Hamilton County

T/Sgt. Darwin K. Pelz





Mrs. Lila Pelz of Blairsburg has received a letter from her son, Tech Sgt. Ronald S. Pelz, in North Africa, who visited with his two brothers, S. Sgt. Raymond L. and Tech Sgt. Darwin K. somewhere in Africa after receiving a short leave. The latter two servicemen had been overseas for 18 months. Darwin has been through the Tunisian, Sicilian and Italian campaigns and suffered several wounds. After having been hospitalized in Italy, he was reunited with his brother Raymond with whom he had been side by side for the one and one-half years of service, until an injury had forced Raymond to stay behind in Africa. Ronald is stationed on the North African coast as a member of an searchlight battalion. Another brother, Welston K. is also in the army and is stationed in Texas. 

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA – June 2, 1944


BLAIRSBURG—T. Sgt. Darwin Pelz, Blairsburg soldier, who wears the Purple Heart and a 3 oak leaf clusters, testifying to the four wounds he received in battle in Sicily and Italy, is home on a short furlough visiting his mother, Mrs. Lila Pelz, and his wife and baby daughter, Sandra Gale.

Sergeant Pelz has been in the service since 1938 and had been overseas for 20 months before being transferred back to the States. A machine gun platoon sergeant, he fought through the North African, Sicilian and Italian invasions, seeing combat duty in Italy as far up as the Anzio beachhead.

This is his first visit home in two and one-half years, and following the completion of his furlough, he will report back for a new assignment at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Friday, June 23, 1944


Darwin Pelz, 93, of Blairsburg died, Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at Hansen Family Hospital in Iowa Falls. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, November 7, 2014 at the Foster Funeral and Cremation Center, with Rev. John Wilson officiating. Burial will follow at the Blairsburg Cemetery. Visitation will be at the Foster Funeral and Cremation Center on Thursday evening from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Darwin Keith Pelz, the son of John and Lila Williams Pelz was born May 7, 1921 in Williams. He attended Blairsburg schools. He served his country in the United States Army from 1938 to 1944 earning an American Defense Services Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Purple Heart, three Oak Leaf Clusters, four Bronze Stars and a Combat Infantryman Badge. He married Ruby Macel Hall on October 18, 1941 in Bartlesville, OK. To this union one daughter was born. Ruby died on August 11, 1948. Darwin married Cleone Adams on June 3, 1949 in Webster City. He and his brothers, owned and operated Pelz Brothers Construction. Later he worked for Fredrick Construction in Ames, retiring in 1983.
Darwin is survived by his wife, Cleone of Blairsburg; daughters, Sandra Butler of Des Moines, Diane (Bruce) Simpson of Cantonment, FL, Debra (Roger) Nerland of Williams, Dee Lila (David) Thornhill of Colorado Springs, CO; 14 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; sister, Maxine (Ward) Clemmo of Puyallup, WA; and sister-in-law, Velma Pelz of Webster City.
Darwin was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife; four brothers, Wendell, Welston, Ronald and Raymond.
He was a member of Congregational Church of Christ in Blairsburg and a 50 year member of the Williams American Legion.

Source: Foster Funeral Homes, Webster City, Iowa


Darwin served as a machine gun platoon sergeant with an infantry division and was wounded on 4 different occasions during enemy action in Sicily and Italy. He was awarded a Purple Heart, three Oak Leaf Clusters, four Bronze Stars, a Combat Infantryman Badge, the American Defense Services Medal, and a Good Conduct Medal.

Raymond served with the 149th Infantry, 45th Division, Co. M as a machine gun instructor; serving in North Africa. He was seriously wounded in a mine explosion. He was awarded a Purple Heart, European theater ribbon with five battle stars, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and the Good Conduct Medal. 

Ronald served with the coast artillery in Germany and Welston K. served with the 91st “Powder River” division, spending 10 months in Italy.

Sources: Daily Freeman Journal and ancestry.com