Cerro Gordo County

Sgt. Sherman E. Wickre



Dietz Winner of Silver Star; Lt. Vaughn War P.O.W. Since May, 1944

Among Mason City's liberated prisoners of war to arrive home from the Jefferson Barracks reception center within the last few days are Lt. Richard Vaughn, S/Sgt. Paul Ong, Sgt. Sherman E. Wickre and Pfc. Alex Dietz. All are unanimous in that the best thing about coming home is "just being here."

Lt. Vaughn, son of Mr. and Mrs. R.W. Vaughn, 219 1/2 North Federal, was met at Nora Springs early Sunday morning by his parents. He will be here on a 60 day leave after which he will go to Miami Beach, Fla. He had been held by the Germans since May 10, 1944.

S/Sgt. Ong, son of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Ong, 123 President Court, arrived in Mason City Saturday. He says he was a lot more fortunate than many. Wounded at the time his plane was shot down by fighter planes, he was taken prisoner by some German civilians and given first aid by 2 Catholic sisters before being taken to a German hospital. He was held at Krems, Austria, for little more than 21 months. He reported that he had taken part on a 200 mile march from his camp when the Russians advanced in that area. It took them 18 days. They were not taken to another camp but marched to a woods that had a large strip cut around the outskirts. They were released from this place on May 3 by American soldiers who captured the German units there.

Sgt. Sherman E. Wickre, whose wife, Esther, lives with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Nels Landgren, 523 S.E., has been here several days, and by this time is fairly well acquainted with his 6 months old son, John Edwin, whom he is seeing for the first time; also getting acquainted with his 2 daughters, Ruth and Rachel. Mrs. Wickre reports that "he looks good". Sgt. Wickre was in the same camp as Sgt. Ong and with him in the "march".They carried some food with them while on the march, as well as all their belongings. Some food was acquired along the way by trading such things as cigarettes for some. Sgt Wickre has been a prisoner since last November.

Pfc. Alex Dietz, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Dietz, 20 9th N.W., holder of the silver star for gallantry in action in Italy, reported that he "hadn't suffered much." A prisoner of the Germans since last June, he spent only about 2 weeks in actual prison camp. He said that they could volunteer to get "outside the fence" to work and he got out to live with some Bavarians. He had been at Stalag 7-A near Moosberg, Germany.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, June 20, 1945 (photo included)

Sherman Edwin Wickre was born Feb. 6, 1911 to Elias Jensen and Gertrude Wickre. He died Feb. 1, 1969 and is buried in Union Cemetery, Livermore, IA.

Sgt. Wickre served in World War II with the U.S. Army Infantry and was a POW in Stalag 17B, Krems, Austria.

Sources: ancestry.com