Fremont County

Pvt. Max C. Rommel


Max Rommel, Tabor Youth,
Killed in the South Pacific

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Rommel have received a telegram from the government bringing information that their son, Pvt. Max Rommel of the United States marines, has been killed in action [Nov. 27, Tarawa Island]. He was an only son and besides his parents he is survived by two sisters, Mrs. Margaret Bertelsen of Tabor and Mrs. Wallace Olderog of Treynor.

The family formerly lived in Council Bluffs, where Mr. Rommel was employed in the Beno Store; but for a number of years they have lived on a farm south of Tabor.

Max, who was 22 Sept. 1, was born in Council Bluffs. He was graduated from the Tabor high school in the class of 1941. He was greatly interested in the various activities of the school and participated in sports, basketball, football and track; in dramatics; and in music, both glee clubs and band. He also served as class president and was a member of Hi-Y. Upon graduated from the eighth grade here, he was honored with the American Legion awards, given not only on the basis of scholarship, but also of character and of extra-curricular interests. After graduation he worked for a time in Council Bluffs.

He enlisted in the marines over a year ago and left for active training Dec. 8, 1942, taking his boot training at San Diego. He was located somewhere in the Pacific.

Distantly related to Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, Max, when asked about this, replied, “I am the first Rommel to fight on the right side.” Not only did he fight on the right side, he gave his life for his country and her principles of justice and freedom.

Source: The Council Bluffs Nonpareil, Council Bluffs, Iowa, Monday, December 27, 1943, Page 4

Plan Memorial for Max Rommel

TABOR – Sunday, March 5, at 2:30 p. m. at the Congregational church will be held memorial services for Max Rommel, the first Tabor boy to give his life in world war II, who was killed in action Nov. 27 on Tarawa atoll, the Gilbert island, and who was buried on Buanksi island.

The Rev. Peter Jacobs, pastor of the church, will be in charge of the memorial, and he will be assisted by R. C. Polton, superintendent of the Tabor school. Special music will be furnished by a male quartet, a ladies’ quartet, and by Mrs. Lyle Wentherhead, soprano. Color guards from the American Legion, Sidney, will be present, and it is expected that a number of marines from Omaha will also attend.

Local patriotic organizations will attend in a body.

The family has requested the privilege of being the only ones to furnish a floral offering. Others who wish to pay tribute to his memory are to give an offering of money with will be used to secure a church honor roll which will be dedicated to his memory.

He was 20 years of age and was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Rommel, who for about 10 years have lived on a farm near Tabor, but who previously were residents of Council Bluffs. He was graduated from Tabor high school in the class of 1941, and while in school participated in many activities, dramatics, band, glee club, basketball, football, track. He served as class president and was a member of Hi-Y. He was a member of the Congregational church and active in church and Sunday school. He enlisted in the marines Dec. 8, 1942, and had been in overseas service for a number of months when he gave his life for his country.

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SILVER CITY – Those from Silver City, attending the memorial services at the Congregational church of Tabor, Sunday afternoon for Max Rommel, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Rommel, were his grandmother, Mrs. Maggie Spetman; an uncle, Henry Rommel, and Mrs. Rommel; Mr. and Mrs. George Burgoin, Gail Burgoin; Mr. and Mrs. John Dovenspike; Mr. and Mrs. Grover Goos; Mr. and Mrs. Gale Moore. Max was a private first class in Company E, second battalion, 6th marines, 2nd marine division, fleet marine force. He was killed in action on Nov. 38, 1943. and was buried with military honors on Buarki island, Tarawa atoll, Gilbert islands.

Source: The Council Bluffs Nonpareil, Council Bluffs, Iowa, Monday, March 02, 1944, Pages 2 & 10

Awarded Medal

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Rommel received a certificate the past week, signed by A. A. Vandergrift, lieutenant general of the marines, and by Frank Knox, secretary of the navy, stating that their son, Max Rommel, had been posthumously been awarded the purple heart for military merit and for wounds received in action, resulting in his death, Nov. 28. This medal they will receive in about two months. Six months after the close of the war they are to receive another medal awarded to Max, an Asiatic-Pacific campaign medal, given for service in this area.

Source: The Council Bluffs Nonpareil, Council Bluffs, Iowa, Monday, March 13, 1944, Page 5

NOTE: Pfc. Max C. Rommel was interred at the National Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii (Punchbowl) and has a memorial stone at the Tabor Cemetery, Tabor, Iowa. ~