Black Hawk County

Pfc. Donald M. Thomas




Service News

Wounded for the second time while serving as a machine gunner with the infantry in the Pacific, Pfc. Donald Thomas, Waterloo, is now hospitalized in the Philippine islands, accord to a letter from him received by his wife, 2535 East Fourth street.

He suffered leg wounds Nov. 22 when a Japanese hand grenade landed near him and after returned to action he was wounded in the neck on Dec. 2 by a sniper.

Private Thomas, a former employe (sic) of the Rath Packing Co., entered service in August, 1943, and had been overseas seven months.

Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, Waterloo, Iowa, Sunday, December 24, 1944, Page 9


Three Added to Waterloo List of Dead

Names of three more men were added to the list of Waterloo’s war dead by war department messages to relatives here Saturday.

Killed on Luzon were:
Pfc. Donald M. Thomas, 34.
Pfc. Kenneth K. Diamond, 26.

Killed in Germany:
Pfc. Joseph Hoover, 34.

[NOTE: Portions of this article regarding Pfc. Diamond and Pfc. Hoover have been omitted but may be found on their individual webpages within this site.]

Private Thomas, formerly of 2533 East Fourth street, was killed in action Mar. 29 on Luzon, a war department message to his wife, Mrs. Helen Thomas, revealed.

A machine gunner in the 32nd infantry division, he was wounded twice before he was killed. He entered army service Aug. 19, 1943, took his basic training at Camp Adair, Ore., and went overseas last May.

He was wounded slightly Mar. 19, 1944, when a fragment of a Jap hand grenade struck his leg. He was seriously wounded last Dec. 2 in the battle of Leyte when he was shot through the neck by a Jap sniper.

He received the Order of the Purple Heart and Oak Leaf Cluster, and also was awarded the expert infantryman’s badge.

Donald M. Thomas was born in Sexton, Ia., July 14, 1910, but came to Waterloo as a child. He was graduated from East high school in 1931, and from Gates Business college in 1932.

He was married to the former Helen Avelchas on Sept. 7, 1934, in Chicago.

Survivors include his wife and one sister, Mrs. Henry Bagby, 714 Newton street; two brothers, Virgil Thomas, 420 Reed street, and Gerald Thomas, 517 Reed street; and a brother-in-law, T-5 Nick W. Avelchas, serving in Belgium. His parents preceded him in death.

Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, Waterloo, Iowa, Thursday, April 22, 1945, Pages 11 & 22 (photo included)


Acknowledges receipt of Memorial Wreath in Memory of

killed in action on Luzon
given by Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Phennidie, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. H. W. Heathershaw,
Muriel Schlampp, Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Boemecke.

The Franklin St. Home is filled and has a waiting list. The Foundation seeks to create interest in the care of the chronically ill by trained workers and the operation of a large public convalescent home to reduce costs.

For information call 2-0934 or address Foundation, 209 Maple St., Waterloo, Ia.

Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, Waterloo, Iowa, Sunday, May 27, 1945, Section Two, Page 20

Service News

The Purple Heart has been awarded posthumously to Pvt. Donald M. Thomas, who was killed in action Mar. 29, 1945, on Luzon. The medal has been received by his wife, Helen, who resides at 2135 East Fourth street.

Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, Waterloo, Iowa, Sunday, July 08, 1945, Page 7