Polk County

Pfc. William F. Wahrer, Jr.



Wahrer Killed in Action in Germany on March 19
Landed in Italy As Replacement Last August

Mrs. W. F. Wahrer, Jr., received a message Thursday from the War Department stating that her husband, Pfc. William F. Wahrer, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Wahrer of 1119 Pennsylvania N. E., had been killed in action in Germany on March 19, 1945.

Pfc. Wahrer was inducted into the Army in December of 1942, and trained in the infantry in Louisiana and Texas. He went overseas in August, 1944, as a replacement and landed in Italy. Later he went to France and became a member of the 36th Texas division of the 7th Army under Gen. Patch, and had been in combat since November, 1944. He was recently awarded the combat infantry badge.

Pfc. Wahrer was a graduate of Roosevelt high school, Des Moines, and attended Drake University a year and later the American Institute of Business there for a year. He was married on April 5, 1942, to Ruth Hutchins of Rippey. Pfc. and Mrs. Wahrer were making their home in Des Moines at the time he entered the service. Mrs. Wahrer was with her husband at Camp Claiborne, La., and Camp Howze, Tex., when he was training there.

The message of his death came on their 3rd wedding anniversary, as did a bouquet of American Beauty roses he had wired. She has been making her home with her husband’s parents since he went overseas, and was employed as stenographer in the law office of Hugh Shepard here.

Besides his wife and parents, Pfc. Wahrer is survived by a sister, Marcia Faye Wahrer, who is attending the University of Minnesota.

Pfc. Wahrer was a member of the First Methodist church of Mason City.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, April 6, 1945 (photo included)


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)

Bergeson Speaks on Triumph Over Sorrow in Eulogizing Dead

"To you who have faced this sorrow may you be able to ascend your Mount Moriah," spoke the Rev. Ernest A. Borgeson, pastor of the Immanuel Lutheran church, at public memorial service at Music hall Sunday afternoon in eulogizing the lives of 6 servicemen from this community.

Maj. Louis D. Kuss, commanding officer from the ATC air base, Wold-Chamberlain field, Minneapolis, was in attendance to present the air medal with oak leaf cluster to G. C. Stubbs, awarded posthumously to his son, Donald G. Stubbs, one of the men honored.

The other five to whom tribute was paid and whose relatives were presented burial flags from the U. S. government were Clair B. Edel, Gordon Findlay, Edwin E. Sowles, William F. Wahrer, Jr., and Cletus D. Weiland. Gold star citation scrolls and flowers from the local American Legion post and the V. F. W. were also given to the next of kin.

"There are many sorrows that we must face but many that come to us if we cannot ascend our Mount Moriah," said Mr. Bergeson, drawing a parallel between the sacrifices families have been asked to make in the war and the sacrifice Abraham was asked to make in offering his only son, Isaac on the altar at Mount Moriah.

". . . God said to Abraham, 'Because thou hast not withheld I will bless thee - in thy seed all nations of the earth shall be blessed.'

"May you too ascend your Mount Moriah and carry on what they fought for the way God would have us let go, and go forth for what they died for. May we gain new strength and power to face the world without those who have gone . . . to surrender to God and go forth to do our tasks in life knowing that these dead have done theirs," concluded the pastor.

Maj. Kuss in the brief presentation of the award to Mr. Stubbs said in part: "By direction of the president and in behalf of the government of the United States, I present this medal awarded to your son for meritorious service with the 15th AAF in Italy."

A letter of condolence from the city government written by Mayor H. E. Bruce was read by Mrs. Clifford Delinert, president of the American Legion Auxiliary, "For many families war was over for their fathers, sons, brothers or husbands long before the war was officially declared over," it read. "For those who have only the dear memories of their loved ones, and the pride of their epic achievement, the situation resolves itself into a pattern of hope that these, the flower of our young manhood, shall not have died in vain."

The program opened with a piano prelude played by Mrs. Harry WOLF. Mrs. T. J. Kiesselbach sang "Prayer" by Guion and "O Brother, Fold In Thy Heart, Thy Brother" by Ward. She was accompanied by Mrs. Wolf.

The honor guard and firing squad were furnished by Company E of the Iowa state guard, Sgt. Frank Schoben in charge. Others in the group were Pfc. Dean Jacobson, Pvt. Bob Frid, Pvt. Antonio Devell, Jr., and Pvt. Jack Kalopostos.

Patriotic organizations attended in a body with their colors. Elias Kelroy, commander of the Legion, presided. Tyler Stewart was in charge of arrangements.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, October 01, 1945, Page 11

William F. Wahrer, Jr. was born Feb. 5, 1921 to William F. (Sr.) and Antonia A. Wahrer. He died Mar. 19, 1945 and is buried in the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial, St.-Avold, Lorraine, France.

Pvt. Wahrer was KIA in Germany while service with the U.S. Army 142nd Infantry, 36th Division. He was awarded a Purple Heart.

Source: ancestry.com