Kossuth County

1st Lt. Harry R. Montgomery

Born 24 Jun 1916
Died 13 Jul 1944


Ten of Swea City’s Young Men Fight In Invasion Area

Swea City: [excerpt]
Montgomerys Have Three
Mr. and Mrs. James Montgomery are experiencing many anxious hours. They have three sons in England.  Cpl. Edward Montgomery has been in the British Isles for about two years. He met and married his wife there. His brother, 1st Lt. Harry Montgomery, landed in England only a short time ago. His wife is the former Beulah Gladstone of Lone Rock.  18-year-old Floyd Montgomery is with the Merchant Marine and recently wrote his parents that he expected to be in England for some time to come. 

Source: The Algona Upper Des Moines, Tuesday, June 20, 1944

1st Lt. Harry Ralph Montgomery, Swea City, Killed In Action
By Mrs. Walter G. Smith

According to a War Department message to relatives, 1st Lieut. Harry Ralph Montgomery, of Swea City, was killed in action in the battle lines in France on July 13. The message was dated Aug. 5. According to earlier letters from Lieut. Montgomery, he was on duty at the front, the letters having been written from foxholes. He had been overseas only three months.

In England On D-Day
Lt. Montgomery had seen three years in the service. He was born in Swea City June 24, 1916, the oldest son of James and Bina Walker Montgomery. Surviving are also two younger brothers, Sgt. Edward in England, and SM Floyd, in the Merchant Marine. The three boys were in England on D-Day. Two sisters, Mrs. Kenneth Letcher, of Alexandria, S.D., and Lucille, at home, and three brothers, Keith, Allen, and Mervin, at home, with the parents survive.

Inducted In 1941
Following his induction on June 25, 1941, he was sent to Camp Roberts, Calif., with Co. B. 78th Infantry. He was promoted to Corporal on Jan. 14, 1942. His rating in aptitude tests and general qualities of leadership made him eligible for Officers Training School and at Fort Benning, Ga., on Aug. 8, 1942, he was graduated and given a Second Lieutenant commission. Soon afterwards he was home on furlough and following this he and his wife, the former Beulah Gladstone, of Lone Rock, who had been a 6th grade teacher in Swea City schools several years, went to Camp Butner, N.C., where he was assigned to Co. K, 210th Infantry. He was promoted to a First Lieutenant on March 25, 1943.

Wife, Daughter Survive
In the fall of 1943, a daughter, Susan Jane, was born to Lt. and Mrs. Montgomery. Later Mrs. Montgomery and the daughter came to Lone Rock to make their home with her parents for the duration. Easter weekend of this year, Lt. Montgomery was given a leave and he arrived home for a surprise visit. He had only been home a few hours when he was recalled to report to camp immediately. As he boarded the train at Algona that evening his sister, Mrs. Letcher, of Alexandria, S.D., arrived on the same train to visit him, hence there were only a few moments for them to be together. Following his return to camp, his outfit was sent overseas immediately and he was stationed there until the invasion.

He was a graduate of Swea City High School and a member of First Baptist Church.

Source: Algona Upper Des Moines, August 8, 1944

Swea City Soldier Visits Brother’s Grave in Normandy

Swea City: Cpl. Edward Montgomery who is with the medical corps with the army in France, has visited the grave of his brother, Lt. Harry Montgomery, killed in action July 13, in France.  In the letter written to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Montgomery, Aug. 22, Edward says:

“The day after I wrote to you the last time, I found out where Harry was buried and I was able to visit his grave and take some pictures but I do not know when I will be able to send them as it is impossible to get the films developed here so far.  They also will have to be passed by the censor before I can send them to you.

“The officers have been very kind to me, giving me all the help I could possibly ask for.  The Major let me take a jeep and told me I could go anywhere to find out how Harry was killed.  That is how I was able to find the grave.” 

Source:  The Algona Upper Des Moines, Tuesday, September 12, 1944

Purple Heart

Mrs. Harry R. Montgomery, Lone Rock, the former Beulah Gladstone, Monday received from the War Department a Purple Heart awarded posthumously to her late husband, an infantry lieutenant who was killed three weeks after the invasion of France when a German shell exploded near his foxhole.  A brother in service later found his grave.

Besides his wife, Montgomery left a baby daughter, Susan, now 11 mos. old.  The Montgomery’s were married two years ago.  Harry was the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Montgomery, Swea City farmers, and his mother is the former Bena Walker there.  He entered service in June, 1941, and was sent overseas in May, 1943.  Before he entered the army, he was engaged in various occupations at Swea City.

The cut [photo] was lent to the Advance by the Swea City Herald.

Source:  Kossuth County Advance, Algona, Iowa, October 26, 1944 (photo included)

80 Kossuth Men Officially Listed As Casualties In War


Eighty men from Kossuth county lost their lives while in the service of their country in World War II.


Montgomery, Harry Ralph, 1st Lieut.
Killed in action France, 7-13-44. Parents: Mr. and Mrs. James Montgomery, Swea City, Ia.  Wife: Mrs. Beulah Gladstone Montgomery, Lone Rock Ia.

Source: The Algona Upper DesMoines, Tuesday, January 22, 1946 – page 7.

V. F. W. Post Celebrates –
Montgomery Post No. 3963, V. F. W.  celebrated the second year of its charter Monday night.  All overseas veterans were invited, and lunch was served.

Elmer Berg is present commander, succeeding Harm Drew.  Cecil Griffith was first commander.  The post was named for Lieutenant Harry Montgomery, who lost his life in France.

The present membership is 80, and a membership drive is under way.  Armistice day was observed with open house in the afternoon and a regular meeting at night.

Source:  Kossuth County Advance, Thursday, November 21, 1946

Lt. Montgomery Rites Feb. 11th

Lone Rock:  Burial service will be held Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 11, at 2 o’clock at the Baptist church at Swea City for the remains of Lt. Harry Montgomery, returned war casualty from France, husband of the former Beulah Gladstone and father of Susan Montgomery of Lone Rock.  He will be buried in the cemetery at Swea City.

Source:  Algona Upper Des Moines, Tuesday, February 10, 1948

Military Rites At Swea City

Swea City—Last rites for Lt. Harry Montgomery were held Wednesday at the Baptist church.  Services were in charge of the pastor, the Rev. Peters, and Montgomery post of the VFW and Fisher post of the American Legion.

The body of Lt. Montgomery arrived here Tuesday p.m. accompanied by Captain Davis, St. Louis, who remained until after the burial in Harrison Cemetery.

Harry had spent his entire life here until he was called into service.  He attended church and Sunday school, had a part in all the youthful activities, and was graduated from high school.  Later he was employed by Phillips petroleum company.  Shortly after he entered army life, he was married to Miss Beulah Gladstone, Lone Rock.  One daughter was born to them.

He met his death in France, July 13, 1944.

He is survived by his daughter, Susan Jane; his widow, now Mrs. Lee; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Montgomery; two sisters, Mrs. Kenneth Letcher, Alexandria, S.D., and Lucille, a student at Northwestern Bible school of Minneapolis; five brothers, Edward, Floyd, Keith, Allan and Berlin.  Also his grandfather, Ralph Walker, and several other relatives.

Funeral music was furnished by a mixed quartet, Mrs. Albert Johnson, Mrs. Roo Sanders, Daryl Peterson, and Sam Link; and a solo by Mrs. Peter Peters; Mrs. W. G. Smith presided at the piano.  Pall bearers were his brother and his uncle, Ralph Walker, Jr.

The usual military honors were conducted at the cemetery, Commander Lowell Larson in charge.

Source:  Algona Upper Des Moines, Tuesday, February 17, 1948