Floyd County

Pvt. Leroy M. Simmons




Paratrooper Killed in Nazi Counter-Blow

Rockford -- Mrs. Oma Simmons received a telegram stating her son, Pvt. Leroy M. Simmons, of an airborne division, was killed in action in Belgium Dec. 25.

Leroy entered the service Nov. 23, 1943. He took his basic training as a paratrooper in Camp Taccoa and Ft. Benning, Ga., where he received his wings in April, 1944.

On May 1, he sailed overseas landing in Africa where he took part in many major battles. He saw action in Africa, Sicily, Salerno and Italy.

At Naples he was wounded by shrapnel and sent to a hospital in Africa. Recovering from this he contracted malaria and returned to the hospital.

Later he was transferred to England, then France where he contracted pneumonia and was just recovering when he was sent into battle in the recent German counter-offensive in Belgium and there lost his life. He received the purple heart for wounds and had 2 unit citation, one by President Roosevelt.

Born in Belle Plaine Aug. 13, 1922, he lived in Sheffield, Hampton, Dougherty and Swaledale before coming to Rockford, where he was assistant buttermaker before entering the service.

Source: The Mason City Globe-Gazette, January 27, 1945 (photo included)