Dickinson County

S/Sgt. Scott Menefee




Arnolds Park, Ia.—Scott Menefee, about 23, was listed as missing on the western front as of December 20, a telegram from the War Department was received by Mrs. Menefee.  Her husband went overseas last fall and she had enough information to believe he was with Patton’s Third army in Germany. She and their son, Terry, live here.  His mother, Mrs. Frank Abrams, lives in Spirit Lake.  Prior to entry into service, he was a salesman here.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, January 22, 1945

Scott Menefee Is German Prisoner,
R. Stammer Killed

Mrs. Scott Menefee of Arnolds Park received a letter Tuesday from her husband, now Staff Sgt. Menefee, written from a German prison camp Jan. 3. It is the first word she had received directly concerning her husband since the government message was received stating that he had been missing since Dec. 20, 1944.

The youth was taken a captive during the original break-through in the Belgian bulge. She has not yet been notified that he is a prisoner by the government. It is her hope, also, that he is among those who have been freed during this last push by the American armies.

Several weeks ago, Mr. Menefee received very comforting news that led her and her family to think her husband was a prisoner of war. Mrs. Harold Kizer of Arnolds Park, who had written her husband that Scott was missing, had a very encouraging letter from him.

Kizer stated that although he and Menefee were with the same army, they were in different outfits. He followed the one in which Menefee was traveling, and made a check with officials of Menefee’s outfit. He found that all dead and wounded had been accounted for, and that the Park youth’s name was not on the casualty lists of the army. He wrote that records are so well kept that he felts sure that Menefee was not dead. Incidentally, Mrs. Kizer had four letters from her husband Monday. He said, “I’m with Patton’s army, so watch the line on the map and you’ll know where I am.”

[NOTE: Portions of this article regarding Pvt. Ralph Stammer have been omitted but appear on his individual webpage within this site.]

Source: The Milford Mail, Milford, Iowa, Thursday, April 12, 1945, Page 1


Okoboji residents celebrated an impromptu Old Home Week recently when numerous service men arrived home, some of them from German prisoner of war camps. Others are expected to arrive home soon. Three youths arrived from the west coast on Friday and T-Sgt. Ernest K. Harker arrived that day from two years in a prison camp. On Tuesday S-Sgt. Scott Menefee arrived home after a year’s absence, five months of it in a German prison camp. Jack Gipner’s arrival from England where he was with the air force, is expected daily. First home was Mervin Thompson, who had been a prisoner since the African fighting. Also among the first home was Lt. William Metz, a Sioux City youth, whose parents live near The Inn each season.

Source: The Milford Mail, Milford, Iowa, Thursday, June 28, 1945, Pages 1 & 8


Scott Menefee, who has been gone from home only a little more than a year, has been doing plenty of traveling and he’s had enough of traveling. He was last home in April, 1944, from a training camp in the south, went to England in September, 1944, went across the channel to get caught in the battle of the Belgium bulge, had a considerable tour of German prisoner of war camps, and again reached the States June 21, 1945.

Menefee is a staff sergeant in the army. He was captured along with some 1,000 other Americans, in the Belgian bulge battle last December. He ways there wasn’t much to it, they were just out-numbered and that was that. None of them expected they would be prisoners very long and got along pretty well.

As a matter of fact, the men taken in action in December were luckier than those who had been taken earlier in the war. There were more of them and the Germans were not interested in taking care of a great many men, or interrogating them and all that. One the other hand, there were so many of them that the German accommodations were poor and German guards were old men who couldn’t do much to enforce anything.

After they were taken, they walked all day and all night and the next day reached Gerolestein. At that town they were taken by train through Coblenz to Limberg. They had a can of cheese and a box of crackers for six men to eat each day.

Christmas day was spent with 60 of them packed into a boxcar. They rode on more days, about 10 in all, until they came to the camp at Muleberg.

All the water they had enroute was what they could get in helmets when the guards would let them off the train o find a well. Mostly is was “the water is all frozen,” just as it had been on the marching, always “just three more kilometers.”

On Dec. 29 they were registered but not questioned; there were evidently too many for much questioning. He had been taken prisoner Dec. 17 and listed as missing Dec. 20. By then he was a long ways along his travel route through Germany.

It was from that prison camp that he first wrote to his wife in Okoboji. It was her only letter although he wrote as often as permitted.

Jan. 6, they were moved to Furstenberg and remained until Jan. 31. That camp was on the Odor and the Russians were coming. So, after his three week stay, the Okoboji man was started out again on his tour of Germany, supervised by the German army.

They traveled seven days on foot, 35 miles the first one, to reach Luckenwalde, the 3-A camp that many Americans had heard about. He points out, however, that it is not to be confused with the ill-fated camp at Bruchenwalde. They began the trip about 9 p. m. and walked all night and all day. Part of the way it was “pretty rugged” [Page 8] as it had recently snowed and melted and was very hard walking.

About 200 men were in the group with which Menefee was moving. The guards, on the march as well as in the camps, were old men and were only nominally guards. They were too old and feeble to enforce anything and “they didn’t want to go any more than we did,” the ex-prisoner adds.

The Russians liberated the camp April 22. There was no special feature about it, nothing spectacular. The German guards and officers of the camp “all took off on Saturday.” So the Allied prisoners, some 4,000, were on their own for 24 hours until Sunday noon. Then a few Russian tanks and trucks drove through the camp and dropped off some officials and went on.

They had winter clothing and kept as comfortable as possible. The Germans issued them overcoats if they had none, and the overcoats of almost all nations were common around the camp as they evidently passed on clothing they had taken. The Germans issued them blankets. Other things came from the Red Cross.

Menefee wore a big black, or maybe sometimes it was red, diamond painted on the back of his shirt to designate him as a prisoner of war. he didn’t have to work or go out on work details. About all he did was sleep when he could and wait for the next meal.

The newspapers they got were published in Berlin and were full of propaganda but they had ways of keeping up on the news. They were 35 miles from Berlin and sometimes Russian artillery seemed to be on all sides of them. The Allied aviators put on some good shows for them and they once saw flames from Potsdam in one location.

Although Menefee hasn’t figured out just how far he’s traveled in the last year, he’ll concede it is enough. It was no Cook’s tour that he participated in around Germany, either. He was taken in Belgium, sent to the eastern border of Germany, and then switched back and fourth until he saw plenty of the country. He said the transportation was pretty well shot, but that they repaired the damage quite rapidly.

Menefee will be home until mid-August. His biggest surprise and pleasure when he arrived home was his young son, Terry, who was still a baby when he went away to work for Uncle Sam. He is now three and pretty fond of his dad.

He says he never at any time got down-hearted, but knew it would be only a matter of several months until they rejoined their own lines.

Source: The Milford Mail, Milford, Iowa, Thursday, June 28, 1945, Pages 1 & 8