Hamilton County

Pfc. Virgil Francis Twedt





The Twedt and Ritland families and A.R. Erickson, funeral director at Roland, met the train at Story City at 6:30 Friday morning when the casketed remains of Pfc. Virgil Twedt arrived accompanied by Cpl. John Nelson, the military escort. The body rested at the Erickson Funeral Home until 3 o'clock Sunday afternoon when he was taken to his final resting place. A graveside service was held at the Roland cemetery in the presence of the immediate family, with Rev. Allen E. Nelson officiating.

This plot had been dedicated to him the same day as the Memorial services were held. Harris Twedt, Herma and Junior, sang "Abide With Me."

The beautiful bronze casket was draped by the American flag which was presented to Mrs. Twedt. A blanket of roses and a bouquet from his little son Allen, tied with white ribbon with "Daddy" written in gold on it, covered the casket. There had also been beautiful flowers placed at the graveside by friends.

The casket bearers were Carroll Lloyd and Obed Ritland, Leonard Harris and Leslie Twedt.

Virgil Francis Twedt, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Henry Twedt, was born on a farm northeast of Roland on January 31, 1919. In 1938 he and his father moved to Roland, and he was graduated from the Roland high school that same year. In 1940 he was united in marriage to Alice Ritland, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L.J. Ritland. To this union a son, Vaughan Allen, was born on January 8, 1943. They made their home in Roland until he was inducted into the army in November 1942.

He had his basic training at Camp Wolters, Texas. He was stationed at several other camps for a period of 17 months before embarking for overseas. He landed in England on June 29, 1944, and in France on July 16, 1944, and was placed in the 30th Division (Old Hickory). Not knowing her husband was in action, Mrs. Twedt received a message on August 21, 1944, stating he was missing in action on July 31, 1944. A week later she received another message stating he had been killed in action on that date.

He took part in the break-through from Normandy and was in the St Lo area at the time of his death. His death was caused by fragments of shrapnel from an explosion nearby. He was laid to rest in a temporary cemetery at La Cambe, France, on August 1, 1944, at 4 p.m. No further details have ever been received. He was later awarded the Purple Heart.

A memorial services was held at the Bergen Lutheran church on Sunday June 10, 1945 at 2:30 p.m., with Rev. Nelson officiating. Miss Wilma Osheim sang "Behold The Host." Greetings were given by Rev. Olaf Holen. A full military service by Roland Post No. 307, The American Legion was held.

The following message was sent to Mrs. Twedt by the Mayor of New York:
April 20, 1948
Dear Mrs. Twedt:
As Mayor of the City of New York, and on behalf of the citizens of this city, I extend my heartfelt sympathy to the family of Pfc. Virgil F. Twedt, who so honorably gave his life that others might enjoy peace and freedom. I trust and pray his sacrifice will not have been in vain.
Sincerely yours,
William O'Dwyer, Mayor

His smiling way and a pleasant face,
Are a pleasure to recall:
He had a kindly word for each.
And died beloved by all.
Some day we hope to meet him,
Some day, we know not when,
To clasp his hand in the better land.
Never to part again.

Source: Roland Record, Roland, IA - May 6, 1948

Virgil Francis Twedt, Pfc. U.S. Army - MIA/KIA

Virgil Francis Twedt was born Jan. 31, 1919 to Henry and Isabelle Wicks Twedt. He died July 31, 1944 and is buried in the Roland Cemetery, Roland, IA.

Virgil was serving in France with the 30th Division (Old Hickory) and took part in the break-through from Normandy and was in the St. Lo area at the time of his death. He was listed as missing in action on July 31, 1944 and a week later was reported killed in action. He was laid to rest in a temporary cemetery at La Cambe, France and later brought back to the United States for burial. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA
World War II Memorial