Mitchell County

S/Sgt. Felix Diaz

 

 

 

Former Osage Matman, Gunner in Army Plane, Missing Over Germany

Osage - Mr. and Mrs. Baldo Diaz received a message from the war department stating their son, S/Sgt. Flelix Diaz, is missing in action over Germany since Nov. 30. The telegram arrived Friday afternoon. S/Sgt Felix Diaz, former high school wrestler, 19 years old, entered service Sept. 1942. He left for overseas duty in July, 1944, with his base at England. He is a tail gunner.

Source: The Mason City Globe-Gazette, Dec. 23, 1944

PLAN MEMORIAL FOR FELIX DIAZ

Osage, Iowa — Memorial services will be held at 3 p.m., Sunday for Felix Diaz, killed by shrapnel on a routine bombing raid over Germany Nov. 30. He was an aerial gunner. The service will be military in nature, under the direction of the Rev. Wayne Christiansen at the Osage Baptist church.

Source: Mason City Globe Gazette, January 1, 1945

2nd Son of Osage Family of 6 Soldiers Gives His Life

DIAZ FAMILY OFFERS 6 SONS -- Word received this week by Mr. and Mrs. Baldo Dias, Osage, stated that their son, S.Sgt Felix Diaz, has been killed in Germany.  A brother, Lupe Diaz, died in a veteran's hospital in December, 1940. Pfc. John Diaz is a prisoner of the Japs. The other 3 brothers are all serving in France.

4 OF BROTHERS ARE OVERSEAS
One is Jap Prisoner; 3 Serving in France

OSAGE—Mr. and Mrs. Baldo Diaz received word Tuesday that their son, S. Sgt. Felix Diaz, was killed in action somewhere in Germany, Nov. 30. He was one of 6 sons to serve their country, 2 of whom have given their lives.

A brother, Pvt. Lupe Diaz, entered the service in December, 1940, and received a medical discharge from the army at West Palm Beach, Fla.  He entered a veterans hospital, underwent a major operation and died June 2, 1944.

Pfc. John Diaz, another brother, is a prisoner of war of the Japanese, captured in March, 1942.

Another brother, T/5 Richard Diaz, is with an engineering division in France, and still another brother is M.Sgt. Phillip Diaz now doing clerical work in the 2nd commander zone in France.

A half-brother, of the above boys, is Pvt. Alvin DaBillo who was wounded in France in August, 1944, and hospitalized in England.  He recovered and is back on active duty in France.

Sgt. Felix Diaz was born in Mason City in May, 1925, and moved with his parents to Osage when he was 2 years old. He attended the Osage public schools and achieved a high scholastic record. He also was a star athlete, especially outstanding as a wrestler.

Felix entered the service in September, 1943, was trained in Colorado and Nebraska, and was sent to England in June, 1944.

John entered the service in December, 1940. He was sent to the Philippines in March, 1941.

Source: The Mason City Globe-Gazette, January 4, 1945 (Six photos included)

Fallen Sky Fighter's Jersey Brings Victory to Wrestler

Osage - UP - A green and white wrestler's jersey hangs in the Osage high school trophy case - a tribute to an expert wrestler and one of America's fallen sky fighters.

It belonged to S/Sgt. Felix Diaz, state champion wrestler a few years back.

Diaz, who joined the army air forces after a brilliant athletic career here, was a tail gunner on a bomber.
During one of his visits with Coach R.T. Mitchell, who guided him to the state title, Diaz said:

"Coach, if you get word that I'm not coming back, do just one thing for me. If you're in a tight spot, put my old jersey on the boy you want to win; then put it away and don't use it again."

It wasn't long until Coach Mitchell was in the "tight spot". Word had been received that Sergeant Diaz was missing in action just as Osage and Eagle Grove prepared for their wrestling match. Each team had won two of the first four matches. Coach Mitchell remembered the strange request, pulled out the green and white jersey with the No. 4 on it and gave it to Tom Cummings to wear in the 123-lb. class. Cummings won his match.

The No. 4 jersey will reamin in the trohy case - Segeant Diaz was rpeorted killed in action over Germany.

Source: Oelwein Daily Register, January 6, 1945

Pilot Sends Details Surrounding Death Of Sgt. Felix Diaz

Lt. Wallis E. Wickman, pilot of the bomber on which S. Sgt. Felix Diaz lost his life, is now at his home at Albia on leave, and has written the following letter to Mr. and Mrs. Baldo Diaz:

"I can't know how you're going to feel about receiving this letter, but both my mother and dad feel that under similar circumstances they would appreciate it. In case you don't know who I am, I was a pilot of a B-24 Liberator airplane and your son was my tail gunner.

"I couldn't remember the name of the town at which you live, but I did remember very will it was in northeastern Iowa. When I saw Felix's name mentioned in our newspaper I decided to write in care of his wrestling coach.

"He had been with me ever since last March when part of the crew was formed at Salt Lake City. The whole crew was on the last mission when we had our trouble. It was caused by bombs exploding beside us and Felix was killed by shrapnel. The damage later caused the rest of the crew to bail out.

"I know the news of his death was doubly hard for you for I know of his brother's death and the circumstances. You have my most sincere sympathy and I hope I haven't done the wrong think in writing you. Lt. Wallis Wickman."

Source: Mitchell County Press, January 18, 1945

Memorial Service For S. Sgt. Felix Diaz Next Sunday

A service in memory of S. Sgt Felix Diaz will be held at the Baptist church next Sunday, January 28, at 3 p.m., in charge of the Reverend Wayne Christiansen, Pastor. The public is invited to be present.

S. Sergeant Diaz, son of Mr. and Mrs. Baldo Diaz, lost his life in action over Germany November 30, 1944.

Source: Mitchell County Press, January 25, 1945

THIRD DIAZ SON DIES IN ACTION

Osage G. I. Gives Life as Japanese Prisoner


Osage—A 3rd war casualty came to the Baldo Diaz family with a message from the adjutant general stating that their son, Pfc. John E. Diaz, was killed in action, December 14, 1944, while a prisoner of war of the Japanese. Pvt. Diaz was captured shortly after Pearl Harbor.

Mr. and Mrs. Baldo Diaz have had 6 sons in service. Lupe Diaz died at a veterans hospital following a medical discharge from the army.

T. Sgt. Felix Diaz was killed in action as an aerial gunner.

One son, Richard Diaz, has been discharged and the other 2 sons are still serving in the European theater.

Source: Mason City Globe Gazette, September 4, 1945

Osage Soldier to Be Reburied

Body of Felix Diaz to Arrive From Oversea

OSAGE—The body of Felix Diaz will arrive Thursday and be taken to the Champion funeral home where it will be held for services Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The Rev. Orville K. Mellquist will officiate. Full military rites at the Osage cemetery will be in charge of H. F. Risse, chaplain of the Iowa department of the American Legion

The young soldier was killed Nov. 30, 1944, when hit by shrapnel while a tail gunner on a flying fortress in a mission over Germany. He was the only member of the crew Injured, the others baling out.

He was buried in the United States military cemetery at Limey, France, east of St. Mihiel.

Felix won fame here as an Iowa high school wrestler. He suffered only 2 defeats in 4 years of wrestling. He was a conference champion for 4 years, district champion his last 3 years of high school and state champion his last 2 years of school.

He was one of 6 sons in the family to wear the uniform of the United States in World war II and was one of 3 to lose their lives in the service.

John died Nov. 14, 1944, a Japanese prisoner of war, and Lupe died in a veterans hospital June 2, 1944.

Surviving are the parents, Mr. and Mrs. Baldo Diaz of Osage, a half-sister, Mrs. Frank Olson, Eugene, Oregon; half-brothers, Alphonse Da Billo, Waterloo, and Joseph Da Billo, Minneapolis; brothers, Richard, Westfir, Oregon; M. Sgt. Phillip in Alaska, and sisters, Mrs. John Llamas, Des Moines.

Source: Mason City Globe Gazette, September 30, 1948