Van Buren County

Alden Watts Jr.



Obituary: Alden Watts Jr.
The remains of Pfc. Alden Watts, Jr. arrived in Bonaparte Wednesday evening, April 6. Funeral services were held at the home Saturday, April 9, at 2 p.m. with Rev. John S. Ellis in charge. Interment was in Bonaparte cemetery with military services in charge of the Sargeant-Osweiler post, American Legion of Bonaparte. Six cousins of the deceased acted as bearers. They were Laverne Von Seggen, Donald Von Seggen, Merle Muntz, Densmore Muntz, Elwin Muntz and Keith Muntz. Keith Gaston contributed the musical numbers.
Alden Watts, Jr. was the oldest child of Alden Watts, Sr., and Katherine Muntz Watts. He was born on the present Watts farm south of Bonaparte, on Dec. 28, 1914. His elementary education was received in the White Oak school in Farmington township and graduated from the Bonaparte high school in 1933. The next few years were spent in farming, and a year in the ordnance plant in Burlington. He was a regular attendant of Story Chapel Sunday school and church.

He went into the service of his country on Oct. 26, 1942, as a member of the 321st Engineers Battalion, being sent to Camp Adair, Oregon. His company was moved to Ft. Lewis, Wash. on May 1, 1943. During this time Alden qualified as an expert marksman, with a 30 cal. light machine gun, and earned the coveted expert badge, "The 96th Division Highest Markmanship Award."

The group sailed for Hawaii in July 1944, and these army engineers later took a prominent part in the invasion of the Philippines at Leyte. He was hospitalized for five months at Biak with jungle ulcers and had returned to active duty for only two weeks when fatally wounded.

It was while on guard duty on Okinawa June 15, 1945, and a hand grenade tossed by a Jap in the early morning hours caused his death a few hours later. He was buried with full military honors on Okinawa, Ruyukus Islands.

First word of his death came from a cousin, Elwin Muntz, who was located in Mindanao. There were eight cousins located in the Pacific theater, who kept contract through a chain letter. The official notification was received by the parents on July 1945.

Alden is survived by his parents, and three sisters, Mrs. Beatrice Jairl, Davenport, Iowa, Mrs. Faye Randolph, Bonaparte, Iowa, and Mrs. Frieda Riney of Keokuk, Iowa. Also three nieces, one nephew, and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were conducted at the home on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 o'clock by the Rev. John S. Ellis, under the auspices of the Bonaparte. Sargeant Osweiler post of the American Legion. Interment in the Bonaparte cemetery. **Handwritten: Rec. Rep. 14 Apr. 1949

Source: Van Buren Co. Genealogical Society Obituary Book H, Page 154, Keosauqua Public Library, Keosauqua, IA