Pottawattamie County


Sgt. William Oshlo




IDPA Writer Travels Road Under Fire
By FRANK MILES (Iowa Daily Press War Correspondent)

With the 5th Army in Italy—(IDPA)—[excerpt]

My jeep driver and I were lost, looking for a division headquarters in North Italy.

Around a clump of trees on a bend in the mountain road we came upon a group of halted American infantrymen, eating K rations.

“Any one from Iowa here?” I inquired of 2 soldiers apart from the others, feeling that one from my own state might be more kindly disposed toward a scribe in distress.

“Don’t think any of this gang is from there,” was the reply in a pleasant drawl.  “Most of us come from the south.”

Spotting the Major, who was in command, I told him my troubles. He was more than considerate and sympathetic, then firm.

“The Jerries are shelling that road you just came over with small arms and mortars,” he informed.  “You should not be here, but I’ll tell you how to get back over a safer route.”

“Thank you, sir,” I said warmly. “What is your name and where are you from?”

He was Major Richard Oshlo, 23, Council Bluffs, who soon after graduation from Thomas Jefferson high school there went with an Iowa National Guard outfit for training at Camp Ripley in August of 1940 and answered call to active duty early in 1941. He had been overseas since April of this year and had seen a lot of action.

The Major has a brother, 2nd Lt. Robert Oshlo of the 168th Infantry, wsho was captured at Kaserine Pass in Africa and whom he believed is a prisoner in Germany, and another brother, Sgt. William Oshlo with a railroad battalion in England.

I promised to be more careful in the future, but the picture changes so swiftly in a battle area that it is difficult for anyone to give directions accurately and for anyone to fully understand those he gets.

Source: The Mason City Globe-Gazette, October 28, 1944