Woodbury County

T/4 Walter G. Oquist



Sioux Cityan Is Awarded Medal for Gallantry
Private W. Oquist Gets Silver Star for Cassino Action

With the Fifth Army, Italy-
For maintaining communications in face of sniper, mortar and machine gun fire during mountain fighting for Cassino in Italy, Private Walter G. Oquist, Sioux City, was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action.

Oquist’s company, a unit of the Fifth Army’s 34th infantry divisions was pinned down by heavy machine gun fire and mortar fire during an assault on a hill.

Oquist, Private George Sprawles of Campbellsville, Ky., and a third infantryman strung communications wire from the company to the battalion command post.

That was at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. By 5:30 o’clock the wire had been destroyed by the heavy enemy fire.

The same trio advanced into the deadly volley of bullets and mortar shells, repaired the wire, and maintained the communications system throughout the action.

Oquist and Sprowls, who was also awarded the Silver Star, were wounded. Their comrade was killed.

“The courage and outstanding devotion to duty of Private Oquist,” the citation with the award said, “in the face of grave danger was exemplary and a credit to the armed forces of the United States.”

Private Walter G. Oquist is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Oquist, 904 Jennings Street. He was listed among the missing for almost a week about a year ago, but a later report said he had returned to duty.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, April 5, 1944 (photo included)

Sioux Cityans Receive Son’s Purple Heart

Mr. and Mrs. A. Oquist, 904 Jennings street, have received a purple heart awarded to their son, Walter G. Oquist, technician fourth grade, who was wounded while serving with the infantry in Italy.

Technician Oquist attended schools in Sioux City and enlisted in the Army March 12, 1939, at the age of 20. He has been overseas for three years.

Prior to his enlistment, he worked on a ranch in Montana.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, April 7, 1945