Hamilton County

Pfc. Robert T. Read





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


Pfc. Robert Read of Stanhope, who was previously reported as missing in action in Italy in mid-October, was wounded Oct. 24 and is now in a hospital in Italy, according to a letter received from the infantryman by his brother, Hadley Read and sister, Mrs. Orin Hanson, of Stanhope.

Read, one of five Hamilton county members of the Iowa National Guard unit who were reported missing Oct. 16-20, wrote that he was wounded while taking cover in a house, which was hit by artillery fire.

Private Read was struck by shrapnel in the right hand and in both knees, and was receiving medical treatment for his injuries at a hospital at the time he wrote the letter to his sister and brother. He has another brother, Weldon Read, who lives in the Stanhope-Jewell community.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, November 14, 1944

Notes: Robert Thurley Read was born May 15, 1921 to Benjamin Franklin and Lillian Mae Sickinger Read. He died Apr. 16, 1991, in San Bernardino, CA.

Pfc. Read was wounded in action Oct. 24, 1944 in the Italian war zone. He was struck by shrapnel in the right hand and in both knees. He was reported missing Oct. 18, 1944. He spent 37 months of overseas action with the 34th “Red Bull” Division.   

Robert was awarded the Purple Heart with cluster, the combat badge, good conduct medal and pre-Pearl Harbor, and European theater of war ribbons.

Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA