Hamilton County

Pfc. Chester W. Algoe

DesMoines Register, March 5, 1944


First Listed As Missing, Serviceman Died at Sea, Feb. 7.

Private First Class Chester W. Algoe, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Algoe, who live about five miles southeast of this city, died last Feb. 7, as a result of a ship sinking in the European area, a War Department message to his parents stated this week.  Private Algoe had previously been reported missing on Feb. 23.

First news that their son was dead was received  in a telegram  to Mr. and Mrs. Algoe which stated simply that:  “The Secretary of war extends his deepest sympathy in the loss of your son, Private First Class Chester W. Algoe, who was previously reported missing.  It has been determined that he died Feb. 7, in the European area. Letter follows.”

Receive Letter.
The letter, received late last week, stated that the young serviceman was lost aboard a transport sunk by a submarine shortly after midnight, Feb. 7. More letters from the department would follow later, the message stated.

Although Private Algoe’s death was the fourth recorded among Hamilton county servicemen in World War II, technically, he was the first  to be definitely listed as dead in action. Previous casualties recorded  include Roland Silvers, Webster City, who died in England; Merle Sandal of Stanhope, who died in an airplane accident in Africa, and Bernard Hoshaw, of this city, who died July 25, in the South Pacific as the result of a compound skull fracture. Other county servicemen have been listed as missing in action but their deaths or present location have not yet been reported.

In September.
Private Algoe went into service September 21, 1942, and after serving at Camp Robinson, Ark., he attended the army’s Midwest Motor Training school, Blooming, Ill., graduating with top honors. He was placed in a replacement group at Camp Miles Standish, Mass., and apparently sailed for the European war theater from there. He had been last heard from on Jan. 16, when he was still in the States.

Algoe was widely known in this section of Iowa for his ability as a motorcycle racer. A natural mechanic, he took up racing as a hobby and turned professional.  Last summer he won top honors at the St. Paul, Minn., meet, winning one race and taking a second and third in two preliminaries. He appeared at the Hamilton county track in 1941 and raced successfully on circuit tracks both that summer and the next.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Aug. 2, 1943.

Iowa Honor Roll

These Iowans, like those pictured here on previous Sundays, have given their lives for their country. They were fatally wounded in combat or died in prison camps. The fourth line under each name designates the war area in which the man last served.

Source: The Des Moines Register, Sunday, March 5, 1944 (33 photos included)

NOTES: Chester Wilbert Algoe, son of Charles W. and Erna Dencklau Algoe was born Oct. 24, 1921. He lost his life “at sea”, Feb. 7, 1943, when the transport ship he was on was sunk by an enemy submarine.

Pfc. Algoe, U.S. Army, Ordnance Department, was first reported as missing in action, later he was declared killed in action. He is memorialized at the Tablets of the Missing, East Coast Memorial, New York, New York, USA. He was awarded the Purple Heart, American Campaign Medal and World War II Victory Medal.

Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA
World War II Memorial