Hamilton County


Pfc. Maynard McFerren




Widely Known Insurance Man Was Serving With Tank Corps.

Pfc. Maynard (‘Firp’) McFerren, 36, widely known Webster City insurance agent, was killed in action somewhere in Germany Easter Sunday, April 1, while serving with an armored unit of the Seventh army in Germany, relatives in this city were notified Monday.

With the tank corps, the Webster City soldier had been overseas since last September. He had been in service since January, 1943. After entering service he received his early training at Fort Knox, Ky., and later was stationed at Camp Barkeley, Texas, before leaving for England in September.

Prior to going into the army two years ago he was prominent in insurance sales work in this community, being president of Insurance Service, Inc., which was organized in 1937. For many years he was closely associated with the law office of Ed P. Prince.

Mrs. McFerren, now living at Garner with her three-year old daughter, Terry Ann, received the war department’s message of her husband’s death Monday. She will be remembered here as the former Miss Eunice Grau, formerly a member of the Webster City school faculty.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Private McFerren is survived by his father, Rube McFerren, of this city, two brothers, Robert of this city and Donald of Des Moines, one sister, Mrs. Ralph McClure of Iowa Falls, and an uncle and aunt, Ed Klockman and Mrs. Walter Breitenkamp, both of Webster City.

In addition to his insurance work, Private McFerren was very active in social and civic enterprises in Webster City before going into service. He also was an active member of Company F, Iowa State Guard, being a charter member of the company which was mustered in during January, 1942.

Edward P. Prince, probably closer to him than anyone outside his family, had received a V-mail letter from Private McFerren, written March 27—just four days before his death. In it he said he had been seeing a great deal of action and that from this it would be easy to guess where he was. He spoke of the general disorganization of the German armies and hopeless outlook of civilians. Of the latter, however, he said they seemed to have an ample supply of everything but gasoline and expressed the hope they would soon run out of that. The fighting, he said, appeared to be about over and the utter defeat of Germany at hand. It was a great pity he said that many more American lives would be sacrificed through the senseless decision of the German high command to continue the carnage, when it was apparent to all the world that they have lost the war.

Source: Webster City Freeman, Webster City, IA - Apr. 19, 1945 (photo included)

Maynard ‘Firp' McFerren was born in 1909 to Rube and Minnie Anna McFerren. He died Apr. 1, 1945 and is buried in the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial, St. Avold, Departement de la Moselle, Lorraine, France.

Pfc. McFerren was killed in action while serving with the 12th armored division, 23rd tank battalion, in the European Theater of operations. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

World War II Memorial
World War II Memorial Honoree