Hamilton County

 

Lt. Col. Homer R. Ankrum

 

1920-2003

 

Company E Men Are Enjoying A Visit At Home

After months of intensive military training at Camp Claiborne, La., a large number of Company E members are home on furloughs. However, they must be back in camp by July 8.

Among those reported home on furlough are:
Sergeants—Homer Ankrum, Karl Waggoner, Charles Meyers, Marvin Knapp, Eugene Wilson.
Corporals—Melvin McCollough, Don Shelton, Melvin Greenley, Charles Wilson, Jack Petrow.
Privates—Robert Patterson, Frank Smalley, Herman Streb, Lawrence McConnell, Ralph Shaffer, John Biggs, Warren Loder, Howard Kirkpatrick, Delmer Bole, Orville Jondal, Darold McIntyre, Homer Pilk, Lawrence Crouch, Rayburn Lentsch.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA, Tuesday, July 1, 1941

STAFF SERGEANT  
Homer Ankrum, of Webster City, has been promoted to Staff Sergeant, according to word received by his family. Ankrum is with Company E in Ireland.

Source: Webster City Freeman, June 11, 1942

With the World Series coming up next week comes a heartening message from a member of Company E in Ireland. Homer Ankrum, who was no slouch on the mound with either a kittenball or baseball wrote his folks recently that over there they’re planning to get Herr Hitler up to bat pretty soon, and says the doughboy, “When we do, we’re going to strike that (censored) out!” Play ball!

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA, Friday, September 25, 1942

IN AFRICA.

Staff Sgt. Homer Ankrum, formerly of this city, has been transferred to North Africa, according to a letter dated Jan. 15, and received here  recently by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Ankrum.

Sgt. Ankrum left Webster City with Company E, and received his training at Camp Claiborne, La. He was then sent overseas and has been stationed at various points in Northern Ireland and England.

Source: Webster City Freeman, Monday, February 8, 1943 (photo included)

Lt. Homer Ankrum has arrived here on leave after serving overseas for two and one-half years.  Lieutenant Ankrum entered the service in February 1941, with the National Guard unit from this city.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA, Tuesday, October 3, 1944

Miss Ethel Olson Bride of Lt. Homer Ankrum in Church Ceremony Monday

The wedding of Miss Ethel B. Olson, daughter of Mrs. Mae Olson of Webster City, and Lt. Homer R. Ankrum, son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Ankrum, also of this city, was solemnized Monday morning in St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic church here. The Rev. Father David Gorman officiated in the double ring ceremony at 9 o’clock…….

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA, October 17, 1944

Continued Military Career

Ankrum Family Returns from Three-Year Stay in Germany (picture included with this news article)

After a three year tour of duty in Germany, Captain and Mrs. Homer Ankrum and their five children have returned to the States and are spending a 30 day leave in Webster City at the home of Mr. and Mrs. F. Sterling Bonner, Captain Ankrum’s sister and brother-in-law.

The youngest of the five children, five months old Patricia, was born in Wurzburg, Germany. The other children are Dennis 7, Mary 6, Tom 5, and Peggy 3.

After expiration of his leave, Capt. Ankrum will be stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington and will resume his army career which already spans almost 19 years.

Some of his army time was spent with Webster City’s Company E here and in the African and Italian campaigns during World War II.

An infantry officer, Captain Ankrum was assistant G-4 for the 4th infantry division at Frankfurt, Germany and later he was with the 16th infantry regiment of the 1st infantry division at Schweinfurt.

Commending on the situation in Germany he cited as an example of Germany’s post-war rebirth that the city of Frankfurt is almost completely rebuilt. Both the Captain and Mrs. Ankrum enjoyed their German tour of duty.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Jan. 14, 1955

Ankrum Named Lieutenant Colonel

U. S. FORCES, GERMANY — Homer R. Ankrum, 42, of Webster City, Iowa, was promoted to lieutenant colonel late in June in Germany where he is assigned to Headquarters, Northern Area Command.

Colonel Ankrum, a logistics management officer with the command, entered the army in 1941 and arrived overseas on this tour of duty in August, 1960.

The colonel attended Webster City Junior college.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - July 24, 1963


Home Again After 27-Year Service Career: Not Retiring

Contrary to some reports, Homer Ankrum — who left Webster City in 1941 as a corporal with the “old” Company E and has just returned to his home here as a lieutenant-colonel in the U.S. army — is not retiring after a total of 27 years in the National Guard and army service.

Col. Ankrum and his family arrived July 19 back in the States after three years in Germany, but his armed service career is far from being over. He is being assigned to Council Bluffs as a regular army advisor to the National Guard organization of southwest Iowa.

Reside at Farm Home

The Ankrum family will reside at the former George Groves farm home on south Des Moines St., which the Ankrums purchased four years ago. The home has about two and one-half acres of land in conjunction with it, and undoubtedly will be a popular playing site for the six Ankrum children.

A former high school athletic ace in baseball, football and basketball, Ankrum joined the National Guard in 1936, heading off for service in World War II with the famed 34th “Red Bull” division in February, 1941. During the tough and bloody Italian campaign, Ankrum won a second lieutenant’s commission on the battlefield and has steadily advanced through the ranks since that time, having received his lieutenant colonel rating just this June

After World War II, he returned to Webster City and took over command of the newly reorganized Company E. He went back into regular army service in 1948 and since then has commanded rifle companies, tank companies and service companies.

During the years he has seen service in Japan, Korea, at Fort Lewis, Wash, Fort Knox, Ky., and Fort Benning, Ga., in addition to Germany, Italy and other areas of the European war theater during World War II.

Latest Assignments

His latest assignments have been in logistics for the Baumholder military post in Germany and as a programs-budgets-management officer for the Northern Area Command in Europe. For two of the last three years he was located in the Idar-Oberstein, Germany, and for the past year at Frankfurt, Germany.

He was working when President Kennedy received his historic reception in Germany this summer, but Mrs. Ankrum attended a review held for the President at nearby Hanau.

“Mr. Kennedy made a tremendous impression in Germany,” Col. Ankrum said. “It was out of this world.”

Highly Industrialized

West Germany is highly industrialized, Col. Ankrum pointed out, and its officials are becoming among the world’s best in economics. One of the prime topics of discussion and debate these days is the European Common Market which Germany favors expanding while France is trying to limit its membership.

American troops in Europe are at a fine peak of efficiency and are well-trained and well-conditioned, ready for any assignment, the veteran Webster City officer added.

“How does it feel to be back home again?” Col. Ankrum was asked. The answer was, “Great. We’ve always thought of Webster City as our home in spite of all our travels, and we’re pleased to be back in Iowa. Webster City has grown tremendously and we are always impressed by its wonderful recreation program for its youngsters. You offer far more here than one can find in any army community.”

Iowa’s excellent educational standing is attested to by the fact that Iowa schools basic skills tests are given in the schools overseas attended by army servicemen’s children. Many of Iowa’s school criteria are incorporated into the educational field in the army schools.

The Ankrums’ six children will be enrolling in high school, junior high and elementary classes this fall. The youngsters include Dennis, 16; Mary Beth, 14; Tommy, 13; Peggy 11; Patricia, 8, and Janet 20 months. The latter two were born in Germany.

Used To Traveling

The Ankrum youngsters are naturally used to traveling, having crossed five different countries and taken a jet aircraft on their way back to America.

Eight-year-old Patty, however, appears to be all set for more. After hearing some of her new friends in Webster City talking about their own families’ plans for vacation trips to lakes, cities and resorts she somewhat startled her parents the other day with the statement:

“We never get to go anywhere. When are we going to get to go on a trip?”

(incl. picture: Lt. Col. and Mrs. Homer Ankrum inspect a bumper crop of apples at their farm home just south of Webster City where they are now residing after having returned to this community following three years of overseas duty in Germany. Col. Ankrum has been assigned to be the regular army advisor for the Iowa National Guard, southwest district, with headquarters at Council Bluffs.)

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Aug. 6, 1963

Obituary:

Homer R. Ankrum, 82, Mount Dora, Fla. and Stratford (Iowa)

Homer R. Ankrum, 82, died Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2003 at the Hamilton Hospital. Private graveside services will be held at a later date in Graceland Cemetery, Webster City. No visitation.

Homer R. Ankrum was born July 20, 1920 in Hamilton County, Iowa. He was the son of Lucy Lester Ankrum and James Arthur Ankrum. He graduated from Webster City, Iowa High School in 1938 and attended the WC Jr. College until called in February 1941 for active duty with the United States Army. He had joined the National Guard in Webster City at the age of 15. While in battle in Italy, he received a battlefield commission. Following World War II, Ankrum reorganized and commanded Co. E, 133rd Infantry then volunteered for active army service during the Korean War. He retired as a Lt. Colonel from the army in 1963 to accept the position of city manager in his hometown of Webster City. He later served as city manager of Fridley, Minn., Maywood, Ill., and retired as city manager of Lake Bluff, Ill. in 1981 and moved to Mount Dora, Fla.

Survivors include his wife Ellen Hanson Ankrum, sister, Mabel Bonner Whaley, Webster City, children Dennis of Austin, Texas, Mary (Mike) Adams, Webster City, Thomas of Lake Forest, Ill., Peggy (Marcus) Fuhrman of Grand Canyon, Ariz., Patty Ankrum of Mt. Vernon, Iowa, and Janet Lovelace of Puyallup, Wash, grandchildren, Bradley Williams, Lincoln, Neb., Rebecca Williams of Corona Del Mar Calif., Jeremy Janes of Des Moines, Jason Janes, Puyallup, Wash., Jordan Lovelace, Puyallup, Wash., Amanda Fuhrman, Santa Cruz, Calif., Wesley Fuhrman, Grand Canyon, Ariz., and Carl Ankrum, Oak Park Ill., plus many nieces and nephews. He and his wife also have several friends who have been like daughters and sons to them, namely Sondra Birkenes, Albuquerque, NM, Janet Sonksen, Marsha and Mike Headley, all of Stratford.

Homer was preceded in death by his former wife, Ethel Olson Ankrum, his parents, and brothers, Albert, Alvin, Dilman and William, plus two new-born baby brothers.

Homer had many interests, among them Past president of the State of Iowa City Managers’ Assoc., former trustee State of Iowa Financial Board of City Managers, past president of Lake County Florida Retired Officers Assoc., former president of Boone County Development Assoc., served on transportation committee of Metropolitan Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn., served on Governor of Minnesota’s PersonnelCommission, past Vice Commander of WC VFW Post, member of Boone, Iowa VFW, member of Webster City American Legion, former member of Mount Dora Yacht Club, member of Lake County Florida Sons of the American Revolution, member of the Elks Club in Eustis, Florida, member of the 34th Div. Assoc. Camp Dodge, Iowa, member of the Tri-State Assoc. 34th Div., member of the 2nd Battalion Assoc. Mason City, Iowa, member of Co. E, 1133rd Infantry Rev. 34th Div. Assoc., member of the National Order of Battlefield Commissions, author of two books, “Dogfaces Who Smiled Through Tears” WWII and “Bittersweet Years” 1920-1941, composed the words and music to “March of the Red Bull Legions” and “Iowa, the Hawkeye State”. He was the holder of two United States and Canadian patents, was a member of the Lutheran Church in Stratford, and an associate member of the Congregational Church in Mount Dora, Fla.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Apr. 17, 2003