Kossuth County

S/Sgt. Elmer W. Alt

06 Jan 1914 - 10 June 1945

Elmer Alt Serving in Hawaiian Islands

Elmer Alt, son of Mr. and Mrs. Chris Alt, Union township, was a member of the contingent which left Algona February 3, 1942. He was sent to Camp Wolters, Texas, and from there was assigned to the Hawaiian Islands, June 6, 1942, and is still stationed there.

Source: Algona Upper Des Moines, October 6, 1942 (photo included)

Activities of Union Soldiers

Corp. Elmer Alt writes his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Chris Alt, from the Island of Oahu, Hawaii, that he has now entered a school on that island for training. He will be trained in gun mechanics. He had been doing guard duty up to that time.

Source: Algona Upper Des Moines, April 22, 1943

DIES ON MINDANAO—S. Sgt. Elmer W. Alt, son of Mr. and Mrs. Chris Alt, farmers west of Algona, died June 10, 1945 at Mindanao from wounds suffered in action.  They had not been officiating notified he had been wounded, but in a letter he wrote them May 28, he stated he had shrapnel wounds in the back but was still in the field.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, July 3, 1945 (photo included)

HOW ELMER W. ALT MET HIS DEATH

The Chris Alt’s, former Union township farmers, now living in Lotts Creek township, have received a letter giving some details of the recently reported death in action of their son, S/Sgt. Elmer W. Alt, while fighting Japs on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines.

Deceased is a brother to Mrs. Eli Gerber of West Bend.

The letter, which was written by Capt. Donald R. Pruett, of the 19th Infantry, and addressed to Mrs. Kate Alt, Elmer’s mother, follows:

“You have my deepest heartfelt sympathy in the loss of your son, and I hope that I can relieve your burden of sorrow by giving you as much information as possible, and to tell you just what his loss has meant to me and all the men of this organization, who have known him so long.

“We had just taken a strategic hill overlooking the small town of Mandog, eight miles north of the city of Davac. We fought all day in driving the Japs off the hill, and we finally successfully repulsed all attempts by the Japs to retake it.

“We held the hill through the night of the ninth of June and on the morning of the tenth, the Japs attacked our positions. During the ensuing action your son was wounded by a Jap machine gun bullet. He was wounded at 11:35 and died at 12:35 of wounds. All medical aid was given, but it was impossible to save the life of your son.

“Elmer was buried at U.S.A.F.F.E. Cemetery No. 1, at Taloma, Mindanao, P. I. and last rites were held by an army chaplain.”

Source: West Bend Journal, July 26, 1945

Memorial Services for Elmer W. Alt

Sunday at 1:30 at the Christian Apostolic church east of West Bend, memorial services were held for S-Sgt. Elmer W. Alt, who died June 10, of wounds suffered at Mindanao, Philippine Islands.

Knoll Post 549, Burt, had charge of the military part of the service. The procession formed at the Alt home in Lotts Creek township and at the church the color bearers were followed in order by the pastor, honorary bearers, the family, and patriotic service groups.

The service was in charge of the Rev. Joseph Banwart, assisted by a son, the Rev. Paul Banwart, both of West Bend.

Honorary bearers were Floyd Bacon, Floyd Riebhoff, John Scuffham, Irvin Gerber, Eli Breullman and Fahe Gress.  J. Luther Miller, Commander, and W. J. Lockwood, Adjutant of the Burt Legion Post, presented Mrs. Alt with an American flag.

Concluding the services taps were played by Dale Lockwood.

Elmer was inducted into service Feb. 3, 1942, and received basic training at Camp Wolters, Tex.  From there he was transferred to Angel Island, San Francisco, where he remained two weeks and was then ordered to Hawaii.

In early June 1942, he was sent to the S. Pacific, and had served in Hollandia, Leyte, New Guinea, and Mindanao.  A member of Company D, 19th Infantry, his company June 9 had taken a strategic hill overlooking the little town of Mandog, eight miles north of the city Davao.

A defense was established which was held through the night of June 9, but on the morning of June 10, the Japs counter-attacked and during the ensuing battle young Alt was wounded by machine gun fire. All possible medical aid was given but he died an hour later.

He was buried at U. S. A. F. F. E., Cemetery I, at Taloma, P.I., with rites by an army chaplain. Last week Mr. and Mrs. Alt received the Purple Heart which had been awarded posthumously to their son.

Sergeant Alt was born Jan. 6, 1914, on a farm near Stephens, Minn.  When he was five years old the family moved to a farm near Corwith, and lived there till 1924, when they moved to a Union township farm. Elmer helped his father there till he entered army service. Two years ago the parents moved to a Lotts Creek farm.

Surviving are his parents; brothers, Harry and Melvin, Algona; Lawrence, Fenton; sisters, Mrs. Albert Wibben, Mrs. Harold Lampe, Bancroft; Mrs. Albert Speth, Ringsted; Mrs. Eli Gerber, West Bend; Evelyn and Rumy, at home; and a grandmother, Mrs. Lydia Ringenberger, Gridley, Ill.

Persons who attended the services included:  The Lewis Alts, Deloria Trebesch, Sleepy Eye, Minn.; Wm. Wilkening, St. James, Minn., daughters Norma and Nancy; the A. E. Rinkenbergers, Morris, Minn.; Mrs. Lydia Knohl, Hancock, Minn.; Lena Aeschliman, Chicago; D. E. Alt, LaCrosse, Ind.; Evelyn Alt and Evelyn Dodda, Detroit; Mr. and Mrs. Bob Alt, daughter Rebecca, the Jos. Bauers, and daughter Laura, all of Cessna Park, Ill.

Source: West Bend Journal, August 30, 1945

PAY LAST HONOR TO ALGONA YANK
S. Sgt. Elmer W. Alt Killed on Mindanao

Algona—Memorial services were held here for S/Sgt. Elmer W. Alt, who died June 10 of wounds at Mindanao, Philippine Islands.  The service was at rural Christian Apostolic church with the Rev. Joseph Banwart, assisted by his son, the Rev. Paul Banwart officiating.

Elmer was inducted into service Feb. 3, 1942, and received basic training at Camp Wolters, Tex.  From there he was transferred to Angel Island, San Francisco, where he remained two weeks and was then ordered to Hawaii.

In early June 1942, he was sent to the S. Pacific, and had served in Hollandia, Leyte, New Guinea, and Mindanao.  A member of Company D, 19th Infantry, his company June 9 had taken a strategic hill overlooking the little town of Mandog, eight miles north of the city Davao.

A defense was established which was held through the night of June 9, but on the morning of June 10, the Japs counter-attacked and during the ensuing battle young Alt was wounded by machine gun fire. All possible medical aid was given but he died an hour later.

Last week his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Chris Alt, received the purple heart which had been awarded posthumously.

Sgt. Alt was born Jan. 6, 1914, on a farm near Stephens, Minn. At 5 years the family moved to Corwith, then to Union township, Kossuth county where he helped his father until he was inducted into the Army. He is survived by his parents, and 9 brothers and sisters.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, August 31, 1945