Kossuth County

Lt. John C. Phillips



MISSING IN BELGIUM --1st Lt. John C. Phillips, son of Mr. and Mrs. C.A. Philips of Algona, is reported missing in action somewhere in Belgium where he served with General Hodges 1st Army. He was hospitalized with pneumonia at Liege early in December. When the German drive began Dec. 16 he was convalescent and helped evacuate bed patients from a hospital which newspaper reports stated was later bombed. A letter was received by his parents just 4 days before he was reported missing.

Source: The Mason City Globe-Gazette, January 1945


Parents Now Hopeful of News Reporting Liberation

C.C. Phillips, Chamber of Commerce secretary, and Mrs. Phillips late Thursday received a government telegram which follows:

Washington, D.C. May 5 -- The secretary of war desires me to inform you that your son 1Lt. John C. Phillips is a prisoner of war of the German government. Report was received through International Red Cross. Letter of information follows from Provost Marshall General -- J.A. Ulio, Adjutant General.

Lieutenant Phillips had been officially reported missing-in-action as of Jan. 26. And since that time his parents here had no word from or about him till two weeks ago, when a woman at Waterloo wrote to say that her husband, an officer overseas who was captured, had written of having talked with John and said the latter had suffered a right arm wound like his own.

Won Combat Citation

After receipt of that news, Mr. and Mrs. Phillips were encourage with renewed hope that they would hear from their son in due time. They believed that if it were at all possible he would try to communicate with them April 25, his 22nd birthday. However, no word came till receipt of the Ulio message.

The young lieutenant was en route overseas at last Thanksgiving time, and from the letter he wrote home it appeared that he went into combat almost immediately. He was in the 106th division of the 424th infantry, Co. E.

In one letter the lieutenant mentioned a combat citation. It is known that he fought in the original Luxembourg offensive, because he told of having been or being in Germany. About that time he suffered an attack of pneumonia, and was hospitalized at Liege in Belgium. Later he wrote that while he was convalescent there he helped evacuate bed patients to the rear.

Served in Rundstedt Push

That coincided with the Rundstedt counter-offensive, which started Dec. 16, and it presumed that when recovered sufficiently he was ordered back to combat, for it was only a little more than a month later that he was reported "missing."

The 106th division was almost annihilated in the Runstedt push. There were 8000 casualties. In the fighting, the men of that division did much, it was claimed by reporters at the scene, to lay the foundation for the later victory now in hand.

Source: Kossuth County Advance, May 8, 1945 (photo included)

Recently liberated from prisoner of war camps in Germany: Lt. John C. Phillips, Lt. Donald Arns, Lt. Duane Lighter, all of Algona, and S-Sgt. Wilbur Zoller of Lakota.

Source: The Algona Upper Des Moines, May 24, 1945