Hamilton County

Lt. Earl B. Nelson



Cpl. Tate Killed March 16; Lt. Nelson Missing March 9.

Word of two more war casualties has been received in Webster City by friends and relatives who have been notified that Cpl. Richard Tate had been killed in action and that Second Lt. Earl B. Nelson, 24, was missing in action over Germany.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, March 28, 1945

England may point with pride to her naval hero, Horatio Nelson of Trafalgar, but Webster City can go her four Nelsons better—all members of the same family—and can pile on a son-in-law just for good measure.

The five Nelsons are sons of Mr. and Mrs. Iver J. Nelson and the son-in-law is Eugene Middlebrook of Des Moines.

Two of the Webster City Nelsons and Middlebrook are true to the Englishman’s naval tradition, but the other three are members of three separate branches of the army.

Dean D. Nelson, Sp (Y) 1/c and T/4 Vern E. Nelson both enlisted in the service in January, 1941, and are the eldest in point of service. Dean D. Nelson took boot training at Great Lakes and from there went to Key West, Fla., where he was located at a naval aid station. He is now chief operator at the naval air facility, Miami, Fla.

His brother, Vern E. Nelson took his basic training at Camp Wolters, Texas, and was sent  to Camp Edwards, Mass., for technical training as a mechanic. He served overseas for two and one-half years in Scotland, England, Africa, Italy and France and is now in the Pacific with his engineer boat maintenance company.

Lt. Earl B. Nelson, who was reported missing March 9, while serving with the Eighth Air Force in England as a B17 pilot, received his pilot’s wings upon completion of his air corps training at Yuma, Ariz., May 23, 1944. He soon left for overseas duty. Further word concerning the missing pilot is anxiously awaited by the family.

Another member of the air forces is Pvt. Robert J. Nelson, a paratrooper, who entered training March, 1944, and took his basic training at Camp Roberts, Cal.  He then was sent to Fort Binning, Ga., for his paratrooper training, and is now overseas. He was located in Scotland, and England, and is now stationed in France.

Paul A. Nelson, A.S. is stationed at Warrensburg, Mo., where he is a VIC student at the state teacher’s college.

The Nelson boys’ brother-in-law, Eugene Middlebrook, has just completed a year’s training in radar at the naval air station, Corpus Christi, Texas.

That completes the Nelson “lineup” of which Webster City may well be proud. 

Source: The Daily Freeman Journal, June 13, 1945 (photos included)


Stanhope Flier Killed March 9, 1945.

Memorial services for Lt. Earl Bjelde Nelson, who was killed on a bombing mission over Kassel, Germany on March 9, 1945, will be held at 3 p.m., Sunday at Our Savior’s Lutheran church in Stanhope.

Lt. Nelson was born March 6, 1921, in Martin county near Truman, Minn. He graduated from the Stratford high school in 1939. He received his primary flight training at Santa Ana, Calif., and was awarded his silver wings at Douglas, Ariz., on May 22, 1944. He was given further flight training at Yuma, Ariz., and Dyersburg, Tenn.

On October 14, 1944, he was married to Edna Irene Donahoo at Lincoln, Neb.

Lt. Nelson is survived by his widow, his parents, Iver J. and Inger Nelson, a sister, Eileen Middlebrook of Des Moines, and five brothers, Vern. Dean and Wayne of Webster City, Robert J., in the army of occupation in Germany, and Paul in the navy in Washington, D. C.

The family requests that no flowers be sent.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, March 28, 1946


Earl Burdette Nelson was born Mar. 6, 1921, to Iver John and Elizabeth Twedt Nelson. He died Mar. 9, 1945 and is buried at the Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold (Moselle), France in Plot: D Row: 14 Grave: 20.

Lt. Nelson was reported missing over Germany since Mar. 9, 1945, while serving as a pilot aboard a B-17 bomber. He was later reported as killed in action in a bombing mission over Kassel, Germany.

He was awarded the Purple Heart, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and the Distinguished Unit Citation.

Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA
World War II Memorial
American Air Museum in Britain