Sioux County

George F. Vander Tuig



George F. Vander Tuig Was Radioman on Landing Ship, Tank

George F. Vander Tuig, 24, chief radioman, U.S. Navy, was a member of the U.S. Naval assault force which invaded France beginning June 6, according to a notice sent to The Globe-Post by the commander of the U.S. Naval forces in Europe.  (Public Relations Section.)  This was not his first action against the enemy, however.

Chief Vander Tuig saw previous action against the Japs at Guadalcanal, battle of Cape Esperance, as a member of the cruiser Boise crew, and participated in the invasion of Sicily.

Previous to the Normandy action (France), Chief Vander Tuig held the Purple Heart decoration.  He was cited by the commanding officer of the USS LST No. 318 for cool and efficient performance of duty under fire.

His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Nick Vander Tuig of Ireton.  He is a graduate of Ireton high school, and was employed in Marienau’s Pharmacy at Ireton.  He enlisted in the navy at Sioux City on April 15, 1938.

Source: The Globe-Post, LeMars IA – July 10, 1944


George F. Vander Tuig, age 24, Chief Radioman, was a member of a U.S. Naval crew in the American Assault Force which invaded France. This is not his first action with the enemy. He saw previous action at Guadalcanal, Battle of Cape Esperance, Aboard the United States Cruiser Boise and participated in the invasion of Sicily. He has received the following medals or citations: He is the previous holder of the purple heart and was cited by the commanding officer of the USS Lst No. 318 for excellent performance of duty under fire. His home address is Ireton, Iowa, and is the son of Mr. Nick Vander Tuig.

Source: Sioux Center News, July 13, 1944 (photo included)

Memory excerpts shared by Frances (Berkenpas) Leonard regarding the young school teacher, who married George F. Vander Tuig:

I am Frances Leonard. I grew up in Seney, Iowa, (Plymouth County) and Jake Berkenpas was my father. I attended the Seney school.

I remember so many of those teachers but some of them were "little room" teachers and the others were "big room" teachers. When I went to the Seney school the kindergarten through the fourth grades were taught in the little room and the fifth through the eighth grades were taught in the big room. I remember some of my favorite teachers were Miss Janssen ( Martha) who was being courted at the time by a very handsome man in military uniform . He would stop by the school occasionally to see her, and I must have been around 7 or 8 years old then and thought he was the most handsome man I had ever seen. That was during the 2nd World War days. I think his last name was Vandertieg or something like that.

They eventually got married and I believe he operated a TV repair shop in LeMars for a while. We would try to look out of the school house windows when he would leave to see him kiss her, and then we would all giggle.

Seney: (Special Correspondence)
George Vander Tuig, chief petty officer and radio operator in the marines, arrived here Friday to spend a 30-day leave with relatives and friends.  He has been overseas for 14 months and took part in the D-day invasion of Southern France.  He is a veteran of seven major battles and a wearer of the Purple Heart.  En route to Iowa, he visited Elmer Janssen, who is in the U. S. Maritime Service at Brooklyn, N.Y.

Source: The LeMars Sentinel, December 22, 1944


A lovely wedding took place at the LeMars Christ Lutheran Church at 3 P. M. Thursday afternoon, Dec. 28, 1944, when Miss Martha Janssen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Janssen, became the bride of Chief Radioman George Vander Tuig, with the Rev. F. Bunge officiating.

The bride was beautiful in a white satin gown with train and lace insertion, fitted bodice and finger tip veil.  She carried a bouquet of red roses and wore a pearl necklace and earrings, gifts of the groom.  She carried white satin gloves, which her mother wore at her wedding 32 years previous.

The bridesmaids, Leona Janssen and Virginia Downing, wore blue taffeta gowns and corsages of sweet peas.  The flower girl, Frances Van Roekel, wore a pink satin formal.

The groom wore his dress uniform and the best men, Fred Janssen and Melvin Drost, wore brown business suits.  Ushers were Lorens Janssen and Floyd De Raad.

Preceding the ceremony, Bernie Van Roekel sang, “I Love You Truly” and after the ceremony Gertrude Vander Tuig and Janette Green sang “Where Love Is There is God.”  Martha Bunge presided at the organ.

A reception was held at the home of the bride’s parents and waitresses were Blanche Hawkins, Martha Bunge, Dorothy Van Schepen, Emma Stegersma,.  Kitchen hostesses were Mrs. Clarence Albert and Mrs. Ray Dobbert.

Both the bride and groom were born and raised in Ireton and are graduates of the Ireton high school.  The bride has been teaching school for the past five years and the groom has been with the United States Navy for the past seven years.

Source:  Sioux Center News, Thursday, January 4, 1945


Chief Radioman George Vander Tuig left last Wednesday to report at New York. His wife, the former Martha Janssen, and her sister, Mrs. Bernard VanRoekel, of Maurice, accompanied him as far as Chicago. From there, the ladies will visit at Milwaukee.

Source: Sioux Center News, January 25, 1945

His Obituary:

LE MARS, Iowa -- George F. Vander Tuig, 87, of Le Mars passed away Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2007, at Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars.

Memorial services will be 2 p.m. Saturday at St. John's Lutheran Church in Le Mars, with the Rev. Gary Landsness officiating. Military rites will be conducted by the American Legion Wasmer Post 241 of Le Mars. Visitation will be after 2 p.m. today, with the family present 6 to 8 p.m. and a prayer service at 7 p.m., at Mauer-Johnson Funeral Home in Le Mars. Visitation will resume one hour prior to the service Saturday at the church.

George F. Vander Tuig was born Dec. 19, 1919, in Ireton, Iowa, to Nick and Susie (Vander Kooi) Vander Tuig. He was baptized at the Christian Reformed Church in Ireton and confirmed at Christ Lutheran Church in rural Le Mars. He graduated from Ireton High School in 1938. On Aug. 12, 1938, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served overseas as a radio operator during World War II. He was involved in heavy action in the southern Pacific Theater, surviving the sinking of his ship near Sicily and was part of the D-Day Invasion. He earned the Purple Heart Medal. He was honorably discharged on May 31, 1949.

On Dec. 28, 1944, he and Martha Janssen were united in marriage at Christ Lutheran Church in rural Le Mars. Following his military service, the couple made their home in Kenosha, Wis., where they owned and operated Clear Vue TV. When the Le Mars area first received television signals in 1953, they moved their business to Le Mars. They operated Clear Vue TV until 1982.

He was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church, where he served as council president, taught Sunday School and ushered for many years. He was a 50-year member of the American Legion Wasmer Post 241, the Rotary International and served in the first board of director at Brentwood.

Survivors include his wife, Martha; a daughter and her husband, Sharyl and the Rev. Curtis Miller of Cottonwood, Minn.; two sons and their wives, the Rev. Stephen and Jane of Hampton, Neb., and the Rev. Mark and Candice of Altoona, Iowa; and grandchildren, Eric and Dawn Miller and their children, Sebastian and Charlotte of Portland, Ore., Nathan and Sarah Miller and their children, Soren and Lydia of Eau Claire, Wis., the Rev. Paul and Marie Miller of Fargo, N.D., Adam Vander Tuig of Grand Island, Neb., Marci Vander Tuig of Lincoln, Neb., Laura Vander Tuig of Des Moines and Emily Vander Tuig of Altoona, Iowa.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and four sisters.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, Feb. 16, 2007