Muscatine County

Pvt. Francis Van Dolah



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:

Sgt. Robert Van Dolah, son of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Van Dolah, of Illinois City, died Nov. 17, 1944, in the European theater.

Pvt. Francis Van Dolah, 26, husband of Mrs. Arlene Van Dolah, of Illinois City, killed in action Feb. 21, 1945, in Germany.

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

Van Dolahs Get Information On Burial of Sons

Illinois City—Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Van Dolah, who reside on a farm west of Illinois City, have received various communications recently giving more details in reference to the death of their two sons, Sgt. Robert Van Dolah and Pvt. Francis Van Dolah, in European and Mediterranean combat areas.

Sgt. Robert Van Dolah died in a hospital in Northern Italy on Nov. 17, 1944, and was buried under the rites of the protestant faith at Mt. Beni, U. S. Military Cemetery, Pietramola, Italy.

Several letters have been received recently by the parents from fellow servicemen and his captain, who said Sgt. Van Dolah was a fine non-commissioned officer and soldier and one of which his country could be proud. Robert was a radar operator with an anti-aircraft battalion and left for overseas service in February 1943, after four months of training at Camp Stewart, Ga.

Pvt. Francis Van Dolah, who was serving with an infantry division under Gen. George S. Patton, received his basic training at Camp Blanding, Fla., and went overseas in November of 1944. He was killed in action near Oldsdorf, Germany, on Feb. 21, 1945. He was buried in the United States Military Cemetery at Hamm, Luxembourg, with a protestant chaplain in charge. Details concerning him were received through the chaplain of his regiment.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, May 15, 1945

Among the war dead to which Muscatine and the surrounding communities paid tribute this year were Pvt. Francis Van Dolah and Sgt. Robert Van Dolah, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Van Dolah, Muscatine, rural route 1, who lost their lives in Europe during World War II.  Double services for the men were conducted on Dec. 2, in the Illlinois City Methodist church.  The flag-draped caskets of the brothers are pictured above in the chapel of the Fairbanks Home for Funerals. The casket of Sgt. Van Dolah is at the left and that of Pvt. Van Dolah at the right, with respective military escorts, Sgt. Lloyd G. Deitrich and Sgt. John T. Desmond.  Stationed with the colors are two members of the ceremonial staff of Edward H. Bitzer Post No. 27, American Legion, H. E. Plett, at left, and Frank Vorwerk.

Solemn Procession Continues Through 1948 as War Dead Are Returned Home

Flag-draped caskets, coming from the European and Pacific war theaters, were brought to Muscatine county and other neighboring communities at intervals throughout the year of 1948 as the solemn procession of the country’s war dead continued to move home.

As each casket carrying a soldier, sailor, marine or flier who died during World War II was returned, last honors were accorded to the servicemen at funeral and burial rites.  Final interment was in the cemetery chosen by his next-of-kin.

This year was the second for the government’s program of returning the bodies of war dead to the United States for burial in keeping with the wishes of their family. Inaugurated in the fall of 1947, the program has to date seen the return from overseas cemeteries of more than 50 bodies of men from this vicinity who died in the service of their country during the war.

The list of war dead returned to Muscatine and surrounding counties includes the following:

Pvt. Francis Van Dolah, son of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Van Dolah, Muscatine, rural route 1, killed in action in Germany on Feb. 21, 1945. Burial in Illinois City cemetery.
Sgt. Robert Van Dolah, son of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Van Dolah, Muscatine, rural route 1, died in a British hospital in northern Italy on Nov. 17, 1944. Burial in the Illinois City cemetery.

Source: Muscatine Journal, December 30, 1948 (photo included)