Howard County

Lt. Donald C. Arns


Lt. Donald C. Arns and Lt. Lighter In German Prison Camp

First word from Lt. Donald C. Arns now a prisoner in Germany was received here Friday, Jan. 7, by his wife, residing in Algona. His card was dated Nov. 7, 1943. It will be remembered that Lt Arns’ plane was shot down over Muster, Germany, on Oct. 10, 1943. He had received a leg injury, presumably while parachuting from the stricken plane, and two exploding cannon shells had stunned him. He stated that his wounds were healing nicely and that he could now walk on the injured limb. Lt. Arns is interned in Camp Stalag Luft III, near Dresden, as is also Lt. Duane Lighter, Algona boy. Lt. Arns writes that the weather was quite cold but he seemed in good spirits and hoped to be back with his family and friends soon.

Mrs. Donald C. Arns is the daughter of Del Marlow, Lone Rock. The lieutenant is a Cresco, Iowa, boy, and joined the air corps in July, 1942. He is a pilot and received his training at Santa Ana, Calif., prior to going overseas. He has visited here often and has many friends in Kossuth.

Source: Algona Upper Des Moines, January 11, 1944 (photo included)

Presented to Mrs. Donald C. Arns at the
Prisoner of War Camp Friday

At a citation and presentation ceremony held in the theatre at the Prisoner of War camp Friday afternoon at 5 oclock, Mrs. Shirley M. Arns, 615 E. Lucas street, city, was presented with the air medal and oak leaf cluster awarded her husband, Lt. Donald C. Arns, now a prisoner of war in Germany. In the presence of the post officers, the post military companies and a large number of civilians the citation and presentation was made by two officers from the air corps station and field at Sioux City. These officers came to Algona by plane and returned to Sioux City immediately following the ceremonies.

The Program.

Following the entrance of the colors, the high school band played a number and then Major James K. Stepp, of the Sioux City air base, read the citation, which was as follows, in the form of a letter to Mrs. Arns from the Adjutant General, J. A. Ulio, Washington:

“I have the honor to inform you that by direction of the President, the Air Medal and one Oak Leaf Cluster, representing an additional award of the same decoration, have been awarded to your husband, Second Lieutenant Donald C. Arns, Air Corps. The citation is as follows:
Air Medal, Oak Leaf Cluster
For exceptionally meritorious achievement while participating in ten separate bomber combat missions over enemy occupied Continental Europe. The courage, coolness and skill displayed by this officer upon these occasions reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.

Since these awards cannot be formally presented to your husband at this time, the decoration will be present to you. The Air medal and one Oak Leaf Cluster will be forwarded to the Commanding General, Seventh Service Command, Omaha, Neb., who will select an officer to make the presentation. The officer selected will communicate with you concerning your wishes in the matter.”

After the reading of the above, Major A. T. Larson, also of the Sioux City air base, presented Mrs. Arns with the medal and cluster. A salute to the colors was then made and the band played the national anthem after which the colors were retired and the two companies marched to their quarters. Lt. Col. Lobdell and the post officers extended congratulations to the recipient, Mrs. Arns.

Arns A Prisoner Over Year.
Lt. Donald C. Arns joined the air corps in July, 1942, and completed his training at Santa Ana, Calif., as a pilot, and about a year later was sent overseas. It was while on a mission over Munster, Germany, on Oct. 10, 1943, that his ship was shot down. He parachuted to safety but received a leg injury which, however, he wrote later, was healing nicely. The first word heard from him was dated Nov. 7, 1943, and received by Mrs. Arns on Jan. 7, 1944. He is now a prisoner in Camp Stalag Luft 111 near Dresden, Germany. Mrs. Arns is the daughter of Del Marlow of Lone Rock, and the lieutenant is a Cresco boy. However, he had visited at Lone Rock and Algona many times and has many friends in both towns.

Source: Algona Upper Des Moines, December 5, 1944 (photo included)

Clothing of Prisoner Mailed From England Reaches Home in Year

—Mrs. Donald C. Arns, wife of Lt. Donald C. Arns, prisoner of war in Germany, Thursday received a package containing the clothing and personal belongings he had in England at the time he left the base there on the last flight before he was shot down and made prisoner. The package had been enroute from England for more than a year.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, December 8, 1944


Mrs. Shirley Arns Monday received six letters from her husband, Lt. Donald C. Arns, recently liberated from a German prisoner of war camp. He said he was in France, awaiting a ship for home.

Source: Kossuth County Advance, May 29, 1945

30-Day Extension for Lt. Don Arns

It was almost like a reprieve for Lt. and Mrs. Donald C. Arns Friday, when the lieutenant received a 30-day extension of a 60-day leave he had been spending here with his family. He returned in June from a German prison camp, and he and Mrs. Arns had expected to leave Monday for Florida, where the officer was to be reassigned. The extension, the telegram stated, was due to a critical housing situation.

Source: Kossuth County Advance, August 7, 1945


San Antonio, Tex., Oct. 19
—After 2 month’s overseas with the army air forces, 2nd Lt. Donald C. Arns, Algona, Ia., is being honorably separated from the army at this district installation of the AAF personnel distribution command.

Prior to entering service, Arns was a linotype operator at Lime Springs, Ia., but while in the army, he was a pilot.

The lieutenant is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Amel H. Arns, of Pasadena, Calif.

Source: Kossuth County Advance, October 23, 1945