Story County

Russell Sparks



22 Iowans Home from Nazi War Prisoner Camps

Des Moines—Thursday was homecoming day for 22 Iowans who have been released by the Germans after many months in war prisoner camps.

All of the men were from medical detachments, which, according to Pfc. Robert J. Houghton, Des Moines, probably figured in the explanation of their release. None was wounded.

“We were just 75 lucky men the Germans said could go home.” Houghton said. “I don’t understand it myself.”

He said the Iowa men who returned with him were Melvin Owen, Tipton: John Ondrejka, Fort Dodge; B.K. Smokstad, Monroe; H. Bilterman, Aver; Benjamin Salvetore, Fort Dodge; Marion DeVries, Orange City; Dale Reichert, Fort Dodge; Verne Seidel, Waterloo; Avron Gaulke, Dows; Joe Hayes, Correctionville; Charles Slavens, Cincinnati; John Terris, Dubuque; Russell Sparks, Maxwell; Charles Minor, Lamoni; Vincent White, Marshalltown; Morris James, Newton; John Spiegel, Sioux City and Clifton Warner, Des Moines.

Delayed but on the way home, he said, were Robert Tadewald, Muscatine and Ansel Maughler, Troy. The group also included Richard Clarke, who entered the army from Des Moines but who now lives at Millersburg, Ind.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, March 9, 1945