Woodbury County

**Class of 1932, Central HS, Sioux City, Iowa

S/Sgt. Max Lass



S. Sgt. Max Lass, son of Mr. and Mrs. H. Lass, 809 Omaha street, has just returned from the Leyte island after 32 months in Hawaii, Dutch New Guinea, Australia, and the Philippines.  After three years in service, he is home for a 30-day furlough, visiting with his parents and his sister, Mrs. Frieda Shiloff.  He is a mess sergeant with the 21st infantry division.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, January 31, 1945

Some Big Japs
They’re Not All of Small Stature, Says Returned Leyte Veteran

S. Sgt. Max Lass, 31-year-old infantryman arrived home on furlough within a few days of the anniversary of his entry into the army January 30, 1942. Sgt. Lass spent 32 months in the south Pacific and was one of the first group of American fighters sent to Leyte Island.

“Most of the Japs are little fellows and the folks here at home have an idea that they’re all undersized, but the ones we ran into on Leyte Island were as big as the biggest United States marine,” says S. Sgt. Max Lass, who is spending a 30-day furlough at his home, 809 Omaha Street, after 32 months in the South Pacific.

“They were the biggest Jap soldiers I ever saw,” he continues. “And they put up the toughest fight we ran into. Out of the thousands who were on Leyte, our division captured only 17 prisoners. The remainder were killed or committed suicide.”

Leyte was the last campaign in which Sgt. Lass took part. Before that, he spent 14 months in Hawaii, six months in Australia and two months in Dutch New Guinea. He took part in two major campaigns.

The sergeant was born in Poland and came to this country and to Sioux City with his parents when he was 7 years old. He attended Hopkins, West junior and Central high school, paying for much of his own education by selling The Journal on street corners. He was in the retail business before entering the army.

The sergeant says he would like to visit the land of his birth, but not in wartime.

“The Russians seem to have taken care of the Polish situation,” he says, “and even if we had an American army on the front, I’m too eager to get back to my own outfit in the south Pacific to want to fight in Europe.”

Source: The Sioux City Journal, February 4, 1945  (photo included)

Max Lass
Born: 04 Dec 1916
Died: 25 Mar 2012
Buried: Fernwood Cemetery, Mill Valley, CA

Source: findagrave