Sioux County

1st Lt. Herman T. VanderLaan

Died 15 Dec 1944



Orange City Officer Killed In Action

Mrs. Herman Vander Laan, of Laurens, Iowa, received a telegram Thursday noon that her husband, 1st Lt. Herman Vander Lann, was killed in action December 15th in Germany. 

Mrs. Vander Laan arrived in the parental, Mr. and Mrs. John Vander Laan, home Friday morning.  Memorial services will be held in the local First Reformed church Thursday afternoon with Rev. H. Colenbrander in charge.

Source:  Alton Democrat, January 4, 1945

Lieutenant Vander Laan Killed In Action, December 15, in Germany

Mrs. Marcia Vander Laan was notified Thursday by the War Department in Washington, that her husband, first lieutenant Herman T. VanderLaan had been killed in action in Germany, December 15.

Lt. VanderLaan of Orange City was not well known by many in the Laurens community, but his wife is the former Marcia Thomsen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Thomsen.

Lt. VanderLaan entered the Army in April 1942 and received his training at Camp Barkeley, Texas, and the California desert.  He went overseas in March of 1944.  His regiment landed on the Normandy beach on H-hour with another division.  Since D-day he had been in combat almost constantly until the day of his death.

He was commissioned a second lieutenant on September 29 and was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant on November 23.

Lt. VanderLaan leaves to mourn his passing, besides his wife, Marcia, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John VanderLaan; two brothers, Clarence and Harold; a sister, Leona, all of Orange City; a brother, Lewis, of Beresford, South Dakota; and another brother, Cpl. Marion serving in England with the air forces.  Also many friends in Orange City, Maurice, and those he had met in Laurens.

Memorial services were held today, Thursday, in Orange City, Iowa.

Source: Laurens Sun, January 4, 1945

Killed in Action Dec. 15

1st Lt. Herman Vander Laan of Orange City was killed in action in Germany on Dec. 15, 1944, according to word received by his family last Thursday afternoon.  He was 26 years old and had been in the service since June 25, 1942, serving overseas since last March.  He was with the infantry.

Lt. Vander Laan is survived by his wife, the former Marcia Thomsen, who taught at the high school here about two years ago, now teaches at Pocahontas, Ia.; and also his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Vander Laaan of Orange City; four brothers, Cpl. Marion somewhere in England, Louis of Beresford, S.D., and Clarence and Gerald both of Orange City, as also a sister Lorena also of Orange City.

Memorial services will be held on Thursday afternoon, Jan. 4, 1945, at the First Reformed Church of Orange City with the Rev. Henry Colenbrander officiating.

Source:  The Sioux Center News,  January 4, 1945 (photo included)

Legion Memorial For VanderLaan
Presented Wife With Flag at Ceremonies on Monday Night

Memorial services for first lieutenant Herman T. Vander Laan, were conducted by the American Legion and Auxiliary at the Legion Hall Monday, Lt. VanderLaan’s wife, the former Marcia Thomsen, was present to receive the flag of the United States presented by the government through the American Legion.  Mr. and Mrs. John VanderLaan of Orange City and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Thomsen were also in attendance.

The teacher’s sextet sang “Just a Prayer Away,” and the entire audience united in the singing of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

The memorial was held following the regular meetings of the Legion and Auxiliary.

Source:  Laurens Sun, May 17, 1945

Mrs. Marcia VanderLaan, teacher in the Pocahontas public school, has enlisted in the WAC, and will report this week at Fort Des Moines for six weeks basic training.  Mrs. Vander Laan’s husband, Lt. Herman VanderLaan, was killed in action in the European theatre of operations in December, 1944.

Source: Rolfe Arrow, Thursday, May 24, 1945