Hamilton County

Capt. O. C. Buxton

 

Relatives of three Webster City servicemen received news over the weekend that they were war casualties with Ens. Gerald A. Cleckner being reported drowned Jan. 9, 1945, and Capt. O. C. Buxton and Pfc. Arthur Wensel being listed as missing in action in Luxembourg shortly before Christmas. 

Missing Dec. 24, 1944
The telegram received from the War Department by Mrs. O. C. Buxton Sunday, said Captain Buxton had been missing in action in Belgium since Dec. 24. Mrs. Buxton’s last letter from him was written Dec. 13, from somewhere in Belgium. Captain Buxton left a large practice here to enlist in the army medical corps in August, 1942, when he was given the rank of lieutenant. In September 1943, he was promoted to captain. He went overseas in April 1944, and for three months was stationed in England. He was then transferred to active duty in France with a medical unit and was later moved into Belgium. When von Rundstedt’s big push was started Dec. 16, and broke through the allied line on the western front, the troops in Belgium saw some of the most bitter fighting of the war. Captain Buxton was moved to the front lines for emergency surgery, where army surgeons worked day and night taking care of the wounded.  Mrs. Buxton and the doctor’s many friends here are hopeful that he may have been able to join some of the Belgium underground guerilla bands. If not this, then they believe it more than probable that he is a prisoner of the Germans.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Monday, January 15, 1945

MISSING

Capt. O. C. Buxton, Webster City physician who has been in service since August, 1942, has been reported missing in action since Dec. 24 in Belgium, according to word received here by his wife. Captain Buxton, who was attached to advanced medical corps units in the area where the German armies recently scored a deep breakthrough, was transferred overseas from the states in April, 1944. Although he was stationed for a while in Luxembourg, the last letter received from him by his wife was dated Dec. 13 and was written in Belgium.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Monday, January 17, 1945 (photo included)

Mrs. Buxton Gets First Word From Her Husband

Mrs. O. C. Buxton Friday noon received two letters from her husband, Captain Buxton—the first direct word she had received from him since he was liberated from the German prison camp, Bad Orb, 60 miles east of Frankfurt, Monday, April 2, by General Patton’s Sixth infantry division.

The captain is in a hospital in London recuperating from a starvation diet. He had been reported missing in December. He was captured in Luxembourg, during Von Rundstedt’s Belgian bulge advance.

CAPT. BUXTON, GILLMAN FREE

2 Servicemen Write About More Than 100-Day Ordeals.

Two Webster City homes which were darkened last December after the nazis scored the breakthrough in the Ardennes sector were much brighter Saturday with the receipt of letters from Capt. O. C. Buxton and Pvt. Guy N. Gillman, both liberated after more than 100 days in German prison camps.

The captain, reported missing in action in Luxembourg shortly before Christmas, and then later listed as a war captive, is now in a hospital in England where he has dispatched two letters to his wife and family.

Excerpts from Letters

Excerpts from these letters follow:

“It was one of the happiest moments of my life to get out from behind that barbed wire entanglement and away from nazi captivity. These Yanks in tanks looked mighty good coming up the hill to rescue us.

“That was Monday, April 2, about 8:30 in the morning. That made me a prisoner of war for 106 days. And we are told that we are headed for the states. I am in a general hospital in England, nothing seriously wrong, just that the Jerry didn’t feed us enough food. As it was they were gradually starving us to death.

“Imagine white bread, food, clean sheets, showers and toothbrushes and to get rid of body lice, fleas and bed bugs, all in one day. Thanks to this great U. S. army of ours.

Feeling Better

“What a quiet and peaceful Sunday—no bombers, fighters or artillery to sweat out. I am feeling better and stronger. They seem quite interested in my condition here from a dietary standpoint and are giving me heavy vitamins, especially B1 and B2.

“I wanted to stay and come with the other officers since we had been through so much together, but the other doctor with me discouraged it so I flew out to England.

“I repeat again, it is wonderful to live like a human being again. My experience has really made a Christian out of me because without God’s help I never could have made it!”

Private Gillman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Gillman, was captured Dec. 18 in Luxembourg and had been overseas since October with an infantry unit. Excerpts from his letter, written April 4, from Paris, are as follows:

“Well Mom and Dad, you are going to be pretty happy when you receive this letter to know that your son is safe and sound, back with the U. S. forces. Don’t think I am not happy, I couldn’t be any happier.

“I slept between white sheets last night. How I did sleep. It was the most glorious feeling.

“The Germans treated me pretty rough. I am thanking God to this day that I survived through it all. I prayed all the time and God pulled me through all the way.

“I could write a book on the life of a prisoner of war. I was in the hands of the Germans for 101 days. When I get back home, I will tell you all about it. I will be coming home pretty soon too. It sure will feel good to get back to the U. S. again."

Source: Webster City Freeman, Webster City, IA - Apr. 16, 1945

ON WAY HOME

Mrs. O. C. Buxton of this city has received a notice from the War Department that her husband, Captain Buxton, was being evacuated to the United States and was one his way home.  The Captain was captured by the nazis last December during the Ardennes breakthrough but was liberated by the advancing allies after being held captive for more that 100 days.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, May 29, 1945

Otho C. Buxton was born May 13, 1909 to Otho C. and Jennie A. Bjork Buxton. He died Feb. 7, 1989 and is buried in Graceland Cemetery, Webster City, IA.

Capt. Buxton enlisted in the army air service in Aug. 1942. He was initially sent to a hospital in north Wales and then to France where he was working in orthopedic surgery. In Jan. 1945 Capt. Buxton was listed as missing in action, in Luxembourg, shortly before Christmas. He was later reported to be a prisoner of war, held in Stalag 9B near Bad Orb, Prussia.

His Obituary: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Feb. 8, 1989

Otho C. Buxton Jr., M.D., 79, Webster City, died Tuesday, Feb. 7, at the Hamilton County Hospital. He had been in failing health the past three years. Funeral services will be held Friday, Feb. 10, at 2 p.m. at the First Congregational UCC, Rev. Ward B. Malloy officiating. Burial will be in the Buxton family lot in Graceland Cemetery with graveside flag folding services conducted by American Legion Post 191. Visitation at the Foster Funeral Home is after 5 p.m. today until 8:30 a.m. Friday.

Otho Christian Buxton Jr., son of Dr. Otho C. Buxton Sr., and Jennie Bjork, was born May 13, 1909, in Webster City. He graduated from Webster City High School in 1927. He attended Grinnell College from 1927 to 1928 and graduated from The University of Iowa School of Medicine in 1933. He married Shirley Jean Brooks on May 13, 1933, in Morrison, Ill. The couple resided in Detroit, Mich., where Dr. Buxton interned at the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital from 1933 to 1935. He then joined his father in practice in Webster City later in 1935. He retired in the fall of 1986.

During WWII, he was a captain in the Medical Corps. From 1944 to 1945, he was a prisoner of war in Germany.

He is survived by his wife Shirley, Webster City, daughter Barbara (Mrs. Brice) Oakley, Washington D.C.; sons Otho Christian Buxton III, Elbow Lake, Minn., and Thomas Brooks Buxton, Augusta, Ga.; nine grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, and one sister, and one half-sister.

He was a member of the First Congregational Church, Webster City A.A. Club, the Iowa Medical Society, the American Medical Association, and was a former Elks member.

Sources:
Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA
ancestry.com