Fayette County

 

Pfc. Wendell Reick

Photo: Upper Iowa University,yearbook, 1945

 

 

 

FORMER STUDENT HERE WAS KILLED IN ITALY

Wendell Francis Reick Loses Life While Serving With the Mountain Division

A message from the war department to Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Reick, residing near Maynard, informed them of the death of their son, Wendell Francis Reick, 19, which occurred somewhere in Italy, Feb. 20. The news reached them last Friday.

Wendell was a member of the Ski Troops, or Mountain Infantry, and wen overseas in December, 1944. He was inducted in June, 1944.

He was a member of the Junior class of Upper Iowa University at that time, and was in Fayette late in November during the activities of the fraternities and sororities in initiating pledges.

Source: Fayette County Leader, March 15, 1945

Bronze Star To Maynard Main Killed In Italy

At the direction of the President of the United States, the War Department has awarded posthumously the Bronze Star medal to Pfc. Wendell R. Reick, Infantry. The medal will be presented to Pfc. Reick's father, Elmer F. Reick of Maynard. The citations reads as follows:

"For heroic achievement in action on 20 February, 1945, near Mt. Belvedere, Italy. Acting as first scout for his platoon, Private Reick volunteered to investigate the exposed flank of his unit, in spite of heavy enemy mortar and machine gun fire. His courageous and through reconnaissance caused previously hidden machine gun and sniper emplacements to fire at him and thus reveal their positions. Attempting to lead the platoon past these fortifications, he had succeeded only in getting close to the enemy, when terrific fire from the emplacements pinned the platoon down. Anticipating such action, he used his hand grenades and rifle fire incessantly, forcing the enemy to take cover momentarily, and giving his unit the seconds necessary to close with the enemy and to eliminate hostile strong points. In his efforts to maintain an effective fire he had to expose himself and was mortally wounded. Such heroic actions and devout adherence to duty are truly worthy of such praise and commendation."

Source: The Oelwein Daily Register, April 9, 1946