Sioux County

Sgt. Leo Rohlfs

Born 18 Nov 1917
Died 23 Apr 1943


Plymouth County



War Dept. Says He Was One of Three in Plane Crew of Five

Funeral services will be held at 2:30 o’clock on Thursday afternoon, for Staff Sergeant Leo Rohlfs, one of three crew members who were killed in a bomber crash at Avon Park, Fla.

The body is being shipped to Mauer’s Funeral Home, which is charge of arrangements. Rev. Voelker of the Craig church will conduct the services.

Sgt. Rohlfs is survived by his parents and the following brothers and sisters: Pvt. Norman Rohlfs, Fort Leo Wright, Washington; Evelyn, Westfield; Raymond, Richmond, California; Leona, Robert, Richard, Joyce and Gene, at home.

No details of the accident have been received. Sergeant Rohlfs was born November 18, 1917, in Preston township.

A guard of honor from Avon Park air base will accompany the body to Craig. The American Legion will be represented at the funeral.

A dispatch from the air base gave the following information: “Three fliers from the Avon Park bombing range were killed and two others injured seriously when their medium bomber was wrecked near here, the base public relations office announced.”

The other victims were all from other parts of the United States.

Source: LeMars Globe-Post, April 26, 1943

Preston Twp. Youth Was One Of Three Accident Victims

Three Army fliers from the Avon Park, Florida, bombing range were killed and two others seriously injured when their medium bomber crashed near the field, the public relations officer announced Saturday.

Staff Sergeant Leo F. Rohlfs, son of Mr. and Mrs. Rohlfs of Preston township, was one of three men killed. His parents were notified of his death Sunday by the camp authorities, and the body will be shipped to his home near Craig, where the funeral will be held.

Leo C. Rohlfs was born on a farm in Preston township, November 18, 1917, and was engaged in farming after attending the rural schools, until he was inducted into the service last July. He was apt in training for a flier and received several promotions during the short time he was in service.

His death is mourned by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Rohlfs, and his brothers and sisters, who are: Private Norman Rohlfs in the Army stationed at Fort Leo Wright, Washington; Mrs. Robert Dirks, of Westfield; Raymond Rohlfs in a defense plant at Richmond, Cal.; Leona, Robert, Richard, Joyce and Gene, at home.

The funeral service will be held Thursday afternoon at 2 o’clock in St. John’s Lutheran Church at Craig, the pastor, Rev. F. H. Voelker, officiating.

The funeral will be conducted with military honors. The Mauer Funeral Home of LeMars is in charge of arrangements.

Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, April 27, 1943


Again we are called upon to chronicle the passing of an Ireton boy enlisted in Uncle Sam’s armed forces. This time it is S/Sgt. Leo F. Rohlfs, who was killed Friday night when his bomber crashed near Avon Park, Fla. Two other flyers were killed and two seriously injured.

His remains were brought to his home, two miles west of Craig, in Preston township, Plymouth county, and funeral services will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Craig at 2 o’clock this afternoon. The funeral will be conducted with military honors. Burial will be in the Craig cemetery.

Leo F. Rohlfs, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Rohlfs, was born on the farm near Craig, Nov. 18, 1917, and so was past 25 years of age when death called him. He spent his entire life on the farm until last July when he enlisted in the Air Corps. After entering the service he went to Florida, and then he was sent to Sioux Falls after which he returned to Florida to complete his training.

Besides his parents, he is survived by eight sisters and brothers. The are: Pvt. Norman Rohlfs, of Fort Leo Wright, Wash.; Raymond Rohlfs, who is in defense work at Richmond, California; Mrs. Robert Dirks of Westfield; and Robert, Richard, Gene, Leona and Joyce Rohlfs, all at home.

The writer knew the departed from the time he was a toddler and always regarded him as fine example of boy and man. Sincere sympathy is extended to the members of his family.

Source: Hawarden Independent, April 29, 1943

Funeral of Staff Sgt. Leo Rohlfs Thursday

The body of Staff Sergeant Leo F. Rohlfs, killed with two other fliers, when a bomber crashed at the airfield at Avon Park, Florida, last week, arrived in LeMars, Wednesday. Two other fliers were badly injured in the crash. The body was accompanied here by Staff Sergeant John J. Mathews of the air flying corps. The body was taken to the Mauer Funeral Home where the coffin was viewed by many and then taken to the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Rohlfs, in Preston township.

The Funeral services were held in St. John’s Lutheran Church Thursday afternoon and were attended by several hundred neighbors and friends. Rev. F. H. Voelker conducted the services. A guard of honor was furnished by the American Legion and last taps were sounded by a bugler and a party volley fired over the grave as the coffin, draped with the flag was lowered to the grave.

Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, April 30, 1943

On the first Memorial Day following the end of the war, the Ireton Ledger paid tribute to the Ireton community’s casualties under the headline, “Lest We Forget.”


Leo Rohlfs, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Rohlfs, was born and reared on a farm one mile west and six miles south of Ireton.  He attended school in this community and assisted his father on the farm when he answered the call to the colors.  He joined the Air branch of the service and a plane accident took his life April 11, 1943.  Survivors include his parents, several sisters and one brother, all of this community. [Correction: the date of death was April 23, 1943]

Source: The Ireton Ledger, Thursday, May 30, 1946 (photo included)

Leo Frederick Rohlfs was born Nov. 18, 1917 to Fred H. and Lizzie Rohlfs. He died Apr. 23, 1943 and is buried in Saint Johns Cemetery, Craig, IA.