Kossuth County

Cpl. Albert Boekelman



By J. W. Haggard.

The War Department press branch of bureau of public relations in Washington occasionally send out some really interesting stuff. Last week in a release they pictured what an infantryman thinks as he crouches in the foxholes awaiting the next move of the enemy only a few yards away. They gave the answer as voiced by Corporal Albert Boekelman of Lakota, Iowa, 30 year old 34th Infantry division, who has just returned from overseas as follows:

“I dreamed of my farm in Iowa. I’d look across the flat Italian land, all pocked and pitted with shell holes and ugly with barbed wire, and think of the way the green hills looked in the springtime on the farm back home in Kossuth County, Iowa. But it’s a funny thing.  Naturally, the one place in the whole world I wanted to be most of all was in Iowa. Yet I figured that where I was, in that foxhole, doing a job along with the rest of the doughboys in my outfit, was where I belonged.”

The fighting at Anzio was almost incessant, Boekelman said, but the most intensive fire to which he was exposed was during the second crossing of the Volturno River.  “The Jerries gave everything they had, artillery and small arms fire,” he said, “and it was so noisy that you couldn’t hear yourself think—even if you’d wanted to think about anything except just plugging ahead.”

Although he went unscathed through that hail of steel, Corporal Boekelman, a few minutes after he had crossed the Volturno, fell and injured his spine while jumping off a bank and was hospitalized for five weeks. He saw action in Africa, as well as Italy, and declared the Italian campaign was much the more difficult.

“In Africa,” he said, “there would be an engagement that would last for a few hours or maybe a day or two, and then it would break off.  But in Italy, we had to fight every foot of the way.”

Boekelman referred feelingly to two buddies, Corporal Delbert Bauer of Dubuque, Iowa, and Staff Sergeant Edward Carpenter of Bowman,  North Dakota.  “We were together all the time,” he said, “until Delbert was taken prisoner at Cassino. He is a good soldier, and so is Ed, one of the best doughboys I know of.”

Boekelman was slightly wounded once in his months of combat. He received  a “shrapnel gash” in his hand during the battle of Fondouk Pass, but didn’t even bother to report for medical attention, he said.  The Iowa infantryman is spending a furlough with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Boekelman, in Lakota.

Source:  Algona Upper Des Moines, June 20, 1944

Albert Boekelman, who has been enjoying a furlough with the home folks since his return to America, following combat duty in Africa and Italy, left last week for South Carolina to continue his duties.

Source: Algona Upper Des Moines, July 4, 1944

Cpl. Albert Boekelman left by train from Algona Saturday, after a 15-day furlough with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Boekelman.

The Corporal returned to the States last May, after 29 months overseas.  At that time he spent 25 days at home. He was a member of the 133rd infantry of the 34th division and fought in both Africa and Italy. Since coming back, he has been stationed at Fort Jackson, S.C.

Accompanying Albert to Algona were his mother and the sisters, Henrietta, Rozella and Mrs. Russell Winter, also the latter’s husband and son.

Source: The Kossuth County Advance, Thursday, October 26, 1944