Hamilton County

Pfc. Laurence Vern Dilley




Pvt. Laurence V. Dilley, of this city, was slightly wounded in action Sept. 16 in France his wife has been notified by the war department. Private Dilley is attached to an infantry unit. His overseas address may be obtained from his wife.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, October 6, 1944


W. C. Soldier Reported As Lost in Germany Since Oct. 4

Pfc. Laurence C. Dilley of this city has been missing in action in Germany since Oct. 4, his wife has been notified by the war department. Private Dilley was reported wounded in action in the European battle theater on Sept. 16, but a telegram received shortly afterwards by Mrs. Dilley reported that the Webster City serviceman had recovered sufficiently to get back to the front by Sept. 20.

A member of an infantry company, Dilley went into service in December, 1943. He went overseas in August of this year. Mrs. Dilley has had no direct news from her husband since receiving a letter dated Sept. 15.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, October 24, 1944

T. Sgt. Philbrook and Pfc. Dilley Had Been Missing 

Two more Webster City soldiers, previously reported missing in action in Germany and Italy, have been reported prisoners of war in messages received here by relatives.

Mr. and Mrs. Bert Philbrook have been notified by the War Department that their son, T. Sgt. Arthur C. Philbrook, a member of the 34th Infantry, was a captive of the nazis after having been reported missing since Oct. 18, in Italy.

This makes the third out of four Webster City Iowa National Guardsmen to be listed as prisoners after being announced as missing since mid-October.  Staff Sgt. Robert Simpson and Staff Sgt. Alvin Fisher were announced Tuesday to be prisoners of war. Official word on the whereabouts of Pvt. Myrl Ray, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Ray, has not yet been received.

Mrs. Lawrence Dilley received word Wednesday that her husband, Private First Class Dilley, missing since Oct. 4., in Germany, is now a nazi prisoner.

Private Dilley, who has been overseas since August, was wounded in action Sept. 16, while serving with his infantry unit.  He reported back for duty at the front Sept. 20, and then was listed as missing Oct. 4. The Webster City serviceman has been in the Army since December, 1943.

Source:  Daily Freeman Journal, January 3, 1945


Recent Webster City veterans arriving at the army ground and service forces redistribution station, Hot Springs, Ark., for reassignment, were Pfc. Laurence V. Dilley, and S/Sgt. Robert E. Simpson. Prior to reporting at Hot Springs, they spent 60-day furloughs at their respective homes.

Veteran of nine months’ duty in France, seven months as a prisoner of war, Pfc. Dilley was awarded the purple heart for wounds received in combat. Also a prisoner of war for seven months, S/Sgt. Simpson served 32 months in Italy and wears the European ribbon with three battle stars.

With these soldiers at the redistribution station are their wives, who are enjoying the broad program of sports and entertainment offered returnees and their wives.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, August 13, 1945

NOTES: Laurence Vern Dilley, Pfc. U.S. Army, MIA/POW

Laurence Vern Dilley was born Oct. 3, 1915 to Vern and Ethel Litten Dilley. He died Jan. 12, 2000, and is buried in Graceland Cemetery, Webster City, IA.Vern and Ethel Litten Dilley were the parents of four sons serving in World War II.

He was wounded in action in the European battle theater on Sept. 16, 1944 and reported back to the front Sept. 20. He was listed as missing in action Oct. 4, and became a prisoner of war in Germany for 8 months.

Pfc. Dilley received the Purple Heart, three bronze service stars, and the World War II Victory Medal.

Obituary: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Jan. 17, 2000

Laurence Dilley, 84, Des Moines, a former Webster City resident, died Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2000 at the Iowa Lutheran Medical Center in Des Moines. Funeral services were Saturday at the Foster Funeral Home with Rev. Bill Kem officiating. Burial was in the Graceland Cemetery.

Laurence Vern Dilley, son of Vern and Ethel Litten Dilley, was born Oct. 3, 1915 on a farm north of Duncombe. He attended rural schools near Duncombe and also Webster City schools. He worked in various areas of farming. On July 24, 1934, he married Calva Marie Flowers at Fort Dodge. The couple resided in Webster City. He owned and operated a trucking business in the Webster City area from 1946 to 1982. He worked at the Kamrar Cooperative until 1988. They moved to Kamrar in 1989 and to Des Moines in 1993. During World War II, he served with the Army Infantry in the European Theater of Action. He received the Purple Heart, three Bronze Service Stars, WWII Victory Medal and was a POW for eight months.

Survivors are his wife, Calva, sons and daughters-in-law, Dale and Carolyn Dilley, Stanhope, Laurence and Janice Dilley, Ellsworth, Dean Dilley, Duncombe, daughter Jane Hill of Des Moines, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, a sister, Bertha Frakes of Des Moines, brothers, Clarence Dilley of Fort Wayne, IN, Harold Dilley of Richfield, MN, several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, son-in-law, Marion K. Hill in 1998, daughter-in-law Carol Dilley, brothers Wilbur, Elmer, Wilfred, and Leonard Dilley, sister, Edith Waggner.

He was a member of the First Baptist Church, a 50 year member of the American Legion Post #191.

Sources: ancestry.com