Cerro Gordo County

Cpl. Martin E. Shinn




Cpl. Martin Shinn has written to his sister, Mrs. Harry Dolter, 513 Jackson avenue northwest, that he is now in Africa with a tank destroyer battalion. Corporal Shinn has a brother, Pfc. George Shinn, now taking training at Fort Lewis, Wash.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, March 2, 1943 (photo included)

Pvt. Martin E. Shinn, Italy, Killed in Action, Nov. 21, 1943
Last Heard From in Sept. When in North Africa; Transferred to Italy

Mrs. Harry Dolter, 511 Jackson N.W., received a telegram Friday, signed by the adjutant general, Washington D.C., stating that her brother, Pvt. Martin E. Shinn, had died on Nov. 21 from wounds received in action in Italy.

In a letter to his sister on Sept. 29, written from Africa, Private Shinn said that he was being transferred and that he would write, but no word had been received from him since. He was with a tank destroyer battalion and had taken part in the invasion of Africa, having been sent there with the first contingent of men sent to Africa. He was last home in Sept. 1942.

Private Shinn volunteered for service in February, 1942, and took his first training at Fort Lewis, Wash., later going to Camp Hood, Tex., where he was stationed before leaving for overseas in November, 1942.

Private Shinn was born on April 28, 1914. He attended the Mason City schools and some time before entering the service had worked in CCC camps at Hampton and Cresco.

Surviving besides his sister, Mrs. Dolter, are 5 brothers and another sister: Harry Shinn, Des Moines; Lewie Shinn, Oregon, Ill.; Arthur, Fort Madison; Ernest, Glenwood; George, Mason City; and Mrs. Erne Towne, Alexander.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, December 10, 1943 (photo included)

Kober Speaks at Memorial Service for Pvt. Martin Shinn

“Though His children destroy one another, God is still the Father of mankind and His purposes are sure. The sacrifices of any of His children are never in vain—that we believe,” said Doctor Marvin B. Kober in a message at the First Methodist church Thursday night paying tribute to Pvt. Martin Shinn, 29, who died Nov. 21, 1943, of wounds received in action on the Italian front.

“The mind that grasps the universe is greater than the universe it grasps,” he said, referring to the things mankind does not understand “and a belief in immortality or any great belief becomes meaningful as we need it.”

Speaking of the endless possibilities of life, Doctor Kober said that God has invested a great deal in this universe in human personalities that live on. In this connection he pointed out the value of trust. “Jesus trusted and went to the Cross—this young man trusted and became a casualty.”

“Life is an adventure in permanency,” said Doctor Kober, adding that the thrilling things in life are its uncertainties.. “We struggle to end war and build a new world, though we are not certain we can do it. That makes life thrilling.”

Veterans of the local chapter of the Rainbow Division of World War I, under the direction of O. M. Van Fleet, were in charge of the service. Other service organizations present with their colors were the American Legion and the Legion Auxiliary; Veterans of Foreign Wars and their Auxiliary; the Navy Mothers and the Daughters of United Veterans.

Mrs. T. R. Ransom sang “The Ninety and Nine” and “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go” with Mrs. Bertha Patchen accompanying.

Relatives present at the service were 2 sisters, Mrs. Harry Dolter, 511 Jackson N.W.; Mrs. Ernie Towen, Hampton; and a brother, George Shinn, Mason City.

Pvt. Shinn was born April 28, 1914, and attended the Mason City schools. He enlisted in the Army on Feb. 5, 1941, and took his first training at Fort Lewis, Wash., later going to Camp Hood, Tex., where he was stationed before leaving for overseas in November, 1942.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, January 28, 1944


Mrs. Harry Dolter, 511 Jackson N.W., has received the Purple Heart award for her brother, Pvt. Martin Shinn, who died on Nov. 21 from wounds received in action on the Italian front. The citation signed by Henry L. Stimson, secretary of war, reads:

“This is to certify that the President of the United States of America pursuant to authority invested in him by Congress has awarded the Purple Heart, established by Gen. George Washington at Newburgh, N.Y., Aug. 7, 1782, to Pvt. Martin Shinn for military merit and for wounds received in action resulting in his death Nov. 21, 1943, given under my hand in the city of Washington this 12th day of January, 1944.”

Memorial services for Pvt. Shinn were held at the First Methodist church on Jan. 27, with Doctor Marvin B. Kober, speaker, and the Rainbow Division veterans of World War I in charge of arrangements.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, February 10, 1944

35 Cerro Gordo Men Killed in Action in 2 ½ Years of War

Memorial Day this year marks almost 2 ½ years since the United States entered World War II. Of the more than 11 million men serving with the U.S. armed forces at home and overseas, it is estimated that Cerro Gordo county has contributed 4,100 men.

Listed killed in action are as follows:
Pvt. Martin E. Shinn, of wounds received in action, Italy, Nov. 21, 1943.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, May 30, 1944

CROSSES FOR WORLD WAR II DEAD—Looking over their V arrangement of crosses and making further plans for dedication of this spot in the northeast corner of Memorial Park Cemetery to World War II veterans from Cerro Gordo county who have given their lives in the service, are Henry Koeneke and Lou Raymond.

The crosses number 149 and each bears the name and rank of the serviceman. On top of each cross may be seen a small U.S. flag. It is possible that there should be more crosses in cases where no record was available. In that event they will be added as soon as the information is received, it was stated.

Names for the crosses were obtained through the efforts of the American Legion from the Friends of Libraries. The ground has been given over to the American Legion and after the war this veteran’s organization plans to build a memorial there honoring veterans of both World Wars I and II.

On Memorial day services will be held in the enclosure around the flag pole as part of the regular observance planned for Mason City by the Memorial association.
Pvt. Martin Elvin Shinn

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, May 26, 1945 (photo included)