Louisa County

Lt. Hartley Westbrook


Lt. Westbrook Held Prisoner In German Camp

GrandviewLt. Hartley Westbrook is a prisoner of the German government and is all right.  This message was received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. B. H. Westbrook, through his wife who lives in Coon Rapids.  She was notified by the United States government.

Lt. Westbrook, pilot of an Army plane, was reported missing in action in a message received by relatives May 22, 1943.  He had been in the service about two years.

At the same time, Staff Sgt. John Arihood, another Grandview boy, gunner with a U. S. bomber squadron, was reported missing.  Relatives have since received word that he died in an Axis prison camp.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, June 12, 1943

Prisoner Ranks Expand As War Grows Intense In France and Germany

Hopes for an eventual happy reunion at the conclusion of hostilities with father, brother, son or husband, initially reported as “missing in action” has been spurred in a number of homes in Muscatine and nearby communities in southeastern Iowa and western Illinois by later information, advising that the missing service man was listed as a prisoner of war.

Anxious hours of hopeful waiting after official information listing men as “missing in action” has been followed in repeated instances by such data during the past year, as it was in former years of World War No. 2, as the number of men who have become members of the “Barbed Wire Legion”—prisoners of war—has increased.

Then, for families and for the members of the Barbed Wire Legion, as well, has followed a second interval of waiting—until through the channels of the International Red Cross, letters and communications have been re-established.

This, in turn, is followed by further waiting—waiting for that day when peace will return and the guns of war are silenced—when long days of confinement in distant camps and restriction of privileges will come to an end and families and friends may be reunited.

As the period of America’s participation in the war has lengthened, so has the number of men listed from this community as prisoners of war.

For some, stationed in the Pacific theater of action, three years have passed in prison camps. For others, captured in other fields of action, one year in a prisoner of war camp is stretching to a second. Others, participating in more recent actions, have spent lesser periods in prison camps.

From some of these men, relatives have received fairly regular, although restricted letters, advising of their treatment, the receipt of certain items of clothing, food and for recreational purposes through the Red Cross. From others only scratches of information have been received.

From official sources and from members of their families, brief sketches of the following men reported as prisoners, have been obtained:

LT. HARTLEY WESTBROOK—The son of Mr. and Mrs. B. H. Westbrook, who live on a farm near Grandview, was reported as a prisoner of Germany on June 12, 1943. He had been reported as missing in action on May 22, 1943. He was a pilot of an army bomber when his ship was forced down.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, Friday, December 29, 1944