Louisa County

Lt. Vernon Shellabarger


Number From Area Included On Missing Lists; Safety of Some Subsequently reported for duty

“Missing in action.”
Official notifications from the war and navy departments, bearing this saddening information about a loved one, have come to a number of homes in this area since the Pearl Harbor attack back in the waning days of 1941.

For some relatives, this opening sentence was followed by happier information in the course of time. For others, where no further details have been received, only the hope will come, revealing the safety of a loved one.

For, in a number of cases, some of the men who were reported as missing in action were later reported to have rejoined their combat units, or rescued by comrades.  Others, subsequent messages related, were being held prisoners by enemy countries and have communicated with relatives.

Others, about whom their commanders have had no additional information to relate, have, after an interval, been declared officially to have been killed in action.

And, for the parents and relatives of some, the suspense of waiting has continued month after month, as they clung to the hope that no news may be good news and that some day, soon if possible, a message may clear, reporting that the absent member is alive and well.

From official lists issued at intervals, augmented in instances by information obtained from relatives and friends, the following information relative to those from this area who have been reported missing in action was obtained.

Lt. Vernon Shellabarger of the U. S. Army air corps, son of Mrs. Ruth Shellabarger of Grandview, was reported missing in action in the North Pacific area since September 11, 1943, a message from the War Department on Sept. 21, advised.

Lt. Shellabarger enlisted with the army air corps following his graduation from the Grandview high school. He received training at Santa Ana, Santa Maria, and Taft, Calif., before receiving his commission as a pilot at Roswell, N. M., in February of 1943.  He had seen service in the North Pacific war theater for six months before being reported missing.

His wife was the former Helen McKinney.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, December 30, 1943 (photo included)

Battle Casualties Sadden More Homes

LT. VERNON SHELLABARGER—Last seen when his plane was shot down by Jap anti-craft fire over Paramushiru on Sept. 11, 1943, Lt. Vernon Shellabarger, son of Mrs. Ruth Shellabarger, of Grandview, was reported by the War Department as presumed as dead on Sept. 12, 1944. He had been in service in the Pacific war theater for approximately six months before being reported missing in action. His wife was the former Helen McKinney.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, Friday, December 29, 1944 (photo included)

140 Have Made Supreme Sacrifice in Muscatine Area In War Against Axis Powers; Many Reported Wounded

The names of those who have made the supreme sacrifice in World War No. 2, compiled from records maintained by The Journal, follow:

Lt. Vernon Shellabarger, husband of Mrs. Helen Shellabarger, of Grandview, presumed dead Sept. 12, 1944, following report as missing in action Sept. 11, 1943, when his plane was shot down over Paramushiru.

Source: Muscatine Journal, Victory in Europe Edition, May 7, 1945