Hamilton County

Pfc. Donald R. Gustafson




STRATFORD—Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Gustafson of stratford have received a message from the war department stating that their son, Pfc. Donald R. Gustafson, 20, is missing in action in Belgium since Jan. 10.

Private Gustafson was attached to a glider infantry company with an airborne division. Last direct word received from him was on Jan. 16 when his parents received a letter dated Dec. 31, in which he said he was in France.

The Stratford serviceman left for duty in April, 1943, and was stationed for 10 months at Camp Mackall, N. C. and for six months at Camp Forrest, Tenn. In August he was sent overseas, receiving further training in England.

A graduate of the Stratford high school in 1942, he was an active member of the Webster-Marion boys 4-H club for several years.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Feb. 1, 1945

Pfc. Donald Gustafson Killed in Action Jan. 7

—Pfc. Donald R. Gustafson, 20, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Gustafson, was killed in action in Belgium, Jan. 7, his parents have been notified.

The Stratford soldier was previously reported missing in action. In the service since April, 1943 he had been overseas since August and was stationed in England for some time. Last word received from him was in a letter written Dec. 31.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Feb. 8, 1945


Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Gustafson of Stratford have received word from Col. M. G. Stubbs, commander of the 193rd Glider Infantry, concerning circumstances surrounding the death of their son, Pfc. Donald R. Gustafson. A rifleman, the Stratford soldier was killed Jan. 7, as his company was attacking the enemy near Bastogne, Belgium. As the unit moved forward under intense enemy fire, Private Gustafson was hit by a burst of small arms fire and was instantly killed, according to Colonel Stubbs’ message. The soldier was buried with full military honors in a U. S. cemetery, Grand Failly, France.

A graduate from Stratford high school in 1942, the 26-year old soldier had been in service for 21 months and overseas for four months.

Source: Webster City Freeman, March 29, 1945

Funeral Rites Held for Donald Gustafson

Bells Mill—Reburial services were held December 30 for Pfc. Donald Gustafson, 20, in the Stratford school auditorium. Final internment was made in South Marion cemetery.

Rev. A. R. Westerhoff, pastor of the Baptist church officiated and military rites were conducted by the Frederick Sonksen American Legion post.

Pfc. Gustafson was killed in action January 7, 1945 at Bastogne, Belgium. He was the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Gustafson of Stratford.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Jan. 5, 1949

Donald Raymond Gustafson was born June 24, 1924 to John Rudolph and Bertha Mae Lunbom Gustafson. He died Jan. 7, 1945 and is buried in the South Marion Cemetery, Stratford, IA.

Pfc. Gustafson served as a rifleman with the 17th Airborne, 193rd Glider Infantry. He was killed during the attack on Bastogne, Belgium on Jan. 7, 1945.

Sources: ancestry.com
World War II Memorial
World War II Memorial Honoree