Sioux County

James Louis Achterhoff





Our Neighbors in the Service

Rock Valley, Iowa—Mr. and Mrs. Louis Achterhoff were informed that their son, James Louis, a member of the Seabees construction battalion, had been killed in action. James was last heard from in north Africa about September 10. He had been in Sicily and had seen two days of fighting some time before his letter arrived here. He was engaged in transporting supplies. James entered the service January 6, 1943 and received his boot training at Davisville, R.I. He is the first casualty from the Rock Valley vicinity.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, September 18, 1943


Word was received Wednesday afternoon by Mr. and Mrs. Louis Achterhoff living 1 1/2 miles west of Perkins corner that their son James Louis had been killed in action. James had last been heard from in North Africa about September 1st. He was a member of the Sea Bees construction Battalion engaged in transporting supplies. He had also been to Sicily. A recent letter said he had seen two days of fighting but that was sometime before his last letter arrived here.

The message reads as follows: "The Navy Department deeply regrets to inform you that your son, James Louis Achterhoff, Seaman 1st Class of the U. S. Naval Reserve was killed in action in the performance of his duty and in the service of his country. The Department extends to you its sincerest sympathy in your great loss. On account of the existing conditions the body if recovered cannot be returned at present. If further details are received you will be informed. To prevent possible aid to our enemies please do not divulge the name of his ship or station." ~Rear Admiral Randall Jacobs, Chief of Naval Personnel.

James entered the service January 6th, 1943. He was twenty-three years old. He had a furlough after completing his boot training in the middle of March and at that time visited relatives and friends in Sioux Center while spending his furlough with his parents whose address is Rock Valley. He visited the News office and was very enthusiastic about his work in the Sea Bee Construction Battalion. He was a fine young man and the community extends sympathy to the members of his family in their great loss.

No plans have yet been made for a Memorial Service. The family will wait until further details are received from the Navy Department. It is supposed that his ship was sunk which no doubt accounts for the fact that his body cannot be recovered.

Source: Unknown local newspaper

James Achterhoff was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Achterhoff. He was born on July 13, 1920. He attended the rural schools of this community. He enlisted in the United States Naval Reserves November 27, 1942 as a member of the Seabees Construction Battalion. He received his boot training at Camp Endicott, Rhode Island and after having a home leave embarked April 4th for overseas duty. He was in the North African Theatre and took part in the invasion of Sicily. He was the first casualty for this community.

He is survived by his parents and four sisters Eldine, Lucille, Wilma and Bertha.

A military escort accompanied the body in the hearse through town from the church to the south part of town to its final resting place.

A military salute was fired and taps sounded and the flag presented to the mother.

Source: Local newspaper dated 19 July 1948