Hamilton County

T/4 Vern E. Nelson


Pvt. Vern F. Nelson of Webster City has arrived safely overseas, according to word received by his wife. He was formerly stationed at Camp Crowder, Mo.

Source: The Daily Freeman Journal, January 22, 1945

T-4 Vern E. Nelson, of this city, is a member of the 561st engineer front maintenance company which has assisted with four major invasions and has been awarded the  meritorious service unit plaque “for superior performance of duty in the accomplishment of exceptionally difficult tasks.”

According to a dispatch received by the Freeman – Journal from headquarters of the unit, the outfit has returned from the European theater and has received commendations from the Navy, to which it was attached for two years, and from Army officials.  Members of that company were in the invasions of North Africa, Sicily, Italy and France. Although the amphibian specialists were under fire in those actions, no one was killed in 27 months of overseas action and only two men were wounded.

The company, which was activated at Camp Edwards, Mass., on June 1st, 1942, went overseas shortly and arrived at Belfast, Ireland, August 18. Before their first task of repairing craft shot up in the Dieppe raid, the unit took special training with the U.S. Rangers.

Source: The Daily Freeman Journal, March 7, 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)