Hamilton County

Pvt. Marshall John Appenzeller




Prisoner of Japanese.

STRATFORD, IA.—Mr. and Mrs. Elmer J. Appenzeller of Stratford have received word from marine headquarters in Washington D.C. that their son, Marshall J., reported missing last May, is listed as a prisoner of the Japanese.

Young Appenzeller, a private first class, enlisted in the marines Oct. 30, 1939. Last word his parents received from him direct was a card written in March at Bataan.

Source: The Des Moines Register, Saturday, March 27, 1943 (photo included)


Private Marshall John Appenzeller, son of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer J. Appenzeller, of near Stratford, has been transferred from the Philippine Islands, to a Japanese prison camp to one at Osaka, Japan, according to a letter received by his parents from the war department.

Private Appenzeller was recently reported a prisoner of the Japs in the Philippines after being listed among the missing following the fall of Bataan. Osaka, one of the principal cities of Japan, is on Honshu, the largest of the Japanese Isles.

The letter from the war department said in part: “The provost marshall general directs me to inform you that Pvt. Marshall John Appenzeller, prisoner of war, has been reported transferred to Osaka camp, Japan.

“You May communicate with him by following the enclosed mailing instructions. Further information will be furnished as soon as it is received.

“Yours truly, Howard F. Bresle, Colonel, C.M.P. chief, information bureau"

Private Appenzeller was one of the first Hamilton county servicemen to be listed as missing in the first stages of the war with Japan. Two other Stratford men—Leon William Eckstein and James Peterson—and Roy Wesley Newman of Webster City, were also reported missing but later were listed as Jap prisoners.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Aug. 2, 1943


Marshall John Appenzeller, Sgt. U.S. Marine Corps, was born Dec. 2, 1918 to Elmer and Hazel Gordon Appenzeller. He died Sept. 14, 1960, and is buried at the Marietta National Cemetery, Marietta, GA. 

Fought on Bataan
Escaped to Corregidor
Captured by Japanese after Wainwright Surrender
Survived Bataan Death March and Slave Labor Camps on Japanese Mainland for 3 years, 8 months
Released 9/45

His Obituary: Daily Freeman Journal, Sept. 6, 1960

Former County Resident Dies at Marietta, Ga.

Marshall Appenzeller, 41, former Hamilton county resident, died at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at a hospital in Marietta, Ga., after a lengthy illness.

Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Chamblei chapel, Marietta, Ga, with burial at the national cemetery with military services being held at graveside.

Mr. Appenzeller, a veteran of World War II, was born in Chicago, Ill., Dec. 2, 1918, the son of Hugo and Martha Greve. He was adopted Aug. 18, 1926, by his uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Appenzeller, and resided in the Bells Mill community, being graduated from Stratford high school.

He enlisted in the marine corps Oct. 30, 1939, and was stationed in China from May to July, 1940. On Aug. 13, 1940, he was assigned to the Philippines and in May, 1942, was taken prisoner of war by the Japanese army after participating in the defense of Corregidor and Bataan. He returned to the United States Sept. 23, 1945.

He was united in marriage July 26, 1946, to Margaret Moore of Columbus, Ohio, and the family lived in Marietta, Ga., for the past several years. While never regaining his health after the march at Bataan and his long imprisonment by the Japanese, he was employed in the aircraft and meat packing industry for some time until he was forced to discontinue his work because of his health.

Surviving are his wife; three children, Vernon, Lynn and Debbie; a stepson, James; his mother, Mrs. Martha Duffy of Boone; his uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Appenzeller of Zearing; one sister, Mrs. Berneice Simms of California; and two step-brothers, Loren Appenzeller of Ames and Gordon Appenzeller of Winterset.

World War II Memorial Honoree (by Marshall Vernon Appenzeller, Son)
Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA
World War II Memorial