Hamilton County

Lt. Maurice V. Esters




Aviation Cadet Maurice V. Esters, son of Charles H. Esters Sr., of Webster City, has completed the basic training course at the Tuskegee army flying school, and has begun his advanced training in army aviation.

Prior to his enlistment in the aviation cadet corps, Cadet Esters, a former student of Webster City junior college, was employed as a bellhop at the Willson hotel of Webster City.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - April 12, 1943


Maurice V. Esters, of Webster City has completed his training as aviation cadet at Tuskegee, Ala., and received his wings and commission as second lieutenant May 28.

His address is: Second Lieut. M. V. Esters, F. A. A. F., Tuskegee, Ala.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - June 9, 1943


Lt. Maurice V. Esters, son of Charles Esters, former Webster City resident now living at Richmond, Cal., is stationed overseas with an air force fighter group according to word received here from his father. Mr. Esters other son, T. Sgt. Charles is stationed with the army air force at Seattle, Wash. Their addresses, with the lieutenant’s detachment numbers deleted due to censorship: Lt. Maurice V. Esters, 0-3-4550, Fighter Squadron, fighter group, care of Postmaster, APO 9173, New York, N. Y. T. Sgt. Charles H. Esters, 135 A. A. F. W. T. T. C., Flgt, 34-3-6600 Ellis Ave., Seattle, Wash.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - February 4, 1944


Charles H. Esters, Sr., former Webster resident now living at Richmond, Cal., writes the Freeman-Journal that he still hasn’t received any more news concerning his son, Lt. Maurice (Smokey) Esters, a fighter pilot who was reported missing six months ago in the Mediterranean area. The father was supposed to have received a letter from the war department Dec. 26, but he has not yet been notified whether his son is a prisoner of war, has been rescued by friendly Yugoslavs, or whether he is dead.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - January 12, 1945


First Lt. Maurice Esters, Now Missing, Given Air Award.

Word has just been received by the Freeman-Journal from Charles H. Esters, sr., former Webster City resident now living at Richmond, Cal., that the air medal has been awarded to his son, First Lt. Maurice V. Esters, air corps pilot who has been missing in action in the Mediterranean war theater for more than a year.

The Webster City flier was attached to the 15th air corps in Italy as a fighter pilot and his “exceptionally meritorious achievements in action against the enemy” qualified him for the medal.

Maj. Gen. William E. Shedd, commander of the army service forces, Ninth service command, Fort Douglas, Utah, has notified the flier’s father of the award and has requested the commanding officer at Hamilton Field, Cal., to present the decoration to Mr. Esters.

General Shedd’s letter said in part: “It has been a source of inspiration to me to learn of your son’s exceptionally meritorious achievements in action against the enemy which have merited this award. His enviable record of service to his country must be a source of comfort and pride to you during this period of anxiety and hope.”

Charles Esters, jr., elder son of the former Webster City resident, is located on Saipan and is attached to a B-29 unit there.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - February 27, 1945


Lt. Maurice V. Esters Was First Reported Missing.

Lt. Maurice V. Esters, missing in action since June 26, 1944, is now listed officially as dead, his father, Charles H. Esters, sr., has been notified by the army air force.

Mr. Esters, now visiting in this city, has received a letter from Lt. Gen. Ira C. Eaker, deputy commandeer of the army air forces who said:

“With great regret I have learned that an official determination has been made of the death of your son, First Lt. Maurice Vincent Esters, who has been missing in action since June 26, 1944.

“It has been called to my attention that Lt. Ester’s aptitude and enthusiasm for military aviation were reflected in the fine record he maintained during his cadetship which he concluded by graduation at Tuskegee army flying school. Throughout his career as an officer and pilot in the army air forces he earned the approbation of superiors for his cooperative manner and cheerful performance of duty. In his passing the service has lost a most worthy airman.”

Lt. Esters entered the service from this city and was reportedly lost on a fighter mission from his base in Italy. His father has been living in Richmond, Cal.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - August 10, 1945

Maurice V. Esters, First Lt. U.S. Army Air Corps - MIA/FOD

First Lt. Maurice ‘Smokey’ Esters, son of Charles H. Esters, Sr. was reported missing in action in Italy, June 26, 1944. FOD for Lt. Esters is June 27, 1945. He is memorialized at the Tablets of the Missing, Florence American Cemetery, Via Cassia, Italy.

‘Smokey’ was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, flying a P-47 Thunderbolt. He broke formation and was forced to bail from his plane over the Adriatic Sea when his engine failed as the squadron was returning from an escort mission. He was with the 301st Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group, 306th Fighter Wing, 15th Air Force, Ramitelli Airfield, Termoli, Italy.

He received the Purple Heart, Air Medal for Meritorious Achievement while participating in aerial flight, the American Campaign Medal and World War II Victory Medal.

World War II Memorial
National Purple Heart Hall of Honor
Photo included from the Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA, July 18, 1944