Hamilton County

 

Sgt. Donald R. Shelton

 

 

3 MEMBERS OF GUARD UNIT (Sgts. Christenson, Shelton and Wilson) ON CASUALTY LIST

Staff Sgt. Christenson Is Missing; 2 Sergeants Injured.


Further evidence that the Iowa National Guard company from this city has been engaged in the fierce fighting in northern Italy was reported over the weekend in Webster City by relatives receiving war department messages saying that one Guardsman was missing and two others had been wounded.

Staff Sgt. Raymond Christenson, 30, son of M. T. Christenson of this city, was reported missing in action July 1. He was last heard from in a letter written a month ago and received July 3 at which time he wrote he was feeling fine.

Shelton Injured

Relatives of Sgt. Don Shelton, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Shelton of Oceanside, Cal., former residents of this city, have received word that the former Webster City high school athletic star had been wounded and was now in a hospital in Italy. His condition was described as not serious. A letter written by Sergeant Shelton on July 4 was carried last week in the Freeman-Journal. He stated at that time he had completed a visit to Rome, and that the personnel of the company had changed so much that he felt he scarcely knew any of the members.

Third casualty reported last weekend was First Sgt. Eugene D. Wilson, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Wilson of Blairsburg who was wounded July 8.

This was the second time in two months Sergeant Wilson had been wounded as he had received his first injury in Italy two months to the day before being wounded again.

3 Were Killed
Last week, three members of the company were listed as killed: Captain Kenneth Nichols, First Sgt. Charles Meyers and Sgt. Kenneth Cornett.

In the fighting since late May when the allied troops broke out of the Anzio beachhead and started their victory drive northward, several other Guardsmen have been reported wounded, and one—Staff Sgt. Roger Groves—is among the missing.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA – July 24, 1944

S. SGT. SHELTON DIED SEPT. 15

W. C. Soldier Killed in Italy, Relatives Here Notified.

Staff Sgt. Don Shelton, former Webster City athletic star, was killed Sept. 15 in the Italian war theater, relatives here were notified Friday afternoon.

Sergeant Shelton was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Shelton, former Webster City residents now living at Oceanside, Cal.

The serviceman only recently had recovered from wounds received in the bitter fighting in north Italy early in June. Following his recuperation in Rome, he participated in an army swimming meet there as a representative of his unit.

Sergeant Shelton left Webster City in February, 1941, with the Iowa National Guard company and had been overseas with that group since early in 1942. He was attached to the 133rd infantry regiment of the famed 34th “Red Bull” division which distinguished itself in action in North Africa and in Italy.

A graduate of Webster City high school, Sergeant Shelton was a consistent letter winner in many sports, being especially outstanding in basketball and baseball. He showed his sports ability overseas playing on a championship army basketball outfit in Africa and entering in baseball and swimming competition.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Sept. 29, 1944

Military Rites for Sgt. Shelton

Military services will be held here Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock at Foster’s funeral home for Staff Sgt. Donald R. Shelton, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Shelton, former Webster City residents now living at Gold Hill, Ore.

Sgt. Shelton was killed in action Sept. 15, 1944 in the Italian war theater.

The Rev. Dewey Kooy will officiate, with burial in Graceland cemetery.

Born near W.C.—

Donald Raymond Shelton, only son of Ray and Pearl Shelton, was born June 11, 1918 on a farm south of Webster City. When he was eight years old he moved with his parents into Webster City. He grew to young manhood in this community and received his education in the Webster City schools. After his graduation with the class of 1937 he attended the University of Iowa for one year.

In December of 1940 he enlisted with Company E and left Webster City in February, 1941 with the Iowa National Guard company. He received his military training at Camp Claiborne, La. and Camp Dix, N. J. The early part of 1942 he was sent overseas and was attached to the 133rd infantry regiment of the famed 34th “Red Bull” division which distinguished itself in action in North Africa and Italy.

Sgt. Shelton also distinguished himself as a soldier, having received the bronze star medal “for exemplary conduct in ground combat against the armed enemy on or about March 25, 1944 in the Mediterranean theater of operations.” He also received four bronze service stars for the Naples-Loggia, North Apennines, Rome-Arno and Tunisia campaigns.

Purple Heart Awards—

For wounds received in action, he was decorated with three purple hearts, also the infantry combat badge, American defense service medal and the World War II victory medal. Through correspondence with the government, the parents of Sgt. Shelton have been advised that they will be later presented with the European-African middle eastern campaign medal. At present only the ribbon pertaining to this medal is available.

Sgt. Shelton, known to his many friends as Don, was an outstanding athlete, especially in basketball and baseball. He showed his sports ability overseas, playing on a championship army basketball outfit in Africa and entering in baseball and swimming competitions.

Don was a fine young man who attended church and Sunday school at the Church of Christ. He was greatly devoted to this mother and father and long will be remembered as an outstanding sportsman and a true friend.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Nov. 19, 1948

Donald Raymond Shelton was born June 11, 1918 to Raymond and Pearl Shelton. He died Sept. 15, 1944 and is buried in Graceland Cemetery, Webster City, IA.

Sgt. Shelton was honored by “Baseball’s Greatest Sacrifice”, Remembering baseball players who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Sources: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA
Baseball’s Greatest Sacrifice
ancestry.com
World War II Memorial