff Sgt. Winston E. Lowe, AC, Cedar Rapids, Iowa;
Staff Sgt. Thomas R. McDonald, AC, Cedar Rapids, Iowa;
Pfc. Rufus P. E. Nanke, Inf., What Cheer, Iowa;
Second Lt. Warren L. Van Eschen, AC – Mrs. John Van Eschen, mother, Ackley, Iowa;
Pvt. Jack M. Wickey, Inf., Sioux City, Iowa.

Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, February 16, 1945

12 Iowa Soldiers Aboard Gripsholm

WASHINGTON--UP--The War Department today announced the names of 163 officers and enlisted men-former prisoners of war in Germany--who will arrived in the United States next week on the exchange ship Gripsholm. Also aboard are 665 civilians and 78 Canadian military personnel.

All the repatriated Army personnel are either sick or wounded and were exchanged for German prisoners of the United States in Switzerland.

Next of kin of each officer and enlisted man exchanged has been notified. Among Army personnel, and the name and address of the next of kin of each are from Iowa:

McDonald, Thomas R. S/Sgt. Air Corps -- Mrs. Winnifred L. McDonald, mother, 416 1/2 10th St., S.E., Cedar Rapids.

Source: Oelwein Daily Register, February 16, 1945