Kossuth County

James L. Esser




Word comes from North Africa that two Algona boys who have been neighbors in Algona all of their lives, living just across the street from each other, are now neighbors in Africa, where both are serving with our Armed forces. They boys are James Esser, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Esser, and Dick Sjogren, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gus Sjogren. The boys came together unexpectedly, neither of them knowing the other was in Africa.

Source: Algona Upper-Des Moines, June 10, 1943

James L. Esser Writes From Mediterranean War Zone to Parents

Now with the Allied forces in the Mediterranean war zone, James L. Esser, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Esser, Algona, in a recent letter assures his parents that he’s fine and not to worry about him. Jim has been with the service since October, 1942, trained in Camp Clark, Mo., and was sent overseas in April of this year. He is a member of the military police escort company.  His letter:

Dear Mother and Dad:
How is everything at home? Certainly hope you are all fine.
We’ve been pretty busy lately, but working keeps you occupied and takes your mind off the war itself. I’m glad it’s that way.

I’m really seeing the sights over here. They have some beautiful churches. I went to Mass in a church 2000 years old. I also saw one that was built in 1175. The represent something fine and beautiful; it just makes you feel grand all over to be able to hear Mass in a church of this kind.

Is there anything of interest going on in Algona? I imagine that all of the boys around there have left, but then they’ll be back before you know it.

Oh, yes, Mom, I saw the ruins of Venice. I surely never expected to see that but you never can tell what will happen to you.

I am feeling just fine and please don’t worry about me. I’m all right and keep in good condition bodily and spiritually.
Still haven’t received the Algona paper that you sent. But it will catch up with me one of these days.  

Your loving son, Jim.

Source:  Algona Upper Des Moines, November 4, 1943 (photo included)