Wright County

Avron Darwin Gaulke




Other Iowans reported prisoners are:

Dows—Avron Gaulke, previously reported missing in Africa Feb. 14, now is a prisoner in Germany.

Source: The Des Moines Register, April 29, 1943

22 Iowans Home from Nazi War Prisoner Camps

Des Moines—Thursday was homecoming day for 22 Iowans who have been released by the Germans after many months in war prisoner camps.

All of the men were from medical detachments, which, according to Pfc. Robert J. Houghton, Des Moines, probably figured in the explanation of their release. None was wounded.

“We were just 75 lucky men the Germans said could go home.” Houghton said. “I don’t understand it myself.”

He said the Iowa men who returned with him were Melvin Owen, Tipton: John Ondrejka, Fort Dodge; B.K. Smokstad, Monroe; H. Bilterman, Aver; Benjamin Salvetore, Fort Dodge; Marion DeVries, Orange City; Dale Reichert, Fort Dodge; Verne Seidel, Waterloo; Avron Gaulke, Dows; Joe Hayes, Correctionville; Charles Slavens, Cincinnati; John Terris, Dubuque; Russell Sparks, Maxwell; Charles Minor, Lamoni; Vincent White, Marshalltown; Morris James, Newton; John Spiegel, Sioux City and Clifton Warner, Des Moines.

Delayed but on the way home, he said, were Robert Tadewald, Muscatine and Ansel Maughler, Troy. The group also included Richard Clarke, who entered the army from Des Moines but who now lives at Millersburg, Ind.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, March 9, 1945

Avron Darwin Gaulke was born Aug. 29, 1914 to T. W. and Sarah Buge Gaulke. He died Mar. 6, 2008 and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Clarion, IA.

Avron was a cook attached to the 109th Medical Battalion, 34th Division, U.S. Army in World War II. He was captured and became a POW in Stalag 3B in Freisenberg, Germany. He was awarded three Bronze Battle Stars.

Source: "Ordinary Heroes”, Judge Newt Draheim - Chapter 14

Excerpt from his obituary:

Avron Darwin Gaulke

Avron, the son of Theadore W. and Sarah Buge Gaulke, was born August 29, 1914, on the family farm near Dows. He grew up on the farm and graduated from Dows High School in 1933. Following graduation, Avron worked on the family farm.  He then moved to Sibley, Iowa, were he was employed as a cook in his sister, Edna’s and brother Lewis’ restaurant.

On February 3, 1941, Avron joined the National Guard, and they were activated one week later.  Avron was captured and taken prisoner on February 14, 1943.  After two years as a Prisoner of War, he was released in a prisoner of war exchange. Following his discharge, Avron returned to Clarion…………….