Cerro Gordo County

S/Sgt. Edwin E. Sowles




Sgt. Edwin E. Sowles, son of Mrs. Mary Sowles, 316 Taylor avenue northwest, was graduated Monday from the army air forces flexible gunnery school at Fort Meyers, Fla. He is also a graduate of the army school of aircraft mechanics at Lincoln, Neb. Sergeant Sowles has been in the army for eight months. In civilian life he was employed by the Globe-Gazette.

Source: The Globe Gazette, July 21, 1943

Promoted to Staff Sgt.

Edwin E. Sowles, son of Mrs. Mary Sowles, 316 Taylor N. W., now stationed at Tonopah, Nev., has been promoted to the rank of staff sergeant. Sergeant Sowles entered the service in Nov., 1942, and took his basic training at Fresno, Cal., air base. He then went to the Lincoln, Nebr., air base for technical training. Later he attended aerial gunnery school at Fort Myers, Fla., where he received his silver wings in July. He took further training at Wendover field, Wendover, Utah, and Boise, Idaho, becoming 1st engineer at the latter place.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Wednesday, December 15, 1943


Was Gunner Engineer on Liberator Bomber;
Overseas in February

Staff Sgt. Edwin E. Sowles, son of Mrs. Mary SOWLES, 316 Taylor N. W., has been missing in action over Germany since March 6, according to a telegram received by his mother from the war department Saturday.

Staff Sgt. Sowles was engineer gunner on a liberator bomber and had been overseas since about the first part of February. He entered the service in November, 1942, and took his basic training at the Fresno, Cal., air base, later going to the Lincoln, Nebr., air base for technical training.

In July last year he received his silver wings after completing a course in aerial gunnery school at Fort Meyers, Fla. After further training at Wendover field, Utah, and Boise, Idaho, he was given the position of first gunner.

Sowles was at one time a paper carrier for the Globe-Gazette and had been employed at Austin, Minn., before entering the service.

Source: The Globe-Gazette, Tuesday, March 28, 1944 (photo included)

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.

Missing in action:
Staff Sgt. Edwin E. Sowles, over Germany, March 6, 1944.

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


Detail Given on How His Plane Went Down in Germany

S/Sgt. Edwin E. Sowles, son of Mrs. Mary Sowles, 35 Taylor N. W., has been officially recorded to have met his death following more than a year's missing in action on a mission over Berlin, Germany, according to word received here from the war department.

The date set for the presumptive finding of his death is Sept. 3.

"Information in the hands of the war department indicates that your son was a member of the crew in a B-24 Liberator aircraft which departed England on a combat mission to Berlin, Germany, March 6, 1944," the letter from the adjutant general's office stated.

"His ship was attacked by German aircraft and one of the engines was hit. They were returning to England on 3 engines but were losing altitude and as they neared the North sea, the pilot gave the order to prepare for a water landing. Almost immediately, however, a 2nd engine failed and the ship went into a spin and is known to have crashed north of Amsterdam, Holland. It has been reported that your son took the pilot's position in a last brave effort to land the plane."

Edwin was born on Aug. 8, 1922, son of Charles B. and Mary F. Sowles. He spent his entire life in Mason City except for 3 years in Ventura and Austin, Minn. He finished high school at Ventura and was employed in Austin at the time of his induction in 1942.

Besides his mother he is survived by a sister, Dorothy, his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. H. F. Crosby, and several aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his father in 1928.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Friday, September 7, 1945 (photo included)

Memorial Service Sunday to Honor Fighting Men

Joint public memorial service honoring 6 men of the armed forces who have given their lives in combat will be held Sunday afternoon at 4 o’clock at Music Hall. The Rev. Ernest A. Bergeson, pastor of the Immanuel Lutheran Church, will give the eulogy. Mrs. T. J. Kiesselbach will be soloist.

Burial flags from the U. S. government will be present to the next of kin of the following: Clair B. Edel, Gordon Findlay, Edwin E. Sowles, Donald G. Stubbs, William F. Wahrer, Jr., and Cletus D. Weiland.

Gold star citation scrolls from the national department of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars and flowe4rs from the 2 organizations will also be presented to the relatives of the men honored.
The service will open with a 5 minute piano prelude, played by Mrs. Harry Wolf. Honor guard and firing squad for the service will be furnished by Company E of the Iowa State Guard, under the command of Capt. Leslie Whipple.

A letter of condolence from the city government will be read by Mrs. Clifford Dehnert, president of the American Legion Auxiliary. Buglers of the day are Bill Nicholas and John Reuber. The services, sponsored by the American Legion and the V. F. W., will be under the direction of the Legion, with Comdr. Elias Kelroy presiding.

All veterans’ organizations will attend in a body with their colors and are requested to be a Music Hall at 3:45.

Tyler Stewart is in charge of arrangements.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, September 28, 1945 (photos included)

STATE OF IOWA, Cerro Gordo County,
In District Court, No. 6390, October Term, 1945
To All Whom It May Concern:
You are hereby notified that an instrument of writing purporting to be the last Will and Testament of Edwin E. Sowles, Deceased, dated January 10th, 1944, having been this day filed, opened and read, Monday the 12th day of November, 1945, is fixed for hearing proof of same at the Court House in Mason City, Iowa, before the District Court of said County, or the Clerk of said Court and at 2 o’clock p.m of the day above mentioned all persons interested are hereby notified and required to appear, and show cause, if any they have, why said instrument should not be probated and allowed as and for the last Will and Testament of said deceased.

Dated at Mason City, Iowa, October 10th, 1945.
S. H. MacPEAK, Clerk of District Court.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, October 25, 1945

North Iowans Among Bodies on Way Home

Washington—Among the bodies of 4,384 World War II dead due to arrive from Europe aboard the U. S. Army transport, Barney Kirschbaum, are 76 Iowans, according to announcement by the department of the Army.

Armed forces dead originally interred in temporary military cemeteries in France, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg are among those being brought back to this country.

North Iowans in the list include the following, together with the next of kin:

S/Sgt. Edwin E. Sowles; Mrs. Mary F. Sowles, Mason City.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, December 29, 1948

S/Sgt. Edwin Sowles Rites to Be Conducted Saturday

Services for S/Sgt. Edwin E. Sowles, who was killed in action March 6, 1944, in Holland, will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the chapel of the McAuley and Son funeral home, with Doctor Lloyd A. Gustafson, pastor of the First Methodist church, officiating.

The body will arrive in Mason City Saturday morning from Chicago via the Milwaukee Road.

He was born in Mason City, Aug. 8, 1922, the son of Charles B. and Mary F. Sowles. He attended the local high school and was graduated from the Ventura high school, and was employed at the Hormel Packing plant in Austin, Minn., for a short time before entering the service Nov. 11, 1942.

Taking his basic training at Fresno, Cal., air base, he then went to Lincoln, Nebr., for technical training, and later attened aerial gunnery school at Fort Meyers, Fla., where he received his silver wings. He took further training at Wendover, Utah, and Boise, Idaho, where he became first engineer.

Surviving are his mother, Mrs. Mary Sowles, Mason City, a sister, Mrs. Glen Argensinger, Des Moines, grandfather, Henry Crosby, Mason City, and numerous other relatives. He was preceded in death by his father in 1928.

Burial will be at the Field of Honor in Memorial Park Cemetery. The McAuley and Son funeral home in charge.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, January 21, 1949 (photo included)