Hamilton County

Sgt. Myrl Ray




Staff Sgt. Myrl Ray, son of Mrs. Edward Ray of this city, is still located in North Africa where he is serving as supply officer for his company. Sergeant Ray, a former member of the Iowa National Guard, left for Camp Claiborne, Oa., in February, 1941, and later was transferred overseas to Ireland and then to England. At the opening of the North African campaign his unit was transferred to Africa where he has been stationed ever since.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Mar. 7, 1944 (photo included)


T. Sgt. Philbrook, Pvt. Myrl Ray Reported Lost Oct. 18.

Relatives of two more Iowa National Guardsmen from Webster City received notices over the weekend that the soldiers were missing in action in Italy, it was disclosed Monday, bringing to three the number of 34th infantry members lost in action on Oct. 18.

Private Ray has been attached to the supply department of the ING company sine going overseas nearly three years ago. He was last heard from in a letter received by his parents and dated Oct. 14.

All of the missing men were members of the company which left Webster City in February, 1941 for training at Camp Claiborne, La. In January, 1942, the company was transferred overseas among the first American soldiers to be convoyed across the Atlantic.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Nov. 6, 1944

Fifth ING Casualty Lost in Action in Italian Sector

Staff Sgt. Robert Simpson, son of George and Mary Simpson of this city, is missing in action in Italy according to the War Department message received by his parents.

Missing since Oct. 18, Sergeant Simpson was a section leader with the Iowa National Guard unit from this city attached to the 34th “Red Bull” infantry division.

This makes the fifth Hamilton county serviceman to be reported missing in action in the Italian zone since Oct. 16.  All were members of the National Guard unit, which left Webster City in February, 1941, and trained at Camp Claiborne, La., before being convoyed overseas in January, 1942.

In addition to Sergeant Simpson, the following men have been reported missing in telegrams received here since last weekend:
Staff Sgt. Alvin Fisher, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Fisher, Webster City;
T. Sgt. Arthur Philbrook, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Philbrook, Webster City;
Pvt. Myrl Ray, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Ray, Webster City;
Pfc. Robert Read, brother of Hadley Reed, Stanhope.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, November 8, 1944

Pvt. Myrl Ray Last of Four First Listed As Missing.

Reports on the whereabouts of four Webster City National Guardsmen, listed as missing in action in Italy since mid-October, were complete Thursday following receipt here Wednesday of a War Department message by Mr. and Mrs. Edward Ray.

The telegram from the provo marshal general notified the Ray family that their son, Pvt. Myrl Ray, reported missing, Oct. 18, is now a prisoner of war of the German government according to information obtained through the International Red Cross.

Private Ray was the last of the quartet of 34th infantry men from this city who were lost in the bitter Italian campaign between Oct. 16 and 18, to be reported as prisoner. Previously listed as captives this week in messages from the War Department to their parents were the following:
Staff Sgt. Alvin Fisher, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Fisher.
Staff Sgt. Robert Simpson, son of Mrs. Mary Richardson.
Tech Sgt. Arthur Philbrook, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bert Philbrook.

All of the four soldiers went into service with the ING company from this city in February, 1941, and have been overseas since January, 1942.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, January 4, 1945


Mr. and Mrs. Edward Ray of this city were notified Friday by the Register and Tribune in Des Moines that their son, Pfc. Myrl Ray, a prisoner of the Germans since last summer, had been reported as released from the Market-Pangau camp in Austria.

This was the first word received concerning the Webster City soldier’s transfer to Austria from the Stalag 7-A camp in Germany.

Three other Webster City soldiers, members of Ray’s 34th infantry unit, were located at Stalag 7-A having been captured by the nazis at the same time. No word of their liberation has as yet been reported to the Freeman-Journal. These men include: Sergeants Alvin Fisher, Arthur Philbrook and Bob Simpson.

Source: Webster City Freeman, Webster City, IA - May 14, 1945


Myrl Laverne Ray was born Feb. 7, 1917, to Edward and Mary E. Ray. He died Jan. 16, 1998, and is buried in Graceland Cemetery, Webster City, IA.

Pvt. Ray was reported missing in action since Oct. 18, 1944. He was a German prisoner of war at Stalag 7A, Moosburg, Bavaria.

Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA