Cerro Gordo County

Sgt. Thelen H. Osnes



MEMORIAL PLANNED—Memorial services for Sgt. Thelen Osnes, 20, son of Mr. and Mrs. John T. Osnes, former residents of Clear Lake now living at Forest City, will be held at the Ellington Prairie Lutheran church Friday evening at 8 o’clock, it was announced Tuesday.  The Rev. Chester Olson, pastor, will conduct the rites.

Sgt. Osnes was drowned July 21, 1944.  Letters received from members of the same crew on a B-21 Liberator indicate that his body was recovered and buried in India. His parents have received the Purple Heart from the U.S. government.

A brother of Sgt. Osnes, John Osnes, is leaving Dec. 6, for Fort Snelling, Minneapolis, for induction.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, November 28, 1944 (photo included)


Tribute Paid Service
Man Killed in China

Clear Lake - Memorial services for Sgt. Thelen Osnes, formerly of Clear Lake, who went overseas last April 30 and was drowned somewhere in the Chinese area July 21, were held at the Ellington Prairie Lutheran church Friday evening with the pastor, the Rev. Chester Olson, in charge.

The Rev. Mr. Olson used Psalm 23 as the basis of his talk, saying that the Lord is leading, feeding and keeping his followers as a shepherd does his flocks. "The road is not always smooth," he said. "There are bumps in life, too. These are sometimes necessary to make us aware that God is our Shepherd and caring for us."

Mr. and Mrs. John T. Osnes, Forest City, parents of Sgt. Osnes, received a letter Friday morning from the lieutenant of the group with which their son was affiliated. He said that they were flying gas supplies into China from India at a very high altitude when their plane struck an air pocket which brought on engine trouble and they were forced to bail out. Their parachutes worked perfectly and they saw Sgt. Osnes’ chute comedown over water while the others were over land. They investigated and found the 'chute floating on the water so dragged the late and recovered the body. It is believed that the heavy clothing and pistol he wore rendered him unable to keep afloat. The body was buried in India with military honors. The officer spoke of the dependability of Sgt. Osnes and the high regard in which he was held by his buddies. He was the only man in the crew killed but another suffered a broken leg in landing.

The Rev. Ruben Mostrom, pastor of the local Zion Lutheran church, who confirmed Sgt. Osnes, spoke of the sterling qualities of the young man and of what confirmation means to young people.

A picture of Sgt. Osnes stood on a white table at the front of the church. Bouquets of carnations sent by his fiancee, Miss Nelba Baker, Forest city, stood at either side. Memorial money contributed instead of flowers will be divided among Chinese missions, the Red Cross, Christian education and other missions.

In closing Mr. Olson read a poem, "In Green Pastures," and with Mrs. Olson, sang a duet, "The Savior for Me." The congregation sang "Beneath The Cross of Jesus" and "Abide With Me."

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Saturday, December 02, 1944, Page 7

Thelen Howard Osnes was born Mar. 26, 1924 to Johnny T. and Barbara Christine Pederson Osnes. He died July 21, 1944 and is buried in Madison Township Cemetery, Forest City, IA.

Sgt. Osnes served in World War II with the U.S. Army Air Corps 436th Bomb Squadron and was MIA/KIA over China.

Source: ancestry.com